The aim of this study was to determine the content and structure of professional self-fulfilment and to develop a method for assessing this phenomenon. Personal self-fulfilment and professional self-fulfilment were defined based on a review of the theoretical literature. This review identified five main attributes of internal professional self-fulfilment and five attributes of external professional self-fulfilment, which together form the overall structure of professional self-fulfilment. The Professional Self-Fulfilment Questionnaire (PSFQ) consists of 30 items, which were developed based on the aforementioned structure of professional self-fulfilment. This questionnaire provides quantitative indicators for an individual’s level of professional self-fulfilment, levels of internal and external professional self-fulfilment and manifestations of 10 basic attributes of professional self-fulfilment. This study presents the results for the indicators describing the standardisation of the Russian-language version of the PSFQ. The proposed English-language version of the PSFQ, published for the first time in this article, can be widely used.
Keywords: professional self-fulfilment, personal self-fulfilment, self-actualisation, psychological assessment, professional growth
The first research on the phenomenon of self-fulfilment began to appear in scientific journals in the late 1960s to mid-1970s. These studies examined the religious and philosophical aspects of self-fulfilment (Kelly, 1975; Sobosan, 1977), its importance in nurses’ training and work (Burgess, 1975; Kovacs, 1977) and its relevance to the education of university students (Glatthorn, 1969). An overwhelming number of subsequent self-fulfilment studies focused on the latter direction (Eckenfels, 1997; Loginova, 2017; Popov, 2017; Mikhailova, Kudinov, & Jerez, 2015; Baygi, Ghonsooly, & Ghanizadeh, 2017; Shutenko et al., 2017; Shutenko et al., 2018; Ghanizadeh, Makiabadi, & Navokhi, 2019). A few other studies addressed the issue of self-fulfilment among aged care residents (Brownie & Horstmanshof, 2012) and adults (Taylor, 2011).
With the exception of the aforementioned studies about nurses’ self-fulfilment, studies investigating the individual aspects of professional self-fulfilment have only appeared relatively recently and are not numerous (Bulatova & Nizamova, 2019; Byundyugova & Kornienko, 2015; Kokun, 2014, 2015; Oliveira-Silva, Porto, & Arnold, 2019; Vedernikova & Shilov, 2013). This can be considered a major drawback in the study of self-fulfilment, as professional self-fulfilment is one of the most important components – and, indeed, the main form – of personal self-fulfilment for most people.
The importance of professional self-fulfilment
We are in complete agreement with Gewirth (1998) – one of the most famous researchers of self-fulfilment – who noted that the search for a good human life is the search for self-fulfilment. Byundyugova and Kornienko (2015) rightly pointed out that today, the issues of self-fulfilment, personal efficiency and competitive performance have become even more critical in light of the increased speed of life, the need for complicated processing of significant volumes of information, and high levels of competition, particularly in professional work. In a society where individual growth is championed and cultivated, the question of what allows people to progress toward advanced stages of self-fulfilment is increasingly of interest to both employers and psychologists (Ivtzan et al., 2013). After all, the development of an individual’s innovative activities is impossible without the goals, values and motives of self-fulfilment (Mikhailova et al., 2015).
Professional self-fulfilment has attracted increased attention due to rapid changes in the world and, in particular, the professional sphere. Significant changes in the content and methods of work in many professions have led to phenomena like globalisation, financialisation and organisational changes (Allan, Faulconbridge, & Thomas, 2019; Choroszewicz & Adams, 2019; Noordegraaf, 2016), as well as changes in social and economic relationships (Byundyugova & Kornienko, 2015). Bulatova and Nizamova (2019) noted that social structures and institutions have tended to become more flexible, mobile and changeable and are characterized by instability and insecurity. Accordingly, the labour practices, professional trajectories and careers of young people have also become unstable.
