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career success

Timothy A. Judge


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Career success is defined as the outcomes or achievements accumulated as a result of work experiences. It is important to understand the multiple definitions of career success as well as what determines it. Career success is an evaluative concept, since how success is defined depends on who does the judging. Career success as judged by others generally is determined by objective criteria. This type of success has often been referred to as extrinsic career success , and can be indexed by pay and ascendancy (e.g., job level, promotions). Most research implicitly has equated career success with extrinsic success. However, intrinsic career success – how individuals feel about their careers or their accomplishments (i.e., career satisfaction) – is also important. Korman (1980) found that many objectively successful managers felt dissatisfied with their jobs and lives. This finding has been replicated in many studies (e.g., Bray and Howard, 1988 ). Thus, intrinsic and extrinsic career success are not the same, and it is important to consider each when thinking of career success. On the other hand, this does not mean that extrinsic and intrinsic career success are unrelated. Past research suggests that intrinsic and extrinsic success are positively but moderately correlated. Data from a sample of 1,294 high‐level managers ( Judge et al., 1995 ) demonstrates this. Splitting the managers ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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