Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Effect of Proactive Personality and Decision-Making Self-Efficacy on Career Adaptability among Chinese Graduates

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Effect of Proactive Personality and Decision-Making Self-Efficacy on Career Adaptability among Chinese Graduates

Article excerpt

We studied the effect of proactive personality and career decision-making self-efficacy on career adaptability under employment pressure among 810 Chinese graduate students. Participants completed the Proactive Personality Scale, the Career Adapt-Abilities Scale-International Form 2.0, the Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy Scale, and the Employment Pressure Scale. The results showed: (a) proactive personality affected career adaptability, (b) career decision-making self-efficacy played a mediating role in that relationship, (c) employment pressure moderated the mediating effect on the relationship in (a), and (d) students with a highly proactive personality were more inclined to be influenced by the negative effects of employment pressure than were those with a less proactive personality when forming career decision-making self-efficacy.

Keywords: proactive personality, career decision-making self-efficacy, employment pressure, career adaptability.

Currently, university graduates are experiencing severe employment pressure because of the slow recovery of the global economy and the continuing slump of the labor market (Tolentino et al., 2014). This situation is particularly serious in China. Recent graduates often require an extended period of time to find a suitable job. Given this situation, it is very important for graduates to develop the ability to adapt to career changes. Based on the current employment situation and the need for career flexibility, in this research we examined the effect of proactive personality and career decision-making self-efficacy of Chinese graduate students on their career adaptability under employment pressure.

Career Adaptability

Career adaptability (CA) refers to the ability of an individual to respond to career role transitions. CA is regarded as the key ability through which an individual achieves career success in fast-changing modern society. Individuals with high CA may take measures to improve their career environment and prepare for upcoming changes in that environment (Savickas, 2013).

The concept of CA originates from the revision of career maturity theory proposed by Super and Knasel (1981). Savickas, influenced by the construction theory, further developed the theoretical construction of CA by gradually substituting the concept of CA, with psychological significance, in place of career maturity, with biological significance (Savickas, 1997). In today's dynamic career milieu, CA is already considered indispensable in an individual's career development (Klehe, Zikic, van Vianen, Koen, & Buyken, 2012). CA represents change from static views, and paying more attention to human flexibility and adaptability (van Vianen, Klehe, Koen, & Dries, 2012). Therefore, CA has become a new focal point in the career psychology field, although there has, to date, been little in-depth integrated research into the relationships among the factors influencing CA.

Proactive Personality as a Predictor of CA

Proactive personality (PP), a concept first put forward by Bateman and Crant (1993), is a stable tendency describing the likelihood of individuals taking initiative to influence their surroundings.

Indeed, researchers have noted the important relationship between PP and CA (McArdle, Waters, Briscoe, & Hall, 2007). PP has a significant positive correlation with CA. Proactive individuals are more successful in actively shaping their own work environment and developing their CA resources than are individuals who are not proactive (Tolentino et al., 2014). Proactive individuals are not only more successful in their career but also adapt more readily to their environment (Brown, Cober, Kane, Levy, & Shalhoop, 2006). Bateman and Crant (1993) suggested that proactive individuals are more likely than are nonproactive individuals to have initiated preparation to cope with career-related changes, to identify promotion opportunities, and to create a work environment that conforms to career needs. …

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