Human Resource Management Journal

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Are freelancers a breed apart? The role of protean and boundaryless career attitudes in employability and career success

Abstract

Recent economic and organisational changes have fostered an increasing diversification of the workforce, among whom freelancers are an under‐represented population in the literature. This study aimed at examining the role of protean and boundaryless career, professional commitment, and employability activities in fostering freelancers' subjective career success. Data were collected via an online survey among a sample of 425 Italian freelancers and analysed through structural equation modelling. Results partially confirmed several hypotheses: higher self‐directed career management and boundaryless mindset predicted higher employability activities and professional commitment; moreover, employability and professional commitment acted as mediators between career attitudes and subjective career success. The study provides support for the importance of such variables to freelancers' career success, as well as for the significance of protean and boundaryless careers among nontraditional occupational groups. Interventions aimed at fostering such attitudes could support freelancers in improving their attainment of professional progress and perception of career success.

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