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Occupation Selection and Development Essay

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Updated: Jan 15th, 2022


The process of choosing a career requires careful attention. This is because such decisions define the future life of individuals. Many young people try to choose fields that are appealing and in which they have some training. Career adds value to most of the things we do in this life. It is vital for candidates to receive sufficient training in occupational selection and development in the process of preparing for careers. Individuals arrange their daily programs around their work schedules. People also make friends at their places of work and so work is more than just a routine.

Meaning of work

People work in order to earn their daily bread and attach meaning to life. This means that individuals work for cash as well as recognition. People work as a form of life and not a daily routine. Some people consider work as a sense of worth, source of recognition and prestige. People receive meaning from work by being economically productive, creativity and excited. The main reason why people work is to earn a living. However, there are other forms of non-monetary rewards that come along with work. The non-monetary benefits from work are self esteem and the exercise of power (Kail and Cavanaugh, pp. 430-438).

It is evident that occupation is part of the human development process. Young children always pretend to be working in the course of their play. Under many instances, we see adults asking children what they would like to be when they grow up. The design of most high school and college curriculum is to develop candidates in to a single career line. Many students come up with different perspectives on the satisfaction they think they will derive from their careers. Many of them believe they will actualize their economic reality, achieve fulfillment at a personal level, and in the achievement of social influence (Kail and Cavanaugh, pp. 430-438).

Holland’s theory of occupation

This theory helps in the understanding of why and how people choose their careers. According to Holland (1997), individuals decide on the form of work they do in order to match between their occupational interests and personal traits. Holland groups occupation according to the life style of people and their interpersonal settings. He lists six factors that have a close relationship with occupation. These are the enterprising, conventional, artistic, realistic, social and investigative factors. Holland’s theory is vital to the understanding of occupational development. However, the relationships that occur between demographic variables, personality traits and occupation are complex in nature. These relationships are the main limitation to the Holland’s theory of occupation. The theory helps in linking personality to career choice (Patrick, p. 44).

Occupational expectations

Individuals have their own opinions about careers in different fields. The basis of these opinions is what they get from their parents, peers, the media, other adults and the institutions of learning. All individuals have expectations on the careers they would like to pursue, and when to join the occupation. Many young people start developing their careers by forming dreams of what they would like to become. Many people keep on updating and refining their career objectives throughout adulthood. This entails efforts towards the achievement of the dreams, checking how the achievement of the dream is progressing, and sometimes doing away with the dreams. People may choose to modify their dreams because of a change in their interests. Modification also occurs after realizing that the dream is not the best match. People can resort to changing their dreams as a result of failure of the original one. Modifying or abandoning ones dream is a vital practice towards occupational selection and development.

The role of coaches and mentors

It is difficult for an individual to determine the requirements of a new occupation without the help of the people around the individual. Becoming successful in new occupations does not only require the formal training that the individual receives from school. Part of the information that the individual requires comes from job training. The other information comes from co-workers. The mentor plays the developmental role of a counselor, model, sponsor and teacher. The helps the new employee plays his current role well and even prepare for future responsibilities. The mentor helps the new worker understand the rules that govern activities yet are not in writing. Mentors help new employees avoid trouble and become more successful workers. They also help them understand how to handle work stresses and pressure (Zunker, p. 37).


Occupational selection and development is part and parcel of an individual’s life. This essay focuses on this topic as part and parcel of life. The essay looks at the meaning of work, by focusing on what people look for in a job. The essay goes ahead to look at the contribution of Holland in his occupation theory. Several people affect the choice of an individual’s occupation. These include parents, peers, teachers and other adults. On the other hand, mentors and coaches are helpful in occupational development. The other section the essay focuses on occupational expectation. Finally, the essay looks at the role of mentors in occupational selection and development.

Works Cited

  1. Kail, Robert, and Cavanaugh, John. Human Development: A lifespan view. Belmonte: Cengage learning, 2010. Print.
  2. Patrick, John. Issues in career development. Greenwich: Information age publishing, Inc, 2005. Print.
  3. Zunker, Vernon. Career counseling: A holistic approach. Belmonte: Cengage learning, 2006. Print.
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