Aspects Of Career Counceling Essay

Career counseling is not limited to a particular trade or skill or type of people but includes a wide range of individuals who possess all kinds of skills, passions, and values as well as career motivations. In this paper, we investigate the practical applicability of Super's Developmental Self-Concept Theory-based model for career counseling. This theory or model of counseling encompasses the entire lifespan of an individual and divides it into a number of segments. This paper tries to understand how each of the stages identifies the needs and aspirations of individual clients and sets a benchmark that best suits the needs in every stage. This theory is based on self-concept and hence is applicable at an individual level. The paper also looks into the possible assessment tests for career counseling. Such tests are based on personality or psychology of a client, the interest of that individual and the aptitude of the client. These tests help in identifying the most reliable and apt career or job for an individual. This paper also looks into the importance of cultural diversity and addressing it while conducting career counseling. Contents

Introduction 3

A possible practice choice - Super's Developmental Self-Concept Theory 4

Growth Stage 6

Exploration Stage 6

Establishment Stage 7

Maintenance Stage 7

Disengagement or Decline Stage 8

Application of the model of approach in work 8

Why Super's Developmental Self-Concept Theory is best-fit for practice as a career counselor 10

Specific assessment test (s) used 11

Personality or Psychology-based tests 11

Interest-Based Career Tests 12

Aptitude-Based Career Tests 12

Multiculturalism in counseling 13

Conclusion 13

References 15


Career counseling, or work counseling as it is sometimes known, deals with the confidential support and advice that is sought by and is given to individuals' needs related to different areas of study and about the possible career movements, career developments, and potential helpful changes. Working with a professional who has an understanding of the difficulties involved in the navigation of a career in a manner that is rewarding, career counseling provides an opportunity to people to better their careers or choose an appropriate career through a series of discussions that can lead to discovering of opportunities in career plans and work (Kelley, 2015). Career counseling is not limited to a particular trade or skill or type of people but includes a wide range of individuals who possess all kinds of skills, passions, and values as well as career motivations. The basic concept of career counseling hinges on the better understands of an individual's thoughts and feelings related to work and career along with considerations related to their education (Chopra, 2005).

Career counseling is primarily based on verbal interaction and is most often a verbal process where a counselor establishes a dynamic and a collaborative relationship with an individual and focuses on the identification and acting of the individual according to the goals set by the counselor. For this purpose, a repertoire of various techniques, theories and processes are employed that help to bring about an individual's self-understanding, the understanding of the behavioral options that are available and resulting in an informed decision making (Zunker, 2012). Over the years, a number of career counseling theories have been formulated that have been helpful in the development of various models, and processes that are used by counselors to provide quality advice to individuals. Experts like E. Ginzberg, J. D. Krumboltz, B. Law, K. Roberts, D. E. Super and A.G. Watts have immensely contributed to the creation of models, theories, and processes of career counseling in the last twenty years.

While there are many others who have contributed and written about career and added to current understandings of career counseling, four major categories have emerged for career counseling over the last 75 years. These have helped develop various models that are based on trait factor which matched personal traits with occupations, psychological assumptions where personality types are matched with the work environment, the decision making or the situational or sociological needs-based models and processes and self-developmental concepts over life span (James Chopra, 2005).

A possible practice choice - Super's Developmental Self-Concept Theory

Since the basic aim of career counseling is to provide quality advice to people from all walks of life and for all ages and stages in their career, the practice choice or the model that is best suited for this purpose is Super's Developmental Self-Concept Theory-based model. This model was proposed by Donald E. Super and follows a theory of career counseling that he developed in the 1960 and 70s and which is perhaps the most widely known...


