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Mid-Career Change - The Irish Experience

Humphreys, Laura (2017) Mid-Career Change - The Irish Experience. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Mid-career change is a ‘phenomenon’ that has become more prevalent despite being an aspect of career development that has received comparatively limited attention to-date. Therefore, what is it that currently drives individuals to question their occupational choices in mid-life and decide to make a career transition? In this recent era of economic uncertainty and major changes in the workplace, this research sought to identify the significant drivers which activate self-directed mid-career transitions, by examining the experiences of ten Irish professionals who at a given time in their life profoundly questioned their occupational pursuits and voluntarily made a mid-life career change. In addition, this research also uncovered the challenges faced by mid-life career changers and revealed implications for both the individual and the organisations role in the context of future career management perspectives. The findings of this study not only contributes to the current body of literature, but also offers a valuable and fresh understanding of this phenomenon.

A qualitative case study methodology was applied, with data gathering by means of in-depth semi-structured interviews with participants from assorted occupations and sectors within the Irish workforce, who have completed their mid-life career transition. The findings seem to point to mid-life being a period when the participants realised that their self-concept and value base, and by extension their professional ideals, had evolved and changed. In essence what drove their mid-life career change was the undertaking to realign these values with the intent to achieve personal fulfilment with a satisfying work life. Attaining work/life balance, job satisfaction and a sense autonomy were broadly similar underlining intrinsic core values observed in previous studies, however an unanticipated driver, the element of opportunity was also uncovered, a dynamic that had not emerged as extensively in previous studies.

It is evident from the research that mid-career change has become more extensive and that responsibility for managing careers is now firmly with the individual. Therefore in light of the turbulent economic climate, organisations need to realise the importance of implementing a collaborative, effective career management strategy to work together in partnership with the individual, targeted to meet the needs of both, in order to realign and build organisational resilience and gain a competitive edge.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Issues of Labour and Work > Quality of Work Life / Job Satisfaction
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Arts in Human Resource Management
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2017 14:26
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2017 14:26

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