New Paper: Tales of the Unexpected - Integrating Career Shocks in the Contemporary Careers Literature

April 19, 2018

Our conceptual paper about the role of career shocks in contemporary career development is out now, published open access in the SA Journal of Industrial Psychology. The paper can be accessed by clicking THIS LINK.

In this paper, we argue that the dominant focus on individual agency in career development is important, yet only provides us with a limited understanding of the complexities of contemporary careers. More specifically, we state that career shocks - which are unexpected events that initiate a deliberate thought process and might impact career development - should be integrated more prominently in the literature. In doing so, we provide a definition and several key dimensions for analyzing such career shocks, and we also propose a future research agenda in this area.

Research on career shocks has been mostly overlooked in recent years, and I strongly believe that it needs to be re-introduced both in scientific research and in practical applications such as career coaching and mentoring. While proactive behavior and agency are absolutely crucial in today's career landscape, we all encounter major events that have a big impact on our careers and lives, but we did not foresee happening. Thus, integrating both of these streams of research would be the way to move forward, and I hope our paper contributes to this goal!

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