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Parsons’ theory – Dr.Ali Abasaltian

Parsons was an American theorist born in 1854. He believed that personal characteristics are an important factor in selecting a future career. In other words, one can build a powerful personal brand, only if he works in line with his psychological characteristics. Three underlying assumptions of Parsons’ theory are the following:

  1. Every individual has unique abilities and characteristics. This phase is called recognition.
  2. Individuals’ abilities and characteristics can be measured and linked with their careers.
  3. Everyone should be employed and work in careers according to their characteristics. Individual-work consistency.

Based on these three assumptions, three phases should be implemented by the individual.

  1. Reviewing individual, abilities, talents, characteristics, values, personality and skills.
  2. List the jobs which can be performed by them.
  3. Establishing coordination between the individual and appropriate careers for him.

Some scientists and researchers have criticized Parsons’ theory and asserted that the stage of identifying the psychological characteristics of individuals is very important, but Parsons has put too much emphasis on numerous and varied tests to measure people’s abilities, and this theory is overestimated.

Parsons fans also argued that they are not satisfied with adopting too many psychological tests to measure abilities and psychological characteristics, while they can be measured through a few tests, background checks, and investigating work and life experiences.  Here are five factors that should be measured to analyze individuals’ abilities and characteristics.

  1. Talent: refers to people’s abilities and progress. There are manifold creditable tests for that.
  2. Progress speed: progress speed can be identified through an event in life, Such as observing performance, academic performance, or… Because the level of progress is a qualitative factor, the best way to look and see is to investigate a person’s previous actions in life.

To identify your progress level, ask yourself how well you do a job? For instance, how well you study? If you are interested in sports, how well you do your desired sport? Or….
Your answer to such questions could be: incomplete, partially ok, excellent, with a poor quality …. Your progress level underlies in the question which your answer is excellent.

  1. Attitude: the third factor is attitude. It means individuals appeal and inclination to their choices. A choice which they like, or unlike it. Ask yourself, which actions do you enjoy most? Which careers do you like? Or …. There is some standard test for measuring attitude.
  2. Value: measuring values is complicated and important. What is important in your life? Which TV show do you watch when you are alone? When you are searching on google unintentionally, which word do your search? Which type of magazine are you inclined to or… measuring values can be implemented through some standard tests as well as interviewing individuals. The best result would be achieved while coupling tests and interviews.
  3. Personality: there are many definitions in the context of personality. Personality defines the characteristics and traits of people, while their actions are foreseeable. For identifying personality traits, there are manifold standard tests, MMPI, 16PF, Neo to name a few. By conducting these 5 stages, the individual’s recognition would be completed. Now it is time to study and recognize the occupational traits and environments. For each work and workplace, a set of talents, values, personality traits and … is required. In the final stage, in the rational and objective judgment about the relationship between their traits, and the career.

Individual traits such as talents, values, and so on, must be consistent with the job requirements. This is usually done by counselors, in person or remotely, and on some
occasions by using some software.

 According to Parsons’ theory, personality traits studies should be coupled with job characteristic studies, so a suitable work environment is chosen for the individual. The more they are consistent, not only individual enjoys a more decent life, but also he builds a more powerful brand (26).

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