Emotions and confidence are said to play an important role in the career decision-making process. The present study, comprising 472 students attending a large university in the United Kingdom, advances current thinking in this area in two ways. First, by identifying specific emotional intelligence (EI) abilities that are key to decision making, and second, by exploring the role of career decision self-efficacy (CDSE) as a potential mediator in the relationship between EI and career decision-making difficulties (CDD). Regression and mediation analyses indicated that EI was negatively related to CDD and that effects were strongest for self-emotion appraisal. EI was also positively related to CDSE, with use of emotion eliciting the strongest effect. Career decision self-efficacy was largely found to mediate the relationship between overall and specific abilities of EI and CDD, with full mediation effects observed for self-emotion appraisal and use of emotion and various difficulties. The findings and limitations are discussed with reference to the literature together with practical implications for career counseling and suggestions for future research.
Santos, A., Wang, W., & Lewis, J. (2018). Emotional intelligence and career decision-making difficulties: The mediating role of career decision self-efficacy. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 107, 295-309. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2018.05.008