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Freelance job search during times of uncertainty: protean career orientation, career competencies and job search

Freelance job search during times of uncertainty: protean career orientation, career competencies... Freelancers are a growing population of working adults with limited to no organizational support. Yet, their strategies to navigate job search, especially in turbulent times, are unknown. To address this gap, the author hypothesized and examined a sequential mediation model whereby freelancer protean career orientation (PCO) influences job search strategies through career competencies (i.e. knowing why, how and with whom to work) and job search self-efficacy (JSSE).Design/methodology/approachData were collected from a sample of 87 Canadian freelancers during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.FindingsThe results supported the sequential mediation from PCO to job search strategies through two of the career competencies (knowing why and how) and JSSE. The mediating role of knowing whom was not supported.Practical implicationsPolicy makers and learning institutions can provide freelancers with opportunities to develop transferable skills through massive open online courses (MOOCs). Employers of freelancers can design motivating jobs that provide freelancers with on-the-job learning and development opportunities.Social implicationsThe insignificant mediating role of knowing whom (i.e. professional networks) implies that large networks might not be necessarily beneficial in times of crisis. Thus, the role of networks might be more complex than the literature has proposed.Originality/valueThis study brings into focus an overlooked population of workers: freelancers. It investigates a sequential mediation through which freelancer PCO impacts job search strategies. In addition, it compares the effectiveness of career competencies in unfolding the proposed sequential mediation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Personnel Review Emerald Publishing

Freelance job search during times of uncertainty: protean career orientation, career competencies and job search

Personnel Review , Volume 51 (1): 17 – Mar 11, 2022

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0048-3486
DOI
10.1108/pr-07-2020-0563
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Freelancers are a growing population of working adults with limited to no organizational support. Yet, their strategies to navigate job search, especially in turbulent times, are unknown. To address this gap, the author hypothesized and examined a sequential mediation model whereby freelancer protean career orientation (PCO) influences job search strategies through career competencies (i.e. knowing why, how and with whom to work) and job search self-efficacy (JSSE).Design/methodology/approachData were collected from a sample of 87 Canadian freelancers during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.FindingsThe results supported the sequential mediation from PCO to job search strategies through two of the career competencies (knowing why and how) and JSSE. The mediating role of knowing whom was not supported.Practical implicationsPolicy makers and learning institutions can provide freelancers with opportunities to develop transferable skills through massive open online courses (MOOCs). Employers of freelancers can design motivating jobs that provide freelancers with on-the-job learning and development opportunities.Social implicationsThe insignificant mediating role of knowing whom (i.e. professional networks) implies that large networks might not be necessarily beneficial in times of crisis. Thus, the role of networks might be more complex than the literature has proposed.Originality/valueThis study brings into focus an overlooked population of workers: freelancers. It investigates a sequential mediation through which freelancer PCO impacts job search strategies. In addition, it compares the effectiveness of career competencies in unfolding the proposed sequential mediation.

Journal

Personnel ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 11, 2022

Keywords: Freelancers; Protean career orientation; Career competencies; COVID-19; Social cognitive career theory; Job search self-efficacy; Job search strategy.

References