Changing Jobs Like Changing Clothes: The Hobo Syndrome among Career Starters

Kerckhofs, L., Vandenhaute, M. L., & Hardies, K. (2022). Changing jobs like changing clothes: the hobo syndrome among career starters. Discover Psychology, 2(23). | https://doi.org/10.1007/s44202-022-00036-4

16 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2022

See all articles by Linde Kerckhofs

Linde Kerckhofs

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) - Accountancy, Auditing and Business Financing (ACCO)

Marie-Laure Vandenhaute

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Kris Hardies

University of Antwerp

Date Written: March 16, 2022

Abstract

The hobo syndrome (i.e., the wanderlust someone posits to frequently change employers) has a behavioural (i.e., frequent job-quitting behaviour) and an attitudinal dimension (i.e., attitudes towards frequent job-quitting). Across two studies, we examine both dimensions across 348 career starters. By doing so, we expand our understanding of Ghiselli’s hobo syndrome in two ways: (a) we explore the efect of both ‘bright’- and ‘dark’-side personality traits on each dimension of the
hobo syndrome, and (b) using longitudinal research, we shed light on the role of each dimension of the hobo syndrome in predicting actual job-quitting behaviour. Data for both studies were gathered through a survey and LinkedIn. Results of regression analyses show that psychopathy is associated with both dimensions of the hobo syndrome. Conversely, openness to experience is only associated with the attitudinal dimension, while agreeableness and extraversion are only
associated with the behavioural dimension. Finally, we fnd that only the behavioural dimension is associated with the length of tenure with the frst employer, suggesting that one’s intentions to frequent job-quitting are more important in predicting one’s actual job-quitting behaviour than one’s attitudes towards frequent job-quitting.

Keywords: Hobo syndrome, Personality, Careers, Vocational behaviour, Longitudinal study

Suggested Citation

Kerckhofs, Linde and Vandenhaute, Marie-Laure and Hardies, Kris, Changing Jobs Like Changing Clothes: The Hobo Syndrome among Career Starters (March 16, 2022). Kerckhofs, L., Vandenhaute, M. L., & Hardies, K. (2022). Changing jobs like changing clothes: the hobo syndrome among career starters. Discover Psychology, 2(23). | https://doi.org/10.1007/s44202-022-00036-4, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4088583

Linde Kerckhofs (Contact Author)

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) - Accountancy, Auditing and Business Financing (ACCO) ( email )

Brussels
Belgium

Marie-Laure Vandenhaute

Vrije Universiteit Brussel ( email )

Pleinlaan 2
Brussel, 1050
Belgium

Kris Hardies

University of Antwerp ( email )

Department of Accounting and Finance
Pleinlaan 13
Antwerp, 2000
Belgium

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
2
Abstract Views
50
PlumX Metrics