Considering Career Change? Here Are Some Things To Think About
By Stephanie Scherle
The new year has started, you have felt stuck in your current job for a while and are considering a career change? You're not alone – many people feel like they need a change at some point in their working life. But with so many options available, where do you start? That's where career development theories come into play.
Many career theories center around person-environment fit, such as Holland’s theory of vocational behaviour (1985). Such theories suggest that individuals have a natural fit with certain work environments and careers, and that exploring and understanding your own interests, skills, and values can help guide you towards a career that's the best fit for you. Research has found that person-environment fit is positively related to job satisfaction and negatively to intention to quit and burnout (Andela & van der Doef, 2019). So, if you're considering a change, start by reflecting on what you truly enjoy and what you're good at. Then, look for careers and industries that align with your interests and skills. If you are having some trouble finding out where your strengths lie, you could also book a coaching session or take a strengths assessment for clarification. TalentPredix* is a good option here! Read more about the tool below.
Another theory is Krumboltz's Social Learning Theory of Career Development (Kumboltz et al., 1976), which states that our career choices are shaped by a combination of genetic predispositions, personal experiences, and the opportunities available to us. In practical terms, this means that while some aspects of our career path may be out of our control, we can still make deliberate choices to steer our careers in a direction that aligns with our goals and aspirations. So, when approaching a career change, consider not only what you're interested in, but also what opportunities are available to you. You might even find some opportunities you hadn’t considered yet but that sound exciting!
In his Career Development Theory, Super (1953) argues that career development is a lifelong process and that individuals mature in their career development over time. This means that even if you've made a misstep or two in your career, it's never too late to course correct and find the right path for you. So, if you're considering a career change, don't beat yourself up about the decisions you've made in the past. Instead, focus on where you want to go and what you need to do to get there.
In conclusion, as you approach a career change, consider the insights offered by these theories to help guide you towards a career that's a good fit for you. Remember, career development is a lifelong process, and it's never too late to make a change. So, take the time to reflect on your interests, skills, values, and aspirations, and don't be afraid to take a chance on a new direction. Good luck!
If you would like to access some career-based coaching or want to book a strength-assessment, do reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*“What is TalentPredix?” you might ask. TalentPredix is an evidence-based strength assessment tool that can help you identify your talents, career motivators and values. It can help you to clarify your next career steps and development goals. If you would like to find out more, visit https://talentpredix.com/.
Andela, M., & van der Doef, M. (2019). A Comprehensive Assessment of the Person–Environment Fit Dimensions and their Relationships with Work-Related Outcomes. Journal of Career Development, 46(5), 567–582. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894845318789512
Holland, J. L. (1985). Making Vocational Choices: A Theory of Vocational Personalities and Work Environments. Prentice-Hall.
Krumboltz, J. D., Mitchell, A. M., & Jones, G. B. (1976). A Social Learning Theory of Career Selection. The Counseling Psychologist, 6(1), 71–81. https://doi.org/10.1177/001100007600600117
Super, D. E. (1953). A Theory of Vocational Development. American Psychologist, 8, 185-190.