A whole-life perspective of sustainable careers: The nature and consequences of nonwork orientations

Hirschi, Andreas; Steiner, Rebekka; Burmeister, Anne; Johnston, Claire S. (2019). A whole-life perspective of sustainable careers: The nature and consequences of nonwork orientations. Journal of vocational behavior, 117, p. 103319. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jvb.2019.103319

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Developing a sustainable career necessitates actively considering nonwork roles relative to one's career. However, little is known about who is more or less likely to consider nonwork roles, and what consequences this entails for a sustainable career development. To address this issue, we investigated the nomological net of nonwork orientations (NWO) in two studies, with five samples (total N = 2679). Study 1 explored the nomological net of NWO and found that among students and employees, people high in agreeableness more strongly considered the family and community role, whereas those high in extraversion and openness showed higher NWO for private life and community. Moreover, students and employees who endorsed self-transcendence work values scored higher on NWO. Study 2 examined how different combinations of NWO and work role commitment relate to work–nonwork conflict and enrichment with latent profile analysis. Across three samples including younger, age-heterogenous, and older workers, we identified five distinct profiles: average levels, work focused, personal life focused, family and personal life focused, and whole-life focused (i.e., high in NWO and work role commitment). Notably, people with a whole-life profile (between 6% and 29% of the samples) reported more work–nonwork enrichment, and a tendency for less work–nonwork conflict compared to individuals predominately focused on either work or personal life. Moreover, we found some meaningful age group differences which call for more research into lifespan dynamics in sustainable careers. Overall, the results of the studies help to better understand the meaning of NWO and how they relate to a sustainable approach to career development.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Hirschi, Andreas and Steiner, Rebekka Simone


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology








Christine Soltermann

Date Deposited:

25 Feb 2020 15:52

Last Modified:

22 Mar 2020 02:49

Publisher DOI:






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