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Super’s Life Span Theory
Donald Super believed that humans are anything but static and that personal change is continuous. Super’s Life-Span theory is a comprehensive developmental model that accounts for the various important influences on a person as they experience different life roles and various life stages. Here are some of Super’s main tenets:
- Every individual has potential. People have skills and talents that they develop through different life roles, making them capable of a variety of tasks and numerous occupations.
- People seek career satisfaction through work roles in which they can express themselves and develop their self-concept. Self-knowledge is key to career choice and job satisfaction.
- Career development is lifelong and accounts for the changes and decisions that people make from career entry to retirement.
Super’s Life-Span theory underscores the importance of examining career development within the larger context of an individual’s roles, lifestyle, and achieving life/work balance.
[Reference: Baruch, Y. (2004). Managing Careers: Theory and Practice. Pearson Education.]
- Think about the statements, questions, and scenarios below.
- Which of these two statements do you believe is truer of today’s employees?
- The idea of work/life balance suggests that while employees are busy earning a living, they are also busy living a life.
- Or is the situation the reverse in that while people are busy living a life, they are also earning a living to support their lifestyle.
- Take a position on whether work is the primary factor of your identify and respond accordingly.
- How has Super’s lifespan theory informed your career development perspective and plans?
- Create a short response explaining your position on each of these questions.
- Submit a one-page paper that describes your answers as well as how your discussion with another person changed or reinforced your viewpoints