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Annelies E.M. van Vianen, Melvyn R.W. Hamstra and Jessie Koen

This chapter describes how employees’ fit experiences drive their commitments to their job, supervisor, team, and organization. Employees commit – that is, become attached – when they experience positive affective reactions as a consequence of the correspondence (versus discrepancy) between their attributes and those in their work environment. Because work environments comprise varying domains (for example, the job, the supervisor, the team, and the organization) to which employees may connect, the authors suggest that employees can experience multiple fits, which combine into holistic fit perceptions and result in various types of commitment. They distinguish two types of fit that inform these holistic perceptions: the needs, preferences and values that all people share (universal fits) and those that vary among individuals (distinctive fits). Finally, the authors delineate several opportunities for research and practice relating to how different fit perceptions emerge, how they combine, and how they might inform an organization’s selection and change practices.

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Maximilian B.W. Buyken, Ute-Christine Klehe, Jelena Zikic and Annelies E.M. Van Vianen

The chapter discusses how career adaptability can be valuable in constructing sustainable careers. Still, the concept faces a number of challenges and unresolved issues. First, we address the conceptualization of career adaptability as a composite construct and argue in particular that the component of career exploration may be less beneficial but more problematic in terms of functioning and outcomes than previously assumed. Secondly, we propose additional dimensions and other influences on career development that could either explain previous inconclusive findings for career adaptability or that could be helpful beyond the agentic perspective dominantly applied in the literature on career adaptability. We argue that career adaptability functions differently for adults than for adolescents because of different career phases, investments and entrenchment, and because of the differing goals that people have in different life transitions. We also discuss uncontrollable influences such as social context, chance and chaos. After turning to the value that awareness can add to deliberate exploration, we try to strengthen the notion that some stressful career events and transitions may act as a blessing in disguise. To conclude, we give implications for practice and research.