Self-esteem and extrinsic career success: Test of a dynamic model

John D. Kammeyer-Mueller, Timothy A. Judge, Ronald F. Piccolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


It has been proposed that one's self-esteem is both a cause and a consequence of one's extrinsic career success, but empirical research examining the direction of these effects is lacking. We tested a model which examines the relationships among self-esteem, education, occupational prestige, and income over a span of seven years during early careers. We use social identity theory to propose that self-esteem will be affected by extrinsic career success, and self-consistency theory to propose that extrinsic career success will be affected by self-esteem. Our results, based on a cross-lagged regression design, suggest that self-esteem increases occupational prestige (β =.22), and income (β =.22), but career outcomes did not alter self-esteem. Implications of these results for the study of self-esteem and careers are explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-224
Number of pages21
JournalApplied Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008


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