Career Development International vol:20 issue:2 pages:179-198
This paper aims to test the gain and loss cycle ideas from the Conservation of Resources (COR) Theory with regard to perceived employability and psychological functioning among employed workers and unemployed job seekers, respectively.
More specifically, we argue that perceived employability may trigger a gain cycle towards well-being among employed workers (H1), while ill-being may trigger a loss cycle towards reduced (perceived) employability among unemployed job seekers (H2). We test these ideas with cross-lagged analysis.
Results confirm our hypotheses: Perceived employability at time 1 positively affects well-being at time 2 among employed workers and ill-being at time 1 negatively impacts perceived employability at time 2 among unemployed job seekers.
Future research should study the gain and loss cycles with more than two waves of data as this allows for a more adequate test of these ideas.
As for practitioners, our results suggest that investing in the worker’s perceived employability by offering training, career counseling and networking opportunities, pays off as it promotes the employee’s psychological functioning. With regard to unemployed job seekers we advise investing in psychological counseling: The unemployed job seeker will be more able to invest in a job search, and hence perceive employability if they receive help in coping with job loss.
This study offers a new perspective on the relationship between perceived employability and psychological functioning by involving the principles of COR theory, in particular the gain and loss cycles.