This model basically helps counselors to get a life-span view about the career of an individual which helps in making quality suggestions for career development (Martin, Goldwasser, & Harris, 2015). This model is based on the recognition of the assumption that as individuals mature and age, they also go through inherent changes and hence a life-span approach for selection of the right career and adaptation is proposed in this model and theory (Chopra, 2005). This model or approach to career counseling generally partitions individuals' working life into a number of stages and then tries to specify the assumed typical vocational behaviors that are exhibited by such individuals at each stage.
Super stressed on the continuity in career development by focusing the life course of vocational behavior and emphasized the role of self-concept in career development of an individual. In this theory, he also brought forward the importance of multiple social roles of an individual and how they interact across a lifespan of an individual. Since this model or theory takes into account the course of an entire lifespan of an individual as well as the psychological and social needs at every stage in the life span, this model has been approved to be applicable at all times and at all places irrespective of the cultural and social diversity (Martin, Goldwasser, & Harris, 2015). The overall stress in this model for career development and counseling is in the process of developing and implementation of a self-concept. The vocational choice and behavior become more realistic and stable as self-concept develops. This development allows people to choose occupations which permit them an expression of their self-concepts. The degree to which an individual is able to implement self-concepts is directly related to the work satisfaction achieved.

The supermodel also stresses on career maturity which develops as one's actual vocational behavior develops and according to what is expected at a particular that stage of development. The readiness of an individual to cope with developmental tasks at any given stage of their career has been described as career maturity and it is affective and cognitive. Super's ideas and models have impacted a large number of career education programs and provide a gradual exposure to the aspect of self-concept and related work concepts.

The stages in Super's career counseling theory and model are as follows:

Growth Stage

The Growth stage that starts from birth till the mid-teens period where the major developmental tasks include the development of self-concept and moving from play towards a work orientation (James Chopra, 2005).

There are a number of sub-stages in this stage. They are:

Fantasy stage (between ages 4-10 years) -- Super's theory states that at this stage the needs dominate all forms of career fantasies and there is little reality orientation.

Interest (between 11-12 years) -- at this stage career choices are identified on the basis of likes and dislikes

Capacity (between 13-14 years) -- this is a more reality incorporated stage where an individual can relate one's own skills with specific requirements for jobs. The vocationalizing of the self-concept actually begins at this stage (Mannebach, n.d.).

Exploration Stage

This stage begins in the mid-teens and runs through to the early 20's according to Super. At this stage, the major tasks include the development of a realistic self-concept and its implement through a vocational preference using role tryouts and exploration of the alternatives presented. Individuals with the right degree of self-concept are able to gradually narrow choices that lead to the implementation of a preference.

The sub-stages in this include:

Tentative Stage (between 15-17 years) -- at this stage individuals make tentative choices that incorporate their needs, interests and abilities and are often tried out in fantasy, sometimes in coursework or in part-time work or while volunteering (Mannebach, n.d.).

Crystallization of Preference (between 18-21 years) - specific choices develop from general preference at this stage and reality begins to dominate as one steps into the job market after high school. At this stage often one can be helped in choosing a college major or a particular field of training

Specifying a Vocational Preference (in the early 20's) -- at this stage often an individual views the first job as a trial for life's work and may go back through the crystallizing and specifying process if the job is not found appropriate.

Establishment Stage

This begins generally during the mid-20's and runs through till the mid-40's. At this stage, one tries to find a secure niche in the particular field one chooses and tries to advance within it.

The sub-stages within this stage are:

Trial and Stabilization (between 25-30 years) -- individuals might…

Sources Used in Documents:


Coogan, P. & Chen, C. (2007). Career development and counseling for women: Connecting theories to practice. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 20(2), 191-204.

James Chopra, K. (2005). Finding True North: How to Help Clients Find A Fulfilling Career Path. Psychotherapy Networker, 29(3), 2-14.

Kelley, K. (2015). You want to help someone find a career? Psyccritiques, 60(21).

Lytle, M., Foley, P., & Cotter, E. (2015). Career and Retirement Theories: Relevance for Older Workers Across Cultures. Journal Of Career Development, 42(3), 185-198.
Martin, K., Goldwasser, M., & Harris, E. (2015). Developmental Education's Impact on Students' Academic Self-Concept and Self-Efficacy. Journal Of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice.
Sheridan, S. (2002). My Brilliant Career: The Career of the Career. ALS.
Super, J. & Block, J. (1992). Self-Concept and Need for Achievement of Men with Physical Disabilities. The Journal Of General Psychology, 119(1), 73-80.

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