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Theoretical Models in Careers Guidance Practice

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Theoretical Models in Careers Guidance Practice
Gysbers (2003) proposes that the value of career theories comes from providing practitioners with a framework to examine client behaviour, help understand the possible meanings of or explanations for the behaviour and subsequently, enables them to identify and respond to clients’ goals or problems. Significantly then, such theories may help explain an individual’s vocational behaviour, such as their initial career choice or later aspects of career development. This essay attempts to identify the theoretical framework that will underpin my guidance practice in the future.
Initially, the guidance and client context is identified, with reference to their age group, diversity and need for careers guidance. This is followed by theories of Transitions, with Hodkinson et al’s work detailing the type of transition likely to be experienced by clients, and Nicholson and West’s ‘transition cycle’ illustrating their different phases. Subsequently, theories of career choice and decision-making are presented, with firstly the differential psychology ‘matching’ perspective exemplified by Holland, and secondly Super’s developmental psychology approach to career decision-making. Lastly, two differing Motivation theories are used: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, exploring individual motivational factors, and Law’s Community Interaction theory, from a Sociological ‘social context’ approach. Throughout, implications for my practice and strengths and criticisms of the various theories are included.

The guidance context for this essay is Connexions work, predominantly within education institutions, although it inevitably also includes some community-based work. The Connexions service for 13 to 19 year olds (up to 25 for those with learning difficulties and disabilities) was designed to provide information, advice, guidance and personal development opportunities to young people in England. Despite careers guidance being subsumed within this holistic service, the Leitch Review



References: Arnold, J. (1997) Managing Careers into the 21st Century, London: Paul Chapman. Baron, R. (1986) Behaviour in Organizations (Second Edition), London: Allyn and Bacon. Foskett, N. and Hemsley-Brown (2001) Choosing Futures: Young People’s decision-making in education, training and careers markets, London: Routledge Falmer. Gysbers, N.C. et al (2003) Career Counseling : Process, issues and techniques, Boston: Pearson Education Inc. Hodkinson, P. et al (1996) Triumphs and Tears : Young people, Markets and the Transition from School to Work, London: David Fulton Publishers Ltd. Kidd, J.M. (2006) Understanding Career Counselling: Theory, Research and Practice, London: Sage Publications Ltd. Bibliography Law, B. (2001) New Thinking for Connexions and Citizenship. Derby: Centre for Guidance Studies, online at www.hihohiho.com/memory/cafmrythry.html (February 13th 2007) Osipow, S.H. and Fitzgerald, L.F. (1996) Theories of Career Development (Fourth Edition) Needham Heights: Allyn and Bacon.

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