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Conceptualizing Belle’s Career Development

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Conceptualizing Belle’s Career Development
Brittney Clark
University of West Florida

Introduction

Adolescence is considered a time for exploration and self-discovery. At an early age, most individuals begin to think about or even have specific career paths planned out. Some individuals dreamed of being doctors, lawyers, teachers, or even homemakers. However, to reach these dreams one must understand where their strengths and weaknesses lie and set goals to attain them. Career development is a very important aspect of not only our working life but our personal life as well.

Career development goes beyond just landing a job at a designated company. The practice is more about focusing on implementing dynamic strategies that will cultivate and bolster personal improvement. Personal goal setting for future careers is a fundamental step in the career development process. By setting a timeline on a goal one can make themselves accountable and more likely to achieve their goal/s. Goal setting provides not only motivation and accountability, but it makes each step in the process meaningful. Unfortunately, in terms of career development, there is no magic wand, easy shortcuts, or easy ways to achieve success. In order to be successful, one must follow their own path and put their values and goals first. This paper will discuss Belle, from Beauty and the Beast. Belle’s career development will be examined from early childhood to her current dilemma of finding a new fulfilling career path.

Background

Belle is a thirty-five-year-old married woman who identifies as a heterosexual, Caucasian female. Over ten years ago, the client met and married Adam, the prince of the Royal Kingdom, and she gained the title of Her Royal Highness Princess Belle.  As of today, the client is dissatisfied with her job as royal ambassador to her kingdom. The client currently works for her husband and is in charge of welcoming guests into the kingdom and establishing relationships with the towns and provinces that belong to her husband’s kingdom. While the client likes working with the people she is charged with, she feels her work is lacking purpose and meaning. The client’s husband is also her supervisor and she feels the overlap has caused some strain in their marriage due to the difficulty of separating work and home life. Giving back to the kingdom is very important to the client but she wants to make sure it is separate from her husband’s immediate control as a prince. The client also expressed a wish to start a family in the near future. The current career path demands the client to travel often which is not beneficial for starting or having a new family.

The client had very humble roots as an adolescent and she stated that those experiences helped shape her values and interests. As a child, the client would have been considered either underprivileged or low socioeconomic status. The client was raised in a single parent household that fell below the poverty line. The father was the breadwinner for the family and made a living off inventions that he sold at nearby markets. The client often helped her father develop, design, and create new gadgets for her father to sell. Unfortunately, due to the climate of gender inequality, the client could not take credit for her contributions to the inventions. As a woman, the client was expected to find a husband as soon as she became of age. The husband would then care for the client and she would be expected to only perform “womanly” duties, such as cleaning the house or cooking. The client’s education was also withheld due to her gender. Women were not allowed to participate in formal education in the French providences during the client’s upbringing. The client was independent and hardworking and sought to change other people’s opinions of women. After a strange turn of events, the client did find her husband and the freedom to seek her own career path, whether it be as an ambassador, a job in the STEM field, or even as a homemaker.    

Career Development

In order, to guide Belle through a new career path several theories must be blended to achieve success. Social Cognitive Career Theory, Life-Span, Life-Space Theory, and Holland’s Theory will be utilized in combination to find a career direction for the client and to give her a sense of purpose/direction. By establishing a good foundation and implementing dynamic strategies that foster continuous personal growth/improvement and inter-personal tactics the client will have the tools to move forward in her career development.

  The first step after an initial evaluation will be to build the client’s self-efficacy. The self-efficacy building blocks will ultimately lead to goal setting and further growth. Self-efficacy beliefs are often influenced by various external, internal, and interactive aspects. The above aspects are typically reflected in career-related outcome expectations and performance. Social Cognitive Career Theory will be used to channel and challenge self-efficacy beliefs and move them in a positive direction. By increasing the client’s overall self-efficacy career development, career expectations, and goal expansion can come to fruition. Social Cognitive Career Theory is probably the most important for our client. The theory’s framework clarifies the interplay between educational and vocational interests, career-related choices, and performance. Most importantly the theory highlights the relationships between social cognitive variables and the client’s environment. The client’s previous and current socio-economic status along with gender, race, and culture will play heavily on her interests and needs.

Holland’s Theory of Vocational Choice and Adjustment also relies heavily on the client’s environment and how it influences her interests. Determining the client’s interests is critical in moving her in the best career direction/s. The theory’s core basis is that everyone resembles at least one of the six personality types located on the hexagon: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. Individuals will unconsciously seek out agreeable roles within their environment. In the past, the client admits to being somewhat of an independent dreamer; she seeks adventure and works hard to help others along the well. Reading and teaching also seem to be very important to the client’s overall happiness.

In regard to Life-Space, Life-Span Theory, Super ascertained that individuals fall into certain stages of career development: Growth, Exploration, Establishment, Maintenance, and Disengagement. As most individuals move through the above stages they actively play or fill certain roles. Some of the roles the client currently fills are spouse, worker, and student. These roles will affect the client’s ultimate career choice and how it may change over time. Individuals will always attempt to fulfill their self-concepts or the picturesque version they have in mind.

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