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ERIC Number: EJ974899
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0306-9885
Chaotic Careers: A Narrative Analysis of Career Transition Themes and Outcomes Using Chaos Theory as a Guiding Metaphor
Peake, Sharon; McDowall, Almuth
British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, v40 n4 p395-410 2012
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. (Contains 1 table.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom