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Does social capital predict successful job search? A longitudinal study of the individual experiences during transition from college to work / Čarapina, Ivona ; Maslić Seršić, Darja.

By: Čarapina, Ivona.
Contributor(s): Maslić Seršić, Darja [aut].
Material type: ArticleArticleDescription: 21 str.Other title: Does social capital predict successful job search? A longitudinal study of the individual experiences during transition from college to work [Naslov na engleskom:].Subject(s): 5.06 | social capital; social network; job search; unemployment; college-to-work transition | social capital; social network; job search; unemployment; college-to-work transitionOnline resources: Elektronička verzija In: 37th STAR Conference str. 21Abstract: Social capital of an individual represents available resources that a person can realize through social relations. At the individual level, the concept of social capital is often defined as the size, structure and quality of social network. For these reasons, employment per se represents a beneficial context for gaining social capital, while unemployment is related to social isolation. As the quality and quantity of social contacts relate to successful job search and predict various career outcomes, the process of gaining and losing social capital may be crucial for our understanding of individual differences in career success of people with comparable human capital characteristics. Accordingly, the present study investigated the role of social capital in job search success and analyzed the trends in individual social capital during the period of college-to-work transition. The total number of 501 graduates (392 females, Mage=24.5) was surveyed two times: immediately after receiving a diploma at University of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and six months after when 109 (35%) of them were employed and 325 (65%) still unemployed. The key variables were characteristics of individual’s social network – the size, importance of acquaintances and strength of ties. The results of the 2x2 repeated-measures ANOVA showed the significant effects of the network characteristics in differing subjects who found employment 6 months after diploma: compared to graduates who were still unemployed after 6 months, employed graduates reported having larger social networks , with stronger ties and more important connections immediately after graduation . Furthermore, in both groups the social ties became weaker in time and graduates who found employment increased the network size. The results enable a more thorough insight into the mechanisms of individual variations in career success and the role of social capital in successful transition from college to work.
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Social capital of an individual represents available resources that a person can realize through social relations. At the individual level, the concept of social capital is often defined as the size, structure and quality of social network. For these reasons, employment per se represents a beneficial context for gaining social capital, while unemployment is related to social isolation. As the quality and quantity of social contacts relate to successful job search and predict various career outcomes, the process of gaining and losing social capital may be crucial for our understanding of individual differences in career success of people with comparable human capital characteristics. Accordingly, the present study investigated the role of social capital in job search success and analyzed the trends in individual social capital during the period of college-to-work transition. The total number of 501 graduates (392 females, Mage=24.5) was surveyed two times: immediately after receiving a diploma at University of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and six months after when 109 (35%) of them were employed and 325 (65%) still unemployed. The key variables were characteristics of individual’s social network – the size, importance of acquaintances and strength of ties. The results of the 2x2 repeated-measures ANOVA showed the significant effects of the network characteristics in differing subjects who found employment 6 months after diploma: compared to graduates who were still unemployed after 6 months, employed graduates reported having larger social networks , with stronger ties and more important connections immediately after graduation . Furthermore, in both groups the social ties became weaker in time and graduates who found employment increased the network size. The results enable a more thorough insight into the mechanisms of individual variations in career success and the role of social capital in successful transition from college to work.

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