Thursday, 3 January 2013

Training career adaptability to facilitate a successful school-to-work transition

an article by Jessie Koen and Annelies E.M. Van Vianen (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and Ute-Christine Klehe (Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany) published in Journal of Vocational Behavior Volume 81 Issue 3 (December 2012)


The transition from school to work is one of the most critical steps in graduates’ careers, as it can determine vocational outcomes and future career success. Yet, these newcomers to the labour market often take longer than regular job-seekers to find a suitable job, are more likely to experience a job mismatch and to suffer from underemployment.

In this study, we proposed that career adaptability might help remedy this problem.

We therefore developed a training aimed at providing graduates with career adaptability resources, with the assumption that this may foster training-participants’ later career adaptability and employment quality.

A longitudinal field quasi-experiment compared the development of each career adaptability dimension between a training group (n = 32) and a control group (n = 24) over three points in time (pre-training measurement, post-training measurement and follow-up measurement six months later).

Repeated measures analyses showed an overall increase in concern, control and curiosity within the training group, whereas there was no increase (concern) or even an overall decrease (control and curiosity) within the control group.

Consequently, the training succeeded in enhancing participants’ control and curiosity in the long run.

Furthermore, among participants who had found employment half a year later, training participants reported higher employment quality than did members of the control group. In sum, results show that providing graduates with career adaptability resources can raise their chances on finding a qualitatively good job.


► We developed and tested a theory-driven training to enhance career adaptability.
► The training improved participants' career adaptability in a sustainable way.
► The training can buffer against the loss of career adaptability during unemployment.
► Training participants reported higher employment quality six months after training.
► This career adaptability training contributes to finding high quality employment.

Figures and tables from this article

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