Therefore, research on the phenomenon of professional self-fulfilment is both necessary and challenging due to accelerated scientific and technological progress and the rapid economic, social and spiritual transformations taking place in modern society. Such research should help create meaningful lifelong guidance for professionals in different specialties to find and strengthen personal meaning in terms of professional self-fulfilment. In our opinion, problems related to the meaning of life – in particular self-fulfilment – can generally be posed and solved only in the context of broad ideas about the universe, the world, human nature and human purpose.
On the necessity of the development of a professional self-fulfilment assessment technique
The use of varied scientific approaches has led to significant contradictions in the understanding of the content of (and the absence of a single definition for) professional self-fulfilment, as well as the more general concept of personal self-fulfilment. Even if the phenomenon of professional self-fulfilment has been studied to some extent in scientific research, the methods for its assessment have not yet been developed, and proper experimental studies have not been conducted.
The methods used in self-fulfilment studies with different samples have assessed the manifestations of this phenomenon rather indirectly. For example, Baygi et al. (2017) and Ghanizadeh et al. (2019) assessed self-fulfilment with the Measurement of Actualization of Potential (MAP) instrument, which is composed of five sub-scales: openness to self, openness to others, openness to life, adaptability and autonomy. However – as is clear from their names – these sub-scales measure not an individual’s self-fulfilment, but certain personal qualities that can only be considered possible internal preconditions for self-fulfilment.
In their study of self-fulfilment, Ivtzan et al. (2013) used the Personal Orientation Inventory (POI), which is intended to measure self-actualisation with 10 sub-scales: self-actualising value, existentiality, feeling reactivity, spontaneity, self-regard, self-acceptance, nature of man, synergy, acceptance of aggression and capacity for intimate contact. However, given that self-actualisation and self-fulfilment are far from identical concepts, these sub-scales (like those in the MAP) can also only be considered possible preconditions for self-fulfilment.
E. Shutenko et al. (2017) and A. Shutenko et al. (2018) studied self-fulfilment with a survey consisting of several open-ended questions (e.g. ‘What does self-fulfilment in studies and university life mean to you?’, ‘Is it possible to achieve self-fulfilment in the course of studying?’, ‘What does students’ self-fulfilment depend on?’, ‘What helps and what complicates your self-fulfilment at university?’, and ‘What is the mission of the university in achieving students’ self-fulfilment?’). However, as can be seen from the content of these questions, it is almost impossible to determine self-fulfilment quantitatively for each respondent.
The only tool that has recently been developed for professional self-fulfilment research is the Professional Fulfilment Scale (Oliveira-Silva et al., 2019), which consists of only four questions. In our view, this scale cannot be regarded as a full-fledged technique for professional self-fulfilment assessment because it considers only one aspect of this phenomenon – namely, achievement of career goals. For this reason, the present study aims to determine the content and structure of professional self-fulfilment and to develop a method for its assessment: the Professional Self-Fulfilment Questionnaire (PSFQ).
Stages of the study
In the first stage of our study, we performed an analytical review of the scientific literature in the field of self-fulfilment to determine the main features of this phenomenon and to substantiate the core concepts of personal and professional self-fulfilment. In the second stage, the Ukrainian and Russian versions of the PSFQ were developed using the general scheme of test development (Lane, Raymond, & Haladyna, 2015).
We conducted a remote online survey using the Russian language website http://prof-diagnost.org. This website was developed on the basis of our psychological diagnostic approach to remote professional diagnostics (Maksymenko & Kokun, 2019). The results of this survey were used to standardize the PSFQ.
In total, 1,183 skilled Russian-speaking respondents from different countries (mainly the Russian Federation and Ukraine) of all ages and professions participated in the study. However, only 332 respondents (113 men and 219 women) filled out all proposed questionnaires and were thus ultimately selected for inclusion in the results. The general characteristics of the participants are described in Table 1.
