A new research has found that young workers who maintained high career aspirations and clarity of career goals may weather turbulent times better than their peers.
“The current ‘Great Recession’ in Europe and America has had particularly severe consequences for young workers,” said University of Minnesota sociology professor Jeylan Mortimer.
“They suffer high unemployment rates with lasting consequences for their careers,” he stated.
The study identifies three psychological orientations and behaviours that influence employment success during the transition to adulthood: educational aspirations, career goal certainty, and job search activities.
“Although structural factors like industry, region, etc. are undoubtedly important, these three characteristics are found to be particularly significant career transition resources,” said Mike Vuolo, an assistant professor of sociology at Purdue University.
Young adults who maintained high career aspirations and clarity of career goals from age 18 to 30 were more likely to be employed between 2007 and 2009 (when they were 33-36 years old) and also to have higher wages in 2009.
Young workers who manifested greater indecision in their career goals were less successful in weathering the economic turmoil in the Great Recession.
“The factors identified in this study are interrelated amongst themselves and also influence longer-term successes and vulnerabilities during difficult economic times,” said Mortimer.
The findings will be presented at the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.