Identifying career orientations of female, non-managerial employees at Virginia Tech
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The purpose of this study was to examine the career orientations of women employed at lower levels of an organizational hierarchy in occupations not usually considered professions. Career orientations are constructs for those values, attitudes and motivations inside the person which develop through accumulated work experience, and which serve to guide, constrain, stabilize and integrate the person's career. According to the career anchor/career orientation model of adult career development, an individual's career orientation greatly affects the career decisions that person makes. Individuals’ career orientations have been hypothesized to influence their willingness to participate in specific career development activities. The sample for this study was 156 women employed at Virginia Tech who had participated in the University's Employee Career Development Program between 1980 and 1988. Career orientations of these women were identified using Derr's (1986) Career Success Map Questionnaire. The women also completed a survey which provided demographic information and required them to rank specific career development activities according to their personal preferences. Selected women from each career orientation identified by Derr's (1986) Career Success Map Questionnaire were interviewed and questioned about their values, attitudes and motivations toward work. Inferential statistics were used to determine that the career orientations Derr's Career Success Map Questionnaire identified these women as having, were not differentiated by their: (a) ages; (b) years in the paid work force; (c) education levels; or (d) occupations. Nor did career orientations identified for these women by Derr's Career Success Map Questionnaire differentiate their preferences for specific career development activities. Structured interviews with selected women having different high intensity career orientations identified by Derr's (1986) Career Success Map Questionnaire did not indicate distinct differences in their attitudes, values and motivations toward work. Structured interviews with these women indicated they may have career orientations other than those identified by the Career Success Map Questionnaire. It was hypothesized some of these career orientations might include: (a) a family orientation; (b) a service orientation; (c) a variety orientation; (d) a creative orientation; (e) a technical competence orientation; and (f) a social/religious orientation.
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