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career models

Timothy A. Judge


Career models describe the process by which individuals can best manage their careers in organizations. Three of the most prominent career models are reviewed below. Because most of these models lack support, however, they must be viewed cautiously. If inclusion in textbooks and practitioner publications is any indication, the most popular career model is the career life cycle. This model is reviewed elsewhere in this dictionary ( see career stages ) and therefore only a brief evaluation is provided here. The life‐cycle approach proposes that individuals progress through four career stages (e.g., exploration for individuals under age 30, establishment for individuals aged 30–45, maintenance for individuals aged 45–60, and disengagement for those over age 60). There are many problems with the life‐cycle model. Not all employees progress through these stages in the specified order (e.g., plateaued individuals often develop new careers). Also, workers begin second careers at any age, so age‐normed models are not particularly appropriate. Thus, while biological metaphors such as the life‐cycle model are popular, their utter lack of empirical support suggests they are somewhat simple‐minded. Career concepts are the assumptions people hold about their careers. The career concepts model assumes that most individuals possess one of four career concepts ( Driver, 1989 ). The linear concept ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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