Publication typeVlerick strategic journal article
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractWe all know people who want to make a change in their careers but do not act on this desire. Yet this phenomenon, recently labeled “career inaction” (Verbruggen & De Vos, 2020), has received almost no research attention to date. To address this gap and enrich our understanding of career inaction, this paper explores the lived experiences of 43 individuals characterized by inaction. Employing a qualitative research design and informed by the broader literature on psychodynamics, we find that people's experience of inaction is emotionally tense and situated among the interaction of three psychodynamic “me”-identifications: the “striving me,” the “comfortable me,” and the “uncertain me.” Our study further identifies various tension-easing strategies that help people ease the psychological strain of career inaction, even though their inaction often continued. Altogether, our study enriches and extends extant theorizing on career inaction and calls for a renewed focus on bounded rationality and emotionality in contemporary careers.
KeywordCareer Inaction, Career Decision-Making, Career Indecision, Individual Career Management Behaviors and Strategies, Career Transitions, Qualitative Research Methods
Knowledge Domain/IndustryHuman Resource Management
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The professional career on the right track. A study on the interaction between career self-management and organizational career management in explaining employee outcomesDe Vos, Ans; Dewettinck, Koen; Buyens, Dirk (European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 2009)This article explores the relationship between organizational career management and career self-management and addresses the impact on employee outcomes. Within six large organizations, a sample of 491 employees reported on their career self-management initiatives, on their expectations towards organizational career support, and on their commitment and career success. This was complemented by information from their supervisors on career management support offered by HR and line management to these employees. Results show that individuals who take more initiatives to manage their career expect more career support from their employer. Career self-management positively impacts affective commitment and perceived career success, while organizational career management is positively related with affective commitment and career progress. Career self-management moderates the relationship of organizational career management with affective commitment and subjective career success.
Proactive career behaviors and career success during the early careerDe Vos, Ans; Dewilde, Thomas; De Clippeleer, Inge (2009)The current article tests a model of proactive career behaviors and career success with two samples of graduates making the transition from school to work. Using structural equation modeling, we tested a theoretical model that specified the relationships among career goal, career planning, career self-management behaviors, and career success. A longitudinal panel study was conducted within two samples using a one year (sample 1) and three-year (sample 2) time lag between the first and second data collection. The results support the process model and suggest that at graduation career planning is affected by the importance attached to career progress. In turn, career planning is positively associated with career self-management behaviors. Both career planning and career self-management behaviors at graduation are positively related to career planning and career self-management behaviors one year later (sample 1) but in sample two, in which a three-year time lag was used, these relationships were no longer significant. Support is found for the relationship between career self management behaviors during early career and career satisfaction and salary. The findings are discussed in terms of their general implications for understanding the proactive career behavior process through which graduates affect their career success during the first years of their professional career.