All participants were informed that their participation in the study was voluntary and that they could refuse to participate or withdraw from the study at any time. Participants were informed that there were no right or wrong answers and were encouraged to respond candidly. Complete confidentiality was assured. Only de-identified data was used in the statistical analysis. We recorded only general data about respondents, such as gender, age, profession and whether they had subordinates in the workplace. Participants were motivated to participate in the study by the automatic presentation of their results on the PSFQ, which was accompanied by a psychological and professional interpretation.
The software package SPSS version 22.0.0 was used to conduct statistical analysis. Descriptive statistics (mean [M] and standard deviation [SD]), independent sample t-tests and Cronbach’s alpha were used to analyse the data. The data was normally distributed according to the one-sample Kolmogorov–Smirnov test.
Substantiation of the content and structure of professional self-fulfilment
Analysis of forms, attributes and conditions of self-fulfilment
Gewirth (1998) emphasized that self-fulfilment has an individual as well as an important social dimension. The kind of society in which a person lives strongly affects the character of the self-fulfilment that they can achieve. As Vedernikova and Shilov (2013) pointed out, the problem of human self-fulfilment can be researched at three levels in the social sciences and humanities: questions about the essence of a human being and the subject matter of the self-fulfilment process are solved at the philosophical level, as are questions related to the ways that an individual can experience self-fulfilment under unique social and cultural conditions. Finally, according to these authors, both personal qualities and the specific conditions of the environment which allow for an individual’s efficient self-fulfilment are examined at the psychological level.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualisation is the desire for self-fulfilment, namely the tendency for one to become everything that one is capable of becoming (Brownie & Horstmanshof, 2012). Gewirth (1998) examined two modes of self-fulfilment: ‘aspiration-fulfilment’ and ‘capacity-fulfilment’. Haybron (2008), in contrast, identified the types of self-fulfilment as desire-fulfilment, nature-fulfilment and capacity-fulfilment, while Mikhailova et al. (2015) selected three possible types of self-fulfilment as the most important: 1) active self-fulfilment, characterized by successful self-expression in a variety of activities due to high professional competence; 2) social self-fulfilment, associated with the implementation of a humanitarian mission and engagement in socio-economic, socio-political, socio-educational or other socially useful activities; and 3) personal self-fulfilment, referring to promoting spiritual growth and the first stages of personal potential development (responsibility, curiosity, sociability, diligence, perseverance, initiative, knowledge, creativity, morality and so on).
Haybron (2008) maintained that self-fulfilment consists partly of authentic happiness and is incompatible with lacking autonomy. Baygi et al. (2017) referred to self-fulfilling attributes as achievement of goals, mastery orientation or mastery goals. Individuals with such attributes perceive challenging tasks not as undefeatable obstacles, but as rewarding and enjoyable undertakings. Self-fulfilment signifies a life well-lived – a life that is deeply satisfying, fruitful, and worthwhile (Gewirth, 1998).
Byundyugova and Kornienko (2015) emphasized that an individual’s abilities may be fulfilled to the fullest extent only if that individual carries out socially important activities and if the fulfilment of such activities is determined not only by external factors (social needs) but by the individual’s internal needs. Only in such instances do activities become self-activities and fulfilments of an individual’s abilities become self-fulfilment. The final result of personal self-fulfilment is an individual’s feeling of satisfaction with life as the highest goal and main motive of human conduct, invoking the development of their inclinations and abilities.
Relation of self-fulfilment to similar concepts
Byundyugova and Kornienko (2015) rightly pointed out that research on the essence of the self-fulfilment phenomenon should take into account its interrelation with and difference from similar notions – self-development, self-determination and self-actualisation – and should consider that not all scholars agree that the above concepts are similar. Self-fulfilment and self-actualisation, which are much alike, are treated as synonymous in some scientific work. Maslow’s (1998) hierarchy of needs identifies four bottom-up deficiency needs (physiological, safety, friendship and self-esteem) and three top-down being needs (cognitive, aesthetic and self-actualisation or self-fulfilment). The top of Maslow’s hierarchy is known as self-actualisation or self-fulfilment (Baygi et al., 2017).
