Taking a career motivation perspective, this study explored the establishment stage in the career development process. The set of “needs” that adult workers must meet in the settlement process was explored. Specifically, ability-based career identity was employed as the basis to develop “wants”—which has life as its direction and the pursuit of value as its core—in career development in a real working environment. We used personal construct theory, particularly its methodology, to conduct in-depth interviews with 30 full-time employees with 5-10 years of experience from various occupational fields, thereby exploring their career motivation in the career establishment stage. After reviewing their work experience, a repertory grid technique was adopted to explore the internal construction changes of their ideal career prior to entering the workplace and the perceived career characteristics at the initial career establishment stage and at present. Results showed that differences in career motivation characteristics between participants, for different periods, can be presented by categorizing and analyzing the core elements that constitute these career identity constructions. Moreover, differences in career construction were compared to illustrate changes in both the development process and the career action goals of the various participants with respect to the aforementioned career motivation. Furthermore, we discussed how the career motivation mechanism is activated and strengthened by self-reflection and career dialogue with others. Basic psychological needs are met through a process that comprises career identity, career beliefs and expectations (career self-efficacy and future career expectations), and goal-directed career behavior. Moreover, a sense of control is continually strengthened to meet the needs of competence and relatedness, deepen value-oriented career identity, and gradually increase both the satisfaction of autonomy needs as well as the realization of one’s sense of purpose in the career establishment process; in doing so, subjective career success is enhanced. This study contributed to establishing a theory suitable for explaining the career motivation that appears differently in the career establishment of adult Taiwanese workers. In addition, this study provided theoretical and practical recommendations on how to strengthen career motivation to facilitate action-taking.

Authors: Peter Yang, Jennifer Yang

Published in: Canada International Conference on Education, 2022

  • Date of Conference: 21-23 June, 2022
  • DOI: 10.20533/CICE.2022.0053
  • Electronic ISBN: 978-1-913572-49-5
  • Conference Location: Virtual (Mississauga, Canada)