Careers choices in conversations: beyond development and career maturity

James Moir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Theories of career choice development portray the process as one of increasing maturity involving the ability to make a realistic and rational decision. Several theories have been proposed over the years in terms of a normative psychological process involving a self-reflexive process that can be aided through career counselling support. While arriving at a career choice can at first sight appear the outcome of individuals’ increasing career awareness and maturity it is also possible to take an alternative view of how people talk about career decisions based on looking at how they discursively construct those choices within conversational exchanges in response to the demands of specific questions and actions being performed as a result. Nursing students and engineering students on vocational degree programmes were interviewed about their career choice as part of a larger study examining career decision-making discourse amongst vocational students. The analysis of the resulting transcript material reveals how their decisions are embedded within conversational sequences that co-construct accounts involving justifying courses of action as well as displaying vocational commitment. It is argued that rather than treating such answers as representing vocational maturity, they can be viewed as the justification and clarification of career-related courses of action in the course of talking these through as intelligible answers to questions that seek normatively credible responses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IAC 2022 in Prague
EditorsHelena Kratochvílová, Radek Kratochvíl
Place of PublicationPrague
PublisherCzech Institute of Academic Education
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9788088203278
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2022
EventInternational Academic Conference on Teaching, Learning and E-learning - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 27 May 202228 May 2022


ConferenceInternational Academic Conference on Teaching, Learning and E-learning
Abbreviated titleIAC-TLEl 2022
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address


  • Career
  • Choice
  • Maturity
  • Development
  • Conversation


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