January 11, 2018

10:00-11:00 a.m.

Please note: This event is for invited researchers only.

Career Re-Construction During Involuntary Career Transitions Among Refugees

Talk description:
Focusing on an unexplored context for career construction (Savickas, 2005; 2013), this presentation of the study Career Re-Construction Among Refugees seeks to provide insights into the multiplicity and complexity of the circumstances and processes that accompany individuals’ positive vocational adaptation to unfamiliar work environments. By targeting refugees, this study addresses individuals’ agency in re-constructing their careers in career transitions where the adaptive capacities for career re-construction are strongly restricted by contextual constraints, yet also supported by contextual opportunities. While research on refugees and their vocational integration has become a topical issue and scholarly concern (e.g., Ager & Strang 2008; Bosswick & Heckmann 2003; Korac 2003), it is still unclear which resources and adaptive coping responses enable positive vocational change in involuntary career transitions. Also, this study seeks to unravel how individuals re-establish meaning in such severe times of change and how they make vocational choices to restore, and later also to maintain, personally satisfying careers.

Katja Wehrle, M.Sc., Research Assistant and Ph.D. Student in the department of Work and Organizational Psychology at the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany. Her research interests cover career- and identity-related adaptation processes during job-loss and job-search, career transitions, and coping with economic stressors. Further, her work focuses on the healing and growth-fostering potential of work among vulnerable populations (e.g., refugees and mature aged job-loss victims). Her work has appeared in the Journal of Vocational Behavior and she presented her research at several national and international conferences. As one of the presenters of the symposium “Refugees in Europe: Careers and Labor Market Integration” at the Academy of Management 2017, she has been awarded the best symposium price by the Careers Division.

Research is the heart of Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS), and we want to make sure that we support each other in developing high quality research. To that end, we created the Adderley Positive Research Incubator for sharing and encouraging POS-related research ideas that are at various stages of development.

Learn more about the Adderley Positive Research Incubator here and direct questions about individual sessions to Amy Young at baldwin@umich.edu.