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date: 27 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Although careers are an important part of people’s lives, career constructs have not always been well represented in the work–family (WF) literature. Accordingly, this chapter is written as a resource for WF scholars by providing a concise review of the rich career literature dating back over 100 years to show how conceptualizations of careers have evolved over time, with examples of key psychological and sociological theories that have enriched our understanding of careers. We also draw on the WF literature to illustrate how early career theories and concepts are still being applied to WF issues. We then focus on contemporary career theories and conceptualizations that reflect today’s turbulent work environment, and thus differ from traditional perspectives. In addition, we review the recent WF literature to examine how well these contemporary views of careers are represented, with examples of WF literature that illustrate the insights they offer. The chapter concludes with suggestions for further integration of ideas and constructs from the career literature in future WF research.

Keywords: Career development, Career theory, Work–family conflict, Work-life balance, Work and family, Identity, Adaptability, Career management, Values

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