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PSYC 3490 (60)
Chapter 12

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PSYC 3490
Laurie Mc Nelles

Chapter 12: Work, Leisure and Retirement  Occupational Choice and Development  Main purpose of work is to earn a living  Meaning of work = money we exchange for life’s necessities/luxuries and the possibility of personal growth  Although most people work for money, other reasons are highly variable – They include, prestige, recognition, and a sense of worth  Occupational priorities: what people want from their employment reflect the culture and times in which people live, as well as the characteristics of the job and the quality of the workplace  Study on job strain (balance between psychological demands of a job and the amount of control the worker has in that job) - was the amount of job strain related to the decision to retire? – findings: o Job strain affected the retirement decision in those in managerial, technical or professional jobs but not in those in service and blue-collar occupations  Impact of work cuts through all aspects of life; work is a major social role and influence on adult life  The Changing Nature of Work  Start of global competition- workers in Canada are competing for jobs with workers in other countries  Globalization has resulted in extensive changes in number and types of jobs available  Full-time work has been replaced by part-time work, manufacturing jobs have been lost  Layoffs occur mostly because of o competition o productivity o relocation of operations o mergers o acquisitions o infusion of new technology or plant obsolescence  Traditional organizational careers consisted of meeting organizational needs  A fundamental re-definition of the nature of work is occurring – not the emphasis is on occupational flexibility and learning - everyone must stay current with the latest technology and newest skills  With mandatory retirement being eliminated in most provinces, workers 55 and over are becoming a predominant segment of the workforce  Occupational Choice  Our work life is a major source of our identity influences our lifestyle and social interactions  More adults changing occupations than ever before or have to rethink about the kinds of jobs that they want to hold – can happen in middle a older adulthood as well, not only limited to young adults  Holland’s Theory of Occupational Choice  “people choose occupations to optimize the fit between their individual traits (personality, intelligence, skills and abilities) and their occupational interests  Occupation categorized in two ways: 1. Interpersonal settings in which people must function 2. By their associated lifestyle o 6 work environments in which people can express their personalities have been identified: •  Realistic = individuals enjoy physical labour and working with their hands, like to solve concrete problems •  Investigative = individuals are task-oriented and enjoy thinking about abstract relations •  Social = individuals are skilled verbally and interpersonally, enjoy solving problems using these skills •  Conventional – individuals have verbal and qualitative skills that they like to apply to structured, well-defined tasks assigned to them by others •  Enterprising = individuals enjoy using their verbal skills in positions of power, status and leadership •  Artistic = individuals enjoy expressing themselves through unstructured tasks  Theory exists at level of interest not level of performance  Having a good match between personality and occupation maximizes occupational satisfaction  When people have jobs that match their personality, research shows that employees are more productive and have more stable career paths  Limitations to Holland’s theory = how the match between personality type and occupation may change in adulthood has been ignored, also interactions between personal, ethnic, gender and economic factors have not been considered  Occupational Development  Promotion is a measure of how well one is doing in one’s career  People who want to advance learn rather quickly how long to stay at one level and how to seize opportunities as they occur  How a person advances in a career depends on professional socialization, expectations, support from co-workers, priorities and job satisfaction  Super’s Theory – occupational development theory based on self-concept  The initial two phases occur during late adolescence: 1. Crystallization – identity development as a source of career ideas 2. Specification – focusing on and training in specific lines of work  Super describes five stages in adulthood, based on self-concept and adaptation to an occupational role o Implementation – begins in late adolescence or early 20’s; people take a series of temporary jobs to learn about work roles and try out possible career choices o Establishment – begins by selecting a specific occupation during young adulthood; continues as person advances up the career ladder in the same occupation o Maintenance – transition phase during middle age; as workers max. Their efficiency, they begin to reduce the amount of time they spend fulfilling work roles o Deceleration – workers begin planning in earnest for their upcoming retirement and separating themselves from their work o Retirement – begins when people stop working full-time  The more congruent a person’s occupational behaviours are with what is expected of them at different ages, the more vocationally mature they are  Super believes that people’s occupations evolve in