Module 10.3: Picking an Occupation: Choosing Life’s Work
10.6: Analyze the methods by which people choose their careers and the ways in which career
choices affect personal identity.
10.7: Explore the varied reasons why people work.
10.8: Examine the challenges that work presents in the present day.
Picking an Occupation: Career Choice Theory
• Fantasy period
• Tentative period
• Realistic period
• Non-representative sample
• Overstates choices and options to lower SES people
• Age demarcations may be too rigid
• Ginzberg’s Career Choice Theory holds that people move through series of stages
in choosing career:
• Fantasy period – Lasts until 11 years old. Career choices are made without
regard to skills, abilities, or available jobs.
• Tentative period – During adolescence, begin to think about job requirements
and how their abilities and interests fit them.
• Realistic period – Young adults explore specific career options through actual
experience or through training for a profession.
• Critics say this theory oversimplifies career choice process.
Picking an Occupation: Personality Types
• Lack of fit for many
• Exceptions to typology Gender and Career Choices: Women’s Work
• Communal professions were seen as appropriate for women
• Agentic professions were seen as appropriate for men
• Women less likely to be found in male-dominated professions
• Today women’s options for careers are unlimited. It has not always been that way.
• Traditionally, women were considered most appropriate for Communal Profession,
associated with relationships (like teachers) and men were thought to be better at
Agentic Professions (getting things accomplished).
• Today, women are less likely to be found in male-dominated professions like
engineering and computer programming.
• Women’s wages still lag behind those of men, even though opportunities are greater.
• Women seem to hit the “glass ceiling,” an invisible barrier that prevents promotions
beyond a certain level.
Women’s weekly earnings as a percentage of men’s have increased since 1979 but are still only
a bit more than 79 percent and have remained steady over the past three years.
Immigrants on the Job
• Most legal and illegal immigrants ultimately succeed financially
• Only a few immigrants come to the United States to get on welfare
• Given time, immigrants contribute more to the economy than they take away
Why Do People Work? More Than Earning a Living
• Personal identity
• Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
• Extrinsic Motivation drives people to obtain tangible rewards, such as money
• Intrinsic Motivation drives people to work for its own reward.
• Sense of personal identity.
• Central element in one's social life.
• Work is factor in determining Status, the evaluation by society of role person plays.
Satisfaction on the Job
• Satisfaction related to job status
• Worker satisfaction also associated with:
• Nature of job
• Amount of input one has into one’s duties
• Influence employees have over others
• Higher status of job, more satisfied people tend to be. • Status of job of major wage-earner can affect status of