According to Byundyugova and Kornienko (2015), a major difference between self-fulfilment and self-actualisation is that self-actualisation serves as a start-up mechanism for launching self-fulfilment. Gewirth (1998) affirmed that the terms self-fulfilment, self-realisation and self-actualisation signify not only a kind of reflexive relation but also a favourable development wherein persons achieve goods that are somehow inherent in their natures by making use of certain latent powers. However, Gewirth also makes some tentative distinctions between these terms: While self-fulfilment (like self-realisation and self-actualisation) is both a process and a product, self-fulfilment as a process consists of an unfolding of certain implicit or inherent powers and differs from these other concepts in that it is an intrinsic value desired for itself and is marked by choice, creativity and capacity-development.
Analysis of the existing definitions of self-fulfilment
Gewirth (1998) defined self-fulfilment rather briefly as carrying to fruition one’s deepest desires or worthiest capacities. Kerr (2009) described the concept of self-fulfilment more meaningfully as the attainment of a satisfying, well-lived and worthwhile life. For Baygi et al. (2017), self-fulfilment is closely linked to an individual’s personal potential, as it is rooted in discovering one’s true potential through personal growth and is, to a great extent, intrinsically driven. Stebbins (2016) appropriately introduced the need for ‘sustained efforts’ to the idea of self-fulfilment, defining self-fulfilment as the process of realising one’s potential, talents and tastes through sustained efforts and achievement in an activity.
However, in our view, these definitions are not sufficiently complete, since none of them simultaneously cites all essential attributes of self-fulfilment or discusses the content of these attributes together with the features that characterize the manifestations of this phenomenon. We also consider it necessary to emphasize that the definition of self-fulfilment should take into account its two forms, external and internal, as characterized by Mikhailova et al. (2015). External self-fulfilment refers to an individual’s self-expression in different spheres of life, such as career, sport, arts, academics, politics and social activities, while internal self-fulfilment describes the cultivation of physical, intellectual, aesthetic, moral and spiritual aspects of an individual’s personality.
Professional self-fulfilment: Analysis of its content and attributes
We agree with other researchers that work gives meaning to people’s existence, provides them with a sense of normality and enables them to contribute to society and expand their social network (Samson, Lavigne, & Macpherson, 2009). Of course, as Stebbins (2016) pointed out, self-fulfilment is also possible in project-based leisure activities; however, such self-fulfilment is significantly more superficial than that achieved in long-term serious pursuits of attractive careers.
The criteria for an individual’s self-fulfilment in the professional context, per Byundyugova and Kornienko (2015), are the following: acceptance of one’s belonging to a certain professional group; knowledge of one’s correspondence to the ideals in one’s profession and to the system of professional roles; acknowledgement in a professional group; knowledge of one’s own strengths and weaknesses, possibilities for advancement and zones of potential success or failure; and having an idea of one’s place in work-related activities in the future. Vedernikova and Shilov (2013) argued that there are two aspects of a creative self-fulfilment: potential and immediate. The ‘potential’ aspect consists of professional creativity and essential forces of the personality, whereas the ‘immediate’ aspect includes the deployment mechanism for personal professional creativity.
We found two attempts to define professional self-fulfilment in the existing literature. The first characterized this phenomenon as a continuous heterochronous process of human development in a person’s conscious activities over the course of their lifetime (Byundyugova & Kornienko, 2015). Oliveira-Silva et al. (2019), who made the second attempt, described professional self-fulfilment as the perception of having reached one’s most important career goals or that one is on the right path to achieving these goals. However, as with the above cases of attempts to define self-fulfilment, these definitions of professional self-fulfilment cannot be regarded as sufficiently comprehensive, given that they do not sufficiently characterize the substantive and professional essence of professional self-fulfilment. We should emphasize that the phenomenon of professional self-fulfilment can be considered in both absolute terms (correlating a certain specialist’s professional self-fulfilment with some general criteria) and relative terms (reflecting the realisation of the personal-professional potential by a certain specialist with respect to their individual capabilities).
