There are two types of theories of career choice. One focuses on vocational development and other focuses on personality variables.

Holland’s Personality and Environmental Typology

Holland’s theory assumes that personality and social environment leads to certain behaviors. Person’s career can be matched with their personality. Six personality types can be summarized as RIASEC.

  1. Realistic: practical, hands-on, prefers working with nature, tools, or machines
  2. Investigative: scientific, explorative, theoretical, math
  3. Artistic: independent, creative, and expressive in activities, innovative, and original
  4. Social: working with people, community, customer-service oriented, helping others
  5. Enterprising: leadership, leading teams, competitive, business-minded
  6. Conventional: accurate, time management, detailed and organized, sets goals

Differentiation occurs when the person’s primary personality areas are closer to each other. This leads to higher satisfaction with career and productivity.

Roe’s Fields and Levels Theory

This theory focuses on experiences with parents and how these experiences lead to career choices and success. There are three types of parental attitudes:

  • Concentration on Child
    • Overprotective
    • Overdemanding
  • Avoidance of the Child
    • Rejection
    • Neglect
  • Acceptance of the Child
    • Casual acceptance
    • Loving acceptance

Super’s Life-Space, Life-Span Theory

This theory aims to match the person’s career with their self-concept. There are developmental stages where a person masters a task.

Developmental stages:
  1. Growth: (Birth to 15) child develops capacities and interests, common behaviors Include fantasy, play, and thinking
  2. Exploration: (15 to 24) individual narrows down the career choice and exploration occurs through school and part-time work
  3. Establishment: (25-44) individuals establishes permanent occupational field, jobs are changed while the career remains the same
  4. Maintenance: (45-64) the adult is concerned with maintaining their position & status
  5. Disengagement: (65+)there is a decline in work output leading to retirement, nonvocational sources are sought for life satisfaction

The Life Career Rainbow shows nine major roles that are adopted during the developmental stages.

Tiedeman and Ohara’s Decision-Making Model

Used Erik Erikson’s developmental model to expand Super’s theory. Differentiation is the realization that career does not match with personality and a different choice is considered and implemented. Personal reality relates to thoughts, actions, and behavior that are considered right for the self. Common reality refers to what others say the individual should do.