Adapting to Involuntary, Radical, and Socially Undesirable Career Changes


Career adaptability is a psychosocial resource that aids in coping with current and anticipated tasks, transitions, and traumas that people experience in their occupational roles. Although there is a great deal of evidence that career adaptability relates to important career outcomes, the role that it is perceived to play in involuntary, radical, and socially undesirable career changes is understudied. Grounded in career construction theory, we conducted a study with an experimental vignette methodology to ascertain whether career adaptability moderates the influence of different types of career transitions on ratings of hypothetical employees adapting effectiveness. Findings suggest that career adaptability can be seen as an important resource for managing radical career changes. This is one of the first papers to test a key tenet of career construction theory—that career adaptability is efficient for managing career related transitions and traumas. Moreover, we extend the scope of this tenet to include the notion that people can readily identify qualities of career adaptability in others.

Current Psychology
Cort W. Rudolph
Associate Professor of Industrial & Organizational Psychology