Career Anchoring Pattern


Category: Assessments
Code: 1102

Helps determine your talents, motives, values and other forces which have guided, constrained and/or integrated you into your worklife.

Dr. Edgar Schein first coined the term 'Career Anchors' in his book, 'Career Dynamics: Matching Individual and Organizational Needs.'

Career Anchor Theory

This has been subject to limited further research, despite being widely used as a career tool within organisations. Dr. Schein suggested that each of us has an 'occupational self-concept' based on our actual work experience. As we look back over what we have done and how we have worked, we can discover our perception of our talents, abilities, motives, needs, attitudes, and values. When we move into settings which fail to meet our needs or are likely to result in failure, it’s the ‘anchor’ in us that pulls us back to something more to our liking. We prefer certain work styles and work rewards because of our internal anchoring pattern.

The Career Anchoring Pattern helps the respondent determine the talents, motives, values, and other forces which have guided, constrained, and/or integrated them into worklife. It also assists in identifying their anchor and assess the impact of that anchor on career decisions. They will look at work history by answering questions about actual experiences. Responses may be exactly or somewhat similar to what occurred in the situations described. Fifteen job-related situations are presented. The participant ranks in order each of the five lettered responses to each situation.

The results are then interpreted in detail enabling the participant to understand more fully their Career Anchoring Pattern. This will help them to take control of their career by formulating a 3-step action plan.


• Identify the kind of opportunities you wish to pursue

• Specify the relevant contributions important for your job situation

• Generate a list of criteria to evaluate new opportunities


• Evaluate each new career opportunity using these criteria


• If you decide not to accept a new position, pay attention to certain criteria involved in the decision

• What to do when you decide to accept a new position

Attribute name Attribute value
FORMAT Instrument
OBJECTIVE To enable a participant to take control of their career
AUDIENCE All organisation members
AUTHOR Gerald Pavloff

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