Developing Gritty Job Seekers: A Need Supportive Approach to Grit Interventions

Leoni van der Vaart*, Llewellyn Ellardus van Zyl, Jessica van Wingerden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Optimizing job search performance of unemployed job seekers remains a priority for unemployment researchers and practitioners alike. Grit, as a non-cognitive personality trait, may play an essential role in optimizing job search performance. However, grit is largely ignored in the context of unemployment. This chapter first contends that grit interventions should be developed for and implemented in the unemployment context. Secondly, it proposes practical strategies on how the psychological conditions of grit (interest, deliberate practice, hope, meaning and purpose) could be developed by job seekers. Thirdly, it provides an overview of strategies which could be employed to develop a growth-mindset within the unemployed. Finally, it argues how self-determination theory could be used to create a need supportive environment which is important to facilitate the job seeker’s adherence to, engagement with grit intervention strategies. In doing so, the chapter contributes to the limited literature on grit interventions, in general, but also more specifically in the unemployment context. It also contributes to incorporating SDT principles in the delivery of grit interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultidisciplinary Perspectives on Grit
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Theories, Assessments, Applications and Critiques
EditorsLlewellyn E. van Zyl, Chantal Olckers, Leoni van der Vaart
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-57389-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-57388-1, 978-3-030-57391-1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • n/a OA procedure
  • Unemployment
  • perseverance
  • Passion
  • Positive psychological intervention
  • Grit


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