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Background Information

Background and Content of the Career Resources Questionnaire

The nature of careers has significantly changed over the past years. Nowadays, an increased degree of career self-management is needed. One’s personal employability needs to be sustained and expanded over the entire working life. This stresses the importance of personal resources that support a self-determined and successful career. We call these key predictors for career success Career Resources.

The Career Resources Questionnaire is scientifically developed self-assessment tool to evaluate critical aspects of employability and resources that promote career success. Career success refers to attained salary, promotions, and occupational prestige but also to subjective evaluations in terms of satisfaction and meaningfulness of one’s work.

The Career Resources Questionnaire assesses the resources in four broad domains:

Knowledge and skills

This domain describes aspects of knowledge and skills which are essential for a successful career. It includes three components:

Occupational Expertise

Your job specific knowledge and skills. Occupational expertise is important to successfully meet the demands in your current job. Expert knowledge and professional competencies improve work performance and result in stronger feelings of competence at work. Thus, the possession of occupational expertise makes promotions more likely and increases job satisfaction.

Job Market knowledge

Your general knowledge about the job market and employment trends. Such knowledge allows identification of occupational opportunities. Additionally, occupational knowledge and competencies can be adapted and developed more successfully if current and future demands in the job market are known and taken into account. Job market knowledge is also important for personal employability and facilitates job search and job transitions.

Soft skills

Your skills and competencies that are relevant for a broad range of occupations (e.g. analytical capability, social competency, or organization skills). Such multi-professional skills are important for your personal employability and facilitate job search and job transitions.


This domain describes aspects of the personal motivation that are essential for a successful career. It includes three components:


The degree to which you are emotionally attached to your work and to what extent your job is a central part of your identity. People who are more involved in the working role are normally more motivated at work and more active in the career development process. In addition, they show more work performance and are more satisfied at work and with their career in general.


The extent to which you believe that you are capable to successfully develop your career. It also indicates your confidence to reach your career goals. People who are more confident regarding their career development are normally more active in their career and show better strategies to cope with career-related challenges. As a result, they are usually more satisfied and more successful in their career.


The clarity and independence of your career goals and the extent to which you have clear career goals that also reflect your personal interests and values. People who have clear career goals usually show more engagement in their career and are more successful and confident in their career development.


The environmental career resources describe resources in the organizational, as well as private context, which are essential for a successful career. It includes four components:

career opportunities

The extent to which personally interesting career advancement opportunities exist within your current organization. Career opportunities within the current organization facilitate promotions and can thereby enhance occupational success and satisfaction.

organizational support

The extent to which your current organization provides support for your career development and to what extent you feel supported in your career development by your employer. This support includes the opportunity to attend training courses for further development of skills and competencies. People who perceive more organizational support generally show more career success and are more satisfied with their job and career.

job challenge

The extent to which your current job allows you to utilize and develop personally valued skills and to what extent you can fully utilize your occupational skills in your job. Job challenge is an important factor to ensure that your occupational knowledge and competencies are up-to-date. Thus, it can facilitate your personal employability and increase career success and career satisfaction.

Social Support

The extent to which you receive career-related support from other people and the extent to which you feel supported in your career goals by friends, work colleagues, familiy, and other people. Social support enhances the ability to deal with difficulties and challenges in career development. People who perceive more social support are generally more satisfied with their work and career and are more successful in their career development.


The activities describe behaviors which are essential for a successful career. It includes three components:


The extent to which you build, maintain, and utilize social contacts to promote your career. It involves establishing new contacts and networking activities with potential employers, supervisors, work colleagues, clients, and mentors. Building, maintaining, and utilizing networks provides access to information and support for your own career development. It also enhances your visibility with important people which helps with further career steps. People who are more active in networking generally show more career success and career satisfaction.

career information gathering

This activity describes the extent to which you collect information about career options. It involves the active exploration of work environments and career opportunities. Actively gathering information about occupations, job, organizations, and career paths is important to recognize and utilize opportunities for further occupational development. Occupational information gathering also allows for a better adaptation to changes at work and in the labor market and can help to clarify your personal career goals.

Continuous learning

This activity describes the extent to which you actively and regularly enlarge and update work relevant knowledge and skills. Continuous learning is an important basis to sustain one’s employability and can enhance job satisfaction and success in your current position. It can also facilitate securing a new job.

Scientific background of the questionnaire

The Career Resources Questionnaire is based on international research on career development, employability, and career success. The questionnaire was developed and evaluated in a multi-step procedure according to best-practice scientific criteria. In the paper published in the Journal of Career Assessment you can read more on the scientific background, development, and quality of the questionnaire. The paper is available here for a free download.