On your marks, get set, go! Jumping the hurdles of employability development at an early career stage

Ricardo Rodrigues*, Jasmijn van Harten, Nele De Cuyper, Ilke Grosemans, Christina Butler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study draws on contributions from Social Cognitive Career Theory and Conservation of Resources theory to investigate how configurations of career barriers associated with gender and ethnicity influence the development of perceived employability. Our study with graduates surveyed before and two years after completing their degrees, shows that groups of graduates perceiving higher career barriers experience a significant decline in perceived employability during the early stage of their careers. In contrast, those perceiving fewer career hurdles report a more stable employability trajectory and have higher perceived employability two years after graduating. Our study contributes to the literature by showing that perceived employability does not necessarily increase with labor market experience but can instead remain stable or even decline depending on perceived career hindrances.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103999
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Career barriers profiles
  • Employability trajectories
  • Ethnic barriers
  • Gender barriers
  • Perceived employability

Cite this