Factors of personal and professional self-fulfilment
Given the purpose of our study, an analytical review of the existing literature would not be sufficient without addressing the factors involved in personal and professional self-fulfilment. Summer (2017) argued that self-fulfilment depends on self-discovery, which requires a process of conjecture and refutation, a willingness to question and criticize received views, and an ability to welcome challenges and criticism to one’s views. For Kerr (2009), long-term self-fulfilment is based on the combination of aspirations and talents. Aspirations, according to Kerr, are powerful and persistent long-range life goals that manifest as robust desires for the achievement of ideals to which an individual ascribes great value.
Mikhailova et al. (2015) argued that the phenomenon of self-fulfilment – including as it pertains to educational and professional activities – is inextricably linked to self-development and active management of personal resources, adding that an individual’s innovativeness is one of the markers characterising the social performance of self-fulfilment. Ghanizadeh et al. (2019) reported that mindfulness and resilience are positive and significant predictors of self-fulfilment; similarly, Baygi et al. (2017) presumed that self-fulfilment is associated with internal drives such as intrinsic motivation and realisation of one’s desired goals. Pigott (2015) identified four types of self-fulfilment drives: a drive for intellectual and affective stimulation (entertainment drive); a drive to ‘expand one’s horizons’ (perspective drive); a drive to make a ‘success’ of oneself (status drive); and a drive to engage in interaction with others (communication drive).
Byundyugova and Kornienko (2015) noted that, to ensure self-fulfilment, a professional occupation should be attractive and interesting for a self-fulfilling individual, ensure the attainment of general social and individual labour values and maintain the supremacy of labour values in the individual’s hierarchy of values. The authors also described the following factors, which form an individual’s readiness for self-fulfilment: the need to achieve success (e.g. professional, personal); development of creativity and motivational field of personality; and developed imagination, which expands the horizons of personal activities beyond the limits of individual experience, emphasizes the demonstration of feelings and emotions, and determines a creative professional self-fulfilment style.
Finally, Stebbins (2016) maintained that a crucial step in finding self-fulfilment in an activity is acquiring education as background knowledge.
Personal and professional self-fulfilment: Attributes, definitions and structure
From the above theoretical analysis of the literature, we can identify the following general features of personal self-fulfilment:
- an existing and sufficiently clear plan of one’s own life and a firm intention to realize that plan;
- constant setting of new goals for oneself according to available opportunities;
- a pronounced need for self-improvement;
- implementation of one’s personal potential;
- achievement of one’s life goals; and
- recognition of one’s personal achievements by one’s social entourage.
Accordingly, we define personal self-fulfilment as conscious personal self-development, in the process of which an individual reveals their potential in different life areas, resulting in the ongoing achievement of personally and socially significant results and the formation of their own living space. This definition is based on Ganzen’s (1984) systematic approach to definitions of psychological concepts. According to this approach, unfolded definitions should consist of three parts, each of which should have a specific function and a clear structure. These three components include: 1) the essential features of the defined concept (here, ‘conscious personal self-development’); 2) groups of words that reveal the meanings of the essential features set forth in part 1 (‘in the process of which an individual reveals their potential in different life areas’); and 3) attributes that characterize the manifestations of the defined concept (‘resulting in the ongoing achievement of personally and socially significant results and the formation of their own living space’).
Personal self-fulfilment, according to our analysis, has two general forms:
- external (achievement of socially significant results in different life areas, such as profession, creativity, sport, arts, training, politics, social activities and so on); and
- internal (an individual’s self-improvement in physical, intellectual, aesthetic, moral, spiritual and professional aspects).
We should also emphasize that external self-fulfilment is impossible without the internal form.
