SUCCESS Materials – English

Resilience – Theoretical Background – Research Findings Relating to Employability & Workplace Outcomes

Research Findings related to Employability, Workplace Outcomes and Career Counselling.

Surprises are the new normal; resilience is the new skill” (Kanter, 2013)

The ever-increasing changeability, uncertainty and demands of transitioning into the working world are now widely accepted (Cuervo & Wyn, 2011), meaning that the quality of resilience is now viewed as a central component in one’s employability, and an imperative asset in one’s ability to cope and thrive in employment settings upon being hired (Rothwell & Arnold, 2007). As students embark upon the school to work transition, they may be bombarded with a diverse array of novel challenges and uncertainties within a condensed time period (Pavlova, Chi-Kin Lee, Maclean, 2017; Meichenbaum, 2007).

The first stage of this transition involves the identification of and securing of a suitable job role. Upon exiting the schooling process, many students may be hampered by a lack of prior work experience, insufficient job search skills and a dearth of professional contacts (Koen, Klehe, & Van Vianen, 2012; Piopiunik & Ryan, 2012), which can make the process of job seeking a long and arduous one, abundant with stressors, setbacks and decisions (Akkermans & Brenninkmeijer, 2009; Koivisto et al., 2007). This initial job search can also be elongated further if the jobseeker possesses lower levels of education and training (Niewenhuis et al., 2012).

In addition to the issues with acquiring a suitable job role, students must also contend with the turbulence of the current job market which offers considerably fewer stable job opportunities than previously (Standing, 2010) and is now heavily populated by a multitude of less traditional, more precarious employment opportunities such as internships or temporary positions (Akkermans, Brenninkmeijer, Schaufeli & Blonk, 2015). Such transience among the many of the opportunities within the employment sector demands that novice job seekers exhibit a capacity for adaptability and flexibility in their search for gainful employment. Indeed, even upon securing a position within an organization, young and inexperienced workers regularly exhibit high turnover rates across a number of European countries, with those with lower levels of education left to contend with the continually looming burden of lower levels of job security (Piopiunik & Ryan, 2012). Furthermore, the demands and expectations made of those filling lower skilled job roles appear to be ever expanding as employers continue to place an increasing emphasis upon employee flexibility and social skills within such roles (Niewenhuis, 2012). Each of these factors combine to make the current school-to-work transition as challenging an experience as it has ever been.