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Chapter 13


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Western University
Psychology 2035A/B
Doug Hazlewood

196 CHAPTER 13 CHAPTER 13 CAREERS AND WORK LEARNING OBJECTIVES Choosing a Career (APA Goal10) • Describe personal and family influences on job choice. • Cite several helpful sources of career information. • List some aspects of potential occupations that are important to know about. • Explain the role of occupational interest inventories in career decisions. • Outline five important considerations in choosing an occupation. Models of Career Choice and Development (APA Goal 10) • Summarize Holland’s model of career choice. • Summarize Super’s five-stage model of career development. • Identify some differences between women’s and men's career development. The Changing World of Work (APA Goal 10) • Identify seven work-related trends. • Describe the relationship between education and salary. • Summarize important demographic changes that are transforming the workforce. • Understand some problems that women and minorities face in today’s workplace. • Describe some challenges presented by workforce diversity to organizations and workers Coping with Occupational Hazards (APA Goals 4, 9) • Recognize some important sources of job stress. • Summarize the effects of job stress on physical and mental health. • Describe the prevalence and consequences of sexual harassment. • Identify some causes and effects of unemployment. Balancing Work and Other Spheres of Life (APA Goal 9) • Articulate current perspectives on workaholism. • Define work-family conflict, and discuss the benefits of multiple roles. • List several types of leisure activities and summarize their benefits. Application: Getting Ahead in the Job Game (APA Goals 9, 10) • Summarize some guidelines for putting together an effective résumé. • Discuss strategies for targeting companies you would like to work for. • Outline several strategies for landing a job interview. • Identify some factors that can influence an interviewer’s rating of a job candidate. • List the dos and don’ts of interviewing for jobs. 197 CHAPTER 13 CHAPTER OUTLINE I. Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology: The Study of Human Behavior in the Workplace A. I/O psychologists strive to increase the dignity and performance of workers and the organizations where they labor B. Among other issues, I/O psychologists study worker motivation and satisfaction, job performance, leadership, occupational hazards, personnel selection, and diversity in organizations II. Choosing a Career A. Examining family influences and personal characteristics 1. Personal characteristics a. Those with secure attachment and a solid sense of self-efficacy find it easier to make career choices b. Intelligence predicts the likelihood of entering particular occupations c. In many occupations, special talents are more important than general intelligence 1) Specific aptitudes may include creativity, artistic or musical talent, mechanical ability, clerical skill, mathematical ability, and persuasive talents 2) Social skills are particularly valuable d. Interests and personality should be considered in career planning 2. Family influences a. Individual career choices are influenced by family background b. Family background influences career choice for several reasons 1) Level of education 2) Socioeconomic status 3) Parenting practices play a role B. Researching job characteristics 1. Sources of career information a. Good reference for occupational literature is Occupational Outlook Handbook b. More detailed information can usually be found online 2. Essential information about occupations a. The nature of the work b. Working conditions c. Job entry requirements d. Ongoing training or education e. Potential earnings f. Potential status g. Opportunities for advancement h. Intrinsic job satisfaction i. Future outlook j. Security 3. Experts agree that the future belongs to those who are better educated C. Using psychological tests for career decisions 1. Occupational interest inventories measure your interests as they relate to various jobs or careers 198 2. There are three widely used tests a. Strong Interest Inventory (SII) b. Self-Directed Search (SDS) c. Kuder Career Search with Placement Match 3. Occupational interest inventories do not attempt to predict whether you would be successful in various occupations but focus on predicted job satisfaction 4. Test results may inspire you to investigate career possibilities that you had never thought of before 5. Several cautions worth noting a. You may score high on some occupations you know you would hate b. Don't let the test make career decisions for you c. Some gender bias on most inventories D. 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. Career choice is a developmental process that extends throughout life 5. Some career decisions are not easily undone III. Models of Career Choice and Development A. Holland’s Person-Environment Fit 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 a. Realistic people prefer physical, mechanical jobs (e.g., farming, engineering) b. Investigative people like working with ideas rather than things (e.g., researchers, librarians) c. Artistic people like jobs where they can express their creativity (e.g., art, music) d. Social people prefer jobs that involve interaction with others (e.g., teaching, nursing) e. Enterprising people prefer jobs involving persuasion of others (e.g., supervisory positions) f. 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) B. Super’s developmental model 1. A highly influential developmental model that asserts the self-concept is a critical factor 2. Views occupational development as a process that begins in childhood, ends with retirement 3. Super suggests five major stages of occupational life cycle a. Growth stage (childhood) b. Exploration stage constitutes a "tasting" of projected occupation c. Establishment stage generally involves commitment to occupation d. Maintenance stage involves concerns about retaining achieved status e. Decline involves deceleration of work activity as individual nears retirement 199 CHAPTER 13 4. Research on Super's model a. Self-esteem and self-efficacy are correlated with career maturity b. Problem is that it assumes people will remain in a single career C. Women's career development 1. Although women’s labor force participation is approaching that of men’s, there are still important gender differences in career choice and development 2. Most women subordinate their career goals to their husbands’ 3. Married women have less control over their careers 4. Men’s career paths tend to be continuous 5. Women’s career paths tend to be discontinuous, which may account for lower salaries and status IV. The Changing World of Work A. Workplace trends 1. Work is an activity that produces something of value for others 2. Important work-related trends a. Technology is changing the nature of work b. New work attitudes are required c. Lifelong learning is a necessity d. Independent workers are increasing e. The boundaries between work and home are breaking down f. The highest job growth will occur in the professional and service occupations g. Job sharing is becoming more common B. Education and earnings 1. Generally, the more you learn, the more you earn 2. A college diploma is no guarantee of a great job 3. Underemployment is settling for a job that does not fully utilize one’s skills, abilities, and training 4. Current employers are not happy with the academic skills of many employees 5. A majority of U.S. employers say that about a third of their workers do not meet the writing requirements of their positions C. The changing workforce 1. The labor force consists of all those who are employed as well as those who are currently unemployed but looking for work 2. Demographic changes a. Larger proportion of women in the workforce b. Workforce also becoming more ethnically diverse 3. Today's workplace for women and minorities a. 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 b. A lone woman or minority person can become a token, a symbol of all the members of that group 200 c. Tokens, because of the feeling that they are accountable for the actions of their whole group, may experience performance pressure d. Both groups have fewer opportunities to observe, emulate relevant role models e. Sexual harassment at work more likely to be a problem for women than men D. The challenges of change 1. Cultural differences exist in managing time, people, identification with work, and decision-making 2. Some individuals feel that they are personally paying the price of prejudice in workplace a. Perception can cause resentment b. Recognizing the problem, some companies offer diversity training programs 3. Negative feelings about affirmative action may lead to negative attributions toward women, ethnic minorities V. Coping with Occupational Hazards A. Job stress 1. Sources of stress on the job a. There are various types of work-related stressors 1) Long work hours 2) Lack of privacy, high noise levels, unusual hours, pressure of deadlines, lack of control over one’s work, inadequate resources, and perceived inequities 3) Environmental conditions (such as extreme temperatures) 4) Fear of downsizing, losing benefits 5) Office politics and conflicts 6) Adapting to changing technology 7) "Underwork" can also be stressful b. Women may experience sex discrimination, sexual harassment at higher rates than men c. African Americans, ethnic minorities cope with racism and discrimination d. Workers from lower socioeconomic levels typically work in more dangerous jobs e. Keita and Hurrell proposed four factors that play critical role in the development of stress reactions 1) More 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 f. Karasek contends that there are two key factors in occupational stress 1) Psychological demands 2) Amount of decision control i) The greatest stress