Assessing career preference cohesiveness

Aviva Shimoni, Tony Gutentag, Itamar Gati*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goal of the present research was to assess individuals' aspect-based career preference cohesiveness. Cohesive preferences are well-defined and focused, and high preference cohesiveness facilitates career decision-making. Career aspects are factors individuals consider during career decision making, such as what major to choose (e.g., length of courses or programs, using analytical skills), what college to attend (e.g., prestige, scholarships), and what job to choose after graduation (e.g., prospects of advancement, income, teamwork, need to travel). There are three facets to individuals' aspect-based career preferences: the relative importance of the aspects (e.g., work environment), the optimal within-aspect level (e.g., working ‘only indoors’), and the individual's willingness to compromise on additional within-aspect levels (e.g., ‘mostly indoors’). Considering these facets, Study 1a operationalized three preference cohesiveness indicators – differentiation among the aspects, consistency between pairs of related aspects, and coherence among different facets of the same aspect – and developed an overall indicator for assessing preference cohesiveness. These indicators were tested on the career preferences of 246 young adults deliberating about their future career. In Study 1b, the hypothesized positive association between individuals' career preference cohesiveness and their career decision status was supported. Study 2 validated the proposed indicators of preference cohesiveness using the expert judgments of 20 career counselors and 81 graduate students in psychology and counseling. The theoretical and practical implications for career counseling are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-63
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Career aspects
  • Career counseling
  • Career decision making
  • Career-related preferences
  • Cohesiveness of career preferences
  • Prescreening


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