Factors That Determine Career Choices in Turkey Essay Example
Factors That Determine Career Choices in Turkey Essay Example

Factors That Determine Career Choices in Turkey Essay Example

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  • Pages: 13 (3343 words)
  • Published: July 20, 2017
  • Type: Research Paper
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The survey examines how different aspects of Turkish civilization impact people's career choices. The author acknowledges that societal and cultural factors, such as family responsibilities, social obligations, cultural constraints, and societal expectations, often force individuals to pursue careers they might not have chosen otherwise. Even if it means sacrificing their own preferences, people may feel obliged to conform to these expectations. The researcher questions the extent to which these cultural factors supersede an individual's professional decisions and also investigates the role of career counselors in addressing this matter.

Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of cultural trends in career preference, conflicts between personal choices and societal demands, as well as the role of a career counselor throughout this entire process. To achieve this purpose, the researcher has focused on a small group of


university individuals in Turkey who seek guidance from a career counselor. The researcher believes that this study can be beneficial as it examines important issues that deeply impact young individuals. The researcher has also shed light on how various cultural factors influence a person's personality, ultimately leading to unique career choices.

He has analyzed the societal outlooks that hinder personal choice. The only way to solve this dilemma is with a practical approach, which is the fundamental paradigm of this research. The researcher plans to conduct this study qualitatively using semi-structured interviews as the research tool. The gathered information will be analyzed in a narrative form. The paper will have four chapters: the first chapter will introduce the topic, its background, the research question, goals and objectives, limitations, and rationale.

The 2nd chapter will analyze previous theories and studies in

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this area. The following chapter will explain the researcher's research process, as well as the data collection and analysis methods. In the final chapter, a general overview will be provided to summarize the findings and conclude the study with logical arguments.


Career guidance is a challenging field that must consider every aspect that could impact the personal abilities, potential, and aptitude of individuals' lives. Choosing a career requires careful thought and planning, as it greatly affects one's financial and economic well-being, as well as their physical and mental satisfaction. Therefore, when individuals seek guidance from a career counselor, they are taking their future seriously.

A career counselor is crucial in guiding individuals towards their professional path. They offer impartial and objective evaluations of an individual's potential and provide valuable suggestions on how to best utilize these abilities, ensuring that future regrets are avoided. However, it is important to acknowledge that personal choices and accomplishments alone do not determine success. Emotional and influential factors must also be considered before making life-altering decisions. The career counselor must address these factors with their clients by evaluating local business sectors, assessing educational opportunities, staying informed about industry trends, identifying job prospects, and considering societal acceptance.

The researcher believes that the aforementioned factors have a significant impact on an individual. These factors include cultural norms, traditions, and customs, which shape a person's life experiences. Additionally, it is important for a person's chosen profession to align with their cultural acceptance and ideas.


Culture plays a fundamental role in an individual's life. It influences a person both externally and internally throughout their life. As a result, when a person reaches

their peak, they become a living representation of their culture.

The research worker believes that culture plays a significant role in all important decisions, including career choice. They have chosen to focus on Turkish individuals as they believe Turkey has an exceptionally rich culture. With its rapid development and changing opportunities, Turkey's culture is embracing new and innovative norms.

However, according to the researcher, there are still obstacles preventing career changes. This is particularly evident for women. Traditionally, there has been a belief that women are not suited for physically demanding jobs due to their association with beauty and delicacy. The researcher has also observed that cultural constraints, in addition to personal preferences, hinder women from pursuing these occupations. Furthermore, there are indications that men in society also face societal expectations that restrict their career choices.

The primary objective of the research worker is to thoroughly and objectively investigate this matter in order to determine the cultural reasons behind these types of limited choices. The research question that will be pursued includes the exploration of the following inquiries:
- Is culture a dominant factor in deciding career choices within a specific community?
- Does Turkish culture have a significant influence on individuals when they make decisions about their future careers?
- Are there specific factors within Turkish culture that can convincingly influence career choices?
- Can a career counselor offer assistance to individuals facing these challenges?

