Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers
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Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers

Edited by Ans De Vos and Beatrice I.J.M. van der Heijden

What is a sustainable career and how can individuals and organizations develop pathways that lead to them? With current levels of global unemployment and the need for life-long learning and employability enhancement these questions assume a pressing significance. With twenty-eight chapters from leading scholars, the Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers makes an important contribution to our understanding of sustainable careers and lays the foundation for the direction of future research.
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Chapter 15: Building a sustainable career: the role of work–home balance in career decision making

Sara De Hauw and Jeffrey H. Greenhaus


Several economic, organizational and societal trends in the new work environment have emphasized the need for contemporary employees to take charge and build sustainable careers in which they remain employable, healthy and happy over the long term. To do so, employees need to proactively shape their own career trajectory through a series of important career decisions, such as the decision to move upwards, to become self-employed or to start working part-time. According to contemporary career theories, such as the kaleidoscope career, a key driver of career decisions is work–home balance. To date, however, it remains unclear how work–home balance drives career decisions. To get an insight into this process, we have developed a model explaining how employees’ experiences of low or high work–home balance induce feelings of frustration or satisfaction respectively, which stimulates employees to make different career decisions focusing on a reduction of job demands and/or an increment of job resources. These different career decisions, in turn, influence the sustainability of careers by impacting employees’ health and employability.

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