My Career Path: Embracing the Unplanned According to Krumboltz’s Theory

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Updated: Nov 30, 2023
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My Career Path: Embracing the Unplanned According to Krumboltz’s Theory

Apply Krumboltz’s theory of career development to embracing an unplanned career path. This essay will explore how chance, flexibility, and open-mindedness play crucial roles in career development, using real-life examples and advice on navigating uncertainty in professional journeys. More free essay examples are accessible at PapersOwl about Career.

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Have you ever been asked, what do you be when you grow up? This is not something that can really be planned early in life or even when you graduate high school. There may be a plan but it’s not always followed because of one reason or another. Career counselors should teach their clients the importance of engaging in a variety of interesting and beneficial activities, ascertaining their reactions, remaining alert to alternative opportunities, and learning skills for succeeding in each new activity.

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Success does not always follow a plan. Success is how you handle the obstacles you face in order to become successful. Krumboltz’s theory is a planned happenstance theory that makes it OK to not always plan.

Have you ever been asked, what do you want to be when you grow up? Yeah, we always think we have our life planned out. Krumboltz’s Theory is a planned happenstance theory makes it OK to not always plan. John Krumboltz believed that unplanned events could possibly lead to great career choices in the future. John Krumboltz is a well-known career theorist. He most recently developed ideas about supporting indecision in clients. He states that indecision is desirable and sensible, as it allows the opportunity for clients to benefit from unplanned events. This theory is called planned happenstance. Their social learning theory differs from other career development theories in that its focus is on teaching people career decision-making techniques and helping them use such techniques effectively in selecting career alternatives (Ireh, 2000). There are some people that feel as every event has to be planned and if it not planned then it cannot happen. This theory aids people with accepting or how to handle change that comes up. Change now days is more often than before.

The workplace in the world we know now is revolving around change. Krumboltz’s theory is a way to help clients with their curiosity to explore learning opportunities, become persistent in dealing with obstacles, flexibility on addressing situations, and to the most of unplanned events. Krumboltz believes that putting your chances out there will grow your opportunities to advance your future. Success is not always planed. Krumboltz (1979) identified four factors that influence individual development and ultimately the career decision–making process and choice: Genetic endowment and special abilities, Environmental conditions and events, Learning experiences, and Task approach skills (TAS). Krumboltz sees the individual as constantly encountering learning experiences, each of which is followed by rewards or punishments that in turn produce the uniqueness of each person (Brown, 2016, pg. 88). Beliefs and values change, too. Some people hold beliefs that block them from taking constructive action (Krumboltz, 1991). For example, some believe that they dare not take a risk for fear they might fail (Worthington, 1999).

Although it might be desirable for students to try an occupation at an early age, expecting them to commit to one occupation for a lifetime is unrealistic and self-defeating from both the individual and societal viewpoint. Rather than preparing for a narrowly defined career field, students need to prepare for the likelihood that they will occupy several different types of jobs (Worthington, 1999). Employees will be expected to update their skills and qualifications as rapid advances in technology make particular skills and qualifications obsolete. Therefore, learning how to adapt to changing conditions in the workplace will be one of the essential skills for success. Young people become aware of the career opportunities and choices around them as they become exposed to friends and people around them, parents’ occupations, role models, television programs, school programs and counseling, church and community activities, etc. (Ireh, 2000). Part Two Personal Career Development My teaching career began later in life.

My life did not go as planned. I was an athlete. I just knew that I would go to college to play volleyball. Early on in my senior year of high school, I tried out for volleyball at a few colleges. At the age of 24 I realized that my career choice was education. I was nervous about change, as I have a hard time with it. I like to know what is going to happen and how it is going to happen. As a parent, I know that as I may want to have my child’s future planned out for them, it will not happen that way. My parents wanted me to attend college as soon as I graduated high school. That did not happen because of some life choices that I made.

Neither of us planned for that to happen. Showing that I could still go to college and obtain a college education was still possible. It took be a few years until I realized I wanted to be in education. I started subbing at my child’s school. I have always loved kids and was good with them. My sister encouraged me to go to college. I finally made that step to just do it. Learning that taking a leap into a different direction is OK. My plan was just going in a different direction. According to the Krumboltz’s theory, I was in an unplanned situation who went through a learning experience to find myself. 

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My Career Path: Embracing the Unplanned According to Krumboltz’s Theory. (2021, Oct 18). Retrieved from