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Rein De Cooman and Nicky Dries

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Marijke Verbruggen, Nicky Dries, Anke Milissen and Sarah Vansteenkiste

To date, little is known about the value of psychological mobility for unemployed job seekers. In this study, we examined a specific set of antecedents (career competences) and outcomes (perceived employability) of two aspects of psychological mobility (boundaryless mindset and organizational mobility preference) among 306 unemployed job seekers participating in outplacement counseling. We found that in this specific population, psychological mobility was only to a certain extent related to self-perceived employability. Furthermore, boundaryless mindset appeared to have little impact at all, which is an unexpected result when we compare our findings to those of earlier studies done in working populations. Another remarkable finding was the lack of a relationship between self-awareness – generally considered to be an important career competence – and psychological mobility. Perhaps self-awareness relates first and foremost to people’s readiness to be mobile, or to their capability to handle changes, rather than to their mobility preferences. Further research into the role of self-awareness in how psychological mobility shapes sustainable careers seems warranted. Overall, our findings imply that the relationship between psychological mobility and career outcomes may be markedly different for different groups in the labor market.