Launching a career: inter-generational differences in the early career stage based on retrospective accounts

Lyons, Sean T., Ng, Eddy S., and Schweitzer, Linda (2014) Launching a career: inter-generational differences in the early career stage based on retrospective accounts. In: Parry, Emma, (ed.) Generational Diversity at Work: new research perspectives. Routledge, Abingdon, UK, pp. 148-163.

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Launching a career is one of the critical challenges of early adulthood. The early career stage, which generally occurs by age 30 (Shindul-Rothschild 1995) is a period of tremendous psychological changes, including organizational and occupational socialization, gaining professional competence and self-efficacy and earning the acceptance and respect of peers (Lynn et al. 1996). This foundational career stage is when career entrants form initial career expectations that may or may not be consistent with the reality of their subsequent experiences. Recent literature concerning generational differences (e.g. Twenge et al. 2010) and the changing nature of careers (e.g. Briscoe and Finkelstein 2009; Sullivan and Baruch 2009) suggests that the nature and experiences of today’s career entrants differ notably from previous generations. If so, traditional career counseling and life planning models may not be consistent with more contemporary career experiences (Burke and Ng 2006), requiring a new conception of the career cycle. In this qualitative study, we compare the early career experiences of members of three distinct generations (Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials) of Canadian workers. In order to overcome the limitations of cross-sectional research as a method of studying inter-generational career patterns, we employed in-depth interviews to attain guided retrospective narratives of the early careers of people from various generations. This study illustrates a useful means of qualitatively assessing generational differences. It contributes to the literature concerning generations and careers by analyzing first-hand accounts of the early career experiences of people who launched their careers in various historical eras, providing contextual evidence about the changing nature of careers through the words of career actors.

Item ID: 57877
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-203-58406-4
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2014 Emma Parry
Date Deposited: 13 May 2019 21:25
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150399 Business and Management not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910499 Management and Productivity not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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