career anchor

a guiding force that influences people’s career choices, based on self-perception of their own skills, motivation, and values. The term was coined by Edgar Schein in Career Anchors: Discovering Your Real Values, published in 1985. He believed that people develop one underlying anchor, perhaps subconsciously, that they are unwilling to give up when faced with different pressures. Schein distinguishes several career anchor groups such as technical/ functional competence, managerial competence, creativity, security or stability, and autonomy.

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