Although career transitions occur several times during people's life course, a significant turning point may be the school-to-work transition (STWT) of young adults migrating from structured academic environments to chaotic organizational setups. In the field of newcomer socialization, successful STWTs, particularly in the post-employment phase, have been widely researched, although the studies have been dominated by an “organization-driven” perspective on what motivates young newcomers to adjust themselves to organizational career norms. By examining “individual-driven” career adjustment pathways that focus on the self-enhancement effect involved in organizational support, this research addresses the challenge of how young newcomers with self-directed career orientations experience STWT success without compromising their career-growth concerns. Drawing on theories of self-enhancement and self-verification, we investigated a model wherein (1) a perceived match of individual and organizational career plans mediates the relationship between newcomers’ perceived organizational support (POS) and their STWT success, and (2) protean career orientations moderate the anticipated positive relationship between POS and perceived career match, thus conditioning the mediation. Results from four-wave time-lagged data supported the predicted effects, even after controlling for organization-driven adjustment factors. The findings contribute to the ongoing debate on “individualization” and the “Protean Paradox” in career management literature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas