Goal-setting in the career management process: An identity theory perspective

Lindsey M. Greco, Maria L. Kraimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

A common and important feature within models of career management is the career goal, yet relatively little is known about the factors influencing career goals and when and how career goal setting occurs. Drawing from Ashforth's (2001) model of role transitions we propose and test a model wherein mentoring experiences of early career professionals relate to short- and long-term career goals through professional identification. Using survey data collected at three points in time from 312 early career professionals, we find that psychosocial mentoring, but not career mentoring, positively relates to professional identification. For short-term goal outcomes, professional identification positively relates to extrinsic goals, intrinsic goals, and goals that are high quality (i.e., specific, difficult, to which one is committed). For long-term goal outcomes, professional identification positively relates to extrinsic and intrinsic goals, but not to goal quality. Instead, in the long-term goal model, psychosocial mentoring is directly related to goal quality. The theoretical and practical implications of this study for professional identification, career goals, and how mentors can facilitate career goals are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-57
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume105
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology

Keywords

  • Careers
  • Goal-setting
  • Mentoring
  • Professional identification

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