Establishing a Career: Age 22–33

Another important activity during Levinson's entering the adult world (ages 22–28) and age‐30 transition (ages 28–33) stages is establishing a career. This process normally begins in college or trade school, where young adults prepare themselves to enter the work force. Young adults commonly explore various career options before settling into one field of work. However, this does not mean that once a young adult chooses a particular career path that he or she will not deviate from it. On the contrary, more and more adults are switching vocations, not just changing jobs within a field. For example, a psychology professor may decide after years of teaching undergraduates to become a church pastor.

As dual‐career marriages become more common, so do potential complications. If one spouse is unwilling to assist, the other spouse may become stressed over managing a career, taking care of household chores, and raising the children. And as attractive as equal division of parenting may seem, women in our culture still bear the primary responsibilities of child‐rearing. Conflicting demands may partly explain why married women with children are more likely to leave their jobs than are childless and single women.

Still, multiple roles can be positive and rewarding. If they are of sufficient quality, these roles may be associated with increased self‐esteem, feelings of independence, and a greater sense of fulfillment.