Grass Roots of Occupational Change: Understanding Mobility in Vocational Careers

Medici, Emanuela Guri; Tschopp, Cécile; Grote, Gudela; Hirschi, Andreas; Igic, Ivana (31 May 2019). Grass Roots of Occupational Change: Understanding Mobility in Vocational Careers. In: 19th EAWOP Congress (European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology) - "Working for the greater good: Inspiring people, designing jobs and leading organizations for a more inclusive society". Turin, Italy. 29.05.-01.06.2019.

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

Purpose: Understanding occupational turnover is a critical endeavor in career mobility research. As the current skill shortage cannot be absorbed by additional hiring, maintaining trained employees in their respective occupations is essential.
Design: We investigated occupational change in vocational careers based on a longitudinal data set from Switzerland (N=905), highlighting the formative context of vocational education and training (VET) and its predictive power for occupational turnover. A combination of quantitative methods was used, addressing prior methodological shortcomings.
Results: Results indicate that early, occupation specific work experience has a strong impact: Work characteristics from VET predicted satisfaction with trained occupation which in turn predicted occupational change, up to ten years after finishing VET. Satisfaction with trained occupation mediated this relation. The same effects were observed for work characteristics and work satisfaction during later career, tested with a subsample.
Limitations: The main limitation concerns attrition bias among the subsample. Although nonrandom attrition occurred, the findings still indicate that occupational change is predictable trough dissatisfaction, the hypothesized relationship thus holds true.
Implications: Our findings contribute to a better understanding of occupational mobility. Learning that early work experience has the power to predict the change of one’s occupation, that may also be linked to human capital loss, informs practitioners on how undesired mobility could be reduced. Early career experience should be integrated in established career change models.
Originality/Value: A better understanding of the factors triggering and preventing occupational turnover supports the objective of keeping individuals interested and employable in relevant vocational occupations.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Hirschi, Andreas and Igic, Ivana


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Ivana Igic

Date Deposited:

07 Aug 2019 15:36

Last Modified:

07 Aug 2019 15:36

Related URLs:


Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback