Career anchors and job satisfaction: the mediating effect of psychological empowerment
This article develops a conceptual model of the relationship between career anchors, psychological empowerment and job satisfaction. In line with the new business oriented understanding of career, today's organisations expect their employees to manage their own careers. Consequently, most organisational development programs targeting competitive advantage in the workplace affect employees attitudes and behaviours. Therefore, employees as individuals have to understand their own self-perceived talents, motives, needs, attitudes and values that can increase job satisfaction and enhance organisations' goals. Career anchors can help individuals to make decision as well as guide and stabilise career orientations. However, in responding to current market demands, the way the individuals look at their internal careers and perceived the meaningfulness at work have changed dramatically. Career anchors of individuals may not any more reflect their actual career anchors but rather their attempts of adjusting to the work environment and various social demand factors. As self-enhancement and self-reinforcement are applied in the workplace, individuals are required to initiate and innovate themselves in the rapidly changing work environment. In this sense, psychological empowerment plays an important role in reflecting individuals intrinsic task roles motivation. Psychologically, the individuals use autonomy and freedom to take decisions to perform the various tasks in the workplace. The fit between self-concept and work roles strongly influences the feeling of empowerment and indirectly impacts on the levels of job satisfaction. It is then argued that the psychological empowerment mediates an individual's career anchors and job satisfaction. This conceptual paper reviews the extant literature on career anchors, psychological empowerment and job satisfaction, and proposes a model of the relationship among these variables.