Question: “Critically discuss the employability theories presented throughout the course and select the one that you think most appropriately fit your future work as a Management graduate and explain why”
Total Word Count: 1977 (Excluding Cover Page, Headings and Bibliography)
Employability refers to the capability of an individual moving independently within the ever-changing job market to realize their potential by having a sustainable employment on the record. To remain employable, it would depend solely on one’s possession of knowledge, skills and attitudes, and the way one utilizes and portray to current and potential employers (Hillage and Pollard, 1998). There are various employability theories that have been portrayed throughout the years to further enhance the chance of getting a suitable job for job seekers. In this essay, a critical discussion would be presented on the different theories of employability such as the Theory of Unplanned Happenstance, Theory of Career Choice, Theory of Occupational Choice and Community Interactions Theory as well as an explanation on why a certain theory was chosen if I am a management graduate.
John Krumboltz’s Theory of Unplanned Happenstance
The theory of unplanned happenstance was formulated by John Krumboltz. This serves as a framework for individuals to deal with changes that happen concurrently in the ever-changing labor market. The core aspects of this framework focus on how changes in dealing with factors such as social, environmental and chance events would greatly affect clients’ lives with its unpredictable status (Krumboltz, 2008). In this case, the role of the counselor is to ensure that adequate help is provided to the clients during chance events with positivity embedded in the approaches to tackle each differing situation. Several qualities that would require candidates to possess includes being curious enough to explore new opportunities for learning, having persistency to tackle obstacles faced, the ability to be flexible when addressing an array of circumstances and using optimism to maximize the highest potential benefits from impromptu events (Staunton, 2015). With candidates possessing the above-mentioned skills, they stand a higher chance than others to exploit chance events and turn a fluke into an opportunity. However, several criticisms have surfaced based on the Planned Happenstance theory. As quoted by Lao Tzu, “those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict don’t have knowledge.” With many theories such as Tony Watts’s DOTS model focusing on the planning and strategy of employability (Dacre Pool and Sewell, 2007), being indecisive serves as an obstacle for one to reach one’s goals. However, several have also pointed out that this theory could aid in those who are often indecisive in decision-making, lacking problem-solving skills and those who have adaptability issues. Ultimately, it would depend on the individual’s work ethnics, knowledge, personality and other critical factors to be factor in before deciding which theory would suit best. Hence, this theory could work for some while others may assume that this theory is not suitable to be developed further to enhance one’s career.
John Holland’s Theory of Career Choice
The theory of career choice was developed by John Holland. This theory asserts that one would prefer to work with people who have a similar personality as themselves in terms of searching for their preferred career choice (Holland, 1963). Searching for potential environments that would allow them to showcase their skills and abilities as well as expressing their attitudes and values towards issues while maintaining an enjoyable perspective towards problems and roles. Basically, the behavior portrayed is driven by the interaction between the relationship of both personality and environment-wise. Holland’s theory focus is on the approach that most individuals would fit into one of these six personalities types; realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional (Smart, 1976). Realistic personality is being categorized as those who prefer hands-on with key skills such as operating machinery whose occupation could be a pilot. Investigative personality refers to people who are open to discovering and researching ideas, possessing key skills such as thinking analytically whose occupation could be a doctor. Social personality refers to those who have a preference in working with others to transfer knowledge, having skills such as training and communicating verbally. Such are often found to be a teacher or counsellor. Artistic personality is often seen in those who are an artist or photographers possessing skills such as expressing themselves in the artistic style and prefer to use art as a communication platform. Enterprising personality refers to those who loves meeting new people and having conversations that could lead to have an influence on others with their own ideas. These personality types would possess skills such as promoting and public-speaking, often found themselves landing a career as a salesperson or a lawyer. Lastly, conventional personality refers to those who prefer working indoors and following procedures and possesses skills such as computing. These people are often bank clerk or a secretary. This theory accentuates on the flexibility of an individual’s choice in a career as they have the freedom to choose whichever environment that they deem to be most suitable for their personality type. However, criticisms such as the lack of appropriate measure of environment and data collected from the calculation between congruence are not precise (Arnold, 2004). Most importantly, there is not sufficient evidence to show that a link has been formed between satisfaction and job performance. It is further concluded that more attention and measures must be undertaken for this theory to be bullet-proof.
