Career Change: Transition and Disruption

  • Ann M. BrewerEmail author


Understanding what work means to people (and how it functions in their lives), the personal and family benefits and costs incurred in maintaining or exiting a career; to start-up a new business or how and why remaining or leaving a career is the best thing to do. Going to work provides a routine, a schedule and a practice, that most people rely on. Without routine, people would need to exercise choice, decision and judgement more frequently about how to spend their day. And this would be demanding. Work means much more to people than routine. It provides meaning, a purpose and an identity evidenced by interconnecting historical, interpersonal and material factors. All the more reason why any break from work, planned or unplanned, not only leads to physical, social and professional dislocation but also psychological.


  1. Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behaviour. Organisational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arygris, C., & Schon, D. (1996). Organisational Learning II. MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  3. Astebro, T., & Thompson, P. (2011). Entrepreneurs, jacks of all trades or hobos? Research Policy, 40, 637–649.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Astebro, T., & Yong, K. (2016). Invention quality and entrepreneurial earnings: The role of prior employment variety. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 40(2), 381–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Atchley, R. C. (1989). A continuity theory of normal aging. The Gerontologist, 29(2), 183–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Atchley, R. C. (1999). Continuity theory, self, and social structure. In C. D. Ryff & V. W. Marshall (Eds.), Families and retirement (pp. 145–158). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  7. Beck, U., & Beck-Gernsheim, E. (2002). Individualisation. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  8. Beehr, T. A., & Bennett, M. M. (2015). Working after retirement: Features of bridge employment and research directions. Work, Aging and Retirement, 1, 112–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berglann, H., Moen, E. R., Roed, K., & Skogstrom, J. F. (2011). Entrepreneurship: Origins and returns. Labour Economics, 18(2), 180–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Blumberg, B., & Pfann, G. (2016). Roads leading to self-employment: Comparing transgenerational entrepreneurs and self-made start-ups. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 40(2), 335–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brewer, A. M. (1994). The responsive employee: The road towards organisational citizenship. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  12. Bruehlman-Senecal, E., & Ayduk, O. (2015). This too shall pass: Temporal distance and the regulation of emotional distress. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 108, 356–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bruehlman-Senecal, E., Ayduk, O., & John, O. P. (2016). Taking the long view: Implications of individual differences in temporal distancing for affect, stress reactivity, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 111(4), 610–615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cameron, M. P., & Waldegrave, C. (2009). Work, retirement and wellbeing among older New Zealanders. In P. Koopman-Boyden & C. Waldegrave (Eds.), Enhancing Wellbeing in an Ageing Society (pp. 67–81). Hamilton and Lower Hutt: Family Centre Social Policy Research Unit, University of Waikato, New Zealand.Google Scholar
  15. Carnahan, S., Agarwal, R., & Campbell, B. A. (2012). Heterogeneity in turnover: The effect of relative compensation dispersion of firms on the mobility and entrepreneurship of extreme performers. Strategic Management Journal, 55(12), 1411–1430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chan, S. H. J., & Mai, X. (2015). The relation of career adaptability to satisfaction and turnover intentions. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 89, 130–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Conroy, S. A., & O’Leary-Kelly, A. M. (2014). Letting go and moving on: Work-related identity loss and recovery. Academy of Management Review, 39(1), 67–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cote, J. (2005). Identity capital, social capital and the wider benefits of learning generating resources facilitative of social cohesion. London Review of Education, 3(3), 221–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cross, N. (2004). Expertise in design: An overview. Design Studies, 25(5), 427–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dolado, J., Jansen, M., & Jimeno, J. (2009). On-the-job search in a matching model with heterogeneous jobs and workers. The Economic Journal, 119, 200–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Du Gay, P., Salaman, G., & Rees, B. (1996). The conduct of management and the management of conduct: Contemporary managerial discourse and the constitution of the competent manager*. Journal of Management Studies, 33, 263–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Duarte, M. E., Soares, M. C., Fraga, S., Rafael, M., Lima, M. R., Paredes, I., et al. (2012). Career adapt-abilities scale-Portugal form: Psychometric properties and relationships to employment status. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 80, 725–729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dutton, J. E., Dukerich, J. M., & Harquail, C. V. (1994). Organisational images and member identification. Administrative Science Quarterly, 39, 239–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Elder, G. H. (1985). Perspectives on the life course. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Fang, H., & Silverman, D. (2009). Time-inconsistency and welfare program participation: Evidence from the NLSY. International Economic Review., 50, 1043–1077.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fernandez, A., Fouquereau, E., & Heppner, M. J. (2008). The career transition inventory: A psychometric evaluation of a french version (CTI-F). Journal of Career Assessment, 16(3), 384–398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fisher, G. G., Chaffee, D. S., & Sonnega, A. (2016). Retirement timing: A review and recommendations for future research. Work, Aging and Retirement, 2, 230–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fritz, C. E. (1961). Disaster. In R. K. Merton & R. A. Nisbet (Eds.), Contemporary social problems (pp. 651–694). New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.Google Scholar
