Image by Raspopova Marina

Career Adaptabilities

Career Adaptabilities are one’s ability to adapt to various tasks, transitions, stressors, and traumas of one’s life. Career Adaptabilities constitute the psychosocial resources that one needs for success in a career. For an individual with mental health conditions, they may: 

  • Have to prioritize their mental health situation over their career future 

  • Experience little control over their career outcomes 

  • Lack the opportunity to think about their career future 

  • Express concern that their mental health situation would not allow them to pursue a career 

Based on the Career Construction Theory (CCT; Savickas, 2002*), Career Adaptabilities for individuals with mental health conditions can improve through caring about and envisioning a work future, exploring interests in work possibilities and opportunities, and feeling in control of their work and life situations and circumstances. Individuals with mental health conditions who are advanced in their career path express greater concern about their work life, have greater interest in their work future, experience curiosity about work opportunities, growth, and future possibilities, and believe they have more control over the outcomes based on their work efforts and life circumstances.

 

In CPF, these areas of Career Adaptabilities are identified as Concern, Curiosity, and Control.  

You can assess your Career Adaptabilities by taking the Career Advancement Inventory. Descriptions of each stage and related resources are provided below

How to Improve Your Career Adaptability

Career Detachment (14-24)

Individuals who scored similarly are in a position that makes navigating the demands of working difficult.  

  • They sometimes think about a work future but do not have the resources or supports they would need to formulate a plan.  

  • They experience little control over their career situation.  

  • They can devote little attention to learning more about work and are not interested in learning about their work options at this time.

Career Consideration (25-35)

Individuals who scored similarly experience some difficulty navigating the demands of modern work life.  

  • They regularly think about their work future and are identifying strategies, skills, and resources that will support their career exploration, such as illness management strategies and specialized employment services.  

  • They feel they would have more control over their career situation if they had more supports and resources.  

  • They are eager to learn more about a career path and are curious about work opportunities.

Career Exploration (36-48)

Individuals who scored similarly are developing their capacity to navigate the demands of modern work life.  

  • They often think about their work future and are formulating a plan.  

  • They have developed some strategies, skills, and resources that will support their career preparation, such as illness management and participation in employment services.  

  • They have increased their supports and resources but have not yet achieved a sense of control over their career situation.  

  • They have strength in their willingness to take the risks that are involved in pursuing a career, such as an increase in stress or a reduction in financial support from family or social security benefits.  

  • They are very curious to learn more about their career path.

Career Choice & Preparation (49-58)

Individuals who scored similarly have a strong capacity to navigate the demands of modern work life.  

  • They have worked hard to develop important strategies, skills, and resources that will support the establishment of their career, such as effective workplace communication.  

  • They experience a sense of control over their career situation. With support, they are able to respond to unanticipated changes at work or school.  

  • They feel in charge of their career decisions and their career future. 

  • They are highly focused on learning about ways to further their career.  

Career Establishment & Maintenance (59-70)

Individuals who scored similarly have a very strong capacity to navigate the demands of modern work life.  

  • They feel in control of their career future. 

  • They have resources that allow them to prioritize work.  

  • They have the capacity to sustain career progress, even in the face of unexpected change.  

  • They maintain an interest in future career opportunities.