This study examined how career starters (age: 26-33 years) experience work meaning and how their developmental network influences this sense of work meaning. Accordingly, we interviewed 16 career starters about how they sense purpose, values, self-efficacy, and positive self-worth in their work. Moreover, they shared how both work and non-work developers influence these work meaning processes. This study contributes to the discussion on how meaning of work contributes to “the good life” in two ways. First, this study contributes to the definition of the phenomenon of meaningful work, by exploring how the four basic human needs of Baumeister (1999) are translated into career starter’s work context. Next, we show how both work and non-work developers act as co-scripters of these processes. Career starters identified the importance of their developers’ need-supportive functions to their sense of work meaning, including (anti-) role modeling, provision of objectivity (purpose), forming communities to share values with (values), supporting the development of personal competencies (self-efficacy), benchmarking, and creating possibilities to express emotions (self-worth). In the discussion section, we highlight several questions that arise from this study.
|Title of host publication||ICA 2014: 64th annual conference of the International Communication Association, Seattle, 22-26 May|
|Place of Publication||Seattle|
|Publication status||Published - 22 May 2014|
|Event||64th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, ICA 2014: Communication and the “Good Life” - Seattle Sheraton Hotel, Seattle, United States|
Duration: 22 May 2014 → 26 May 2014
Conference number: 64
|Conference||64th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, ICA 2014|
|Period||22/05/14 → 26/05/14|
Janssen, S., Alberts, M., & van Vuuren, H. A. (2014). The role of developmental networks in career starters' meaning of work. In ICA 2014: 64th annual conference of the International Communication Association, Seattle, 22-26 May (pp. -). Seattle.