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Filtering by Tag: vocational education

To Hangover or Not: Trajectories of Job Satisfaction in Adolescent Workforce Newcomers

Andreas Hirschi

Valero, D., & Hirschi, A. (2019). To hangover or not: Trajectories of job satisfaction in adolescent workforce newcomers. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 28(2), 150-163. doi:10.1080/1359432X.2018.1564278


The development of job satisfaction during the first months on the job often indicates ahoneymoon hangover, with high levels of job satisfaction gradually declining. This effect is often explained by disappointed expectations that are informed by previous job experiences. However, research has not established whether a hangover pattern could also be observed in individuals without previous work experience. We explored the development of job satisfaction with four assessment points across the first four months after starting vocational training among 357 Swiss adolescents. On average, a hangover pattern in job satisfaction was confirmed. Using person-centred growth mixture modelling, we identified two groups with distinct trajectories. Although a majority showed a hangover pattern, a third of participants showed stable, high job satisfaction. We presumed that adolescents with more contextual and personal resources (i.e., perceived social support, occupational self-efficacy, core self-evaluations, and perceived person–job fit) would be more likely to avoid a hangover pattern. Results confirmed that the two groups differed significantly in all these resources with the high stable satisfaction group showing higher resources. The results illustrate the importance of a diverse set of resources to facilitate a positive trajectory of job satisfaction at the beginning of work life.

Keywords: job satisfaction, newcomer socialization, growth mixture model, vocational training, social cognitive career theory; conservation of resources

Predictors of a Protean Career Orientation and Vocational Training Enrollment in the Post-School Transition

Andreas Hirschi

Steiner, R. S., Hirschi, A., & Wang, M. (2019). Predictors of a protean career orientation and vocational training enrollment in the post-school transition. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 112, 216-228. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2019.03.002

The post-school transition is a critical transition for adolescents and understanding when and how it results in beneficial outcomes is a pressing issue. We integrate career construction theory and social cognitive career theory and investigate a sequential model of predictors and outcomes at various stages in the post-school transition process. We focus on a protean career orientation as an important subjective transition outcome and whether adolescents continue with high school or vocational education and training (VET) as an important objective transition outcome. We propose that personal and contextual socio-cognitive factors during school (i.e., occupational self-efficacy beliefs and perceived career barriers) relate to the transition outcomes indirectly through their effects on vocational identity clarity. We tested our hypotheses among a sample of 819 Swiss adolescents, based on a time- lagged study with three waves over a period of three years. Results of structural equation modeling showed that occupational self-efficacy beliefs positively, and perceived career barriers negatively related to vocational identity clarity. A clear vocational identity in turn predicted a higher probability of VET enrollment compared to high school enrollment after school. Unexpectedly, a clearer vocational identity related to a weaker protean career orientation. Implications for post-school transition research and the protean career literature are discussed.

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