Effects of Career Decisions on a Young Adults Self-Fulfillment Needs

Published: 2021-08-11
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Boston College
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Research paper
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Career is a profession which a person undertakes for a duration of the individual's life and which has a lot of progression opportunities. The career decisions which especially young adults make will have an impact on their self- fulfillment needs. Self fulfillment is the feeling of contentment and happiness as a result of engaging in an activity that utilizes ones abilities and talents fully. Young adults should, therefore, venture into a career that will make them feel satisfied at the end of the day.

Maslows hierarchy of needs is an inspirational theory in the field of Psychology. It is often a human needs model within a pyramid. Human beings require motivation for the achievement of some needs. Certain needs take preeminence over others. The primary need is that of physical survival and which is responsible for human behavior. Upon fulfillment of that level of need, the following level depends on an individual's ambition and it goes on and on" (Maslow, 1943). The hierarchical level of human needs includes physiological and biological, safety, love and the sense of belonging, self-esteem and finally the self-actualization needs which is the top of the pyramid. It's the need that is the focus of the discussion ( Maslow, 1987, p.64).

When an individual reaches a point in their life where they can find its true meaning is when it said that person is self-fulfilled. "Every human being is unique therefore the inspiration for self-actualization varies, and that is why people take variant directions in life" ( Kenrick et al., 2010). Certain individuals can achieve self fulfillment through literature or artistic works while for others they engage in sports, corporate setting or in teaching for a person- actualization. Self- fulfillment is a process which is continuous and not a condition which is perfect that an individual can attain. (Hoffman, 1988).

The human needs will, therefore, take particular forms and the actions an individual decides to undertake will vary significantly from one human being to the other. This is as a consequence of the uniqueness of the human race. Young adults ought to be aware of the self-actualization needs in Abraham Maslow's hierarchy. The decisions they make in the careers, they want to venture in, or they are already in will have effects on their needs to feel they are satisfied with themselves.

When a young adult portrays specific characteristics such as perceiving reality efficiently, having high ethical standards, concerned about other people's welfare, possessing the capability to view life objectively, their actions and thoughts are spontaneous. Others traits include accepting others and themselves personally for who, is humorous, have democratic attitudes and lastly can appreciate primary experiences of life among others good traits he or she can be termed as being self-fulfilled in comparison to his or her peers who are deficient of those characters. The career decisions young adults make will determine the possession of some of the characteristics of self-actualized individuals that one will have. This is despite the fact that no human being is perfect (Maslow, 1970a, P.176).

Career choices begin as early as when a student is in early middle school (Osbon & Reardon, 2006). The feeling of happiness is an indication that an individual is self-fulfilled. The career decisions a young adult makes will make them either happy or sad in their life. A significant duration of an individual's life is spent on practicing the careers they ventured into. This will affect an aspect of the human self-actualization needs which is happiness. Take a scenario where the elderly have a plant, and they are given the mandate of taking good care of it. The old people will be happy when they tend to the plant themselves as compared to when the nurse who looks after them cares for it(Langer & Rodin, 1976). A person's career will affect their health and automatically how long they live in this world. If a young adult wants to fulfill happiness which is part of Maslow's self-actualization needs in their life they ought to venture into a career that they have an interest in and one that will make them happy at the end of the day. This is because the career decisions made affect an individual's self-fulfillment needs.

The state of being self-efficient is one of the achievements of the self- fulfillment needs. The career decision a young adult makes will affect their person- efficiency. Self- efficacy is the belief that a human being has that he or she has the capability of accomplishing a given task successfully. There are some careers which people will choose to venture in while others avoid that particular profession. This is as a consequence of their judgment on their self- efficiency on a specific job (Bandura, 1986; Newmeyer, 2008). Particular careers like Medicine requires an individual to have high confidence that they are self- efficient while other occupations don't have such requirements .the feeling of one being self-efficient is as a result of the career path they choose to undertake and will impact their self-actualization need on Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The need is the top of the pyramid meaning very few people typically achieve self- fulfillment needs.

The decisions a young adult makes in regards to their career path will have an effect on their emotions. Self- fulfillment needs require that an individual should be stable when it comes to their feelings A vast number of human beings become anxious and fearful when it comes to their emotions. Emotions are an unavoidable aspect of human life. When one can accept the thoughts of anxiety and fear when it comes to feelings and can move forward that is when their value comes out effectively. When negative emotions are there, and a person has the capability of accepting fighting them their worth outcome becomes valuable ( Steger, 2008).

The choice of career path a young adult makes will make them to be either stable emotionally or not. Emotions are part of a human being's self- actualization needs according to Abraham Maslow. Therefore, how a young adult should take consideration of their emotions when it comes to career decisions. In the field of Medicine how an individual handles his or her emotions is very crucial as they deal with people who are in pain and suffer even fatal diseases.

The young adult developmental stage has been chosen as when one is at this stage they have a long way to go in life. Decisions made at this stage of development will have an impact on an individual's self-fulfillment needs regarding every aspect of the human being especially on careers which a significant period is spent on. Young adults need guidance and counseling when it comes to career paths as most of them are unaware of what to expect. Besides young adults have peer influence and they make career choices which their friends go. When such a case occurs, the specific individual will be unable to achieve self- fulfillment needs.

In retrospect, self- actualization is strived by human beings especially when it is a matter of career paths. Self-fulfilment is at the top of Abraham Maslow's hierarchical pyramid of human needs. Young adults should, therefore, be enlightened when it comes to their career decisions. The choices they make will have a direct impact on their satisfaction of the human beings self-actualization needs.

In this paper, Maslow's hierarchy of needs is in the introduction. Self-fulfillment or self- actualization which is on the top of Maslow's hierarchy is discussed after. It is at the top as very few people in the world can achieve that level in the hierarchy of needs. Some of human self-fulfillment needs are after that. This includes emotions, self-efficiency, and happiness. The career decisions a young adult makes will affect a human demand which is at the top of Maslow's hierarchy which is the need for self- fulfillment or self- actualization. Achievement of self- fulfillment needs is as a consequence of the career a young adult undertakes to pursue. This is explained regarding emotions, happiness, and self-efficiency which are part of the needs.

Finally, the reason as to why individuals in the young developmental stage are chosen at this stage is discussed and not any other stage of development. A conclusion with self- actualization strives especially in careers is what follows. There is a reference page with three google scholar journal articles references and two references for the two direct quotes in the used in writing of the paper. .Since text citations are also included in the paper with the right APA style format of writing as requested.


Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The Exercise of Control. New York: W.H.Freeman.

Kendrick, D.T. Neuberg, S.L., Griskervicius, V., Becker, D.V., & Schaller, M. (2010). Goal- Driven Cognition and Functional Behavior. The Fundamental Motives Framework. Current Direction in Psychological Science, 19(1) 63-67.

Maslow, A.H. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review,50(4), 370.

Maslow, A. H. (1962). Towards a psychology of being. Princeton: D. Van Nostrand Company.

Tay, L., &Diener, E. (2011). Needs and Subjective Well-Being around the World. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(2), 234.

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