Unconscious influences on a choice of a career: Implications for organizational consultation

A. Malach-Pines, O. Yafe-Yanai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The choice of a career is a highly significant and highly complex process that includes all the spheres of a person's life and continues throughout life. Psychodynamic theory makes a significant contribution to current models of career counseling and organizational consultation by adding the dimension of unconscious career choice. The unconscious determinants of vocational choice are internalized 'objects' and 'object relations' that reflect the individual's personal and familial history. People choose an occupation that enables them to replicate significant childhood experiences, fulfill needs that were unfulfilled in their childhood or actualize occupational dreams, professional patterns and expectations passed on to them by the familial heritage. The addition of the component of unconscious selection is critical to the full understanding of career choices and the prediction of success and satisfaction in that career. An example that demonstrates this point is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-511
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Health and Human Services Administration
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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