This research examined the relationship between students’ lifelong learning mindsets and work adjustment when beginning a co-op work term. Data was collected from students at the beginning and end of their work term.

Three approaches to work were considered within the analysis: (1) a deep approach (critical thinking, information seeking); (2) a rational approach (organized, detail-oriented); and (3) a disorganized (self-doubting, struggle to connect information) approach. Lifelong learning mindsets were indirectly associated with work adjustment through a deep approach.

Further, deep and rational approaches to learning at work were associated with greater work adjustment. In comparison, a disorganized approach to learning was associated with lower work adjustment. These results provided novel insights regarding how career educators can support students’ school-to-work transitions.