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Research Projects

Current research projects and research themes


Together with my team at the University of Bern and in cooperation with international colleagues we are currently working on these topics:

  • Integrating work and family in career development

  • Career development of older workers

  • Work motivation and career orientations of adolescents

  • Self-directed career management

  • Causes and consequences of career insecurity

  • Personality and career success


Integrating work and family in career development

The modern career demands a successful integration of work and family. We are investigating how people take work and family into account in their career development and how work and family influence each other.

The increase in flexible work arrangements, in the increasing number of women in the workforce, and generational shifts in work values have led to a closer connection between the work and family. Many work decisions, such as which occupation to choose or if to pursue a leadership career, are affected by family factors. Based on surveys of working women and men in different career stages, we investigate how individuals consider family issues when managing their careers and what such a consideration implies for career development and career success. 

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Publications related to this Project

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Career development of older workers

Demographic change leads to an aging workforce in many countries. We explore how individuals can achieve a positive career development in old age and how organizations can promote older employees in their professional development.

Older employees are equipped with a wealth of experience and expertise. But they are also in a career phase that poses new demands and challenges. The late career phase and the transition to retirement are not only a continuous withdrawal from the labor market but a new, active career phase. We explore what factors are particularly important for a positive work experience of older employees. We are also investigating how individuals and organizations can successfully manage careers before, during, and after the transition to retirement.



We are investigating among Swiss adolescents in school and vocational training how attitudes towards work emerge and change over time.

The transition from from compulsory education to vocational education and training as well as the successful completion of vocational training are two of the most important phases of professional development for the majority of young people in Switzerland. We examine on the basis of several groups of a total of more than 2,000 young people in school and vocational training the personal and environmental requirements that determine the development of different attitudes towards work. The project provides impetus for career guidance, career education, and vocational educational and training. We also increase knowledge about how the positive entry of young people in professions can be optimally promoted.

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Self-directed career management

We investigate how people can successfully manage their careers in a self-directed and active way. We also explore which competencies, attitudes, and contextual factors are important promoters of career self-management.

Today's world of work increasingly demands self-responsibility in the development of one’s own career – with important implications for career success, quality of work, and for the overall quality of life. Our research examines the active management of careers as a dynamic interaction of career orientations, career engagement, and personal and organizational context. The aim of this research is to achieve a better understanding of how people construct work and career as a central area of their lives and how this is related to factors such as career success, job satisfaction, work quality, and involvement in organizations. The results expand our knowledge about conditions, processes, and effects of career self-management for individuals and organizations. Our research also offers implications for individual career planning, career counseling, and human resources management.


Causes and consequences of career insecurity

Career insecurity is increasingly present in our society and is mainly associated with negative outcomes. We investigate the causes and consequences of career insecurity.

This research project has several objectives. The first is to better understand what career insecurity is and how it can be measured. The second aim is to investigate causes of career insecurity at the individual, organizational, and societal level. Third, the possible consequences of career insecurity are examined. To achieve these goals, we conduct various interviews and surveys among workers in Switzerland. The results contribute to a better understanding of how persons and organizations can achieve more secure and therefore more sustainable career development.

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Personality and career success

We explore the relationship between personality and career success. For this purpose several groups of workers are surveyed and representative data from the Swiss and German workforce are analyzed.

Characteristics of people influence their career choices and career development. An important personal characteristic are the relatively stable behavioral preferences of a person - their personality. This project examines the extent to which personality characteristics influence career choice and professional success, with a specific focus on gender differences. The project includes an analysis of data from the Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS) regarding the current state and the historical development of people in different psychological types of professions rise. We are also using the Swiss Household Panel (SHP) data, to examine how personality traits predict the type of job people occupy and whether this relationship differs for men and women. Finally, this project investigates how personality characteristics determine career success. The project will contribute to a better understanding of the structure of the Swiss labor market from a psychological perspective. Moreover, it expands our knowledge how personality traits, gender, and career success are related.