Career optimism: a systematic review and agenda for future research

Nathan Eva, Alexander Newman, Zhou Jiang, Mandy Brouwer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This article systematically reviews empirical work on the antecedents and outcomes of career optimism. Based on a review of the 31 articles on career optimism spanning the last two decades (1998–2017), a framework which integrates findings from empirical work is developed, and a future research agenda presented. We highlight opportunities for empirical and theoretical advancement of the field, calling on researchers to draw on theories such as the conservation of resources, broaden and build and psychology of working theories to understand how career optimism develops and influences individuals’ vocational attitudes and behaviors. Further, we call on researchers to improve how they measure career optimism, improve the research designs they adopt, adopt multi-level approaches to understand how career optimism develops, undertake more work on the behavioral outcomes of career optimism, and examine the negative effects of career optimism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103287
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Career
  • Career optimism
  • Literature review
  • Optimism
  • Systematic literature review

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