ESVDC Dissertation award for dr. Jessie Koen
July 10, 2014 - Dr. Jessie Koen (University of Amsterdam) received the "Dissertation award for young researchers in vocational designing and career counseling" by the European Society for Vocational Designing and Career Counseling (ESVDC), at the ESVDC General Assembly 2014 in Paris, France.
On April 4, 2013 Jessie Koen successfully defended the PhD thesis entitled "Prepare and Pursue: routes to suitable (re-)employment" at the University of Amsterdam.
There is a widespread consensus in reemployment research and -practice that the best route to finding a job is searching for one. However, searching hard for a job is often not enough in times of economic crisis or for long-term and disadvantaged unemployed people, nor does it necessarily result in better reemployment quality. The aim of this dissertation was therefore to designate the routes to genuine reemployment success. To this purpose, it is proposed in this dissertation that the concept of employability may play an important role in establishing successful reemployment. Additionally, it is proposed that one of the dimensions of employability in particular "adaptability" can serve as a preparatory mechanism that contributes to the quality of reemployment.
By examining each dimension of employability separately among different types of samples with different methods, this dissertation answers if, how and why employability can foster genuine reemployment success. The results of Chapter 2, 3 and 4 show that employability and its dimensions do indeed contribute to both job search and finding reemployment among the long-term unemployed, and that employability can be enhanced through reemployment interventions, as long as these interventions are useful for finding reemployment (Chapter 3) and yield opportunities for constructing a career identity (Chapter 4). Chapter 5 and 6 confirm that preparation in the (re-)employment process by means of career adaptability can influence the way in which people search for jobs and the subsequent quality of (re-) employment.
Together, the findings in this dissertation yield conclusive evidence that employability offers a comprehensive approach to fostering genuine reemployment success. Whether we look at regular job seekers, the long-term unemployed, stigmatized disadvantaged young adults or university graduates, employability and its separate dimensions are crucial. Employability is, by providing both the resources to engage and persist in proper job search methods and to eventually land suitable reemployment, a fruitful route when pursuing genuine reemployment success. Moreover, preparation (i.e., career adaptability) is particularly essential for the quality of (re-)employment. Thus, in the pursuit of suitable (re-)employment, employability and preparation are sensible routes for maximizing the chances on finding a suitable job.