How romantic relationships affect individual career goal attainment: A transactive goal dynamics perspective
Despite the importance of career goals for career self-management, we know little about the self-regulatory processes underlying career goal attainment. In this study, we draw on transactive goal dynamics theory to investigate whether and how romantic relationships impact career goal attainment. For testing our research model, we focused on the career goal of being successful in a political election, and gathered survey and objective data from politicians at three measurement points (N = 108). As hypothesized, our path analysis showed that relationship closeness facilitated career goal attainment through shared career goals and an increase in the available shared pool of resources. We further explored the moderating role of goal coordination in this process, and found that a high goal conflict undermined the indirect effect of relationship closeness on career goal attainment whereas goal facilitation had no moderating effect. Finally, we found no support for the hypothesized effect of relationship duration on shared career goals and career goal attainment. Our findings indicate that romantic relationships can facilitate career goal attainment and that partners' goal coordination is a relevant boundary condition of this process. Our study thus highlights the value of integrating career research and work-home research. Practically, our results imply that individuals should gain their partner's support for their career goals, and that supervisors can facilitate employees' career development by enabling them to capitalize on home-domain resources such as their romantic relationship. According to our findings, career counselors can assist their clients' career self-management by preventing goal conflicts with their partner.