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Filtering by Tag: career orientations

A Whole-Life Perspective of Sustainable Careers: The Nature and Consequences of Nonwork Orientations

Andreas Hirschi

Hirschi, A., Steiner, R., Burmeister, A., & Johnston, C. S. (2019). A whole-life perspective of sustainable careers: The nature and consequences of nonwork orientations. Journal of Vocational Behavior. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2019.103319


Developing a sustainable career necessitates actively considering nonwork roles relative to one’s career. However, little is known about who is more or less likely to consider nonwork roles, and what consequences this entails for a sustainable career development. To address this issue, we investigated the nomological net of nonwork orientations (NWO) in two studies, with five samples (total N= 2,679). Study 1 explored the nomological net of NWO and found that among students and employees, people high in agreeableness more strongly considered the family and community role, whereas those high in extraversion and openness showed higher NWO for private life and community. Moreover, students and employees who endorsed self-transcendence work values scored higher on NWO. Study 2 examined how different combinations of NWO and work role commitment relate to work–nonwork conflict and enrichment with latent profile analysis. Across three samples including younger, age-heterogenous, and older workers, we identified five distinct profiles: average levels, work focused, personal life focused, family and personal life focused, and whole-life focused (i.e., high in NWO and work role commitment). Notably, people with a whole-life profile (between 6% and 29% of the samples) reported more work–nonwork enrichment, and a tendency for less work–nonwork conflict compared to individuals predominately focused on either work or personal life. Moreover, we found some meaningful age group differences which call for more research into lifespan dynamics in sustainable careers. Overall, the results of the studies help to better understand the meaning of NWO and how they relate to a sustainable approach to career development. 

Keywords: nonwork orientations; personality; work values; work commitment; work–nonwork interface

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Basic values, career orientations, and career anchors: Empirical investigation of relationships.

Andreas Hirschi

Abessolo, M., Rossier, J., & Hirschi. A. (2017). Basic values, career orientations, and career anchors: Empirical investigation of relationships. Frontiers in Psychology, 8(1556). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01556.


In today’s dynamic and uncertain career context, values play an important role for career choice and lifelong career self-management. Values are desirable goals that are sought by individuals to satisfy their needs and are important for understanding career orientations in terms of protean and boundaryless career orientations and career anchors. However, how career orientations or career anchors fit into a well-established and supported model and into the structure of basic human values remains an important and under-investigated question. The aim of this study was to use Schwartz’s model of structural values to empirically explore the relationships and structural correspondences among basic values, career orientations, and career anchors. A heterogeneous sample of 238 employees from French-speaking Switzerland (Mage = 35.60, SD = 13.03) completed the Portrait Values Questionnaire (PVQ5X), the Protean and Boundaryless Career Attitudes Scales (PCAS, BCAS), and the Career Orientation Inventory (COI) via an anonymous and confidential survey questionnaire. The results showed that it was possible to meaningfully position both career orientations and career anchors in Schwartz’s values structure. The protean and boundaryless career orientations were positively related to Schwartz’s basic values that emphasized openness to change and career anchors and meaningfully followed the motivational continuum of these basic values. Overall, the overlap among the basic values, career orientations, and career anchors appeared relatively important, suggesting that these basic values, orientations and anchors should be considered simultaneously to understand and address the factors and processes underlying individuals’ career choices and paths.