The proposition of career well-being concept follows the development trend of boundaryless career era. This concept is based on one’s intrinsic emotion and the change of career well-being is closely connected with one’s psychological dynamics, but the relevant studies ignore the necessity to analyze and explore its internal mechanism. In the article, it first gives a systematic review of career well-being concept and proposes that this concept has a close connection with time. By analyzing the two relevant concepts of career well-being that are career and subjective well-being, this article points out that career well-being is the result of one’s comprehensive feelings towards the past career experience, current career state and future career development. Based on that, it also discusses the relationship between self and career well-being concept, and emphasizes that self is embodied in the career well-being concept. Therefore, the following content starts with the self-discrepancy theory to explore the internal mechanism of career well-being. From the perspective of cognition, emotion, motivation and behavior, it first gives a general discussion on what specific forms people may have when their career well-being is influenced by self-discrepancy. In order to explore the internal mechanism of career well-being concept, it then combines the concept of time with actual self, ideal self and ought self to extend self-discrepancy theory types, and discusses how an individual’s career well-being changes under the impact of different self-discrepancy types. There are five main sections. The first one is the discrepancy within each kind of self-state. The discussion is about how the discrepancy in actual self, ideal self and ought self affects career well-being separately, and it relies on two considerations. One is about the feature of time in self-concept and that requires considering the past, present and future self; the other is about the self-contained characteristics of actual self, ideal self and ought self. The second one is actual self-ideal self discrepancy. While exploring the details on how this kind of self-discrepancy affects career well-being, this section focuses on two situations. It involves the discrepancy between actual self and ideal self in the same time period （e.g. present actual self-present ideal self discrepancy） and the discrepancy between actual self and ideal self that situates in distinct time period （e.g. past anticipated self-present ideal self discrepancy）. The third one is actual self-ought self discrepancy. The analysis about the impact of actual self-ought self discrepancy is similar to the one related to actual self-ideal self discrepancy. It contains the discrepancy between actual self and ought self in the same time period （e.g. future possible self-future ought self discrepancy） and the discrepancy between actual self and ought self in different time period （e.g. present actual self-future ought self discrepancy）. The fourth one is ideal self-ought self discrepancy. Due to the characteristics of these two self states, this section takes the time concept away in the analysis of how the discrepancy between them can influence an individual’s career well-being. The fifth one is the discrepancy caused by alternative self. Through taking a reference from Obodaru（2012）, this section proposes that alternative self should be considered while discussing the internal mechanism of career well-being concept, as people’s imagination towards their self state in the career also plays an important role in affecting their cognition, emotion, motivation and behavior （e.g. the negative emotion " regret”）. Thus this article enriches the internal mechanism of career well-being concept and compensates to the deficiency of existed studies through extending the self-discrepancy theory. At the end of this article, it also gives prospects to the relevant research fields.
Career Well-Being: An Analysis from the Perspective of Self-discrepancy Theory
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 40, Issue 11, pp. 101 - 115 (2018) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.2018.11.008
Cite this article
Zhu Linna, Weng Qingxiong, Gao Yong. Career Well-Being: An Analysis from the Perspective of Self-discrepancy Theory[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2018, 40(11): 101-115.
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