• How do people view work? How do occupational priorities vary with age?

• How do people choose their occupations?

• What factors influence occupational development?

• What expectations do people have about occupations?

• What role do mentors play in occupational development?

• What factors influence job satisfaction? What causes alienation and burnout?


hristiane, a 28-year-old senior, a communica­tions major, wonders about careers. Should she enter the broadcast field as a behind-the-scenes

producer, or would she be better suited as a public relations spokesperson? She thinks that her outgoing personality is a factor she should consider. Should she become a broadcast producer?

Choosing one’s work is serious business. Like Christiane, we try to select a field in which we are trained, and that is appealing. Work also colors much of what else we do in life. You may be taking this course as part of your preparation for work. People make friends at work and schedule personal activities around work schedules. Parents may choose child­care centers on the basis of their proximity to their place of employment. In this section, we will explore what work means to adults. We will also examine issues pertaining to occupational selection, as well as examine occupational development. Finally, we will see how satisfaction with one’s job changes during adulthood.