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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Volatile economic and labor market circumstances have significant effects on the development of people’s work careers; thus recent literature on careers has started to take into account the reality of increasingly unpredictable, nonlinear, and inherently uncertain careers. In this chapter we argue that careers in the new economy require, first, that people learn to cope with identity threats; second, that they need to change their mental models of careers; and third, that they must develop the resources to adapt to more frequent and unpredictable career transitions. Specifically we address three themes that we consider at the core of adaptation to nonlinear careers: people’s work-related identities, their conceptualization of career success, and their adaptability resources. We build a model called “identity and coping during career transitions” (ICCT), which integrates theories on identity, careers, and adaptability and could serve as an agenda for future research. Finally, we provide some guidelines for practitioners and organizations.

Keywords: career, career interruption, work-related identities, adaptability resources

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