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Career Onion: Peeling off the layers for Occupational Preferences and Career Aspirations

Samiah Ahmed, Alia Ahmed


Vocational psychology carts away the vocational behavior regarding the occupational preferences of every individual, which commences at the period of adolescence. These occupational or vocational preferences are shaped or crystallized through career guidance and theories, which further help an adolescent to climb the career ladder towards achieving career aspirations and success. This research article, focuses mainly on five theories, self-concept development theory, valence-instrumentality-expectancy theory, theory of work adjustment , tournament theory  and Maslow hierarchy of needs theory, which help the adolescents with the occupational preferences, assist in climbing the career ladder from growth stage to retirement stage, ultimately resulting in achieving career aspirations. Furthermore, researchers reveal the differences among these theories highlighting unique features of every theory in predicting occupational or career preferences. Researchers also draw the career onion, where every layer of the career onion depicts that every adolescent peels off each career layer (starting from the growth stage until he eventually peels off the last layer of the retirement age) to achieve career self-actualization.


career onion; occupational preference; career theories; adolescence

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