Journal of Career Development

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 89–101 | Cite as

How Early Is Too Early to Begin Life Career Planning? The Importance of the Elementary School Years

  • Carolyn S. Magnuson
  • Marion F. Starr


The relationship of early and middle childhood experiences to life career planning is discussed. Life career planning is presented as a life skill beginning in infancy. The authors present five premises on which they have based their discussion: Life career development is a life-long, spiraling process; Life career planning includes a series of sub-skills; Career awareness and career exploration form the foundation for effective life career planning; Idiosyncratic factors influence the decision-making of each person; and Child development theory (e.g., Erikson, Piaget and Vygotsky) and career development theory (e.g., Super and Gottfredson) are interrelated. Implications for practice are included.

child development and career development life career planning elementary school-aged children self concept career decision-making 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Berger, K. S. (2000). The developing person: Through childhood (2nd ed.). New York: Worth Publishers.Google Scholar
  2. Cole, M., John-Steiner, V., Scribner, S., & Souberman, E. (Eds.). (1978). L. S. Vygotsky Mind in Society: The development of Higher Psychological Processes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Drummond, R. J., & Ryan, C. W. (1995). Career counseling: A developmental approach. Englewood Cliffs: Merrill/Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  4. Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and society. (2nd ed.). New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  5. Gysbers, N. C., & Moore, E. J. (1975). Beyond career development-Life career development. Personnel and Guidance Journal, 53, 647-652.Google Scholar
  6. Herring, R. D. (1998). Career counseling in the schools: Multi-cultural and developmental perspectives. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.Google Scholar
  7. Isaacson, L. A., & Brown, D. (1997). Career information, career counseling and career development (6th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  8. Phillips, J. L., Jr. (1969). The origins of intellect: Piaget's theory. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company.Google Scholar
  9. Santrock, J. W. (2000). Children (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  10. Zunker, V. G. (1994). Career counseling: Applied concepts of life planning (4th ed.). Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carolyn S. Magnuson
    • 1
  • Marion F. Starr
    • 2
  1. 1.Lincoln UniversityJefferson City
  2. 2.Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Retired)USA

Personalised recommendations