Making a career choice is much more complicated than it might seem. Defining the further focus of one’s activities and determining the course of the further professional development, the identification of a specific career area implies further consistent and hard work in the said domain. Therefore, an appropriate career development theory must be used so that one could navigate the process successfully. In order to succeed in the realm of management, I will have to consider the Happenstance Learning Theory since it implies unceasing and multifaceted professional progress, compelling one to acquire new skills on a regular basis and applying it successfully for the further growth.
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The Happenstance Learning Theory resonates with me since it promotes the idea of continuous learning as the means of developing the necessary management skills. There is no secret that the contemporary global economy realm requires multicultural communication skills, as well as the ability to address cross-cultural conflicts efficiently.
With every problem being unique and pertaining to a specific cultural characteristic of the participants, it is necessary to engage in an unceasing process of learning about management in a diverse environment. The Happenstance Learning Theory, in its turn, offers extensive opportunities for the acquisition of the relevant skills since it stimulates learning (Krumboltz, 2009).
Furthermore, the theory allows embracing a variety of career opportunities and does not compel one to make a career decision immediately, which other theories, such as the Theory of Work Adjustment, do not (Leung, 2008). Instead, it opens a plethora of opportunities, allowing one explore an array of chances in the global environment. As a result, one can locate the decision that can be deemed as the most satisfying one.
For a manager, who must address a range of issues and supervise the essential workplace processes, it is necessary to be proficient in a range of areas. Thus, possible problems in different domains can be identified at the earliest stages and prevented or managed successfully. Consequently, the overall performance of the team can remain positive (Krumboltz, 2009). One might argue that Holland’s Theory of Vocational Personalities also sheds light on the issue of cooperation, yet it lacks the emphasis on negotiation tools and conflict management techniques (Leung, 2008).
Finally, the theory should be credited for its focus on the satisfying life of all parties involved. While creating the environment in which every single participant should be happy is barely a possibility, there is a need to maintain the relationships between the key stakeholders positive.
Flexibility and optimism, which the Happenstance Learning Theory reinforces as the foundational qualities of a good manager, allow for building the realm in which control over the essential processes becomes easy, and where conflicts are viewed as the means of finding out new information about the key stakeholders and improving the quality of services and products. One might argue that the Self-concept Theory of Career Development promotes a similar idea, yet it does not allow taking the needs of other stakeholders into account fully (Leung, 2008).
Therefore, the Happenstance Learning Theory must be viewed as an essential framework that is bound to prompt my further career development as a manager. More importantly, the theory is likely to contribute to the development of the skills required for lifelong learning. As a result, I will be able to improve my skills regularly, contributing to significant improvements in the performance of the employees (Mitchell, Levin, & Krumboltz, 1999).
Since the Happenstance Learning Theory focuses on lifelong learning as the foundation for one’s professional progress, it is perfect for building the career of a manager, who needs to work with people and, therefore, has to acquire new skills for advancing in the multicultural development. Therefore, I am going to apply it to acquire the relevant management skills. Particularly, the theory will serve as the foundation for gaining essential information about negotiation and conflict management in the context of a multicultural environment.
Krumboltz, J. D. (2009). The Happenstance Learning Theory. Journal of Career Assessment, 17(2), 135–154.
Leung, S. A. (2008). The big five career theories. In J. Athanasou, & R. Van Esbroeck, International handbook of career guidance (pp. 115–131). New York, NY: Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Mitchell, K. E., Levin, A. S., & Krumboltz, J. D. (1999). Planned happenstance: Constructing unexpected career opportunities. Journal of Counseling and Development, 77(2), 115–124.