CAREER ADAPTABILITY FOR MUSICIANS?
Due to the continuous social, economic and environmental crises, today's society is often referred to in various ways, including as a 'risk society', which causes increasingly insecure and uncertain working conditions for workers, thus increasing the number of 'working poors', i.e. 'low-wage workers who accept conditions on the borderline of decency' (Soresi & Nota, 2020; Nota et al., 2016). This crisis has led to a sharp increase in feelings of helplessness, suicides, substance abuse along with widespread feelings of depression (ibid.). As revealed by the English study entitled "Can Music Make You Seek?"(Gross & Musgrave, 2017) the population of professional musicians shows a large risk of physical and psychopathologies, often higher than other professions. What also emerges is that, the highly fluctuating and rarely stabilising music work environment often provides one of the most substantial risk factors regarding the mental health of such professionals.
Career adaptability is a construct based on four dimensions, namely concern, control, curiosity and confidence, which together with positive dimensions such as self-efficacy, planning, decision making and exploration also contribute to influencing life and job satisfaction. The four dimensions (Soresi et al., 2012) can be described as follows:
Concern relates to the interest in one's future, to look ahead, to prepare in advance for the next step.
Control refers to the degree to which individuals feel capable and responsible in relation to building their future.
Curiosity refers to the degree to which individuals feel able to explore the various opportunities in their context.
Confidence relates to the perception of being able to pursue one's goals even when encountering difficulties or obstacles
From a preventive perspective (Di Fabio & Kenny, 2015), career adaptability would therefore also be a key characteristic for young adults who are faced with the challenges of today's working world and its uncertainties.
Various studies have shown that career adaptability would seem to be an essential characteristic in order to support career planning even in the face of uncertain situations and adverse conditions, adapting to changes imposed, even abruptly, by the work environment (Savickas, 2013; Di Fabio & Kenny, 2015).
Also in my personal work experience in the performing arts sector, the dimension of adaptability to different professional situations that change ever more rapidly turns out to be increasingly crucial.
In 2018, for my Bachelor's thesis at the University of Padua, I conducted a study on a group of 63 musicians with the support of the L.A.Ri.O.S. Laboratory of the University of Padua, investigating in a quantitative way through different instruments the dimensions of Career Adaptability, Life Skills, Life Satisfaction and Professional.
What emerged was that those who reported higher levels of career adaptability showed significant and superior skills in: Making Contacts, Cultural Curiosity, Openness to Change, Reflexivity, Flexibility, Collaborative Skills, Self-Control and Self-Regulation, Critical Thinking, Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy, Life and Job Satisfaction.
© Dott. Mazzon Luca *
Dipl. Mus., M. Mus., B. Sc., M. Sc. Psy.
Brown, S. D., & Lent, R. W. (A c. Di). (2013). Career development and counseling: Putting theory and research to work (2nd ed). Wiley.
Di Fabio, A., & Kenny, M. E. (2015). The Contributions of Emotional Intelligence and Social Support for Adaptive Career Progress Among Italian Youth. Journal of Career Development, 42(1), 48–59. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894845314533420
Gross, S., & Musgrave, G. (2016). Can Music Make You Sick? Music and Depression. https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/q9z9w/can-music-make-you-sick-music-and-depression
Nota, L., Santilli, S., & Soresi, S. (2016). A Life-Design-Based Online Career Intervention for Early Adolescents: Description and Initial Analysis. The Career Development Quarterly, 64(1), 4–19. https://doi.org/10.1002/cdq.12037
Soresi & Nota. (2020). L’orientamento e la progettazione professionale: Per un futuro inclusivo e sostenibile. Il mulino.
Soresi, S., Nota, L., & Ferrari, L. (2012). Career Adapt-Abilities Scale-Italian Form: Psychometric properties and relationships to breadth of interests, quality of life, and perceived barriers. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(3), 705–711. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2012.01.020
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