ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (5): 794-803.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.00794

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Future work self: Concept, measurement and related research

ZHANG Min1; YE Maolin1; PENG Jian1; CHEN Yushuai2   

  1. (1 School of Management, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China) (2 Center for Studies of Psychological Application/School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China)
  • Received:2015-06-29 Online:2016-05-15 Published:2016-05-15
  • Contact: YE Maolin, E-mail:


Future work self (FWS), a future-oriented concept, refers to representation of the self in the future that reflects individual’s hopes and aspirations in relation to work. FWS is the application of possible self in the field of work, and provides us with a new perspective for understanding the motivation of proactive career behaviors. Distinct from occupational possible self, FWS has two critical attributes, i.e., future work self salience (FWSS) and future work self elaboration (FWSE). At present, empirical studies have suggested that self-esteem, proactive personality and career exploration can predict FWS, while FWS can influence proactive career behaviors, job search outcomes, creativity and job performance. Future research should focus on FWS elasticity and accessibility, the predicting effect of cognition, the mediating effect of emotions, the moderating effect of leadership styles and intervention effect.

Key words: future work self, salience, elaboration, proactive career behavior