The new career: myth or reality?

The new career: myth or reality?
The new career: myth or reality?

Principal speaker

Professor David Guest


There have been claims in the media and among some academics that the traditional organisational career is dead, replaced by a new independent career characterised as protean and boundaryless. This rise of the new career is said to have occurred as a result of changes within organisations and within society, including changes in career-related values. This paper presents evidence from a research program that has been exploring the idea of the new career and considering evidence about endorsement of its values and its impact on employee performance and well-being. In so doing it seeks to separate the myth and the reality.


David Guest is one of the leading academic experts on human resource management and related aspects of work and organisational psychology. He has a PhD in Occupational Psychology from London University. Before joining the London School of Economics in 1972 he was behavioural science adviser to British Rail and a research officer at Birkbeck College. David return to Birkbeck in 1990 and for ten years was Professor of Occupational Psychology and head of the Department of Organisational Psychology. He moved to King's College, London in 2000 where he has served as Head of The Department of Management and Deputy Head of the School of Social Science and Public Policy.

David is a past editor of the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology and the British Journal of Industrial Relations, and a current member of the editorial advisory board of a number of journals. He is also a member of the Board of the Institute of Employment Studies and Advisory Council of the Involvement and Participation Association.

David's current research and writing is concerned with the relationship between human resource management, organisational performance and employee well-being in the private and public sectors; the role of human resource departments; the individualisation of employment relations and the role of the psychological contract; flexibility and employment contracts; partnership and engagement at work; and the future of the career.

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