The main features of professional self-fulfilment are as follows:
- a strong need for continuous professional improvement and a project related to one’s own professional development;
- highly implemented personal potential and talents and capabilities in a particular profession;
- achievement of professional goals and general satisfaction with one’s professional achievements;
- recognition of one’s achievements in a professional community and extensive use of one’s professional experience and achievements by colleagues;
- constant setting and achievement of new professional goals;
- high levels of creativity in professional work; and
- a formed ‘life-professional space’.
Accordingly, professional self-fulfilment can be defined as one of the most important types of personal self-fulfilment. It is characterized by an individual’s highly disclosed personal potential in their profession, well-developed capabilities, union with their profession, everyday demand for their professional qualifications, and extensive use of their professional experience and achievements by other professionals. Therefore, self-fulfilment (including professional self-fulfilment) can act as a goal, a perspective, and a process, a need, and a result.
Professional self-fulfilment, like personal self-fulfilment, can also have two interrelated general forms:
- external (significant achievements in various fields of professional activity); and
- internal (professional self-improvement, aimed at enhancing professional competence and developing professionally important qualities).
Based on the above theoretical analysis and our research goals (questionnaire design, research, processing and interpretation of the results), we determined five characteristics for internal professional self-fulfilment and five characteristics for external professional self-fulfilment. Together, these characteristics form the overall structure of professional self-fulfilment. The attributes of internal professional self-fulfilment are: 1) the need for professional improvement; 2) an existing project for one’s own professional development; 3) predominant satisfaction with one’s own professional achievements; 4) continuous setting of new professional goals; and 5) forming one’s own ‘life-professional space’. The attributes of external professional self-fulfilment are: 1) achievement of one’s desired professional goals; 2) recognition of one’s professional accomplishments by a professional community; 3) usage of one’s specialized professional experience and achievements by colleagues; 4) manifestations of personal potential and capabilities through one’s chosen profession; and 5) high levels of creativity in professional work.
The PSFQ is based on the above two forms of professional self-fulfilment and the corresponding 10 attributes. The English-language version of the PSFQ is provided in the Appendix. The PSFQ determines specialists’ overall level of professional self-fulfilment, as well as their expression of each of its attributes. It is a 30-item self-report measure. Respondents are asked to rate each item using a 5-point Likert-type scale, ranging from A–E. For each answer, option A is scored 0 points, option B 1 point, option C 2 points, option D 3 points, and option E 4 points.
Based on the assessment of the questionnaire, 13 quantitative indicators are calculated. Of these, 10 are the baseline, i.e. the quantitative indicators for each of the 10 attributes of internal and external professional self-fulfilment. Three additional indicators are summarising; they demonstrate the levels of internal and external professional self-fulfilment and together make up the respondent’s overall level of professional self-fulfilment. The rules for calculating these figures are given in Table 2.
Tables 3 and 4 show the test standardisation of the Russian-language version of the PSFQ. This study offers a theoretical substantiation of the PSFQ, articulates the process of questionnaire development and publishes an English version for the first time. Previously, only separate results of the Ukrainian- and Russian-language versions of the PSFQ in remote and direct-contact studies had been published (Kokun, 2014, 2015). These studies confirmed the PSFQ’s competitive validity.
Since the independent sample t-tests for the questionnaire scores of men and women were not significantly different, M, SD, and normative data are presented without gender differentiation. The only exception was ‘Continuous setting of new professional goals’, on which men scored significantly higher (р < .01).
A one-σ interval was used for normalisation. Cronbach’s α for the 10 baseline scales of the questionnaire was .91, indicating sufficiently high internal consistency.
From the results presented in Table 3, we can see that the four relatively more pronounced attributes of professional self-fulfilment are ‘Continuous setting of new professional goals’; ‘Manifestations of personal potential and capabilities through chosen profession’; ‘The need for professional improvement’; and ‘Formed own “life-professional space”’.
