Chapter Outline

  1. Choosing a career
    1. Examining family influences and personal characteristics
      1. Family influences
        1. Jobs people tend to like are similar to those of their parents
          1. Parents and children tend to attain similar levels of education, which is best predictor of occupational status
          2. Parenting styles shape work-related values
        2. Parents' gender-role expectations also influence children's aspirations
      2. Personal characteristics
        1. Intelligence related to the academic success needed to enter many fields
        2. Aptitudes, abilities important for specific jobs (e.g., creativity, mechanical ability)
        3. Important to choose career that is compatible with your personality
        4. Should try to evaluate your dominant traits, needs, values
    2. Researching job characteristics
      1. Sources of career information
        1. Good reference for occupational literature is Occupational Outlook Handbook
        2. Can often get detailed information from government agencies, trade unions, etc.
        3. Should talk to people who work in area you're interested in
      2. Essential information about occupations
        1. The nature of the work
        2. Working conditions
        3. Job entry requirements
        4. Potential earnings
        5. Potential status
        6. Opportunities for advancement
        7. Intrinsic job satisfaction
        8. Future outlook
      3. Experts agree that future belongs to those who are better educated
        1. But many college graduates are underemployed (underemployment: settling for a job that does not fully utilize one's skills, abilities, and training)
        2. Higher-paying jobs go to college graduates with college-level reading, quantitative skills
    3. Using psychological tests for career decisions
      1. Occupational interest inventories measure your interests as they relate to various jobs or careers
        1. Focus on likelihood of job satisfaction rather than job success
        2. Can be helpful in working through career decisions
      2. Several cautions worth noting
        1. You may score high on some occupations you know you would hate
        2. Don't let the test make career decisions for you
        3. Some gender bias on most inventories
    4. Taking important considerations into account
      1. You have the potential for success in a variety of occupations
      2. Be cautious about choosing a career solely on the basis of salary
      3. There are limits on your career options
      4. Some career decisions are not easily undone
      5. Career choice is a developmental process that extends throughout life
  2. Models of career choice and development
    1. John Holland's trait measurement and matching model
      1. Assumes that career choice is related to personality traits
      2. Includes six personal orientations, with relevant work environments; thus, often called the hexagonal model
        1. Realistic people prefer physical, mechanical jobs (e.g., farming, engineering)
        2. Investigative people like working with ideas rather than things (e.g., researchers, librarians)
        3. Artistic people like jobs where they can express their creativity (e.g., art, music)
        4. Social people prefer jobs that involve interaction with others (e.g., teaching, nursing)
        5. Enterprising people prefer jobs involving persuasion of others (e.g., supervisory positions)
        6. Conventional people prefer jobs that are structured, predictable (e.g., jobs in business)
      3. Holland developed several tests to measure the personal orientations (e.g., the Self-Directed Search)
      4. There is research support for Holland's theory
      5. Assumption of model is that occupational interests remain stable during adulthood
        1. Research is mixed on this point
        2. Stage theories address issue of changing interests
    2. Donald Super's developmental model
      1. Most influential developmental model
      2. Views occupational development as a process that begins in childhood, ends with retirement
      3. Super suggests five major stages of occupational life cycle
        1. Growth stage (childhood)
        2. Exploration stage constitutes a "tasting" of projected occupation
        3. Establishment stage generally involves commitment to occupation
        4. Maintenance stage involves concerns about retaining achieved status
        5. Decline involves deceleration of work activity as individual nears retirement
      4. Research on Super's model
        1. Self-esteem and career maturity are positively correlated
        2. But in adolescents, identity status was stronger predictor of career maturity than self-esteem
    3. Women's career development
      1. Until recently, theories and research on career development have focused on men's careers
