II Applications of emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence as a predictor of the career decision-making strategies of adolescents in Slovakia

Eubor Pilarik, Veronika Szatmar, and Michaela Hegedusova

Introduction to emotional intelligence as a predictor of career decision-making strategies

People make a lot of decisions about their careers during their lifetime. Decisions about selecting their studies and professions are some of the most important they will encounter in their lifetime, yet adolescents have relatively little experience with career decision-making. An important period for making career choices in the Slovak educational system is the last tw'o years of high-school study. In the last year of high-school students choose profile subjects for final exams, which means choosing the direction of their future, whether it be college or university, deciding on a particular field of studies for their chosen profession, or whether they choose to go straight into the job market.

Such importance placed on career decision-making in high-school students is conducive to a higher level of stress (Lipshits-Braziler, Gati, & Tatar, 2015) and anxiety (Sollarova, 2016, 2017). Higher stress levels can contribute to numerous difficulties in career decision-making, such as a lack of readiness to make a career choice, a lack of information about important fields of career decision-making or inconsistent information (Gati, Krausz, & Osipow', 1996). Emotional and personality sources of career decision-making difficulties are currently w'ell described (Saka & Gati, 2007; Saka, Gati, & Kelly, 2008), and were tested in Slovak conditions (e.g., Hroncova, Balazova, & Sollar, 2017; Sollarova, 2016, 2017). This chapter focuses on a process model of career decision-making, which is neither focused on the content of career decisionmaking (values, abilities, interests) or the consequences of career decisionmaking (difficulties encountered in career decision-making). The model is focused on the process of career decision-making in terms of its adaptability and is represented by a profile of career decision-making strategies (Gati, Landman, Davidovitch, Asulin-Peretz, & Gadassi, 2010).

Emotional intelligence (El) is currently researched in numerous fields. The relations between El and quality decision-making (e.g., Bar-On, Tranel, Denburg, & Bechara, 2003; Pilarik & Sarmany-Schuller, 2009, 2011) are expanded into the field of career decision-making (Emmerling & Cherniss,

2003). The results of our research in Slovakia, which examined the relationship between perceived El, trait El and the adaptive career decision-making strategies of Slovak high-school students, are presented in this chapter. The results also consider the positive role of perceived El, not just in using adaptive career decision-making strategies, but also by means of satisfaction and the lack of regret in the process of career decision-making in Slovak university students, once they’ve realized that their career choice involves their university studies.

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