Changing Jobs Like Changing Clothes: The Hobo Syndrome among Career Starters

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The hobo syndrome (i.e., the wanderlust someone posits to frequently change employers) has a behavioural (i.e., frequent job-quitting behaviour) and an attitudinal dimension (i.e., attitudes towards frequent job-quitting). Across two studies, we examine both dimensions across 348 career starters. By doing so, we expand our understanding of Ghiselli’s hobo syndrome in two ways: (a) we explore the effect of both ‘bright’- and ‘dark’-side personality traits on each dimension of the hobo syndrome, and (b) using longitudinal research, we shed light on the role of each dimension of the hobo syndrome in predicting actual job-quitting behaviour. Data for both studies were gathered through a survey and LinkedIn. Results of regression analyses show that psychopathy is associated with both dimensions of the hobo syndrome. Conversely, openness to experience is only associated with the attitudinal dimension, while agreeableness and extraversion are only associated with the behavioural dimension. Finally, we find that only the behavioural dimension is associated with the length of tenure with the first employer, suggesting that one’s intentions to frequent job-quitting are more important in predicting one’s actual job-quitting behaviour than one’s attitudes towards frequent job-quitting.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1-16
Aantal pagina's16
TijdschriftDiscover Psychology
Nummer van het tijdschrift23
StatusPublished - 19 apr 2022


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