      2. Experts suggest that men and women have different patterns of career development
        1. Woman may subordinate career to husband's
        2. Child-rearing may interrupt the woman's career
      3. Labor force discontinuity (i.e., dropping out of work force) may create problems for women
        1. A factor in gender gap in salaries, employment status
        2. Upon return to work force, may have to take entry-level position
  3. The Changing world of work
    1. Workplace trends
      1. Work: an activity that produces something of value for others
      2. Six important work-related trends
        1. Most jobs will be in the service sector (e.g., health care, education, social work)
        2. Technology is changing the nature of work
          1. Computers enhance communication, make it possible for people to work at home
          2. On negative side, computers have reduced need for workers
        3. Temporary employment is increasing
          1. Companies can cut expenditures on payroll, health insurance, etc.
          2. Majority of temporary workers struggle to survive
        4. New work attitudes are required
          1. Less job security means workers must view themselves as "free agents"
          2. Keys to job success include self-direction, self-management, knowledge, etc.
        5. Boundaries between work and home are breaking down
          1. Computer technology is one force here
          2. Largely a response to increases in number of dual-earner households, in which both partners are employed
        6. Lifelong learning is a necessity
    2. Education and earnings
      1. Ability to read, write, do mathematical computations is essential
      2. New jobs will require higher education and skill levels
      3. Computer literacy is important
      4. In general, the more education, the higher the income
    3. The changing workforce
      1. Labor force: consists of all those who are employed as well as those who are currently unemployed but are looking for work
      2. Demographic changes
        1. Larger proportion of women in the workforce
        2. Workforce also becoming more ethnically diverse
          1. Hispanic, Asian workers showing greatest increase
          2. Many of these workers have not had benefit of adequate education
      3. Today's workplace for women and minorities
        1. Both groups continue to face subtle obstacles to success
          1. Main obstacle is job segregation (job-typing by gender, race)
          2. Frequently passed over for promotion; this effect is referred to as the glass ceiling, an invisible barrier that prevents most women and ethnic minorities from advancing to the highest levels of occupations.
        2. Woman, minority person can become a token: a symbol of all the members of that group. Tokens, because of the feeling that they are accountable for the actions of their whole group, may experience performance pressure
        3. Both groups have fewer opportunities to observe, emulate relevant role models
        4. Sexual harassment at work more likely to be a problem for women than men
    4. The challenges of change
      1. Cultural differences exist in managing time, people
      2. Some individuals feel that they are personally paying the price of prejudice in workplace
        1. Perception can cause resentment
        2. Recognizing the problem, some companies offer diversity training programs
      3. Negative feelings about affirmative action may lead to negative attributions toward women, ethnic minorities
  4. Coping with occupational hazards
    1. Job stress
      1. Sources of stress on the job
        1. Common stressors include prolonged physical labor, tedious work, long hours, deadlines
        2. Women may experience sex discrimination, sexual harassment
        3. African Americans, ethnic minorities must cope with racism, discrimination
        4. Workers from lower socioeconomic levels typically work in more dangerous jobs
        5. Keita and Hurrell proposed four factors that play critical role in the development of stress reactions
          1. Most workers are employed in service industries
          2. The economy is unpredictable
          3. Rapid changes in computer technology tax workers' abilities to keep up
          4. The workplace is becoming more diverse
        6. Karasek contends that two key factors in occupational stress are the psychological demands and the amount of decision control. The greatest stress is experienced in jobs that feature high psychological demands and low decision control.
      2. Effects of job stress
        1. Include increase in industrial accidents and absenteeism, poor job performance, high turnover, etc.
        2. Prolonged stress can lead to burnout
        3. Possible effects include physical (e.g., heart disease, high blood pressure) and psychological (e.g., decreased self-esteem, frequent anxiety) problems
      3. Dealing with job stress
        1. Three avenues of attack for dealing with job stress
          1. Interventions at individual level
            1. Most widely used strategy
            2. Programs usually focus on relaxation training, time management, etc.
            3. Workplace wellness programs also popular
          2. Interventions at organizational level
            1. Key is to give adequate decision control to people in jobs that have high psychological demands
            2. Decentralizing management, giving workers greater participation in decision making may help
          3. Intervention at individual-organizational interface
            1. Biggest challenge in future will probably be to accommodate changing nature of workforce
            2. More common options include flextime, flexible leave time, etc.
        2. Workers from lower socioeconomic groups typically experience more job stress, receive less attention through stress management programs
    2. Sexual harassment (occurs when employees are subjected to unwelcome sexually oriented behavior)
      1. According to the law, there are two types of sexual harassment
        1. Submission to sex a condition of hiring, advancement, etc. (i.e., quid pro quo)
        2. Unwelcome sexual behavior creates hostile working environment
      2. Sexual harassment can take variety of forms (e.g., unsolicited and unwelcome flirting, sexual advances, unappreciated dirty jokes)
      3. According to experts, sexual harassment is an abuse of power by a person in authority
      4. Prevalence and consequences
        1. More widespread than people realize
        2. Consequences include stress-related physical symptoms (e.g., inability to sleep, weight loss)
        3. Problematic emotional reactions include lower self-esteem, depression, etc.
        4. Victims have reported difficulties in their personal relationships
      5. Stopping sexual harassment
        1. Researchers have developed two-factor model to predict occurrence
          1. Two factors are: individual's proclivity for sexual harassment, and organizational norms regarding acceptability of sexual harassment
          2. Harassment most likely to occur when individual proclivity is high, organizational norms are accepting
        2. Organizations are taking steps to educate, protect workers
    3. Unemployment
      1. Causes of unemployment
        1. Shift from manufacturing to service economy
        2. Globalization of marketplace
        3. Major consequence of economic changes is displaced workers (individuals who are unemployed because their jobs have disappeared)
      2. Effects of unemployment
        1. Can cause economic distress, health problems, psychological difficulties (e.g., loss of self-esteem, depression)
        2. Those laid off in middle age seem to find the experience most difficult
          1. Typically feel highly involved in their work
          2. Usually remain out of work longer than younger workers
        3. Stress of job loss may lead to violence
      3. Coping with unemployment
        1. Support from friends, family is essential
        2. Some companies offer programs for laid-off workers
  5. Balancing work and other spheres of life
    1. Workaholism
      1. Psychologists divided on whether workaholism is a problem
      2. May be two different types of workaholics
        1. Enthusiastic workaholic works for joy of it
        2. Non-enthusiastic workaholic is "addicted" to work
    2. Work and family roles
      1. Dual-earner couples must juggle two jobs, plus unpaid job at home
        1. Most of the burdens are borne by wives
        2. Sometimes multiple roles cause spillover and work-family conflict, the feeling of being pulled in multiple directions by competing demands from the job and the family.
    3. Leisure and recreation
      1. Types of leisure activities include hobbies, reading, surfing Internet, travel, sports, volunteer activities
      2. Benefits of leisure activities
        1. Research generally supports notion that balance of work, relationships, and leisure activities leads to more rewarding, healthy life
        2. Among adults aged 55 and older, participation in variety of leisure activities is positively correlated with psychological well-being, and negatively related to depression
        3. Using Internet as leisure activity
          1. Provides entertainment, facilitates communication
          2. Some negative consequences associated with heavy use (e.g., decline in communication with family, depression)
  6. Application: Getting ahead in the job game
    1. Putting together a resume
      1. Must achieve goals without being flashy, gimmicky
      2. Basic guidelines
        1. Use white, ivory, or beige paper
        2. Eliminate typographical errors
        3. Use best printing service available
        4. Keep it short
        5. Avoid use of complete sentences, word "I"
        6. Avoid giving superfluous, personal information
      3. Effective resume will contain: heading, objective, education, experience
    2. Finding companies you want to work for
      1. Check classified section in newspaper for relevant listings
      2. Good source for business, professional jobs is National Business Employment Weekly
      3. Consult trade, professional newsletters, Internet
      4. Other options
        1. Go to employment agency
        2. Consult executive recruiter ("headhunter")
      5. Openings that are not accessible through normal channels
        1. Can initiate contact yourself
        2. Convince organizational authority of your capability to solve specific problem
    3. Landing an interview
      1. Do some research on organization
      2. In some cases, might want to introduce yourself (by phone or in person) to person in charge of hiring and request an interview
    4. Polishing your interview technique
      1. Interviewers' ratings of applicants not necessarily based on job-relevant characteristics (e.g., appearance, nonverbal cues may be important)
      2. Creating the right impression
        1. Appear confident, enthusiastic, ambitious
        2. Demeanor should be somewhat formal, reserved
        3. Never give more information than interviewer requests
        4. Don't interrupt, contradict interviewer
        5. Don't criticize former employer
        6. Advance preparation is crucial
        7. Avoid discussion of salary in initial interview