A thematic analysis of career adaptability in retirees who return to work

Luke, Jennifer and McIlveen, Peter and Perera, Harsha N. (2016) A thematic analysis of career adaptability in retirees who return to work. Frontiers in Psychology, 7 (Article 193). pp. 1-12.


Retirement can no longer be conceptualized as disengagement, as the end of a person’s career, as it is in the life-span, life-space theory. Increasingly, retirees are returning to work, in paid and unpaid positions, in a part-time or full-time capacity, as an act of re-engagement. Vocational psychology theories are yet to adequately conceptualize the phenomenon of retirees’ re-engagement in work. The research reported in this paper is the first attempt to understand re-engagement through the theoretical lens of career construction theory and its central construct, career adaptability. The study involved intensive interviews with 22 retirees between the ages of 56 and 78 years (M = 68.24), who had retired no less than one year prior to the study. Participants were engaged in a discussion about their reasons for returning to the world of work. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts extracted evidence of the four career adaptability resources: concern, control, curiosity, and confidence. In addition, the influence of family and making a contribution were discerned as important themes. These findings are the first evidence that the career construction theory and career adaptability provide a new conceptual lens to theorize and conduct research into the phenomenon of retirement.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online 17/2/2016. Copyright © 2016 Luke, McIlveen and Perera. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2016 02:37
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2018 02:41
Uncontrolled Keywords: retirement, bridge employment, career adaptability, career construction theory, career development
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130305 Educational Counselling
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939908 Workforce Transition and Employment
C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920502 Health Related to Ageing
Identification Number or DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00193
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/28405

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