The PSFQ showed sufficiently high competitive validity. In the same sample that was used for its standardisation (N = 332), significant correlations were obtained between its three generalising indicators (overall professional self-fulfilment, internal professional self-fulfilment and external professional self-fulfilment) and the scales of the Russian-language adaptation of the POI.
These indicators correlated significantly (r = .20–.76; p < .01–.001) with 10 of 12 POI scales (excluding the scales of feeling reactivity and acceptance of aggression). In particular, ‘Overall level of professional self-fulfilment’ had the highest correlation with the scales of self-actualising value (r = .70), self-regard (r = .69), nature of man (r = .50), synergy (r = .48), support ratio (r = .45) and time ratio (r = .40).
In addition, the three generalising PSFQ indicators had significant relationships with self-efficacy on the scale developed by Schwarzer and Yerusalem (r = .25–.37; p < .01–.001).
Professional self-fulfilment is one of the most important components, and even the main form, of personal self-fulfilment for most people. However, studies of this phenomenon were not undertaken until relatively recently and are not numerous. Techniques to assess the major components of professional self-fulfilment have not yet been developed, and proper experimental research has not been carried out. The methods used in previous self-fulfilment studies with different samples (Baygi et al., 2017; Ghanizadeh et al., 2019; Ivtzan et al., 2013; Oliveira-Silva et al., 2019) assessed manifestations of this phenomenon either indirectly or very narrowly.
Our study aimed to define the content and structure of professional self-fulfilment and to develop a technique to assess this phenomenon. Based on our review of the extant literature, we defined personal self-fulfilment as a conscious personal self-development, wherein an individual reveals their potential in different life areas, resulting in the ongoing achievements of personally and socially significant results and the formation of their own living space. We defined professional self-fulfilment as one of the most important forms of personal self-fulfilment, characterized by a specialist’s highly disclosed personal potential in their profession; well-developed capabilities; union with their profession; everyday demand for their professional expertize; and extensive use of their professional experience and achievements by other professionals.
We identified five main attributes of internal professional self-fulfilment and five attributes of external professional self-fulfilment, which together create the general structure of professional self-fulfilment. The attributes of internal professional self-fulfilment are: 1) the need for professional improvement; 2) an existing project for one’s professional development; 3) predominant satisfaction with one’s professional achievements; 4) continuous setting of new professional goals; and 5) forming one’s own ‘life-professional space’. The attributes of external professional self-fulfilment are: 1) achievement of one’s desired professional goals; 2) recognition of one’s professional accomplishments by a professional community; 3) usage of one’s professional experience and achievements by colleagues; 4) manifestations of personal potential and capabilities through one’s chosen profession; and 5) high levels of creativity in professional work.
Based on the above-described structure of professional self-fulfilment, we developed the 30-item PSFQ, which includes quantitative indicators for the respondent’s overall level of professional self-fulfilment, internal professional self-fulfilment, external professional self-fulfilment and 10 basic attributes of professional self-fulfilment. The test standardisation for the Russian-language version of the PSFQ was based on a remote study of 332 respondents of all ages and professions from different countries, conducted using a diagnostic Russian-language website. This study publishes a theoretical substantiation of the PSFQ, the procedure for its development and its English-language version for the first time.
The PSFQ has sufficiently high internal consistency (α = .91) and competitive validity. Data obtained with the PSFQ correlated closely with self-efficacy and the scales used in the POI. We found close content relationships between data obtained with the PSFQ and self-fulfilment as measured in the studies of Baygi et al. (2017), Byundyugova and Kornienko (2015) and Ghanizadeh et al. (2019), although these studies were based on other methods.
This study is limited by the fact that its standardisation was carried out with a Russian-language sample. Therefore, the normative questionnaire indicators may be slightly different in different languages. Accordingly, future research should investigate adaptations of the PSFQ in different languages.
Despite this limitation, the present study’s findings contribute novel information to the understanding of personal and professional self-fulfilment. The proposed English-language version of the PSFQ can be widely used in research projects and practice.
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