Frank Parson’s Theory of Occupational Choice
Developed by Frank Parson, the theory of occupational choice focuses on the match between careers and individual’s talents, skills and personality. In the early days, Frank Parson was known to be the founder of occupational guidance movement (Schmidt, 2003). The core of this theory is centered on the notion of matching concept. Frank Parson asserts that vocational decision making would be implemented when an individual has achieved these 3 factors (Giobbi, 2017). Firstly, having a clear understanding of their own traits such as interests, aptitudes and individual abilities. Secondly, possessing the knowledge on the ever-changing labor markets and the jobs available. Lastly, having a rational thinking and objective acumen regarding the linkage between the labor market and individual’s traits. As a matter of facts, these three factors mentioned above still govern the current practice to this day. This theory operates under the assumption that measuring the individual abilities and the attributes in a certain career are conceivable. Matching individual with an occupation of a good fit was deemed to be attainable as well. In simpler terms, Parson’s theory regards that an individual’s work productivity would be unleashed to the highest potential and give their best when one is in a job whereby best suited to their individual abilities. The book of “Choosing a Vocation” authored by Frank Parson, it was affirmed that a personal counsel is fundamental in a career search. Notably, a development of seven stages for career counsel to abide by when working with clients was created. The first point was aimed at personal data whereby a statement of key facts about the individual was developed without neglecting any factor that would influence the occupational problem. Secondly, creating a self-analysis that consists of any tendency or factor that would affect the career choice. Thirdly, it is imperative that the counselor acts only as a guide for the client and that the occupational choice chosen would have to be solely decided by the client. Fourthly, the counselor would have to conduct an analysis to ensure that the client’s choice of career is in line with the main quest that was initiated at the beginning. Fifthly, the counselor should be familiarized with the different industrial knowledge and occupations and the places where training would be held. Sixthly, it is critical that a counselor holds a liberal attitude coupled with logical thinking to ensure that the client receives the best service. Lastly, the counselor would have to help the client fit into the chosen career and do any reflections if needed. However, criticisms surfaced in regard of using this theory. By matching, assumption of stability to a certain degree occurs within the labour market. As the labour market tends to have a volatile status, it should be expected that an individual should be open-minded about changes and to quickly adapt a mindset to tackle the changes and circumstances faced.
Bill Law’s Community Interaction Theory
Formulated by Bill Law, the community interaction theory asserts that the interaction between an individual and the social group that the individual is part of serves as an influential factor in choosing a career (Careers – in Theory, 2018). There are five main influences in this theory which are expectations, feedback, support, modeling and information. The expectation in this sense refers to the path taken to ensure that an individual lives up to expectations by family or communities (Law, 1981). Feedback refers to the criticism and compliments that were being relayed back to the individual after taking certain action. Support refers to having assistance and support of aspirations during the development of skills and strategies. Modeling refers to the accessibility an individual has on influential examples and to identify with them as a role model. Information refers to the events where an individual would have the chance to find out alternatives and filtered data to a certain extent by the benchmarks of a social group. It is also imperative to know that these five forms of influence factors could emanate from various sources such as peers and family et cetera (Bimrose, n.d.). As expected, a positive or negative effect would befall from these influences, enabling or curbing their ultimate career choice. To help both the counselor and client, Bill Law suggest taking advantage of the guidance session to explore external factors that may have an influence on the ultimate career choice chosen by the client. This in turn, presents an opportunity for the career services a role to build and provide other communities that may in turn produce positive interactions that could serve as a counteract against past negative experiences and open up new ways of mindset. Hence, this theory serves to be more of a developmental theory which teaches one to identify with others and how others could serve to be an opportunity for a better self. Withal, it teaches one about how positive influences could be gained and shows that social networking provides one with many benefits.
Chosen Theory as a Management Graduate
As a management graduate, the Theory of Unplanned Happenstance would be my preferred theory to abide to. Looking to be in the management department or level in an enterprise, this theory could fit into my job scope as it allows me to have a step ahead as I learned to adapt to changes and make decisions accordingly with both the organization and client’s best interest at heart. Being at the management level, expecting different situations that arise on a daily basis would be of no surprise. An example could be seen in this situation when a conflict arises between workers would require me to step in without bias and solve the issue in the most appropriate way. This is imperative as employees are directly related to clients’ satisfaction and it is of utmost importance that we do not let internal affairs such as conflicts to create a negative effect on our clients’ lives or investments (Burke, Graham, and Smith, 2005). Withal, being in the management level would require me to explore new opportunities that benefit both my clients and organization such as persuading both sides to invest in a potential sideline business or proposal. Leading a positive outlook on any impromptu events is also an imperative element of this theory as it allows one to boost the confidence level that others have in me. The flexibility that one possesses when addressing an array of situations would also allow me to “think on the feet” and make decisions quickly and accurately. Lastly, being in management is not an easy position to withheld as one must answer to the higher-ups and subordinates. Sometimes, one would have to be the problem-solver when facing obstacles and in the process of it, I could use the persistent mindset that I have gained from this theory to ensure that the problem is solved to the best of my ability.
- Arnold, J. (2004). The congruence problem in John Holland’s theory of vocational decisions. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 77(1), pp.95-113.
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- Bandura, A. (1982). The psychology of chance encounters and life paths. American Psychologist, 37(7), pp.747-755.
- Berkowitz, B. (2016). Alternatives to Theory Development. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 7(2).
- Betsworth, D. and Hansen, J. (1996). The Categorization of Serendipitous Career Development Events. Journal of Career Assessment, 4(1), pp.91-98.
- Bimrose, J. (n.d.). NGRF- Improving practice – Traditional theories of guidance practice. Warwick.ac.uk.