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“New career” profiles for young adults incorporating traditional and protean career orientations and competencies

Sujin Kim (School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)
Michelle Hood (School of Applied Psychology and Centre for Work and Organisation Wellbeing, Gold Coast, Australia)
Peter Creed (School of Applied Psychology and Centre for Work and Organisation Wellbeing, Gold Coast, Australia)
Debra Bath (School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University, Mount Gravatt, Australia)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 22 August 2022

Issue publication date: 15 September 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

Using latent profile analysis, the authors explored the career profiles of young adult tertiary students (N = 468, 73.9% women; mean age 20 years) to determine the relative importance of traditional career orientation (TCO) and protean career orientation (PCO) beliefs for them.

Design/methodology/approach

Young adults studying at university can aspire to traditional career experiences as they believe organizations will support their professional and career development. However, since the development of newer career models, the TCO model has received little research attention compared to the PCO.

Findings

The authors found that the dominant profile exhibited average levels of TCO, PCO and career competencies, and that this mixed profile was associated with more mature career identity development and greater organizational commitment. A second profile, with low TCO, average PCO and career competencies, showed a similar level of career maturity to the mixed profile, but exhibited less organizational commitment. A third profile, with average TCO, low PCO and career competencies, especially vocational identity awareness, was related to less career development and organizational commitment.

Originality/value

The findings suggest that a mixed traditional-protean orientation is common in young adult tertiary students and that the development of a vocational identity is important for positive career outcomes, regardless of orientation.

Keywords

Citation

Kim, S., Hood, M., Creed, P. and Bath, D. (2022), "“New career” profiles for young adults incorporating traditional and protean career orientations and competencies", Career Development International, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 493-510. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-10-2021-0256

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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