HRM Sample Assignment


• Issue Paper Guidelines
o Introduction
• Introduce your topic, its background and the main concepts.
• You can present the issue from different perspectives, yet you have to take a stance, a position and be able to defend it in the body of your paper with a logical argument.
o The Who
• Specify your audience and context.
• Direct your paper to a specific audience (co-workers for example)
o What is the Issue
• Identify the aim of your issue.
• Highlight the concepts and their implementation in a chosen context.
• Show how applicable these concepts are
• Consider the transferability of the discussed concepts to your context.
• Show how your intended implementation of these concepts would make a difference in the chosen context.
o During the Process
• Develop questions related to your issue (problemalize the issue(s))
• Read around the developed questions and try to find solutions to the issue under inquiry through your review of the issue section.
o How
• Describe your findings which you have generated through the analysis of your secondary (and primary) data which will answer the developed questions.
• Recommend a course of action.
• Show how you would implement the findings.

* list career development theories
* choose one that is suitable to schools setting
*reflection based on the theory chosen from a teacher’s point of view


Applying Career Development Theory to Counselling

The career that one chooses becomes an integral part of one’s identity. For this reason, it is imperative that teachers to counsel students about the role of careers, professional responsibilities and their significance in their lives. Career development is a lifelong process of seeking an understanding of and managing career-related aspects like work, leisure, and job-related transitions in order to improve the chances of succeeding in one’s preferred career. Several career development theories have been developed in recent times, including the trait-factor theory, super development self-concept theory, constructivist theory, Holland career typology theory and the Krumboltz social learning theory of career choice.


Every development theory has something to offer when it comes to career counselling. However, applying all the theories at once as is the common case brings about the issue of contradiction. While all career development theories are significant in one way or the other, counsellors ought to focus on one theory at a time depending on their audience and as opposed to using all them at the same time. When counselling students regarding career development, the best theory to use is the super development self-concept theory. This research paper is addressed to my co-workers (teachers) as they often encounter situations in which they have to advise their students on career choices. I aim to discuss the super development self-concept theory in terms of its major concepts and how they can be implemented in counselling and to offer some recommendations regarding the best course of action on diverse career-related issues.

The super development self-concept theory was developed by Donald Super. He believed that personal change is not static, but rather, continuous, and so are humans in general (Super, 1992). The theory holds that every person, regardless of status, has potential. In other words, every individual has something to offer be it talent or skill, all of which are developed through the different roles that they play in the course of their lives (Nasir & Lin, 2013). Once an individual has determined what his/her skill-set or talent is, he/she can embark on the journey of looking for an occupation. To further explain the theory, Donald Super developed the life-span-life-space approach that breaks down the various tenets of the theory and its relevance to career counselling.

Like most people, Donald Super believed that everyone has a role to play during their lifetime (1992). Super, therefore, divided these roles into six main categories: the roles of the citizen, the child, the worker, the student, the homemaker and the leisurite. These categories define the life space in the life-career rainbow (Hartung, 2013). According to Super, we are the central roles that we play (1992). Some roles may be simultaneous, like in the case of a parent with a career that involves engaging in community service. He argues, however, that the more the roles that an individual has, the less his/her level of commitment to those roles. This is why Super believes that individuals ought to pick a central role and work towards making a significant difference in it. On the other hand, the life span has five stages: growth, exploration, establishment, maintenance and disengagement (Hartung, 2013).


The growth stage defines the point at which children start to develop a self-concept based on what they can see or learn from their environment, their role-models, their parents, relatives and peers. The stage usually ranges from the age of 4-13. It gives the counsellor an opportunity to tap into these early attitudes to figure out how their students or clients relate to the world in general. The exploratory stage runs from the age of 14 to 24 and is the stage where individuals start to understand the various career choices by taking into account factors like income, interests and prestige. During this stage, people hop from one occupation to the other trying to figure out where the fit or belong. It is this process of self-discovery that is very crucial to counselling (Sharf, 1997).

The third stage is the establishment stage during which an individual picks a job and sticks to it for a while, usually for about 20 years, typically from age 25 to 45. However, despite picking a job, these individuals are usually still searching for something better. Should a better opportunity present itself, the individuals who are in the establishment stage are highly likely to go for it. The maintenance stage for about 20 years as well, from age 45 to 65. Here, the individuals in this question have already settled on a job. It is worth noting that despite settling in a career, they may still end up growing dissatisfied in one way or another.

The last stage, the disengagement stage, refers to the period before retirement. When people are close to retiring, they become less focused at work and the general work-quality may diminish as well (Super, 1992). This happens because of the sudden realization that the person will be considered too old to keep on working with the same commitment as other younger employees. It is clear that throughout all the stages, the concept of indecision is manifested. Therefore, to avoid all these negatives, it is important to take the time to figure out the best occupation in relation to the skills and talents of the individual. This way one will still have the enthusiasm to keep working even when retirement years beckon.

An analysis of the super development self-concept theory shows that all the concepts can be implemented by teachers during student counselling. Unlike the other theories that may only be relevant to a specific group, this theory is versatile as it accommodates every individual or group in the society (Byuken et al, 2015). The goal is to let students know that age does not matter in regards to career choice, and that they should take their time to decide their career paths (Chen et al, 2015). By defining a clear breakdown of the different career development stages, the students are able to understand their unique real-life situations and adapt accordingly.

In conclusion, I urge all the counsellors, teachers and role models to employ the super development self-concept theory in counselling students on matters relating to career choice and development. The theory explains the dynamics of career development exhaustively, thereby providing an effective way of resolving career-related problems at any point during one’s life. Thus, teachers who offer counseling using the approach advocated in this theory will most likely succeed in equipping students with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their education, professional training, and career choices. However, it is also important to understand the other career development theories in order to draw comparison and gain varied insights particularly regarding the concept of lifelong learning in relation to career development.


Byuken, M. B., Klehe, U. C., Zikic, J. & Van Vianen, A. E. (2015). Merits and challenges of career adaptability as a tool towards sustainable careers. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Chen, C. T., Chen, C. F., Hu, J. L. & Wang, C. C. (2015). A study on the influence of self-concept, social support and academic achievement on occupational choice intention. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 24(1), 1-11.

Hartung, P. J. (2013). The life-span, life-space theory of careers: Career development and counseling: Putting theory and research to work. Boston, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Nasir, R., & Lin, L. S. (2013). The relationship between self-concept and career awareness amongst students. Asian Social Science, 9(1), 193.

Sharf, R. S. (1997). Applying career development theory to counseling. New York, NY: Brooks/Cole.

Super, D. E. (1992). Toward a comprehensive theory of career development. London: Routledge.

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