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career research blog

The latest career research insights to grow your career

Filtering by Tag: job search

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.  

The critical factors that help job seekers get hired

Andreas Hirschi

Based on an analysis of 47 studies, a recent meta-analysis identified the critical factors that make job search interventions effective. The study shows that teach job search skills, improve self-presentation, boost self-efficacy, encourage proactivity and goal setting, and help to enlist social support are most effective. The analysis also shows that developing job search skills in combination with enhancing motivation is critical. The bad news is that job search interventions are less effective for long-term unemployed than for people who more recently lost their jobs.

Liu, S., Huang, J. L., & Wang, M. (2014). Effectiveness of job search interventions: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 140(4), 1009-1041.

Different motivations at different job search stages

Domingo Valero

People can pursue a goal because it is fun or inherently interesting (so called autonomous motivation) or because they feel pressured and obliged to do so (so called controlled motivation). Research typically shows that autonomous motivation is more beneficial and sustainable for a wide variety of outcomes (e.g., performance, satisfaction, well-being) while controlled motivation is usually related with detrimental outcomes.
A recent study now shows that such findings may need a more nuanced look. Researchers studied the development of motivation and job search behaviors across 5 weeks in students who would soon enter working life. Autonomous motivation decreased across time, but was consistently related to job search behaviors. In contrast, controlled motivation was also related to job search behaviors, but only towards the end of the 5 weeks. This shows that although autonomous motivation may have more sustainable effects on job search behaviors, when time gets short, also controlled motivation does the trick.

Journal of Applied Psychology


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