is experienced in jobs that feature high psychological demands and low decision control 2. Effects of job stress a. Include increase in industrial accidents and absenteeism, poor job performance, high turnover, etc. b. Prolonged stress can lead to burnout, characterized by exhaustion, cynicism, and poor job performance c. Possible effects include physical and psychological problems 201 CHAPTER 13 3. Dealing with job stress a. Three avenues of attack for dealing with job stress 1) Interventions at individual level 2) Interventions at organizational level 3) Intervention at individual-organizational interface b. Workers from lower socioeconomic groups typically experience more job stress, receive less attention through stress management programs B. Sexual harassment occurs when employees are subjected to unwelcome sexually oriented behavior 1. According to the law, there are two types of sexual harassment a. Submission to sex a condition of hiring, advancement, etc. (quid pro quo) b. Unwelcome sexual behavior creates hostile 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 a. More widespread than people realize b. Experiencing sexual harassment can have negative effects on psychological and physical health 5. Stopping sexual harassment a. 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 b. Responses to sexual harassment can be classified in four categories 1) Avoidance denial (self-focus and self-response) 2) Confrontation/negotiation (initiator focus, self-response) 3) Social coping (self-focus, supported response) 4) Advocacy seeking (initiator focus, supported response) C. Unemployment 1. Displaced workers are individuals who are unemployed because their jobs have disappeared 2. Effects of unemployment a. Can cause economic distress, health problems, psychological difficulties b. Those laid off in middle age seem to find the experience most difficult 1) Typically have more financial responsibilities 2) Loss of insurance may jeopardize entire family’s health 3) Older workers typically remain out of work longer 4) Middle-aged workers feel highly involved in their work 3. Coping with unemployment a. Support from friends, family is essential b. Some companies offer programs for laid-off workers VI. Balancing Work and other Spheres of Life A. Workaholism 202 1. Workaholics devote nearly all their time and energy to their jobs 2. There appear to be two types of workaholics a. The enthusiastic workaholic works for the pure joy of it b. The nonenthusiastic workaholic feels driven to work but reports low job enjoyment B. Work and family roles 1. Dual-earner couples are the dominant family form in the U.S. 2. Working parents experience work-family conflict, or the feeling of being pulled in multiple directions by competing demands from the job and family 3. To gain more control over their lives, some women are temporarily opting out of the workforce; others are going into business for themselves 4. A number of factors contribute to positive outcomes associated with multiple roles, including added income, social support, the experience of success, and buffering C. Leisure and recreation 1. Leisure is unpaid activities people choose to engage in because the activities are personally meaningful 2. Types of leisure activities a. Hobbies b. Reading c. Surfing the Internet d. Travel e. Games and puzzles f. Sports g. Volunteer activities 3. Benefits of leisure activities a. Research generally supports notion that balance of work, relationships, and leisure activities leads to more rewarding, healthy life b. A balanced combination of meaningful work, rewarding family interactions and friendships, and revitalizing leisure pursuits compose a fulfilling life VII. Getting Ahead in the Job Game A. Putting together a résumé 1. Must achieve goals without being flashy, gimmicky 2. Basic guidelines a. Use white, ivory, or beige paper b. Eliminate typographical errors c. Keep it short d. Avoid use of complete sentences, word "I" e. Avoid giving superfluous, personal information 3. Effective résumé will contain various elements a. Heading with name, address, and phone number b. Objective stating precisely the kind of position sought c. Education listing degrees earned d. Experience organized chronologically 4. An electronic résumé may be necessary in addition to the traditional paper version 203 CHAPTER 13 B. Finding companies you want to work for 1. Start with self-exploration to gain a picture of your personal qualities 2. Learn about the characteristics of various occupations via relevant websites or visit your Career Services office. C. Landing an interview 1. Traditional approach is to submit résumé and cover letter 2. Use research about the company to make a case why you would be useful to the organization 3. You might introduce yourself directly by phone and request an interview D. Polishing your interview technique 1. Interviewers’ ratings of applicants not necessarily based on job-relevant
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