  29. Garland, E. L., Gaylord, S. A., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2011). Positive reappraisal mediates the stress-reductive effects of mindfulness: An upward spiral process. Mindfulness, 2(1), 59–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Giddens, A. (1991). Structuration theory: Past, present and future. In C. G. A. Bryant & D. Jary (Eds.), Giddens theory of structuration: A critical appreciation (pp. 201–221). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Grimell, J. (2016). The story of the self in the aftermath of crisis: A case study. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 29(1), 66–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Guan, Y., Deng, H., Sun, J., Wang, Y., Cai, Z., Ye, L., Li, Y. (2013). Career adaptability, job search self-efficacy and outcomes: A three-wave investigation among Chinese university graduates. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 83, 561–570.Google Scholar
  33. Guan, Y., Zhou, W., Ye, L., Jiang, P. & Zhou, Y. (2015). Perceived organisational career management and career adaptability as predictors of success and turnover intention among Chinese employees. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 88, 230–237.Google Scholar
  34. Hirschman, A. O. (1970). Exit, voice, and loyalty: Responses to decline in firms, organisations, and states. London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Hsieh, C. (2016). Do the self-employed more likely emerge from sequential or parallel work experience in business-related functions? Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 40(2), 307–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kalokerinos, E. K., von Hippel, C., & Henry, J. D. (2015). Job attitudes are differentially associated with bridge employment and phased retirement among older Australian employees. Work, Aging and Retirement, 1, 190–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kendra, J., & Wachtendorf, T. (2003). Elements of resilience after the world trade centre disaster: Reconstituting New York City’s Emergency Operations Centre. Disasters, 27(1), 37–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kim, S., & Feldman, D. C. (2000). Working in retirement: The antecedents of bridge employment and its consequences for quality of life in retirement. Academy of Management Journal, 43, 1195–1210.Google Scholar
  39. Kim, N., & Hall, D. T. (2013). Protean career model and retirement. In M. Wang (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of retirement (pp. 102–116). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. King, Z. (2004). Career self-management: its nature, causes and consequences. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 65(1), 112–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Klehe, U., Zikic, J., Van Vianen, A. E., & De Pater, I. E. (2011). Career adaptability, turnover and loyalty during organisational downsizing. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 79, 217–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Klein, G., Moon, B., & Hoffman, R. R. (2006). Making sense of sense making 1: alternative perspectives. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 21(4), 70–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Klein, G., Ross, K. G., Moon, B. M., Klein, D. E., Hoffman, R. R., & Hollnagel, E. (2003). Macrocognition. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 18(3), 81–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kross, E., Bruehlman-Senecal, E., Park, J., Burson, A., Dougherty, A., Shablack, H., et al. (2014). Self-talk as a regulatory mechanism: How you do it matters. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106(2), 304–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Laitner, J., & Sonnega, A. (2013). Economic theories of retirement. In M. Wang (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of retirement (pp. 136–151). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Lara, T. M., Kline, W. B., & Paulson, D. (2011). Attitudes regarding career counselling: Perceptions and experiences of counsellors-in-training. Career Development Quarterly, 59, 428–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Mael, F. A., & Ashforth, B. E. (1992). Alumni and their alma mater: A partial test of the reformulated model of organisational identification. Journal of Organisational behaviour, 13, 103–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Maier, S. F., & Seligman, M. (1976). Learned helplessness: theory and evidence. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 105(1), 3–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Marks, A., & Thompson, P. (2010). Beyond the blank slate: Identities and interests at work. In P. Thompson & C. Smith (Eds.), Working life: Renewing labour process analysis (pp. 316–338). London: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Martin, B., & Xiang, N. (2015). The Australian retirement income system: Structure, effects and future. Work, Aging and Retirement, 1, 133–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. McCormick, B. (1990). A theory of signalling during job search, employment efficiency, and stigmatised jobs. The Review of Economic Studies, 57, 299–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. McMullen, J. S., & Shepherd, D. A. (2006). Entrepreneurial action and the role of uncertainty in the theory of the entrepreneur. Academy of Management Review, 31(1), 132–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Nanda, R., & Sorensen, J. B. (2010). Workplace peers and entrepreneurship. Management Science, 56(1), 1116–1126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. OECD. (2017). Employment rate by age group (indicator). Accessed January 02, 2018.
