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Chapter 13 Careers and Work

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1 Chapter 13 Careers and Work
This entire chapter relates to APA Goal 10: Career Planning and Development. The following subgoals are particularly relevant: 10.3: Describe preferred career paths based on accurate self-assessment of abilities, achievement, motivation and work habits. 10.4: Identify and develop skills and experiences relevant to achieving selected career goals. 10.5: Articulate how changing societal needs can influence career opportunities and foster flexibility about managing changing conditions.

2 Choosing a Career, continued
Examining personal characteristics and family influences Personal characteristics Choosing a career is best managed by those whohave secure attachments and a self-efficacy about work. Intelligence predicts likelihood of entering particular professions but is not an absolute predictor of career success.

3 Choosing a Career, continued
Personal characteristics, continued Specific aptitudes (e.g., artistic talent) are more important than general intelligence. Social skills contribute to success in many careers. Careers ideally match one’s interests in the world and contribute to motivation. It is best to find a career that is compatible with one’s personality.

4 Choosing a Career, continued
Family influences Career choices are influenced by family background because parents and children often attain similar levels of education. Thus, Middle income background is associated with high-paying professions. Low income background is associated with “blue collar” occupations.

5 Choosing a Career, continued
Family influences, continued Parenting style is also associated with socioeconomic status. Middle income families encourage their children to be curious and independent, traits well suited for professional roles. Low income families teach children to conform and obey, traits needed to survive in subordinate positions.

6 Choosing a Career, continued
Researching job characteristics Sources of career information include The Occupational Outlook Handbook – a government document that serves as a comprehensive guide to occupations. It is also helpful to talk to individuals who work in particular fields of interest.

7 Choosing a Career, continued
Researching job characteristics, continued Essential information about occupations You should be aware of these key issues when considering an occupation: The nature of the work – what are the day-to-day responsibilities? Working conditions – is it high or low pressure? pleasant or unpleasant?

8 Choosing a Career, continued
Essential information, continued Job entry requirements – what education and training are needed? Potential earnings. Potential status. Opportunities for advancement. Intrinsic job satisfaction. Future outlook – will there continue to be demand for this occupation?

9 Choosing a Career, continued
Using psychological tests Occupational interest inventories – “measure your interests as they relate to various jobs or careers”. The primary focus is on job satisfaction, rather than success. Scores indicate how similar your interests are to the typical interests of people in various occupations. However, you must ultimately decide what is right for you.

10 Choosing a Career, continued
Important considerations You have the potential for success in a variety of occupations. Don’t choose a career solely on the basis of salary. There are limits on your career options. Career choice is a developmental process that extends throughout life. Some career decisions are not easily undone.

11 Models of Career Choice, continued
Holland’s Person-Environment Fit Model Career choice is related to six stable personality types, or personal orientations. In addition, jobs can be classified into six work environments (see Figure 13.2). People are most satisfied, successful, and stable when they choose work environments that fit their personal orientations.

12 Figure 13. 2. Overview of Holland’s theory of occupational choice
Figure Overview of Holland’s theory of occupational choice. According to John Holland (1985), people can be divided into six personality types (personal orientations) that prefer different work environments, as outlined here. Adapted from Holland, J. L. (1985). Making occupational choices: A theory of occupational personalities and work environments (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, JF: Prentice-Hall. Adapted by permission of Prentice-Hall, Inc.

13 Models of Career Choice, continued
Super’s Developmental Model Super focuses on the development of one’s occupational status over time. It includes five major stages: Growth stage – in childhood, fantasize about ideal job. Exploration stage – realistically consider different careers in one’s youth. Establishment stage – commit to a career and learn to function effectively.

14 Models of Career Choice, continued
Super’s model, continued Maintenance stage – at midlife, focus is on retaining achieved status and protecting security and power. Decline stage – work activity decreases as retirement approaches. Retirement brings the occupational cycle to an end. See Figure 13.3 for more detail and the substages.

15 Figure 13. 3. Overview of Super’s theory of occupational development
Figure Overview of Super’s theory of occupational development. According to Donald Super, people go through five major stages (and a variety of substages) of occupational development over the lifespan. Adapted from Zaccaria, J. (1970). Theories of occupational choice and vocational development. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Copyright © 1970 by Time Share Corporation, New Hampshire.

16 Models of Career Choice, continued
Women’s career development 59% of adult women are in the labor force. However, there are still gender gaps in the world of work. Women still subordinate their career goals to those of their husbands. Women’s careers are more likely to be interrupted by childrearing and family crises.

17 The Changing World of Work, continued
Workplace trends Technology is changing the nature of work. Workers must train and adapt to keep up. New work attitudes are required. Workers must take a more active role to prove that they are valuable in order to attain job security. Lifelong learning is a necessity. Skills become obsolete every years.

