Career Patterns and Developmental Tasks in Career Development

Career Patterns and Developmental Tasks in Career Development

İnci Öztürk Fidan (Ankara University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7772-0.ch002
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Each of the capabilities, connections, confidence, and cognition dimension is a career pattern which allows an individual to adapt to his/her changing work environment, work, and occupation. Career patterns are the tools enabling an individual to adapt to his/her environment during the career construction process. Career stages involving developmental tasks reveal how an individual construct his/her career based on his/her self-concept during a certain stage of the development. The goal of this chapter is to describe career patterns, such as capabilities, connections, confidence, and cognition, and influences of career patterns on each career stage. It is argued in this chapter that the career patterns can enhance entrepreneurship skills of employees and ensure the establishment of intra and inter-organizational connections and give rise to new business partnerships.
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Career Construction Theory describes interpersonal and interpretive processes through which individuals construct themselves, choose a direction for their professional career behaviors and attribute meaning to their careers. This conceptual framework, designed for a multicultural society and a global economy, offers a contemporary explanation of careers. Career Construction Theory (Sharf, 2010) explains how individuals construct their careers through individual constructivism and social constructionism (Savickas, 2013). The theory involves the theoretical explanations regarding vocational personality development, occupational characteristics, person-environment fit and life themes. It also consists of the application of Super’s occupational preferences and occupational choice approaches and career adaptability conception which focuses on the process of person-environment fit (McMahon, 2014).

In the same way, the theory derives the concept of career pattern from Super’s works. The concept of career pattern originated in industrial sociology. It was defined, objectively, as the number, duration, and sequence of jobs in the work history of individuals. In addition, Super identified a subjective type of career pattern, which reflects personal needs and concerns that form the plot in an individual’s career history. These patterns differ according to the number of developmental tasks a worker engages within career stages (Savickas, 2001). At this point, it is essential to mention the process of imprinting to analyze the effects of career patterns and developmental tasks on an individual’s career.

The process in which individuals acquire or develop certain talents, confidence and understanding through their work experiences is called career imprints. In other words, a career imprint is career-beginners’ capabilities, connections, confidence and cognition fed by the culture, system, structure and strategy. Capabilities, connections, confidence and cognition are crucial in searching of what an individual learns in an organization (Higgins, 2005).

Patterns, such as capabilities, connections, confidence and cognition, developed by employees of an organization through their career experiences and imprints of their organizations can be a guide for employees when they decide to leave their organizations to start up new businesses. Indeed, the institutionalization approach prescribes a similarity between structural and functional features of an organization functioning within a certain environment and the environment’s features. This similarity, called isomorphism, asserts that organizations at the same field are subject to similar environmental pressures, and they develop similar structural and functional features in parallel with expectations and pressures of the environment (DiMaggio & Powell, 1991). At the same time, it can be said that organizations from a certain field with similar structures and functions are required to develop certain capabilities, connections, cognition, and confidence.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Career Imprinting: The period during which individuals gain or develop certain series of capabilities, connections, confidence, and cognition resulting from a certain work experience.

Developmental Tasks: The process of professional change which is comprised of five career stages, namely growth, exploration, establishment, management-maintenance, and disengagement.

Subjective Career Pattern: An internal perspective aiming at interpreting meaning of individuals’ attributes, actions, and experiences.

Capabilities: Know-how regarding human capital, skills, knowledge, the work, and how it’s done.

Confidence: Activity at individual level regarding the work and how it’s done.

Connections: Social capital which includes internal and inter-organizational relationships regarding the work and how it’s done; the strength and structure of connections.

Cognition: Taken-for-granted assumptions, beliefs, and a world view regarding the work and how it’s done.

Objective Career Pattern: An external perspective that defines concrete indicators of an individual’s career status such as profession, marital status, mobility, task specifications, income, and level of work.

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