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Career success is not always an outcome: its mediating role between competence employability model and perceived employability

Mariana Bargsted (Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Santiago, Chile)
Jesús Yeves (Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Santiago, Chile)
Cristóbal Merino (Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Santiago, Chile)
Juan I. Venegas-Muggli (Universidad Tecnológica de Chile, Santiago, Chile)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 26 January 2021

Issue publication date: 4 May 2021




Career success has been understood as an outcome of career goals, achievement and employability resources. Recent research has enlightened its potential effect on career decisions and perceived employability. This paper aims to test the role of career success in the relationship between competence employability and perceived employability.


An online survey was answered by 1,087 graduates from a large nonselective higher education institution that enrolls a significant number of first generation and lower socioeconomic background students. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the mediating role of career success, as was proposed.


Subjective career success partially mediates the relationship between competence employability model and perceived employability. However, objective career success was not related to perceived employability.

Research limitations/implications

The study made use of a cross-sectional design, which hinders the identification of causal direction.

Practical implications

For training and education, both employability competences and subjective career success are resources to enhance in order to promote employee's personal beliefs about obtaining and maintaining employment.


This study combines different employability approaches, and their relationship with career success, considering subjective and objective career success as relevant personal resources that could impact self-perceptions and foster career behaviors. Testing the utility of these theoretical models on a group that has been underrepresented in career development studies is also relevant, particularly, the use of gain spiral concept from Conservation of Resources theory.



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


Bargsted, M., Yeves, J., Merino, C. and Venegas-Muggli, J.I. (2021), "Career success is not always an outcome: its mediating role between competence employability model and perceived employability", Career Development International, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 119-139.



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