Job Search Behaviors of Graduating College Seniors: A Test of the Social Cognitive Model of Career Self-Management

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Due to a changing employment climate and structure, individuals must become more proactive in the management of their careers (Hesketh, 2001; Russell, 2001). It has become increasingly important to know how to manage career transitions, especially between periods of non-employment and employment. Lent and Brown (2013) proposed a Career Self-Management model that examines the active process of managing one's own career. The purpose of this study is to test the Career Self-Management model by examining the roles that job search support, job search self-efficacy, job search outcome expectations, job search intentions, and conscientiousness play in the prediction of job search behaviors of graduating college seniors (N = 240). The study was conducted at two time points, about three months apart, to account for temporal precedence in the prediction of job search behavior. Multiple mediating effects were tested using bootstrapping.

The model accounted for 23% of the variance in the prediction of job search behavior, and only job search intention was a direct predictor of job search behavior. Job search intention was found to mediate the relationship between job search self-efficacy and job search behavior. Job search self-efficacy and job search intention also mediated the relationships of job search support and conscientious to job search behavior. Recommendations for future research and implications for counseling practice are discussed