  55. Oreg, S., Vakola, M., & Armenakis, A. (2011). Change recipients reactions to organisational change: A 60-year review of quantitative studies. The Journal of Applied Behavioural Science, 47(4), 461–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Petriglieri, J. L. (2011). Under threat: Responses to and the consequences of threats to individuals identities. Academy of Management Review, 36(4), 641–662.Google Scholar
  57. Prochaska, J. O., & DiClemente, C. C. (1992). Stages of change in the modification of problem behaviours. In M. Hersen, R. M. Eisler, & P. M. Miller (Eds.), Progress in behaviour modification. New Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  58. Rasmussen, J. (1976). Outlines of a hybrid model of the process plant operator. In T. B. Sheridan & G. Johannsen (Eds.), Monitoring behaviour and supervisory control (pp. 371–383). New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Rasmussen, J., Pejtersen, A. M., & Goodstein, L. P. (1994). Cognitive Systems Engineering. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  60. Ray, R. D., McRae, K., Ochsner, K. N., & Gross, J. J. (2010). Cognitive reappraisal of negative affect: Converging evidence from EMG and self-report. Emotion, 10(4), 587–592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Reynolds, P. D., & Curtin, R. T. (2008). Business creation in the United States: Panel study of entrepreneurial dynamics II initial assessment. Foundations and Trends in Entrepreneurship, 4, 155–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Richardson, V., & Kilty, K. M. (1991). Adjustment to retirement: Continuity vs discontinuity. The International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 33(2), 151–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Roach, M., & Sauermann, H. (2015). Founder or joiner: The role of preferences and context in shaping different entrepreneurial interests. Management Science, 61(9), 2160–2184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Rudolph, C. W. (2016). Lifespan developmental perspectives on working: A literature review of motivational theories. Work, Aging and Retirement, 2, 130–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Savickas, M. L. (1997). Career adaptability: An integrative construct for life-span, life-space theory. The Career Development Quarterly, 45, 247–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Savickas, M. L., & Porfeli, E. J. (2012). Career adapt-abilities scale: Construction, reliability and measurement equivalence across 13 countries. Journal of Vocational Behaviour., 80, 661–673.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Schunk, D. H., & Zimmerman, B. J. (Eds.). (2008). Motivation and self-regulated learning: Theory, research, and applications. New York: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  68. Shiota, M. N., & Levenson, R. W. (2012). Turn down the volume or change the channel? Emotional effects of detached versus positive reappraisal. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103(3), 416–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Shultz, K. S., & Wang, M. (2011). Psychological perspectives on the changing nature of retirement. American Psychologist, 66, 170–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Sorensen, J. B., & Fassiotto, M. A. (2011). Organisations as fonts of entrepreneurship. Organisation Science, 22(5), 1322–1331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Stengård, J., Bernhard-Oettel, C., Berntson, E., Leineweber, C., & Aronsson, G. (2016). Stuck in a job: Being locked-in or at risk of becoming locked-in at the workplace and well-being over time. Work & Stress, 30(2), 152–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Strangleman, T. (2012). Work identity in crisis? Rethinking the problem of attachment and loss at work. Sociology, 46(3), 411–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Thebaud, S. (2016). Passing up the job: The role of gendered organisations and families in the entrepreneurial career process. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 40, 269–279.Google Scholar
  74. Thompson, D., Fisher, K. R., Purcal, C., Deeming, C., & Sawrikar, P. (2011). Community attitudes to people with disabilities: Scoping project. Retrieved from
  75. Trope, Y., & Liberman, N. (2010). Construal-level theory of psychological distance. Psychological Review, 117, 440–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Verplanken, B., & Wood, W. (2006). Interventions to break and create consumer habits. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 25, 90–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Wang, M. (2007). Profiling retirees in the retirement transition and adjustment process: Examining the longitudinal change patterns of retirees psychological well-being. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 455–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Wang, M., Olson, D., & Shultz, K. (2013). Mid and late career issues: An integrative perspective. New York, NY: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  79. Wang, M., & Shi, J. (2014). Psychological research on retirement. Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 209–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Wang, M., Zhan, Y., Liu, S., & Shultz, K. S. (2008). Antecedents of bridge employment: A longitudinal investigation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 818–830.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Weyman, A., Wainwright, D., OHara, R., Jones, P., & Buckingham, A. (2012). Extending working life: Behaviour change interventions. London: Department for Work and Pensions.Google Scholar
  82. Yang, E., & Gysbers, N. C. (2007). Career transitions of college seniors. Career Development Quarterly, 56, 157–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Zabel, K., Biermeier-Hanson, B., Baltes, B., Early, B., & Shepard, A. (2017). Generational differences in work ethic: Fact or fiction? Journal of Business and Psychology, 32(3), 301–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Zhan, Y., Wang, M., & Shi, J. (2015). Retirees motivational orientations and bridge employment: Testing the moderating role of gender. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100, 1319–1331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NewcastleSydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations