Jos Akkermans is an Associate Professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He leads international research projects on career shocks, career sustainability, and employability. In addition, Jos is an Associate Editor at the Journal of Vocational Behavior and the Immediate Past Division Chair of the Academy of Management Careers Division. More information about his publications and projects can be found on his website: https://www.josakkermans.com.
Research talk overview: Research in the area of careers and career development has focused strongly on individual agency and control. Though this research has offered many essential insights into how people can effectively navigate their careers, it also suffers from a critical blind spot: the role of major events that we cannot predict or control. Recently, research on career shocks – disruptive events that lead to deliberate career reflection – has “made a comeback” in the scholarly literature on career development. Studies show that such shocks happen to essentially everyone, and they can significantly impact people’s career paths. For example, career shocks can cause changes in career decisions, employability, and (work and career) engagement. In this research talk, I will discuss our initial conceptualization of career shocks (Akkermans et al., 2018). Moreover, we will discuss recent conceptual and empirical developments about the role of career shocks in various career-related outcomes (for a brief overview, see Akkermans et al., 2021 in Career Development International).