Career Commitment & Career Success: Mediating Role of Career Satisfaction

Article excerpt


Career success continues to be seen as an area of interest and exploration both in academia and practice. Career success is an evaluative concept based on individual perceptions associated with the term itself (Judge et al., 1999). London and Stumpf (1982) defined career success as the positive psychological or work related outcomes or achievements one has accumulated as a result of one's work experiences. Modern careers are being characterized by high degree of uncertainty due to changing environment. This has led to newer relationship between employers and employees being introduced (Park, 2010). Thus, careers have been described in fundamentally two different ways. Firstly, they can be described as being subjective reflections of the individual's own sense of his or her meaning derived from career. Secondly, they can be described as being objective reflections of the more observable positions, salary and status that serve as standards of gauging progress in society. Using the subjective standard for career success is one of the imperative characteristics of the contemporary career. Thus, modern career has emphasized the importance of subjective criteria for measuring career success (Heslin, 2005).

While, objective career success has been defined in terms of ascendency and salary progression, subjective career success has been defined in terms of learning, balancing work and family, career actualization, the degree to which employees are capable of realizing personal goals and values in their working career; quality of education received, role performed in the organization, career reflection and alignment of one's values to one's career. This has led to different criteria for evaluating them. To bridge the gap in academia and workplace by exploring subjective career success, the present study aims to study the effect of career commitment on career satisfaction with the mediating effect of career satisfaction. It argues that the effects of career commitment on career success can be facilitated by career satisfaction. Employees who exhibit high career commitment would increase their satisfaction to attain career success as opposed to those who are less committed and less satisfied.

Subjective Career Success

Today's emerging careers are characterized by high degree of mobility and unpredictability (Park, 2010), thus subjective careers been a critical area of research. Gattiker and Larwood (1986) sighted that unlike objective success criteria, subjective measures may detect important career outcomes that are not readily assessable from personnel records or by expert raters. They also indicated that Subjective Career Success is more of an internal perspective that refers to an individual's own disposition for development in a chosen occupation or profession. Subjective Career Success refers to individuals' evaluation of their career progress, accomplishments and anticipated outcomes, relative to their own goals and aspirations (Seibert et al., 2001). Previous studies have suggested that the term refers to the individual's evaluation of his or her own career on the basis of self-defined standards, aspirations and career stage (Gattiker & Larwood, 1986). Judge et al. (1995) defined career success as "the psychological or work related outcomes accumulated as a result of one's experience." Since subjective career success is based on personal evaluation of outcomes associated with one's career, it is quite plausible that many successful individuals may not feel accomplished despite having high salaries or holding influential positions in organizations. The subjective outcomes of career success such as career accomplishments or career mentoring are, therefore, relatively more internally assessed by individuals' own subjective judgments of career success (Poon, 2004; Aryee et al., 1994). Internal career success is frequently defined by psychological success which comes from the individual's feeling of pride associated with accomplishment of personal and professional goals in life such as achievement, inner peace and family happiness (Hall, 1996), and is judged by the self rather than the organization (Gattiker 8 Larwood, 1986). …