Abstract The present study used a longitudinal design to test aspects of Kirby and Herrnstein's (1995) theory of time discounting. Specifically, the prediction that preferences reverse due to changes in delay was tested in a longitudinal study of career-path selections made by employees in a Hong Kong real estate consultancy. Over a 3-year period, 16 of 23 subjects reversed their career preference from a future senior managerial position to a lesser management role available earlier. Organizational and cultural factors that may have influenced these preference changes are discussed and areas of future research suggested. The study provides supporting evidence from the career selection perspective that preferences are not necessarily invariant across time.