18 The Changing World of Work, continued
Workplace trends, continued Independent workers are increasing. Downsizing and outsourcing are creating more “free agents”. Boundaries between work and home are blurring, due to technology. The highest job growth will occur in the professional and service occupations (see Figure 13.4). Job sharing is becoming more common.

19 Figure 13. 4. Fastest growth, high salary occupations
Figure Fastest growth, high salary occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor (2010), between 2008 and 2018 these 20 occupations will have the largest number of job openings and provide highest pay. Median annual salaries range from $85,430 (computer software engineers, applications) to $20,460 (home health aides). (Adapted from Occupational Outlook Handbook, ). Source: Table 1,

20 The Changing World of Work, continued
Education and earnings Earnings are tied to level of education (see Figure 13.5). However, many college graduates are underemployed – “settling for a job that does not fully utilize one’s skills, abilities, and training”. This is most likely if college-level reading, writing, and quantitative skills are poor.

21 Figure 13. 5. Education and income
Figure Education and income. This graph shows the average incomes of year-round, full-time workers aged 18 and over, by gender and educational attainment. As you can see, the more education people have, the higher their income tends to be. However, at all levels, women earn less than men with comparable education. (Data from U.S. Census Bureau, 2006)

22 The Changing World of Work, continued
The changing workforce Today’s labor force – “those who are employed as well as those who are currently unemployed but are looking for work” – is becoming more diverse (see Figure 13.6). More women are joining the labor force. The workforce is becoming more ethnically diverse.

23 Figure 13. 6. Increasing diversity in the workforce
Figure Increasing diversity in the workforce. Women and minority group members are entering the workforce in greater numbers than before. This graph projects changes in the share of the labor force by gender and by ethnicity between 1990 and (Data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2002)

24 The Changing World of Work, continued
The changing workforce, continued Today’s workplace for women and minorities Although illegal, discrimination against women and minorities still occurs. Women and minorities often face a glass ceiling – “an invisible barrier that prevents most women and ethnic minorities from advancing to the highest levels of occupations” (see Figure 13.7).

25 Figure 13. 7. The glass ceiling for women and minorities
Figure The glass ceiling for women and minorities. A longitudinal study looked at the chances of promotion to a managerial position in a sample of more than 26,000 adults over 30 years of career experience. This graph shows that promotion chances increased along with career experience for white men. By contrast, the promotion chances of white women and black men were much lower. As you can see, black women lagged far behind all groups. These trends are consistent with the existence of a glass ceiling for women and minorities. From Maume, D. J. (2004). Is the Glass Ceiling a Unique Form of Inequality? Work and Occupations, 31(2), Figure 2, p [Journal published by Sage]

26 The Changing World of Work, continued
The changing workforce, continued When there is only one woman or minority in the workplace they may become a token, or “a symbol of all the members of that group”. This distinction may bring more scrutiny, stereotyping, or judgment. Women and minorities also are less likely to have mentors or role models of the same gender and/or race.

27 The Changing World of Work, continued
The changing workforce, continued The challenges of change Cultural differences in managing time and people, identification with work, and decision-making. Prejudice in the workplace. Affirmative action policies and perceived “reverse discrimination”.

28 Occupational Hazards, continued
Job stress – sources of stress on the job Long work hours – the average American workweek is hours. Lack of privacy. High noise levels. Pressure of deadlines. Lack of control over one’s work. Inadequate resources to do the job. Perceived inequities at work.

29 Occupational Hazards, continued
Job stress, continued Four key culprits that contribute to stress are Handling “difficult” customers in service industries. An unpredictable economy. Keeping up with changes in technology. Learning to interact with more diverse coworkers.

30 Occupational Hazards, continued
Job stress, continued According to Karasek, two key factors determine occupational stress: Psychological demands of the job. Amount of decision control a worker has. The most stressful jobs are those with high demands and low control (see Figure 13.9).

31 Figure Karasek’s model of occupational stress as related to specific jobs. Robert Karasek (1979) theorizes that occupational stress is greatest in jobs characterized by high psychological demands and low decision control. Based on survey data, this chart shows where various familiar jobs fall on these two dimensions. According to Karasek’s model, the most stressful jobs are those shown in the shaded area on the lower right.

32 Occupational Hazards, continued
Job stress, continued Effects of job stress Increased industrial accidents. Absenteeism. Poor job performance. Higher turnover rates. Job burnout (exhaustion, cynicism, and poor job performance).

33 Occupational Hazards, continued
Job stress, continued Dealing with job stress There are 3 levels of intervention: Intervention at the individual level. Intervention at the organizational level. Intervention at the “individual-organization interface” level.

34 Occupational Hazards, continued
Sexual harassment Sexual harassment – “occurs when employees are subjected to unwelcome sexually oriented behavior”. There are two types: Quid pro quo – sexual acts required in return for promotions, job security, etc. Behavior that creates a hostile environment – workplaces with unwanted sexual behavior, discussion, or material (e.g., sexually-oriented jokes).

