Is the future still open? The mediating role of occupational future time perspective in the effects of career adaptability and aging experience on late career planning

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Much research has sought to understand how people construct their careers; however, only little is known about the career construction of older workers. To understand how people construct their careers in later life, we take a lifespan development perspective on career construction theory. Specifically, we propose and test a model in which we take a closer look at older workers’ career adaptability and aging experience (i.e., physical loss, social loss, personal growth, and gaining self-knowledge) as relevant factors shaping their late career planning. Moreover, we explore whether these relationships are mediated by older workers’ occupational future time perspective as an important underlying mechanism between adaptability resources (i.e., career adaptability), experiences (i.e., aging experience), and adapting responses (i.e., late career planning). We test our model with two-wave longitudinal data from a sample of older workers (aged 50 to 79) based in the United Kingdom. Results show that occupational future time perspective mediated the positive effects of career adaptability and personal growth, as well as the negative effect of physical loss on late career planning. Overall, our findings contribute to a better understanding of late career construction and offers practical implications for older workers to purse activities that help them to successfully plan their late career.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Pages (from-to)24-38
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Part of this paper was supported by a grant from the German Research Foundation (ORA-plus project KL 2366/2-1 ).

    Research areas

  • Aging experience, Career adaptability, Career construction theory, Late career planning, Occupational future time perspective, Older workers
  • Business psychology