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES The research worker will study his research question, keeping in mind the following purposes and aims:

  • To determine the impact of culture on income planning of the individuals involved
  • To identify the role

of cultural influences in determining overall career trends in a specific community

  • To assess if these factors conflict with individuals' personal potential and aptitude
  • To explore the specific role of a counselor in addressing such a situation
  • Rationale This study is particularly appealing to the researcher as he believes it can reveal unique characteristics within Turkish culture that shape the economic patterns of the community. He also believes that once he identifies these specific characteristics in Turkish culture, his study can serve as a foundation for further extensive research on the impacts as well as risks of these influential factors in a broader society. His study may provide new insights into the vulnerable aspect of the human mind that is greatly influenced by long-standing traditions and norms, making it seemingly difficult for individuals to discover and adopt new trends.

    Restriction The researcher suggests that it would be more feasible to conduct this survey on a restricted population. Consequently, they will choose a particular district in Turkey to examine the cultural aspects and overall patterns of individuals' occupations.

    Outline of the Paper Chapter I will commence with an introduction by the researcher, encompassing the subject matter, research inquiries, and study goals. Subsequently, Chapter II will delve into previous investigations related to the topic, specifically concentrating on the factors impacting career decisions, particularly cultural influences.

    In Chapter III, the methodology used in this study will be described, including the determination of how data was collected and analyzed and the establishment of technical requirements. The data that has been gathered and organized will be presented using various presentation devices in Chapter IV. Furthermore,

    a summary of the study's conclusion will be provided in Chapter V. The primary objective of this research is to explore whether certain elements of Turkish culture have an influence on individuals' career decisions. The researcher seeks to identify key factors that significantly impact profession selection within a specific field.


    This research focuses on examining the particular aspects and characteristics of Turkish culture that potentially shape career choices in Turkey.

    The research worker recognizes that civilization is not a separate entity but rather a complex web that intertwines with other aspects of society to generate current trends (Brown, 2002). The researcher is specifically interested in studying the influential factors and characteristics within Turkish society that shape career choices. This chapter will provide a detailed analysis of the cultural and social factors that impact job selection worldwide, while linking this information to the topic at hand.

    The focus of the text is the various factors that combine to shape society and their collective impact on the personalities of its inhabitants, as well as the effects on career choices. Career guidance plays a crucial role in accordance with the culture. According to the National Career Development Association, it involves "assisting individuals in developing a life-career with emphasis on defining the worker role and how it interacts with other life roles" (1997, p. 1). Several researchers, including Ryan (1999), Oliver & Spokane (1988), and Spokane & Oliver (1983), assert that it has proven highly effective in helping clients become more determined in their career paths and making occupational decisions.

    According to Stead (2004) and Fouad and Bingham (1995), there are alternative perspectives that question the inclusion of culture in career guidance,

    arguing that it complicates the process. McMahon ; Patton (2006) state that "culture is inherent to the career guidance process itself" (p.49). These researchers emphasize the importance of personal aptitude and skills when advising individuals about their careers. Cheatham (1990) adds that "every individual cannot be everything" (p. 56), suggesting that each person should be treated individually and independently of others.

    The research worker believes that understanding an individual's cultural obligations and traditions is important for a career counselor to effectively guide them towards a productive path, as culture forms the foundation of their life.


    Culture encompasses customs and perspectives that shape an individual's life. According to Hofstede (1980, p. 21), culture can be defined as "a shared programming of the human mind that distinguishes members of one human group from another." Despite differences in specific details, cultures worldwide regulate the lives of individuals in similar ways.

    Man's integration into society is essential as it determines his social standing, as he abides by the specific rules and regulations of his culture.


    The relationship between work and culture has always been interconnected. Man works to establish a culture that guides his work. Culture establishes a set of rules and customs that dictate behavior and performance in certain situations. According to Cook and Carter (1992: p. 199), "From a cultural perspective, work is a functional aspect of life as individuals contribute their skills and labor to their cultural societies and the support of their families."

