Context Counts in Career Development


  • William Borgen University of British Columbia
  • David Edwards University of British Columbia


career development, labour market, opportunities, vocational issues


This paper reviews existing literature to explore how changing labour market opportunities have altered the context in which career decisions are made. The literature investigating the effectiveness of traditional career counselling interventions is also briefly reviewed, and new helping approaches that emphasize the importance of intuition and embrace the unpredictability of the modern job climate are discussed. The authors’ past research into employment transitions, wherein transitions are conceptualized as emotional rollercoasters, is used as a platform from which common challenges and contexts of job loss are then considered. Four broad contexts and their associated emotional trajectories are expanded upon, with high level suggestions for approaching work with clients within each of these contexts. The paper concludes with a suggested need to consider a fundamental shift in the aims of
some career development interventions in order to take changing labour market opportunities more fully into account


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How to Cite

Borgen, W. ., & Edwards, D. . (2019). Context Counts in Career Development. Canadian Journal of Career Development, 18(1), 59–70. Retrieved from




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