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Chaotic careers: A narrative analysis of career transition themes and outcomes using chaos theory as a guiding metaphor

Peake, S and McDowall, A (2012) Chaotic careers: A narrative analysis of career transition themes and outcomes using chaos theory as a guiding metaphor British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 40 (4). 395 - 410. ISSN 0306-9885

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Abstract

In a rapidly changing world of work, little research exists on mid-career transitions. We investigated these using the open-systems approach of chaos theory as a guiding metaphor and conducted interviews with seven mid-career individuals chosen for their experience of a significant mid-career transition. Four common themes were identified through narrative analysis, where 'false starts' to a career were a common experience prior to finding a career 'fit'. Career transitions, precipitated by a trigger state and/or event such as a period of disillusionment, were an important part of this 'finding a fit' process. Overall, career success outcomes were shaped by a combination of chaos elements: chance, unplanned events, and non-linearity of resultant outcomes. We discuss implications for future research and practice. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an electronic version of an article published as Peake S, McDowall A (2012). Chaotic careers: A narrative analysis of career transition themes and outcomes using chaos theory as a guiding metaphor. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling 40(4):395-410 Available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cbjg20/40/4
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Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2012 15:46
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 19:40
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/725604

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