    The cultural boundaries of a society are reflected in the worth, significance, and social expectations of a work or occupation. Various researchers, including Cheatham (1990) and Smith (1983), have noted that the concept of "work"

    holds different meanings based on an individual's socio-cultural identity. For instance, being a dancer is widely accepted in Western cultures today, while it is still considered the most disliked profession in certain Eastern countries, particularly those following Islamic traditions. Hence, culture guides individuals residing in a particular society to avoid prohibited occupations in order to prevent social disapproval.

    Convenience: Convenience is a significant factor in the career choices of many people. When selecting a job, convenience is often given priority in various aspects. A key consideration is how certain professions are viewed as convenient by society. For example, in many areas, teaching remains the safest and most respected profession for women once they become mothers.

    In many Asian and Eastern countries, it is common for girls to aspire to become a teacher or a doctor (Countries and Their Culture, 2005).

    CULTURAL TABOOS - Taboos refer to actions or behaviors that are considered unacceptable in a specific social tradition. These taboos carry a negative reputation and are strictly prohibited. Therefore, individuals who choose to pursue forbidden occupations can be seen as committing a taboo in many cultures. For instance, certain parts of the world still do not view the fashion industry and electronic media, especially singing, as respectable professions.

    This is particularly true in Eastern, mainly Islamic, states where it is considered a violation if their children pursue a singing or dancing career. Likewise, modeling is seen as a taboo, being labeled as 'a mere display of prostitutes'.


    Family bonds are highly valued in certain cultures, such as in Turkey. They offer support and assistance during times of loneliness and despair.

    However, according to the researcher, households may face challenges in

    career choice due to parents' preference for their children to enter the "family business." For instance, if parents are doctors, they have a strong desire and expectation for their children to pursue the same profession. This also applies to a minister who wants his son to continue his legacy.

    Certain parents may pressure their children to pursue careers that align with their own unfulfilled desires. This can lead individuals to sacrifice their own personal interests and instead pursue those suggested and desired by their families. However, it has been observed that this often leads to a lack of fulfillment and a feeling of disinterest.

    Additionally, the advancement of technology also prevents some individuals from accepting and embracing their preferred profession.

    Engravers have been replaced by modern machines, as shown. Society now requires individuals to adhere to popular beliefs and discourages deviations (Helms, 1999). This is demonstrated by the decline in people opting for a medical career due to advancements in computational and technology fields. Hence, society expects individuals to embrace new trends in order to preserve their positions.


    There are several other social factors that can influence an individual's decision.

    When deciding on a profession, it is crucial to take into account the accessibility of job opportunities as well as the potential for earning a substantial income. The obligation of providing for one's family further magnifies the importance of this choice. Consequently, individuals are reluctant to pursue a career that does not provide a high salary and an esteemed social standing. It has been noted by the researcher that Turkish culture places additional significance on these aspects.

    The distinction between Rural and Urban categories, in addition to Upper,

    Middle and Lower categories, is determined by the nature and position of occupations. The Lower categories encompass ordinary occupations such as housework, while the in-between category includes government occupations and school instruction. On the other hand, the Upper category represents professions like physicians, scientists, and university instructors (Countries and Their Culture, 2005). Therefore, in this chapter, the researcher will analyze the topic from the perspectives of other researchers and studies. Additionally, they will observe the cultural aspects of Turkish civilization in particular to compare potential effects with Turkish culture.


    Research Doctrine

    In this chapter, the research worker is going to discuss the technical and practical details of his research. He will explain the methodology that he is going to follow to conduct his study, keeping in mind his research paradigm as well as various data collection and presentation methods. He is also going to address the ethical issues that he will consider while conducting this research, and will also examine the validity and reliability of the research tools that he is going to use.
    Research doctrine is the part of the research planning in which the research worker has to determine the order of his research. The research worker is going to adopt the inductive approach in his study. He will analyze the effects of specific aspects of Turkish culture and then will develop a hypothesis based on his observations.

    He will validate his hypothesis by collecting and analyzing data, allowing him to propose a theory for other researchers to later evaluate and validate.

    Research Paradigm

    Research paradigm refers to the belief system or framework of ideas that a researcher chooses to adopt when conducting their research. According to Guba

    and Lincoln, a paradigm can be seen as a collection of fundamental beliefs that deal with core principles.

