In an effort to answer the question of how career exploration enhances people’s ability to further themselves, this paper will discuss the subject of professional discovery from an analytical perspective. This discussion will be done through an examination of what constitutes career discovery with reference to applicable theories of career development.
The paper then discusses the point-by-point importance of career exploration in enhancing individual’s ability to further their studies. The paper concludes through a summary of the key points in appreciating the role of career examination in an individual’s further studies.
Career exploration can be referred to as the process of learning, investigating, and analyzing a profession that an individual wishes to make a permanent vocation. The subject of career exploration continues to gain prominence in occupational development.
Various factors have prompted the increased need for unemployed and employed persons to explore their careers. These factors include, but not limited to, the need to invest money in a career and the life-long nature of a profession that one chooses.
Using career development theories such as the social cognitive hypothesis by Albert Bandura, the theory of career choice by John Holland, Parsons’ theory by Frank Parsons, and Super’s theory of Donald Super, this paper will analyze the importance of career exploration in personal development.
The paper seeks to investigate the subject of career discovery using an analytical point of view with the aim of appreciating its contribution in the development of individuals’ ability to further their studies.
Enhances One’s the Ability to Venture into the Desired Career
According to Anderson and Mounts (2012), carrying out an analysis of a particular career enhances individual’s ability to go for the right job. Every individual who ventures into a particular career expects the career to be the basis for the jobs he or she will do in the future.
Careers instill knowledge and skills in individuals in preparation for the job market. According to Super’s theory, career development is a life-long activity that enhances the growth of self-concept. As individuals advance in careers, they gain experience that is necessary for their personal maturity.
Career exploration enables individuals to appreciate the need for understanding themselves in a particular career. Through analysis and investigation into one’s career, individuals can understand themselves better in relation to their careers (Anderson & Mounts, 2012).
Understanding their abilities makes them stand a better chance of appreciating their incapacity. Since people are trained for a long period to undertake a particular career, it is important to match individual’s ability and the requirements for a certain job.
For example, if one works as an accountant and that he or she is trained as an economist, career exploration enables him or her to understand the requirements for specializing in the auditing line. Hence, he or she may find it appealing to engage in part-time studies for the course.
Individual employees are also able to learn the requirements for some jobs in their course of engaging in different occupations. For example, electrical technicians can learn the necessities for an operations manager. This experience boosts their skills, thus making them qualify for such positions in the future.
Employees can carry out career exploration gradually since analyzing, studying, and learning the requirements for a particular career may take a considerable period. Since a career is a life-long undertaking, people can learn, study, and get the job they have always desired.
Exploring and learning the skills that are required for a job that people desire enables them to qualify for it. With the right qualifications, getting the desired job becomes easier.
Increases One’s Knowledge and Credibility in a Particular Field
Career exploration involves a deep analysis of a particular career. In terms of career analysis, Avery (2014) confirms how individuals learn the required knowledge and skills for a particular vocation. For example, one may realize that an individual who wants to qualify to practice as a lawyer must be registered with a professional body.
In some countries, students who take law as a career at the university are required to take a diploma in law after graduating with a degree for them to be admissible into the field. Therefore, knowledge and credibility are important for one to fit well in a career.
According to the social cognitive learning theory, people learn by watching other people’s actions (Zickik & Hall, 2009). Career exploration enables one to learn the requirements for a particular job. Such individuals who do their own career exploration are exposed to the knowledge and skills that are required for a particular occupation.
For example, the need for attachment and keenness in observation of one’s seniors in a job is emphasized. Experience can be gained through observing other people as they perform the actual job. This strategy can be very rewarding for fresh graduates who want to venture into a particular career. Repeated observations enhance one’s skills and knowledge, thus making him or her better equipped for the job.
Matching Talents and Careers
Career exploration enables individuals to discover their talents. In a self-evaluation process, individuals are able to learn their temperaments, talents, and their inner desires in an effort to match them with different careers in which they want to invest.
According to Avery (2014), exploring different careers, their requirements, their environment, and rewards enables learners to appreciate themselves as fits or non-fits for different vocations. Relating ones talents with the careers he or she desires to undertake is crucial for efficiency and self-satisfaction.
Parsons’ theory reveals how talent-matching approach is imperative in ensuring career efficiency and satisfaction (Zickik & Hall, 2009). Therefore, it is important for learners who want to take a certain professional direction to match their talents with the careers they desire most.
