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Special Collection

Careers in Times of Crisis

Collection launched: 29 Jun 2021

Careers in Times of Crisis: Consequences on Contemporary Careers and their Context

Guest Editors: Sabine Raeder, University of Oslo, Norway, Jérôme Rossier, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, Eva Selenko, Loughbourogh University, UK

Information on the Special Issue
The Covid-19 crisis – the most recent example of crisis – has left its imprints on individual careers. It has accelerated a change in the context of careers that was only expected to happen in the years to come. Very abruptly, the crisis has enhanced the use and acceptance of technology to facilitate cooperation and to replace business travel. It has opened up options for more flexible work settings, where working from home or from other locations is no longer a problem. The crisis has reduced predictability in the work context, but also the visibility of individual achievements and options for supervisory control. The pressure on parents to balance work and family demands grew during times of home schooling. While some of these developments reduce social interaction, visibility and the chances to reach one’s career goals, others enhance flexibility to fulfil one’s work and career plans. Careers were delayed in some occupations, but advanced in large steps in occupations that were essential during the crisis or that were related to technology to alleviate the consequences of the crisis. Particularly the youngest, who were about to enter the labour market, saw themselves confronted with largely reduced opportunities of entry jobs.

We consider the Covid-19 crisis to be an example of how careers and the context of careers in terms of widely accepted forms of working can change in a short period of time. Some of the features of this crisis will disappear with the virus (e.g., home schooling), others will be integrated into common practices at work (e.g., technologically facilitated cooperation). The effect on individual careers will, however, persist beyond the end of the pandemic.