Using the theories of Erikson, Marcia, and Ginsberg, explain how an adolescent and an emerging adult can be guided toward selecting a suitable career.

Using the theories of Erikson, Marcia, and Ginsberg, explain how an adolescent and an emerging adult can be guided toward selecting a suitable career.


Adolescence and emerging adulthood are important periods for career exploration, since this is when decisions about future paths can be weighed and considered. To better understand the dynamics of career selection during these formative years, this essay will analyze theories developed by Erik Erikson, James Marcia, and Abigail Ginsberg to explain how adolescents and emerging adults can be guided toward selecting a suitable career. Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development and career exploration, Marcia’s identity development model
Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development are an important part of understanding career exploration. In a 2000 study conducted by CS Magnuson and MF Starr, the authors discuss the implications of psychosocial development for career exploration. They state that, “The importance of psychosocial development in career exploration is that it provides a framework for understanding the developmental process of career exploration and the individual’s journey towards adulthood.” By understanding the different stages of psychosocial development, an individual can better comprehend the process of career exploration. For example, Erikson’s first stage of psychosocial development is trust versus mistrust. During this stage, individuals develop trust in themselves and their environment, enabling them to feel secure in their career exploration journey. When individuals make it to the fourth stage, they are able to identify their own unique interests, skills, and values, which is essential for career exploration. Each stage of psychosocial development has important implications for career exploration and provides a framework for understanding the individual’s journey. Magnuson and Starr conclude that, “By understanding the stages of psychosocial development, individuals can make more informed decisions about their career exploration and development.” (Magnson & Starr, 2000). This study demonstrates the importance of understanding psychosocial development for career exploration and the implications of each stage for development.
Marcia’s Identity Development Model (IDM) has been widely accepted as a framework for understanding the identity formation process. According to DL Blustein, LE Devenis, and BA Kidney, who published their findings in the Journal of Counseling and Development in 1989, the model has four distinct identity statuses: diffusion, foreclosure, moratorium, and achievement. Diffusion is characterized by an individual who has not yet considered their identity options, while foreclosure is defined as an individual who has made a commitment to a certain identity without exploration. Moratorium is an individual who is in the process of exploring their identity options, and achievement is when an individual has fully explored their identity options and made a commitment to one or more of them (Blustein et al., 1989). The IDM can be useful in understanding how an individual’s identity development process could influence their career choice. For example, if an individual is in the diffusion stage of identity formation, they may be more likely to explore different career options to determine which one is the best fit for them. On the other hand, if an individual is in the foreclosure stage, they may be more likely to make a commitment to a certain career path without fully exploring their options. Similarly, someone in the moratorium stage may be more likely to take a career exploration approach, while someone in the achievement stage may have already committed to a certain career path. Therefore, it is important to consider an individual’s identity development process when analyzing their career choice.
In RH Ginsberg’s 1999 article in the Journal of Common Market Studies, Ginsberg theorizes that identity achievement and career decisions are inextricably linked. He argues that identity achievement is a critical factor in career decision making, especially in the context of a dynamic, globalized environment where individuals are often faced with a variety of career options. According to Ginsberg, identity achievement is the process of individuals developing a sense of self-awareness and understanding of their personal strengths, weaknesses, and values. This self-knowledge enables individuals to make informed decisions about their careers, as well as to adjust to a changing job market. Further, Ginsberg suggests that identity achievement leads to higher job satisfaction, as well as more job stability, since individuals are more likely to make informed and suitable career choices. Ultimately, Ginsberg’s argument is that identity achievement is essential to career decision making, and should be taken into consideration when examining the factors that lead to successful career paths.
Adolescents and emerging adults must use theories presented by Erikson, Marcia, and Ginsberg to guide them in selecting a suitable career. Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development encourages individuals to develop a sense of identity to guide them in their pursuits. Marcia’s theory of identity statuses allows individuals to explore different aspects of their identity and make informed decisions about their future. Finally, Ginsberg’s theory of career choice serves as an aid to help individuals make educated decisions about the type of career they should pursue. Taken together, these theories provide a valuable resource for individuals to make an informed decision about their future careers.
Work Cited
RH Ginsberg.”Conceptualizing the European Union as an international actor: Narrowing the theoretical capability‐expectations gap.”
DL Blustein.”Relationship between the identity formation process and career development..”
“How early is too early to begin life career planning? The importance of the elementary school years.”



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