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A career with a heart: exploring occupational regret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-169
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number3
Accepted/In press2 May 2019


King's Authors


Purpose: This paper explores the concept of career regret. It examines processes that give rise to it including social comparison, social influences on career choice and career satisfaction and explores its association with occupational commitment and intention to quit the profession.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Hypotheses were tested among 559 British cardiac physiologists, using an online survey and structural equation modeling.

Findings: Research propositions were supported; social influences and social comparison are both associated with career regret. Direct and indirect pathways were found between career regret, occupational commitment and intention to quit the profession.

Originality/Value: This paper is one of the first to investigate career choice regret and its associated psychological mechanisms.
Research limitations/implications: The paper provides a starting point for future career regret research using a range of methods.

Practical implications:
Careers advisers both at the point of career choice and within organizations should encourage realistic occupation previews. Managers should become aware of career regret and help to mitigate its effects – for example, facilitating job crafting or reframing of experiences.

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