    The text explains that a worldview determines how individuals perceive the universe, their place in it, and their possible relationships within it (1994: p. 107-108). The text presents three fundamental questions that outline a research paradigm:

    • The ontological question explores the form and nature of facts.
    • The epistemic question focuses on the fundamental beliefs concerning existing information.
    • The methodological question determines the methods to be used in discovering what can be known.

    Based on these three questions, researchers can choose from four basic research paradigms: Realism, Positivism, Constructivism, and Pragmatism. Realism emphasizes accepting facts and values practicality and exact truth.

    Positivism, constructivism, and pragmatism all represent different approaches to gaining knowledge. Positivism relies on acquired knowledge, while constructivism values introspection and personal experiences. Pragmatism focuses on the real-world practicality and effectiveness of information. Therefore, a researcher who engages in practical and valuable research aligns with the principles of pragmatism.

    Research Design refers to the ways in which an inquiry is structured, comparisons among variables are made, and hypotheses are tested. It can be approached from two perspectives: qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative research design involves obtaining data from a smaller group of respondents and does not involve statistical analysis. It relies on observations, interviews, or verbal interactions to derive information and focuses on the meanings and interpretations of the participants. This approach requires careful interpretation of the collected data in a descriptive form (Holloway and Wheeler, 1995: p. 223-232).

    On the other hand,

    quantitative research involves the analysis of numerical data to identify statistical relationships between variables in a rigid manner. These are scientific investigations that use numbers to measure characteristics, concepts, or things (Glossary). The researcher's main goal is to understand individual perspectives through interviews and by focusing on interpretive meanings, so he will use a qualitative research design. However, to make his research more robust, he will also utilize statistical and numerical figures obtained from various sources.

    Data Collection Methods

    Since the researcher is using a qualitative research design, he will conduct interviews with different subjects within a selected group of individuals and take note of their responses. This allows him the freedom to ask as many questions as necessary depending on the specific situation.

    The researcher has the ability to end his interview prematurely if necessary and can also change the direction of the questions if needed. The researcher plans to conduct semi-structured interviews where he will ask a few basic questions and will base his follow-up questions on the responses of the participants. This approach allows him to have a predetermined structure for the interviews while also allowing flexibility to explore topics as needed.

    Sample of Participants / Procedure

    The researcher intends to select at least 30 participants from a group of university students who have visited the career counselor. He will personally contact them and kindly request their participation, ensuring that he can gather unbiased and impartial information without significant obstacles.

    Ethical Considerations

    The researcher acknowledges the importance of privacy and anonymity in counseling and takes responsibility for addressing these ethical concerns. To ensure that interviewees can freely express their perspectives, their identities will not

    be disclosed. The interviews will be recorded on video with the interviewees' full consent. Additionally, the researcher will carefully document the interviewees' willing responses.

    In order to make it possible, he will obtain a written book of their interviews checked from them before acquiring it printed. Validity and Reliability The researcher believes that interviews are dependable sources of data collection. As he plans to record the transcripts of the interviews, he will be able to review his own responses repeatedly. He can also have it checked by other co-researchers to enhance the research's reliability and objectivity. This will also make the study more dependable.

    Approach to Analyze the Data once Collected As the interview is a qualitative tool of survey, the researcher will analyze all the responses in narrative form. In this way, he will be able to quote his interviewees when needed for clarity and confirmation. Additionally, he will be able to present his own perspectives objectively. In summary, the researcher is planning to conduct qualitative research based on pragmatism.

    He plans to collect information through interviews and analyze it using narrative. He will adhere to ethical regulations and ensure his paper does not contain fake or censored data. He considers his research design and tool reliable as he has taken into account human and cultural factors.


    In this chapter, the researcher will not only provide an overview of the study but also analyze the findings in a broader context. He has chosen a socio-cultural topic in relation to an economic aspect.

    The researcher emphasizes that a man's career choices are often influenced by cultural and societal factors, leading to obstacles and societal responsibilities. These factors prevent men

    from freely pursuing their desired careers. When seeking career counseling, individuals feel trapped between their own desires and societal obligations. The counselor must carefully consider these factors to ensure the person's mental stability and openness.

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