35 Occupational Hazards, continued
Sexual harassment, continued Prevalence and consequences Sexual harassment is fairly widespread - approximately 42% of female workers have reported it. 15% of male workers have, too. Consequences include anger, reduced self-esteem, depression, anxiety, lowered productivity, and decreased commitment to the job and the employer.

36 Occupational Hazards, continued
Sexual harassment, continued Stopping sexual harassment Organizations should promote norms that are intolerant of sexual harassment. Workers should be educated about recognizing sexual harassment. Organizations should have policies that expressly forbid harassment and grievance procedures to handle allegations of harassment.

37 Occupational Hazards, continued
Unemployment Causes of unemployment Shifts from a manufacturing, to a service, economy. Globalization of the marketplace, through restructuring and downsizing. Both economic conditions cause displaced workers – “individuals who are unemployed because their jobs have disappeared”.

38 Occupational Hazards, continued
Unemployment, continued Effects of unemployment Unemployment causes economic and health problems (physical and mental). Middle-aged workers have more financial responsibility and fewer career options available. The stress of job loss can lead to violence.

39 Balancing Work and Life, continued
Workaholism Workaholics devote nearly all their time and energy to their jobs. There are two types of workaholics: The enthusiastic workaholic – one who works excessively for the joy of it. The nonenthusiastic workaholic – one who feels driven to work hard, but derives less enjoyment from it. The latter group reports lower job satisfaction and a lower sense of purpose.

40 Balancing Work and Life, continued
Workaholism, continued Nonenthusiastic workaholics report lower job satisfaction and a lower sense of purpose. However, both groups experience a higher degree of conflict between work and family.

41 Balancing Work and Life, continued
Work and family roles There are more dual-earner households now than ever juggling multiple roles. Working parents are especially likely to experience work-family conflicts. This can create stress. However, multiple roles can also be beneficial for men’s and women’s health, relationships, and financial security.

42 Balancing Work and Life, continued
Leisure and recreation 60% of workers say having leisure - “unpaid activities people choose to engage in because the activities are personally meaningful” - is very important. Yet, American workers work longer hours and take fewer vacation days than Europeans (see Figure 13.14).

43 Figure 13. 14. American and European vacation days
Figure American and European vacation days. American workers average 16 paid vacation days a year. Most European workers get considerably longer vacation. Moreover, these are benefits mandated by law. Adapted from Mischel, L., Bernstein, J., & Schmitt, J. (2001). The state of working America Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Copyright © 2001 by Cornell University Press. Adapted by permission of the publisher, Cornell University Press. [INSERT FIG 13.14]

44 Balancing Work and Life, continued
Leisure and recreation, continued Leisure activities come in many forms: Hobbies. Reading. Surfing the Internet. Travel. Games and puzzles. Sports. Volunteer activities.

45 Balancing Work and Life, continued
Leisure and recreation, continued Leisure activities are also beneficial to our well-being and are associated with Increased job satisfaction. Improved physical and mental health. A sense of well-being and lowered incidence of depression in those over age 55.

46 Application: The Job Game, continued
Putting together a resume – some tips Use high-quality white, ivory, or beige paper for hard copies. Make sure there are no typographical errors. Keep it short (one page only). Avoid full sentences, and avoid the word I. Use action words. (e.g., “Supervised a team of 10 people”) Avoid superfluous personal information.

47 Application: The Job Game, continued
Putting together a resume, continued Effective resumes contain the following: Heading – name and contact information. Objective – the precise kind of position you want. Education – degrees and dates. Experience – from most recent and working backwards. See Figure for an example.

48 Figure 13. 15. Example of an attractively formatted resume
Figure Example of an attractively formatted resume. The physical appearance of a resume is very important. This example shows what a well-prepared resume should look like. (Adapted from Lock, 2005b)

49 Application: The Job Game, continued
Finding companies you want to work for Once you choose a setting you wish to work in, you can find companies by Checking local classified ads. Searching nationally by using resources such as National Business Employment Weekly. Using a “headhunter” – a service that helps you find a job for a monetary commission.

50 Application: The Job Game, continued
Landing an interview If applying to a listed position, submit a cover letter and resume. Researching the organization shows you have a real interest in them. Approaching companies with an advertised position: Send a detailed cover letter explaining your interest in the company. Use network of personal contacts.

51 Application: The Job Game, continued
Polishing your interview technique Send positive nonverbal cues (leaning forward, smiling, and nodding). Remember, first impressions are crucial. Appear confident, enthusiastic, ambitious, and avoid humor. Don’t give more information than the interviewer requests.

52 Application: The Job Game, continued
Polishing your interview technique, continued Research the company before the interview. Avoid discussion of salary at first interview.

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