The job search literature addresses characteristics that facilitate reemployment but does not address the management of employment gaps. Building upon prior job search research, we suggest that facilitation‐based emotional intelligence reduces employment gaps through self‐esteem. Further, understanding‐based emotional intelligence moderates the negative relationship between employment gaps and subsequent employment fit. We test these hypotheses employing a multiwave data collection of 157 workers. At Time 1, undergraduate students completed a measure of self‐esteem and a test of facilitation‐ and understanding‐based emotional intelligence using the Mayer–Salovey–Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test© V2.0. Ten years later (Time 2), the same individuals reported their employment gaps, person–organization fit, and person–job fit. Findings suggest that facilitation‐based emotional intelligence is associated with higher self‐esteem, which in turn leads to reduced employment gaps. Additionally, understanding‐based emotional intelligence moderates the relationship between employment gaps and person–job fit such that low understanding‐based emotional intelligence enhances the negative relationship and high understanding‐based emotional intelligence neutralizes the relationship. This study contributes to the emotional intelligence, career management, and job search literatures by illustrating that emotional intelligence plays a role in preventing employment gaps and managing the difficulties associated with subsequent reemployment.
Journal of Organizational Behavior – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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