Research on organizational socialization processes has not firmly established the relationships among prior work experience, preentry variables, and postentry attitudes and behavior. Using a longitudinal sample of 218 newcomers, a survival model was developed to test whether the relationship between prior occupational experience and retention is mediated by such preentry variables as person-job (P-J) fit, value congruence, and organizational expectations. Results indicate that prior occupational work experience significantly affects retention in the short run, and this relationship is mediated by preentry P-J fit and value congruence. © 2006 Southern Management Association. All rights reserved.