For example, if one is talented in public speaking, he or she can join a career in public relations, journalism, law, teaching, or music. Matching of individuals’ talent and career enables them to experience less strain in learning and executing the job.
In the same way, getting into a career that matches ones talent enables them to maximize their potential. Increased self-drive and job enjoyment results in amplified one’s efficiency and efficacy in a given career. Employees who are already working in an organization can also benefit from talent-career matching.
An employee who has been in a particular job for a long period can fail to realize his or her talents. However, if employees engage in career explorations, they can realize their talent based on they do best without straining. Besides being enjoyable, one’s talent has good returns once it is tapped.
Employees who understand their talents can focus on using them to enrich their jobs (Zickik & Hall, 2009). For example, employees who are talented in organizing activities can display their skills in company events management during awards, annual conferences, and internal meetings. Since talents enhance one’s skills, they may result in promotions and recognition.
Meeting Personal, Societal, and Job Expectations
Every individual has career expectations to meet. In the same way, the job that individuals do have particular expectations that they must continue to meet as they grow. In addition, families and societies have expectations concerning their people’s careers.
Therefore, it is important to achieve these varied expectations. According to Holland’s theory of career choice, people chose careers that allow them to be in an environment that matches that of others who have resembling or equal careers. Erford and Crockett (2012) concur with this position when they confirm how people always want to work in environments that allow self-expression in terms of values, skills, attitudes, and ability.
Career choice theory also holds that individuals’ personality and the surrounding environment determine their on-the-job behavior. This claim implies a person who works hard to meet his or her expectations has to achieve the environmental prospects too.
Avery (2014) affirms that career exploration enables individuals to appreciate the expectations that different stakeholders have in various careers. For example, one will understand that he or she must gain a wide experience through working in lower management levels for a certain number of years for him or her to be a managing director in a certain career.
In the same way, in careers such as law, people have to have worked as lawyers or magistrates for them to be appointed as senior judges. People are also expected to meet some job expectations in a particular career as they progress.
For example, they are expected to have the ability to handle more complex situations and/or guide new employees. As technology changes, an individual in a career that requires up-to-date technology must make efforts to learn and acquire it to meet these expectations. Career explorations prepare individuals in appreciating new expectations (Gibson, Dollarhide, & Moss, 2014).
For example, learners will know that they will be required to be outstanding to be promoted through the military ranks if they take a career in military science. Career explorations inform individuals how their careers are expected to grow with time.
For example, they will be aware of any automatic promotion of job groups and other promotions that depend on extra academic qualifications. In careers such as military, exemplary performance may result in promotions. Erford and Crockett (2012) hold the opinion that career exploration prepares individuals to understand the expectations of a job.
Familial and societal expectations about an individual’s career are also emphasized in career exploration. For example, after investing money in educating a son to become a lawyer, a family may expect the son to become a judge after a couple of years. Failure to achieve societal expectations results in one being seen as a failure in that career.
For instance, people will tend to think that one is not a handworker, not committed, or does not understand a certain career. Career exploration enables individuals to learn the expectations of the job, family, and society. With information, individuals can choose a career that will drive them towards meeting these expectations.
Career exploration is important in enabling individuals to develop their personal abilities. As discussed in the paper, career exploration is vital since it helps individuals to satisfy their need for the right job after a certain study, knowledge and credibility in their professions, and the need for promotion.
Moreover, the need to meet individuals’ familial and societal expectations, salary increment, or the expectations of a competitive working environment makes career exploration important in enhancing individuals’ ability to further themselves.
Anderson, K., & Mounts, N. (2012). Searching for the Self: An Identity Control Theory Approach to Triggers of Occupational Exploration. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 173(1), 90-111.
Avery, K. (2014). Developing Professionalism in career coaching. Human Resources Magazine, 19(4), 18-19.
Erford, B., & Crockett, S. (2012). Practice and Research in Career Counseling and Development–2011. Career Development Quarterly, 60(4), 290-332.
Gibson, D., Dollarhide, C., & Moss, J. (2014). Professional Identity Development: A Grounded Theory of Transformational Tasks of Counselors. Journal of Counseling & Development., 92(1), 3-12.
Zickik, J., & Hall, D. (2009). Toward a More Complex View of Career Exploration. Career Development Quarterly, 58(2), 181-191.