Landing a first job: Evidence that grateful business school students fare better on job search preparation

Landing one’s first job is documented as a stressful life event. A competitive job market coupled with a pandemic is enough to make students feel a drain on their resources and discouraged about their future. Preparing for one’s job search (i.e., updating one’s CV, identifying and discussing job leads, etc.) becomes crucial for subsequent job search activities leading to success. However, to prepare, students must be able to recognize and appreciate their skills and abilities relative to the job market.  

A grateful outlook – or a predisposition to recognize and appreciate benefits afforded in life – 

including one’s skills and abilities relative to the job market – was examined in a recent study by Harrison, Budworth, and Halinski forthcoming in Career Development International. The authors conducted a field study at a large Canadian university following a sample of senior year business school students searching for employment in their final month of study. The results support the hypothesis that trait gratitude, a distal personal resource, predisposes individuals to self-regulation of personal resources (or perceived employability) and subsequent job search preparation. The authors encourage more research on gratitude’s role in job search to help illuminate these findings.    

The research of Jennifer Harrison


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