Career adaptability, job search self-efficacy and outcomes: A three-wave investigation among Chinese university graduates

Yanjun Guan, Hong Deng, Jiaqing Sun, Yanan Wang, Zijun Cai, Lihui Ye, Ruchunyi Fu, Yang Wang, Shu Zhang, Yuhui Li

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

181 Citations (Scopus)


Based on career construction theory, the current research examined the role of career adaptability in Chinese university graduates' job search process (. N=. 270). Results from a three-wave survey study showed that the four dimension of career adaptability (measured at wave 1) correlated positively with university graduates' job search self-efficacy (measured at wave 2) and their employment status (measured at wave 3). Among graduates who became employed, career adaptability dimensions also predicted positively their person-environment (P-E) fit perceptions (measured at wave 3). The results further showed that with the effects of demographics (gender, age, education level and major) and family background (family economical status and parental education) controlled for, when putting the four dimensions of career adaptability together, career concern and career control served as the strongest predictors for job search self-efficacy, which further mediated the positive effects of these two dimensions on employment status. In addition, career control also had indirect effect on P-E fit through the mediation of job search self-efficacy. Additional analyses using the global indicator of career adaptability also supported this mediation model such that career adaptability significantly predicted employment status and P-E fit, with these relations mediated by job search self-efficacy. These findings carry implications for research on career construction theory, as well as career education and career counseling practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-570
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Career adaptability
  • Career construction theory
  • Job search
  • Person-job fit
  • Person-organization fit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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