The present study aimed to understand how participation in university extracurricular activities has a beneficial or detrimental impact on students’ employment self-efficacy through the intervening mechanism of information search strategy.
The authors collected data from active job-searching university students across two time-points and hypothesized that the breadth of extracurricular activity participation would positively impact employment self-efficacy perceptions and information search strategies (focused, exploratory and haphazard) would mediate this relationship.
Results indicate that the breadth of students' participation in extracurricular activities was positively associated with employment self-efficacy perceptions, and this relationship was mediated by focused and exploratory information-search strategies. Extracurricular activities exhibited a negative relationship with a haphazard search strategy.
This research extends the understanding of the role of participation in extracurricular activities for influencing a job search. Future research may replicate these findings with different samples of job seekers.
Extracurricular activities are typically offered at universities as a way for students to develop skills and to improve employers' perceptions of students. The present results suggest that participating in extracurricular activities may also help university students to effectively conduct a self-directed job search.
We examined the role of extracurricular activities from the applicant's perspective, extending prior research examining extracurricular activities from the employer's perspective. The present results suggest that extracurricular activities play an important role in shaping the job search process of university students by influencing students' confidence for finding employment. Information search strategies mediated the effects of extracurricular activities on employment self-efficacy perceptions, suggesting that participating in extracurricular activities changed the way that applicants searched for jobs.
Kanar, A. and Bouckenooghe, D. (2021), "The role of extracurricular activities in shaping university students' employment self-efficacy perceptions", Career Development International, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 158-173. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-02-2020-0036
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