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career research blog

The latest career research insights to grow your career

Subjective life expectancy predicts retirement intentions

Noemi Nagy

Subjective life expectancy (SLE) is the age a person thinks they will live. Latest research from Australia examined whether SLE plays a role in retirement decisions of employees. The results of the 1-year longitudinal study show that SLE predicted intended retirement age and amount of retirement preparation. Furthermore, SLE predicted actual retirement a year later. People who expect to live longer, are apparently less motivated to retire early than those with shorter subjective life expectancy.

Griffin, B., Hesketh, B., & Loh, V. (2012). The influence of subjective life expectancy on retirement transition and planning: A longitudinal study. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 81(2), 129-137.

Unexpected correlates of bullying at work

Noemi Nagy

Organizations are expected to loose approximately 6 billion $ per year because of bullying, yet there is a lack of research that explains how bullying affects employees. A recent study from France showed that workplace bullying causes a psychological contract breach between employees and employers. This in turn leads to decreased job and life satisfaction. Interestingly, the effects were the strongest for older women. Female late career employees are at especially high risk for workplace bullying.

Kakarika, M., Gonzalez, H., & Dimitriades, Z. (2017). That wasn't our deal: A psychological contract perspective on employee responses to bullying. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 100, 43-55.

The 13 key factors that predict career success

Andreas Hirschi

Based on a review of the scientific literature on determinants of career success, our research team has identified 13 factors that are repeatedly confirmed as essential to achieve success. We call these factors "career resources" and they represent the four key areas of (1) Knowledge and Skills; (2) Motivation; (3) Environment; and (4) Activities. In a multi-step procedure, we have developed and validated a self-assessment that gives a person's individual career resources profile. This profile gives insights into the personal areas of strengths and weaknesses that can promote or inhibit career success.

We are excited to announce that you can now take the Career Resources Questionnaire for free and instantly obtain your own career resources profile on our website. Check it out!

For more information visit our website or watch our brief introduction video.

Discover you career resources at

Hirschi, A., Nagy, N., Baumeler, F., Johnston, C. S., & Spurk, D. (in press). Assessing Key Predictors of Career Success: Development and Validation of the Career Resources Questionnaire. Journal of Career Assessment. doi: 10.1177/1069072717695584



How to get more women into STEM fields and more men into behavioral science?

Anja Ghetta

When looking at scientific careers women are overrepresented in behavioral science and men in physical science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). According to a U.S. study, behavioral science corresponds more to characteristics aiming at maintaining relationships and working to the service of others (called communion), which correspond more closely to gender stereotypes of women. STEM fields align with characteristics focusing on autonomy and self-promotion (called agency), which are regarded as more stereotypical of men. The surprising insight of this study: The more women view STEM fields to be communal, the more STEM courses they complete and the more men view behavioral science to be agentic, the more behavioral science courses they complete.

Stout, J. G., Grunberg, V. A., & Ito, T. A. (2016). Gender roles and stereotypes about science careers help explain women and men’s science pursuits. Sex Roles, 75, 490-499. doi:10.1007/s11199-016-0647-5

Benefits of positive work relationships

Noemi Nagy

Work relationships play a key role in promoting employee flourishing as researchers from the USA revealed in a series of qualitative and quantitative studies. The authors studied positive work relationships, which serve a broad range of functions: task assistance (e.g. receiving help with a certain task), career advancement (e.g. being promoted), emotional support, personal growth, friendship, and the opportunity to give to others. Results revealed unique associations between different relationship functions and their outcomes: Task assistance was most strongly associated with meaningful work, personal growth was most strongly associated with life satisfaction, giving to others with meaningful work, and friendship with positive emotions at work.

Colbert, A., Bono, J., & Purvanova, R. (2015). Flourishing via workplace relationships: Moving beyond instrumental support. Academy of Management Journal, 59(4), 1199-1223.

Rivalry at work increases unethical behavior

Noemi Nagy

Rivalry at the workplace is a widespread and powerful yet largely understudied phenomenon with significant organizational implications. An international team of researchers studied the psychological underpinnings of rivalry and found that rivalry at the workplace largely depends on relationships and prior interactions between actors and results in increased unsporting behavior, use of deception, and a heightened willingness to employ unethical negotiation tactics. 

Kilduff, G., Galinksy, A., Gallo, E., & Reade, J. (2015). Whatever it takes to win: Rivalry increases unethical behavior. Academy of Management Journal, 59(5), 1508-1534. 

Taking a vacation break: Making the recovery last longer

Andreas Hirschi

Over the holiday season, many might want to take a few days off to relax and recover from the end-of-the-year hassle at work. Research shows that vacations do in fact have short-term positive effects on well-being and health. Unfortunately, these positive effects fade our rather quickly after starting to work again. A study among teachers showed that high job demands after a vacation swiftly decreased the beneficial effects of a vacation. However, study participants who relaxed more after resuming work showed more stable recovery benefits from their vacation time. So winding down over the holiday season is great. But how about also making a new years resolution to relax and detach from work more regularly after the vacation?

Kühnel, J., & Sonnentag, S. (2011). How long do you benefit from vacation? A closer look at the fade-out of vacation effects. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 32(1), 125-143.

The cresogo team wishes all our readers a relaxing holiday season and a successful 2017!

Financial hardship of the self-employed comes with impaired well-being

Annabelle Hofer

Financial hardship is significantly related to impaired well-being among self-employed individuals in different European countries, as a new study shows. However, this effect differed significantly between countries. The study found that the economic conditions of a country play an important role in this regard. For self-employed people living in a country with a more supportive social policy in the form of unemployment allowance, financial hardship and well-being were less strongly related. In addition, an individual’s education and social trust were buffers against lower well-being.

Annink, A., Gorgievski, M., & Den Dulk, L. (2016). Financial hardship and well-being: a cross-national comparison among the European self-employed. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 25(5), 645-647.

The risk of job insecurity: Effects on health and well-being

Annabelle Hofer

Job insecurity is the perception of being threatened by job loss and concerns about the continued existence of one's job in the future. A new review of 57 longitudinal studies suggests that job insecurity negatively affects psychological well-being and physical health. The results imply that companies and governments should make an effort to reduce the perceived threat of job insecurity.

De Witte, H., Pienaar, J., & De Cuyper, N. (2016). Review of 30 years of longitudinal studies on the association between job insecurity and health and well-being: Is there causal evidence? Australian Psychologist, 51(1), 18-31.

Actively seeking challenges at work boosts engagement

Claire Johnston

New research has shown that actively seeking out challenges at work results in feeling more energetic, focused and dedicated at work, and less bored.  This feeling of being engaged also leads individuals to actively seek out resources which positions individuals to continue seeking out challenges.

Harju, L. K., Hakanen, J. J., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2016). Can job crafting reduce job boredom and increase work engagement? A three-year cross-lagged panel study. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 95, 11-20.