1. Early Childhood[1]

This theory states that how the original family behaved toward the child (warm or cold) is directly related to how a person chooses a career either person or non-person directed. Such careers as astronomy, engineering, and accounting would be classified as non person directed careers.

2. Self-Concept Theory [2]

The self-concept theory hypothesizes how a person, consciously or unconsciously, defines oneself in terms of self-concept predisposes one to seek that type of career choice.

3. Personality  Theory [3]

What kind of person are you?

Personality theory classifies persons into types: The basic assumption is that people select a career similar to their type of personality fit.[4] (Resource "Self-Directed Search "(SDS) Specimen Set, John L. Holland)







4. Chance (Fate) [5]

Many people believe that they have selected their career in a random manner. Much as winning the lottery they believe that had little to say about their career choice. Others think their fate is cast in the stars.


5. Complicated[6] (Ginzberg) Eli Ginzberg and others, Occupational Choice:  An approach to a General Theory, New York: Columbia University Press, 1951

This theory is classified into three stages:

Choices take place over a 8 to 10 year period. A fantasy stage occurs between years 10-12. A tentative period occurs between 12-17. A realistic period occurs between 17-20.

2. During these periods a person makes a series of decisions that gradually reduce the number of choices left.

3. Every choice ends up being a compromise.

What is your favorite theory of how people choose their occupations? Explain your reasoning and which theory best seems to explain your career choice up to the present time.

1. Anne Roe, The Psychology of Occupations, 1956 reprinted, Salem New York: Ayer Co., 1977
Donald E. Super,  Career Development: Self-Concept Theory. 1963
3. John L. Holland,
Making Vocational Choices; A Theory of Careers, Englewood Cliffs, N. J: Prentice, Hall, 4.John L. Holland, " Self-Directed Search "(S.D.S.) Specimen Set, 1973
5. Jack Rettig, Careers,  Belmont, California: Fearon & Janus Quercus,  1986  p.4
6. Eli Ginzberg and others, Occupational Choice:
An approach to a General Theory, New York: Columbia University Press, 1951

Copyright 1998  [Robert Brehm]. All rights reserved.