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Life Course Research Design: Exploring Career Change Experiences of Former School Teachers and Police Officers


Howes, LM and Goodman-Delahunty, J, Life Course Research Design: Exploring Career Change Experiences of Former School Teachers and Police Officers, Journal of Career Development, 41, (1) pp. 62-84. ISSN 0894-8453 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Curators of the University of Missouri

DOI: doi:10.1177/0894845312474370


Once associated with lifetime employment, policing and teaching have become increasingly associated with employee attrition. We used a life course research design to explore career turning points and transitions, in the context of preceding and following careers. Former police officers (n ¼ 9) and former teachers (n ¼ 15) from around Australia participated in 30- to 60-min interviews about their careers and career decision making. Transcribed interview responses were analyzed using contextualizing and categorizing methods. Although participants’ experiences of ruptures preceding voluntary career change differed, the theme of feeling undervalued as a result of ruptures was common among participants. Participants felt valued in subsequent careers when prior skills were recognized and opportunities existed to acquire and apply new skills. Practical implications include the need for organizations to offer supportive workplace environments that value individual members and their contributions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia; police; careers; retention; kaleidoscope career model; qualitative research
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Criminology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Other law, politics and community services
Objective Field:Other law, politics and community services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Howes, LM (Dr Loene Howes)
ID Code:96378
Year Published:2014 (online first 2013)
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2014-11-03
Last Modified:2020-03-27

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