The nomological network of self-management strategies and career success

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Changes in the labour market require people to show more self-management than before if they want to succeed. The present research was conducted to analyse the nomological network of general self-management strategies (i.e. selection of goals; optimization as implementation of goal-pursuing behaviour), specific self-management strategies (i.e. career planning) and central indicators of career success, i.e. objective career success (pay, position), self-referent subjective success (career satisfaction), and other-referent career success (comparative judgment). In a large sample of professionals (N=1,185), we found in support of our hypotheses that the generalized strategy of optimization was linked to the domain-specific strategy of career planning, and that domain-specific career planning was directly linked to all outcome measures. The generalized strategy of optimization was directly linked to subjective success, but only indirectly to objective success. The link from self-management to subjective success was independent of objective success. Most interestingly, and in accord with our social comparison assumption, objective success was more closely linked to other-referent success than to self-referent success. Implications for career research and career counselling are discussed.

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