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New Publication on Career Adaptability and Career Management Behaviors: The Role of Beliefs about the Malleability of Professional Skills and Abilities

Published: 17-10-2022

Individuals differ in their assumptions about the malleability of professional skills and abilities. Some individuals believe that such skills and abilities are flexible and can be developed at any age (i.e., indicative of a growth mindset), while others might think that professional skills and abilities are fixed and difficult to change (i.e., indicative of a fixed mindset). Across four studies, Antje Schmitt and Susanne Scheibe developed and validated a scale to measure individuals’ professional skills and abilities growth and fixed mindsets. The scale showed good psychometric properties. The authors found initial evidence for its relationships with employee career resources (i.e., career adaptability) and management behaviors (i.e., learning and career engagement). The parsimonious 6-item scale can be applied in future research on career management and used by practitioners, such as career counselors and coaches.

The article was published open access and can be found here.

You can find the scale (in English, Dutch, and German) here.



The concept of a professional skills and abilities mindset denotes beliefs that professional skills and abilities are either malleable (growth mindset) or are uncontrollable and difficult to change (fixed mindset). Based on the career construction theory, we argue that employees’ professional skills and abilities mindset represents an indicator of adaptive readiness that predicts career adaptability and adaptive responses in terms of learning and career engagement. Across four studies (total N = 709), we developed the 6-item professional skills and abilities mindset scale. Study 1 establishes a two-factor structure, satisfactory psychometric properties, and convergent validity. Studies 2 and 3 provide evidence of the criterion validity of the growth but not the fixed mindset subscale for career engagement and learning through career adaptability. Study 4 establishes moderate retest reliability across four weeks. This research establishes a previously neglected predictor of career-related resources and behaviors. Findings can inform vocational consulting and coaching.