A person’s work life and career can be ultimately deconstructed to the day-to-day job tasks they perform, the people they interact with, and the value and meaning attached to their jobs. Individuals with health conditions and disabilities consistently experience disparities in the workplace resulting in a less than optimal work experience in all three areas. Simply addressing workplace and disability-related barriers through disability management programs or provision of workplace accommodations does not propel individuals with disabilities towards higher career goals or longer job tenure.
Our research focuses on using and adapting Job Crafting as a career self-management strategy for people with chronic health conditions and disabilities. Job crafting is a bottom-up, strengths-based approach to job re-design that has its roots in positive organizational psychology. Job crafting is the process by which employees take active steps in defining and designing their own job experience in a personally meaningful way.
The overarching goal of this research study is to improve work engagement and facilitate job growth among people with physical and mild cognitive disabilities through the use of career self-management strategies.
We are (1) developing and testing the efficacy of a career self-management intervention through job crafting and (2) examining the impact of job crafting behaviors on occupational self-efficacy and work engagement. Anticipated outcomes for study participants include (1) improved occupational self-efficacy and work engagement and (2) an understanding of how the job crafting approach can be used over the long-term to problem-solve barriers and to seize opportunities for career growth.
We are conducting a mixed methods study to develop and test a career self-management intervention based on job crafting. Job crafting includes modifying the physical (how and where the task is performed), cognitive (meaning attached to the job task), and relational (social interactions) boundaries inherent in the job task. Job crafting has not been tested among people with disabilities, thus far. Our study participants includes employees aged 18-64 who have a physical or mild cognitive disability who are currently employed.
We will share our results via presentations and peer-reviewed manuscripts. We will also develop a prototype of a job crafting intervention for use with people with disabilities.
This research study is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).