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career research blog

The latest career research insights to grow your career

Filtering by Tag: career planning

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



Career advice: Encouraging mums and discouraging friends

Noemi Nagy

A recent study from the USA investigated college students’ perceptions of their most influential sources of career related information. The researchers investigated encouraging as well as discouraging career messages and found that mothers, followed by teachers/professors, friends and fathers, were perceived to be the most influential sources of encouraging career messages. Mothers were most often described as telling their children to pursue a passion for their career while teachers/professors were frequently reported as providing career detail messages. Friends were identified as the most influential source of discouraging messages.

Powers, S. R., & Myers, K. K. (2016). Vocational Anticipatory Socialization College Students’ Reports of Encouraging/Discouraging Sources and Messages. Journal of Career Development, online before print, August 1, 2016.


Nonwork orientations are related to higher career and life satisfaction

Andreas Hirschi

When planning a career, many people take nonwork orientations into account, such as family, personal interests and civic engagement. Our team has conducted a study among over 500 employees in German and found that people who strongly consider the role of the family in career planning report more satisfaction with their career and their lives in general. Surprisingly, nonwork orientations also showed no negative effects on earnings.

Read the full media release at the University of Bern Media Relations Website

Hirschi, A., Herrmann, A., Nagy, N., & Spurk, D. (2016). All in the name of work? Nonwork orientations as predictors of salary, career satisfaction, and life satisfaction. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 95–96, 45-57,

Genetics play a role in job changes

Noemi Nagy

New research suggests that genetic predisposition interacts with early life environmental factors in predicting job change frequency in adulthood. An international research team found that employees with a special genetic marker had in general higher rates of job change: employees with a family background of high socioeconomic status and high educational achievement had more voluntary job changes and less involuntary job changes. In contrast, employees with low socioeconomic background and lower educational achievement had more involuntary job changes and less voluntary job changes. The study demonstrates that molecular genetics can bring new insights to enhance our understanding of career development.

Chi, W., Li, W., Wang, N., & Song, Z. (2016). Can genes play a role in explaining frequent job changes? An examination of gene-environment interaction from human capital theory. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 101(7), 1030-1044.  

Unemployed individuals over the age of 50 need to make more job applications

Claire Johnston

Older unemployed individuals still have a strong desire to work, but compared to younger unemployed workers, they make fewer job applications and search less intensively for a job. Older unemployed individuals may also limit their employment opportunities by expecting high wages according to a study conducted in Belgium. These results suggest that increasing job-search activities and adjusting salary expectations are useful strategies for older job seekers.

Journal of Vocational Behavior

Gender and personal family history influence retirement decisions

Claire Johnston

A study conducted in Switzerland found that an individual’s family and employment history influence the timing of retirement. According to this study, women who experienced an early marriage and childbirth are more likely to have experienced career interruptions, part-time positions, and less chance to invest in private pension funds, resulting in less opportunity to leave the labour market early. Additionally, being single or divorced also makes it more difficult to retire early. Thus, individuals must consider their personal family history when engaging in retirement planning.

Work, Aging, and Retirement

Find a satisfying and fitting job after graduation through career planning

Franziska Baumeler

Besides job search behaviors, career planning after graduation leads to an increase in fit with one's future job and organization. This in turn increases job satisfaction, according to a study with Canadian graduates. Graduates with a plan for their career are thus more likely to find a job and organization that fits them.

Journal of Applied Psychology