There are a number of factors and individual characteristics that impact career development and vocational choices. These factors can be external or internal or a combination of the two. Some individuals are influenced by others close to them or by those role models who may represent the area of interest but there is no direct personal connection. Career choice for some can be determined by the path taken by others; the proven path that guarantees a certain level of income and a certain kind of lifestyle. While others make career choices based on what they are most passionate about. Influences in childhood can impact the choices an individual makes in adulthood regarding their vocation; as can how an individual progresses in academic settings. Moreover, the marketplace, can also be a deciding factor in what career choices a person makes; what jobs are in high demand, which career paths are the most or least promising, and what are the trends for greater professional success.
Personality, current situations, goals and ambitions are all determining factors in an individual's career development and advancement. Following are descriptions of this writers' early influences, mentors and the development of work ethic examined through the contextual framework of Holland's Six Personality Types and Costa's Three Dimensional Model of Personality. Further, this writer's current goals will be articulated as well as issues with regard to work related stress and spillover effect that are important considerations in the career advancement process.
Holland's Six Personality Types
According to John Holland as cited in Hogan and Blake's "John Holland's Vocational typology and Personality Theory" (1999), vocational interests can be defined as "an expression of personality" (pg. 41). The Code ascribed by Holland is frequently referred to as the RiASEC model" Realist (Doers), Investigative (Thinkers), Artistic (Creators), Social (Helpers), Enterprising (Persuaders), and Conventional (Organizers) (Holland, 1973; Rounds et al., 2008). In essence, Holland's theory maintained that personality and vocational choices are synonymous and because of this those whose personalities match their vocational choices, they tend to flourish in the rightly matched environment. He does not suggest that there are merely six personality types in totality, but rather any individual may possess interests that can be directly associated with the personality types he describes; with preference noted in descending order (Holland, 1973). Holland asserts that although interests may lie in many of the personality types, it is usually the top two or three that truly aid in guiding one's vocational choices. He used a hexagon to graph the six personality types and noted that the shortest distance between the corners of the geometrical shape, the greater the relatedness (Holland, 1973).
The two personality characteristics that this writer is most in line with are that of Doer and helper. Holland defines a doer as a realistic individual who possesses characteristics such as persistence, stability, independence, and practicality; leaning more toward hands on work. Currently, I am employed as a medical assistant. That is certainly hands on work and realistic in terms of attending to the basic needs of my patients. A helper, according to Holland, is defined as an individual that is cooperative, friendly, empathetic, and is a team player. They also tend to focus on relationship building (Holland, 1973). Again, these traits and characteristics are exemplified in my current work as well as the work this writer aspires to which is hospice patient care.
The early influences and factors that impacted my work ethic were my immediate family; those individuals that were around me on a daily basis. I saw how hard my parents worked, how caring my mother was and is, how the development of mutually satisfying relationships not only impacted their professional choices but personal satisfaction with the work they accomplished. I was told from very early on that 'the early bird catches the worm', that hard work pays off, and that nothing in life is free. I was taught to go after my dreams no matter the challenges. Because of these early influences, my work ethic was directly impacted. I work hard every day with the understanding that in order to achieve my ultimate goals, I have to pay the necessary price.
Costa's Three Dimensional Model of Personality
The framework of personality traits that comprise the three dimensional model of personality, according to Costa & McCrae (1992) are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. These traits are examined individually and taken together offer a view of those traits that form the model. Openness is considered to be represented by strength of intellect, curiosity and a propensity towards variety and newness. Conscientiousness is defined in terms or achievement orientation, discipline and organization. Extraversion has been determined to be exemplified through a tendency toward talkativeness, assertiveness and high levels of sociability. Agreeableness, according to Costa and McCrae has to do with cooperation, sympathy and helpfulness. The factor of neuroticism has been determined to the related to emotion and the stability of those emotions (Costa & McCrae, 1992).
The traits outlined by the Three Dimensional Model I most identify with are those of agreeableness, openness, and conscientiousness; although I think they all apply to some degree. What I find most interesting about the model is implications for future work and not a mere reflection of where I am in the vocational process at this time. Having greater insight into my own personality traits and taking that information into consideration can help me to identify areas of strength and improvement associated with my personality tendencies. Although I do not regard either of these perspectives as prescriptive, they can provide some additional insight.
As previously indicated, my current goal is to transition into Hospice patient care. I am a helper by nature and in my current position as well as the one I am working toward, helping others in difficult situations is what I am most interested in. Although the work can be challenging and one can and do many times feel unappreciated, the internal rewards are great. The traits and characteristics noted above that I have ascribed to myself are revelatory when my vocational choices are considered within the parameters the theoretical frameworks provide. There are other factors, outside of personality traits and characteristics that also impact goal decisions. External factors such as the economy and the marketplace are certainly a consideration, as well as longevity and what jobs show the greatest promise for the future.
Spill Over Effect & Work Related Stress
The spillover effect has been operationally defined as the propensity for an individuals' emotions to have an effect on others that are around; potentially impacting how the other person feels. The effect of spillover can also occur with one individual from one aspect of their life to another (Remus, Wilson & Wagner, 2009); for example from work to family life. The spillover effect can be positive or negative contingent upon the emotionality the person displays and can be impacted by external or environmental factors, as well as internal factors such as stress. Job related stress can be harmful in so many ways, emotionally and physically and scholars maintain that the greater levels of work related stress stem from a mismatch with what the worker needs and the pressing demands of the job. Many emotional issues can derive from work related stress including anxiety, depression, fatigue and internal levels of dissatisfaction (Thomas & Higgins, 2006).
Spillover from work to home as well as work related stresses are factors that must be taken into consideration when contemplating career choices. If an individual is not cognizant and mindful of these external factors that have the ability to cause internal strife and dourest then making career choices and advancing can prove difficult. Understanding how I am personally impacted by these factors is important in making decisions with regard to my future. Moreover, once identified, finding effective ways to cope are essential in ensuring I am able to successfully manage the spillover effect as well as work related stress. Nursing and healthcare can be a very demanding and challenging profession and it is essential that I understand how work place stress and spillover impact me in order to effectively navigate through.
Making a career choice and advancing in one's career can be challenging, particularly if one is unaware of the internal and external factors that can impact career decisions. Moreover, if an individual is unaware of the personality characteristics and traits that can be impactful in the career decisions that are made, then choosing a career can be even more difficult. Hollands' Six Personality Types and Costa's Three Dimensional Model offer some insight into one's tendencies and propensities based on the personality trait one possesses. Holland associates vocation to personality, and in many ways can be very influential in the decisions that are made. Although not completely prescriptive, some insight can be gleaned from the theoretical principles that are offered.
Work related stress and the spillover effect must be understood and effectively managed when it comes to making career choices and…