Young Women Who Are Doing Well with Changes Affecting Their Work: Helping and Hindering Factors


  • Lelia J. Howard University of British Columbia
  • Lee D. Butterfield University of British Columbia
  • William A. Borgen University of British Columbia
  • Norman E. Amundson University of British Columbia


young women, women, change, work, factors, burn-out, workforce, positive psychology


This study responds to a call for an increased understanding of women workers and the importance of considering women’s experiences at different ages and stages of career involvement. Informed by positive psychology, this research looked at a small sub-set of working individuals, young women who selfidentified as doing well with changes affecting their work. The study focused on their experience of change, what strategies helped or hindered these young women in doing well, and what would have helped within the context of volatile and changing work conditions. The article describes the participants’ views regarding what change meant to them, along with the impact and result of changes they had experienced. Using the Enhanced Critical Incident Technique methodology (ECIT), the 10 participants reported a total of 147 helping and hindering, and wish list items. These break down into 85 helping incidents (58% of the total), 37 hindering incidents (25%), and 25 wish list items (17%) that were best represented by 9 categories: Friends and Family, Management and Work Environment, Skills Training and Self Growth, Personality Traits and Attitudes, Self-care, Personal Boundaries/Self Awareness, Take Action, School Pressure/Workload and Personal Change/Stressful Events. Implications for research, counselling practice and career counselling are discussed.


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How to Cite

Howard, L. J. ., Butterfield, L. D., Borgen, W. A. ., & Amundson, N. E. (2014). Young Women Who Are Doing Well with Changes Affecting Their Work: Helping and Hindering Factors. Canadian Journal of Career Development, 13(2), 36–46. Retrieved from