100 years of applied psychology research on individual careers: From career management to retirement

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This article surveys 100 years of research on career management and retirement, with a primary focus on work published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. Research on career management took off in the 1920s, with most attention devoted to the development and validation of career interest inventories. Over time, research expanded to attend to broader issues such as the predictors and outcomes of career interests and choice; the nature of career success and who achieves it; career transitions and adaptability to change; retirement decision making and adjustment; and bridge employment. In this article, we provide a timeline for the evolution of the career management and retirement literature, review major theoretical perspec- tives and findings on career management and retirement, and discuss important future research directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-563
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Mo Wang's work on this article was supported in part by the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences and research grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71571118 and Key Program 71132003).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Psychological Association.


  • Career choice
  • Career interests
  • Career success
  • Job loss
  • Retirement


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