Consecutive studies demonstrate that career success is primarily a function of ability, personality, knowledge, opportunity, and the interactions between these variables (Rode et al., 2008). Additionally, the scope of job tasks, responsibilities, and expectations have also been cited as critical determinants of career success. Abele & Spurk (2009) defines career success as the positive psychological or job-related outcomes an individual accumulates as a direct result of work-related experiences.
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Professional bodies and organizations have been credited for assisting employees to work towards achieving their career goals and objectives and, therefore, play an important role in complimenting the efforts of employees towards the attainment of career success. This paper purposes to explain how the American Psychological Association (APA) assists its members in the development of professional knowledge and abilities, and how this impacts the career success of psychologists in the various fields of practice.
Headquartered in Washington, the APA is a scientific and professional organization with over 150,000 members, thus making it the largest association of psychologists globally. According to its homepage, “…the mission of the APA is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives” (APA, 2010, para. 2).
Among other things, this mission is based on continual pursuit of excellence, outstanding service to members and society, knowledge and its application based on methods of science, and ethical action in all the organization’s endeavors.
The APA contributes towards the enhancement of professional knowledge and abilities of its members in a number of ways. First, the organization is not only the foremost catalyst for the stimulation, development, and dissemination of psychological knowledge and practice, but it is the primary resource for all psychologists, not mentioning that it is the premier trendsetter in the education, nurturing, and training of psychologists, practitioners, and educators (APA, 2010).
Its comprehensive undertaking in research provides members with a framework to keep abreast of current issues in the broad field of psychology, and enhances their practical knowledge and abilities in dealing with new and challenging issues.
In addition, the association provides members with the opportunity to network and exchange critical ideas that goes along way to sharpen their abilities to contribute more to the enhancement of human rights, health, well-being, and self-respect (APA, 2010).
What’s more, the publications and annual conventions arranged by the organization allows young psychologists the chance to interact with experienced members and exchange knowledge and ideas that are inarguably critical to the practice judging by the fact that psychology is an evolving discipline.
The association gives its members an enabling environment to develop their professional knowledge and expertise through interaction and collaboration. Lastly, it is imperative to mention that any professional body gives its members a sense of belonging and a framework for furthering their interests, and the APA is no exception (Kuijpers et al., 2006).
As already mentioned, career success is primarily a function of an individual’s knowledge and abilities. Individuals always strive to build a successful career, and a professional body that will provide them with the basic ingredients for career success is most welcome. Knowledge and abilities will enhances an individual’s chances to gain materially in terms of pay and hierarchical position, otherwise known as objective career success (Abele & Spurk, 2008).
In the same vein, having adequate knowledge and capabilities brings job satisfaction, motivation and enhanced social status, therefore enabling one to achieve what is known as subjective career success. As such, it can be concluded that engagement in professional organizations enhance one’s career success.
Abele, A.E., & Spurk, D. (2009). How do objective and subjective career success interrelate over times? Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, 82(4), 803-824. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier Database
American Psychological Association. (2010). About APA. Web.
Kuijpers, M.A.C.T., Schyns, B., & Schreerens, J. (2006). Career competencies for career success. Career Development Quarterly, 55(2), 168-178. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier Database
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Rode, C.R., Arthaud-Day, M.L., Mooney, C.H., Near, J.P., & Baldwin, T.T. (2008). Ability and personality predictors of salary, perceived job success and perceived career success in the initial career stage. International Journal of Selection & Assessment, 16(3), 292-299. Retrieved from Academic Source Premier Database