Happy graduates have a greater chance of being hired for a high quality first job. This is one of the conclusions of the PhD thesis "Analysis of happiness, resilience and optimism as emotional factors in the employment of university graduates," submitted by Domingo Rafael Galiana Lapera, current director of the Occupational Observatory at the University Miguel Hernández (UMH) in Elche. The study points out that promoting learning and practice of attitudes that encourage happiness could improve the employability of graduates. Professors of Management at the UMH José María Gómez Gras and Antonio José Verdú Jover have directed the study.
The overall aim of this research project was to learn about the characteristics and elements that occur in the process of graduates finding their first job, in particular, the influence of happiness, resilience and optimism on the success of the transition from university to the workplace. This thesis intended to respond to issues related to the success of the college students who are happy, more resilient and more optimistic in their job search process or the influence on the quality of work obtained after leaving university.
The employability of university graduates has been researched because of its remarkable social, economic, educational and personal impact. The transition from university to the labour market has been approached from different perspectives such as sociology, education or skills. On the other hand, some research has shown the benefits that certain emotional factors as happiness, resilience and optimism have on health, relationships, work or academic performance. However, there is an important gap in research about how these factors affect the employment of new graduates in the process of accessing the labour market.
The research approach proposed in this study began with a series of professional concerns and questions. Among the issues raised: What factors mainly influence the inclusion of new university graduates?, What can students do to enhance their future employability?, Why do some graduates land a job quickly, while others take longer?, What determines the wages of young professionals?, What elements influence that some graduates take on senior positions related to their studies as soon as they enter the labour market?, Are there other elements or factors that traditionally are not taken into account in studies of employment, such as resilience, happiness and optimism, that can make a significant difference in the quality of employment?, Are the happiest the most successful finding a job?
To obtain the results that have helped a better understand of these issues, the study was performed with a simple random sampling, stratified by degree of 3,381 graduates who completed their studies and who were interviewed one year after finishing university. In total, a sample of 1,301 surveys was obtained.
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