Tout au long de leur vie active, les travailleurs prennent plusieurs décisions importantes quant à leur cheminement de carrière. Ces choix stratégiques de carrière ont été analysés, dans la littérature, d'abord selon une perspective dynamique (cf. les étapes de carrière), et plus tard selon une perspective plus statique (cf. les concepts de carrière). Le but de notre étude est de présenter une reformulation de la typologie de Driver susceptible de réconcilier l'approche dynamique et l'approche statique. En particulier, un élargissement théorique de la typologie de Driver est proposé afin de mieux saisir le phénomène des cheminements de carrière. Une étude empirique réalisée sur quatre-vingts travailleurs à la retraite permet de confirmer certains paramètres théoriques postulés.
Throughout their working lives, people make very important decisions concerning their career path. These strategic choices have been analyzed, in the literature, both from a dynamic perspective (i.e. career stages) and a more static perspective (i.e. career anchors). The objective of the present paper was to present a reformulation of Driver's typology which would reconcile both approaches; more specifically, we propose a theoretical extension of his typology which we believe better captures the phenomenon of career change. An empirical study undertaken on a population of eighty retired workers allowed us to confirm the theoretical extension.
Based on a large sample of U.S. workers at all levels of the organization, Driver identified four possible career paths. The first, the transitory is one in which no set job or field is ever permanently chosen. A person with a transitory career concept simply moves along from job to job with no particular pattern. In contrast, the steady state career concept is that one selects a job or field early in life and stays with it for life. The linear career concept is one in which a field is chosen fairly early in life and a plan for upward movement within that field is developed and executed. The spiral career concept involves a view that one develops in a given field for a period of time; then, one moves on to a related or perhaps a totally new area in five to seven year intervals.
Based on our own previous studies on Canadian samples, it would appear that the four pure types in Driver's typology did not give a complete grasp of all the complexities of the career path.
The result of our theoretical analysis was to identify a fifth type not recognized by Driver. We have called this type the careerist. Whereas the linear individual corresponds to the young Turk in a organization, the careerist is more akin to the average individual who, every five to seven years, experiences vertical mobility, but, in his job field.
An empirical study was undertaken to verify the existence of the careerist category suggested by the theoretical analysis. Eighty individuals — retired workers and workers very close to retirement — participated in the survey. Each respondent filled in a series of questionnaires and personality inventories, all of which required between ten and fifteen hours of work. On the career questionnaire, each individual was asked to choose the paragraph that best described his or her overall working life from the five paragraphs describing different career paths. The most interesting point to emerge was that 22% of the sample identified with the careerist type path, thus confirming our premises. As well, significant personality and job satisfaction elements appear across the various career path types. The reformulation of Driver's typology is of interest because it enables: (1) systematization of Driver's pure types; (2) indication of the presence of another possible pure type (careerist); (3) introduction of dynamic aspects in career type analysis and (4) systematization of recent empirical breakthroughs in the dynamics of change in career type.
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