1st Edition

The Chaos Theory of Careers A New Perspective on Working in the Twenty-First Century

By Robert Pryor, Jim Bright Copyright 2011
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    266 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Chaos Theory of Careers outlines the application of chaos theory to the field of career development. It draws together and extends the work that the authors have been doing over the last 8 to 10 years.

    This text represents a new perspective on the nature of career development. It emphasizes the dimensions of careers frequently neglected by contemporary accounts of careers such as the challenges and opportunities of uncertainty, the interconnectedness of current life and the potential for information overload, career wisdom as a response to unplanned change, new approaches to vocational assessment based on emergent thinking, the place of spirituality and the search for meaning and purpose in, with and through work, the integration of being and becoming as dimensions of career development.

    It will be vital reading for all those working in and studying career development, either at advanced undergraduate or postgraduate level and provides a new and refreshing approach to this fast changing subject.


    Key themes include:

    Factors such as complexity, change, and contribution

    People's aspirations in relation to work and personal fulfilment

    Contemporary realities of career choice, career development and the working world


    1. Complexity, Uncertainty and Careers  2. Complexity, Uncertainty and Career Development Theory  3. The Chaos Theory of Careers: Background and Development   4. Chaos Theory of Careers: Attractors  5. Chaos Theory of Careers: Patterns and Fractals  6. Chaos Theory of Career: Research Support  7. Strategies for Chaos Theory Career Counselling and Assessment  8. Practical Applications: For Chaos Theory Counselling and Assessment  9. Practical Applications: Meaning, Purpose & Spirituality  10. Practical Applications: Organizational Development  11. Future Directions


    Robert Pryor has worked continuously in the career development field since 1974. For 17 years he was employed with the New South Wales government as a careers counsellor, researcher, trainer, policy analyst and team manager. He has lectured at the University of Sydney, Macquarie University and the University of New South Wales. He has been a Visiting Senior Research Fellow (University of NSW) and is currently Adjunct Professor, School of Education, Australian Catholic University. He is the longest ever serving member of the APS Ethics Committee and has published widely in the field of career development and psychological assessment. He is Elected Fellow of both the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and the Australian Association of Career Counsellors (2007), and a member of the Editorial Board, Australian Journal of Career Development.

    Jim Bright enjoys a portfolio career that combines academic research and teaching with management consultancy and journalism. He is a partner in Bright and Associates, a career management consultancy, and Professorial Fellow in Career Education and Development, Australian Catholic University. He is a registered psychologist and has held full-time academic appointments in the School of Psychology at the University of New South Wales, Australia and the University of Hertfordshire, UK. He is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and a past Chairman of the National Executive Committee of the Australian Psychological Society College of Organisational Psychologists. He is a Fellow of the Career Development Association of Australia, a member of the National Career Development Association, and an Honorary International Director of the British Columbia Career Development Association. He can be found on his blog about chaos and careers at www.brightandassociates.com.au.

    "The Chaos Theory of Careers provides a well-explained and empirically supported framework for applying chaos theory to career and rehabilitatioin counselling practices." - Hoi Ling Irene Mok, University of Sydney, Australia