Protean career orientation: Behavioral antecedents and employability outcomes

Laura Cortellazzo, Sara Bonesso, Fabrizio Gerli, Joan Manuel Batista Foguet

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


The contemporary unstable business environment is challenging the concept of the “traditional”
career in an organization, in favor of a protean career attitude in which individuals are characterized
as having a strong sense of identity and personal values that guide their career decisions.
Despite the relevance of the protean career concept, empirical research has provided
limited evidence on its antecedents and outcomes as regards individuals who are at an early stage
of their career path. The purpose of this study is to shed light on the behavioral antecedents of
protean career orientation (PCO), and to investigate the relationship between PCO and individuals'
employability. Data were collected on a sample of graduate students entering the labor
market. The results, obtained through a Structural Equation Modeling analysis, provide new
insights into the antecedents of PCO, showing that – contrary to prior research that primarily
focuses on two competencies, “self-awareness” and “adaptability” – other behavioral competencies
predict the protean approach. Moreover, the findings show a positive relationship between
PCO and employability and perceived employability. Implications for the career management
and competency-based literature are provided.
Original languageAmerican English
Article number116
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Volume116 A
Issue numberFebruary 202
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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