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Schein's Career Anchors

Updated on May 31, 2013

Eight Types of Values

Edgar Schein, a founder of modern psychology, proposed that everyone has a particular orientation towards their work-and that we tackle our tasks using a certain set of traits and values. These traits and values are referred to as your "Career Anchor." Oftentimes, someone chooses a career for the wrong reasons. They totally go against their anchors! When this happens they become unhappy, restless, and experience a decrease in productivity. So what is your anchor? Do you know? Do you want to find out?

So How do You Define a Career Anchor?

It is a combination of your perceived areas of competence, underlying motives, and the values you think are important relating to professional work choices.

The 8 Anchors

Find out What Works for You

Understanding your Anchors will not only help you find a job but also help you plan which career will be most satisfying to you. For example, if you find out you value Security/Stability you will be best suited to stable environments, rather than jobs that are ever-changing. People will be more fulfilled in their employment if they can find out what their Anchor is and find jobs that relate to it.

Technical/Functional Competence

People with this anchor tend to love being good at something. They will work to become an expert at whatever it is they do. They like a challenge when they can use their specialized skills to get it done quickly and accurately. These kinds of people will get jobs done more quickly and more efficiently than anyone else.

Managerial Competence

People who hold to this anchor value people and love to manage them. They like to solve problems and work closely with others. These people thrive on responsibilities. In order to be successful, they need emotional competence.


These people love to set their own rules, goals, and time tables. They need to be able to work at their own pace to be most effective. Normally, they will avoid standards and prefer to work alone.


Stability and continuity are the primary factors that determine what these people do. They avoid risk and conflict. These people are generally the "heavy-lifters" in teams.

Entrepreneurial Creativity

People who have this anchor are very creative and love to invent things. Ownership and Leadership are very important, but they also like to work with others. Most of all, they want to run their own business.

Service/Dedication to a Cause

These people are more dedicated to helping others than to solving their own problems. If a task falls outside of their skill set, they will still go after it with gusto. They like to help other people solve their problems.

Pure Challenge

People who have this career anchor love a challenge. They seek after constant stimulation and difficult projects. They normally seek for a varied career so things never get too "boring" for them.


These people are focused on their pattern of living. They are not likely to balance work life and home life. Instead, they integrate the two. This leads to long periods of work and little home time, and long periods of home time with little work.

Career Anchors Also Include:

Special Talents

Your Motives

Personal Beliefs

Your Attitude

It's basically what motivates you to try your hardest

What Values do You Value?

Schein's Career Anchors

See results

Motivational Book to Better your Career

Here are great books to help you learn more about your career and succeed. These all are very well known and have many rewards tied to them.

Career Anchors Video

All are Present!

Remember everyone has all of these anchors in someway some are just more apparent while others are rarely used, or thought of.

Career Anchor Feedback - Thoughts, anyone?

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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Keep up the good work!


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