Career theory development aims to obtain information about the individual which will then be related to the occupational options (Stead, 2006). Personal career development is largely the focus on individuals in helping them decide possible job choices for the future (Peterson, 1991). Psychological theories provide for paradigms which assist in explaining and understanding behaviours and decision making processes. Contemporary approaches to career theory such as narrative approaches focuses on an individual’s life told using stories, representing lived experience (Schreuder, 2006). Career development is an ongoing process which continuously changes for each individual. Using narratives such as stories then becomes a natural way of expressing personal experience while allowing the individual to reflect on the past. Career counselors therefore work to enable the individual to construct a story of their own lives (Schreuder, 2006).
There have been three main focuses of career theory development through the centuries. Firstly, the vocational guidance movement focused on measuring individual differences. This movement included theorists such as Parson’s trait-factor and Holland’s 6 personalities. These approaches focused on the perspective that individual differences situate career choices and development. Frank Parson’s trait-factor theories developed to match individuals to particular jobs. Within this theory, a trait is referred to as a characteristic which is typically stable over time and consistent in situations. Factor refers to a group of traits that correlate with each other. Using these definitions, Person promoted the idea that knowledge of personal characteristics as well as knowledge of different occupations can be rationally brought together as there is a correlation between particular characteristics and certain jobs. Person focused on what he termed vocational guidance purposes such as mental abilities, personality...
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