Young female health professionals' (N=139) career plans were classified as vertical (V) if they aspired to advancement, lateral (L) or stationary (S) if they lacked advancement ambitions. Ls planned intensification by gaining further qualifications. Hypotheses concerning the (1) life contingencies, (2) work attitudes, and (3) personalities of the groups were tested. Most support was found for hypothesis 3. Ls and Vs had higher masculinity scores than Ss, and Ls were more androgynous. More Ls planned specialization and had already undertaken further studies. Ls and Vs attached more importance to freedom at work; groups did not differ on other work attitudes nor in their life contingencies (social roles and conflicts), although Ls and Vs specified role conflicts and more coping strategies. The results supported Lewin and Olesen's conceptualization of lateralness, but indicated that it is distinct from stationary patterns.