response to changes in their self-concept  Limitations to Super’s Theory – in recent times, people do not stay in the same occupation for all their working lives, does not agree with women’s work experience  Occupational Expectations  People have expectations about what they want to become and when they hope to get there  Expectations change as the result of o Realizing that one’s interests have changed or the dream was not a good fit o But also due to age, race, or sexual discrimination, lack of opportunity, and obsolescence of skills  Reality Shock: the realization that one’s expectations about an occupation are different from the reality one experiences o Reality shock is common among young workers o This happens most to young adults and people with little relevant experience prior to assuming a new job o The outcome of reality shock is often a revision of o personal priorities in life  The Role of Mentors  A mentor is a co-worker who teaches a new employee the unwritten rules and fosters occupational development  Mentor-protégé relationships develop over time, through stages, like other relationships   Being a mentor helps middle-aged workers achieve generativity  Kram suggests that a four-stage sequence occurs in mentor-protégé relationships o Initiation – 6 to 12 month period during which the protégé selects a mentor and they begin to develop their relationship o Cultivation – lasts 2 to 5 years and is the most active phase of the mentoring relationship; period when mentor provides occupational assistance and serves as a confidant o Separation – most difficult stage; begins when protégé receives a promotion, often to the level of the mentor; protégé must emerge from protection of mentor to demonstrate his or her own competence o  Redefinition – protégé and mentor redefine their relationship but with a new set of rules based on friendship between peers  Job Satisfaction: the positive feelings that results from an appraisal of one’s work  Job satisfactions tends to show low to moderate increases with age o Older workers report higher job satisfaction than younger workers  This may be partly because of self-selection o  Unhappy workers may quit  Other reasons include intrinsic satisfaction, good fit, lower importance of work, finding non-work diversions, and life-cycle factors  Alienation and Burnout  Alienation: feeling that what one is doing is meaningless  Burnout o Too much stress in one’s occupation and can lead to o Loss of energy and motivation o Loss of occupational idealism o Feeling that one is being exploited  Making sure workers feel that they are important to the organization by involving them in decisions, keeping expectations realistic, ensuring good communication, promoting teamwork and co-worker support may help employees avoid alienation and burnout  Gender, Ethnicity, Bias and Discrimination  Occupational choice and development are not equally available to all  Gender Differences in Occupational Choice  Men have been groomed from birth for future employment  Currently, more than 81% of women between ages of 25 and 54 worked outside of the home in 2005 (versus 91% of men, Statistics Canada,  2006)  Many women have difficulty finding occupation that match their level of skill o Women in non-traditional occupations are viewed more poorly by both men and women o Women in traditional female occupations changed jobs less often  Traditional and Non-Traditional Occupations  In the past, women who were employed entered traditionally female- dominated occupations  Women who end up in non-traditional occupations is often related to personal feelings and experiences as well as expectations of occupation  Many women have difficulties in finding occupations that match their skills  Women who choose non-traditional occupations still are viewed with disapproval by their peers of either sex, even though they have high job satisfaction themselves  Women and Occupational Development  Women who leave well-paid occupations do so for many reasons, including o Family obligations - for women working part-time o Workplace issues - for women working full-time  Women who continue to work full-time o Have adequate child care o Look for ways to further their occupational development  Most important workplace issues are gender-related o Unsupportive or insensitive work environments o organizational politics o lack of occupational development opportunities  Ethnicity and Occupational Development  Not much research has been conducted from a developmental perspective  Statistics Canada (1991, 1996, 2001) one in four recent university- trained immigrants obtained a job that required no more than a high school diploma  Members of this group were most likely women from South or Southeast Asia who had a mother tongue other than English or French    Whether an organization is responsive to the needs of ethnic minorities makes a big difference for employees  Having an identifiable role model has a positive effect for ethnic minority employees, even if they are not active mentors  Bias and Discrimination   Sex discrimination: denying a job to someone solely on the basis of whether the person is a man or a women o sex discrimination is a major issue, in terms of getting jobs, occupational development, and also in pay  Glass ceiling: the level to which women may rise in a company, but not go beyond o This is a barrier to promotion women and ethnic minorities often experience o Study on wage gap – women who delayed motherhood,
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