Date of Submission



This research project aims to explore the perceived experience of planning and chance in the career experience of secondary students as they graduate from school and move in to post school pathways and the utility of chance related intervention in high school career education. To acknowledge a relationship between chance and planning in career paths will involve a shift from traditional career counselling, which for much of the past hundred years had been fairly linear, to embracing nonlinear models. One of the cornerstones that career counselling has been built on is that career development is linear and rational (Guindon and Hanna, 2002). Various authors and studies have suggested that we live in a complex world resulting in careers that are not always linear (Baumgardner 1976; Salomone and Slaney 1981; Scott and Hatalla 1990; Betsworth and Hansen 1996; Pryor and Bright 2003) and that in the interest of better serving our clients we need to explore ways to incorporate this into career counselling. Krumboltz (1998) proposes that we need to reconsider our career counselling approach to include the significance of unexpected change. The author does not claim to discredit traditional approaches to career counselling but to investigate supplementing these with an approach that includes both planning and chance. This thesis will investigate existing literature on the role of unplanned events and careers as well as carry out research with secondary to post-secondary students to establish firstly, the perceived experience of unplanned events in their career paths and secondly, the utility of chance related career counselling intervention. The research will take place with students from a comprehensive high school of approximately 750 students in New South Wales from a “realist constructivist” epistemology (Robson 2002). Two groups of studies are proposed. The first studies will involve a phone interview eighteen months after participants have completed high school which will compare their current career pathway with the one planned in school. The second group of studies will explore the utility of chance related career lessons compared to more traditional Trait and factor matching in high school career education settings.

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


395 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Education and Arts

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Education Commons