Self-control trumps work motivation in predicting job search behavior

Journal article


Baay, Pieter E., de Ridder, Denise T. D., Eccles, Jacquelynne, van der Lippe, Tanja and van Aken, Marcel A. G.. (2014) Self-control trumps work motivation in predicting job search behavior. Journal of Vocational Behavior. 85(3), pp. 443 - 451. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2014.09.006
AuthorsBaay, Pieter E., de Ridder, Denise T. D., Eccles, Jacquelynne, van der Lippe, Tanja and van Aken, Marcel A. G.
Abstract

Current labor market entrants face an increasingly challenging job search process. Effective guidance of job seekers requires identification of relevant job search skills. Self-control (i.e., the ability to control one's thoughts, actions, and response tendencies in view of a long-term goal, such as finding employment) is assumed to be one such relevant job search skill. The current study is the first to empirically assess the importance of self-control in the job search process. This is compared to the role of motivation, which is generally considered a crucial predictor of job searching. Based on a sample of 403 Dutch prospective vocational training graduates, we found that higher levels of self-control were related to higher levels of preparatory job search behavior and job search intentions half a year later, shortly before labor market entrance. Self-control was a significantly stronger predictor of job searching than work motivation. Moreover, relations between self-control and job searching were largely independent of motivation, which may suggest that job-seekers benefit from self-control through adaptive habits and routines that are unaffected by motivation. We propose that job search interventions, which traditionally focus on strengthening motivation, may benefit from a stronger focus on improving self-control skills.

KeywordsSelf-control; Job search behavior; Job search intentions; Work motivation; School-to-work transition
Year2014
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Journal citation85 (3), pp. 443 - 451
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
ISSN0001-8791
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2014.09.006
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84908317753
Page range443 - 451
Research GroupInstitute for Positive Psychology and Education
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited States of America
EditorsN. A. Fouad
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