While leisure plays an increasingly important role in individuals’ lives, little is known about its potential to influence career sustainability. Drawing on Conservation of Resources (COR) theory, we investigate whether investing extra time into leisure will have a positive or negative impact on career sustainability by either generating or depleting resources. Specifically, we examine the effects of time spent on leisure on the career-related resources of resilience and self-efficacy using data on within-person changes over the course of 7 monthly surveys. We propose that the effects of leisure on resources depend on the interplay between a) the approach individuals take to their leisure activity, in particular the level of “seriousness” of a leisure activity (i.e., the extent to which individuals identify with, and persevere in, their activity), and b) the similarity between work and leisure (i.e., the extent to which work and leisure involve similar demands and skills). We found that time spent on leisure over and above an individual’s average was positively related to work-related self-efficacy, but only when the individual’s leisure activities were high in seriousness and low in work-leisure similarity, or when they were low in seriousness and high in similarity. Investing time in leisure was negatively associated with self-efficacy when leisure activities were high in seriousness and similar to an individual’s work. Our findings paint a complex picture of the potential influence of leisure on career sustainability and highlight the need to take a nuanced approach when studying the effects of leisure.
KELLY, C.M., STRAUSS, K., ARNOLD, J. et STRIDE, C. (2020). The Relationship between Leisure Activities and Psychological Resources That Support a Sustainable Career: The Role of Leisure Seriousness and Work-Leisure Similarity. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 117.