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Journal cover: Career Development International

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436
Previously published as: International Journal of Career Management
Incorporates: Executive Development

Online from: 1996

Subject Area: Human Resource Management

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Career as a vehicle for the realization of self


Document Information:
Title:Career as a vehicle for the realization of self
Author(s):Stephen J. Adamson, (The Human Resources Research Centre, School of Management, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedford, UK)
Citation:Stephen J. Adamson, (1997) "Career as a vehicle for the realization of self", Career Development International, Vol. 2 Iss: 5, pp.245 - 253
Keywords:Careers, Development, Graduates, Self-development
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/13620439710174651 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:Acknowledges that, for at least the last 30 years, both theoretical and practical definitions of career have emphasized structure, succession and status. Career has therefore been viewed as the sequence of attempts to move onward and upward through organizational hierarchies. Considers the development of career theory over a longer period, however, identifies a much wider range of interpretations of the concept. Taking these broader conceptions as a starting point, considers the career as a “vehicle” for the (continuous) realization of self. Drawing on examples of graduates’ own talk about their careers, argues that we can define the typical career as a sequence of developmental phases, each of which is delineated by a reported shift in the individual’s sense of self. Presents data which lend support to a theory of early career development in which this developing sense of self emerges. Discusses three meta-level phases: adjustment/reality shock; career success/self affirmation; and re-evaluation/congruence. Concludes with a consideration of both the theoretical and practical implications of this kind of approach to our understanding of organizational careers.



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