The role of chance events in the school-to-work transition: The influence of demographic, personality and career development variables

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Chance events are considered important in career development, yet little empirical research is available on their predictors and consequences. The present study investigated socio-demographic (gender, nationality, school-type), personality (openness, locus of control) and career development variables (career decidedness, career planning) in relation to perceived chance events with a retrospective (N=229, eleventh grade), and 1-year longitudinal prospective study (N=245, eighth/ninth grade) among Swiss adolescents. The results showed that the majority of both groups reported a significant influence of chance events on their transition from compulsory school to vocational education or high school. Importance of chance events related to socio-demographics and personality but not career preparation. Career preparation and chance events predicted subjective career success in terms of wish correspondence and overall satisfaction with transition outcome among the younger cohort. Implications include the necessity to integrate both thorough career preparation and chance events in theory and counseling practice. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)39-49
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2010

    Research areas

  • Business psychology - Career development, Career preparation, Career success, Chance events, Personality, School-to-work transition