Combine your "Will" and "Able": Career adaptability's influence on performance

Xueyuan Gao, Xun Xin*, Wenxia Zhou, Denise M. Jepsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
107 Downloads (Pure)


Adaptivity and adaptability are two key elements representing one's "willingness" and "ability," respectively, in the career construction theory (CCT) framework. On the basis of CCT and complemented by the visual of resources in the conservation of resources theory, this study combines career issues and performance and examines the joint effect of adaptivity and adaptability on career self-management which will lead to improved performance. Using a sample of Chinese employees (N = 232), the study first examines the mediating role that career self-management plays between career adaptability and performance and then tests the moderating role of proactive personality. Results show career adaptability positively predicts performance, with this relationship partially mediated by career self-management. The positive effect of career adaptability on career self-management is stronger among those who are more proactive than less proactive. Further, the indirect effect of career adaptability on performance is stronger among proactive employees than those with lower levels of proactive personality. These findings provide implications for both theories and practices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2695
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2019 Gao, Xin, Zhou and Jepsen. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Career adaptability
  • Career construction theory
  • Career self-management
  • Performance
  • Proactive personality


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