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.