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Doing well with change : what helps and what hinders well-educated immigrant women workers? 2007

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DOING WELL WITH CHANGE: WHAT HELPS AND WHAT HINDERS WELL-EDUCATED IMMIGRANT WOMEN WORKERS? by EMILY CHRISTINA KOERT B.A. (Hons.), The University of Toronto, 2002 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Counselling Psychology) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 2007 © Emily Christina Koert, 2007 ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the strategies that new immigrant women employ to do well with changes that affect their work. This study asked the questions: What helps and what hinders immigrant women workers to do well with changes that affect their work? What would have been more helpful to do well with these changes? Participants were 10 well-educated immigrant women. Data was gathered using semi-structured, open-ended individual interviews consistent with Flanagan's (1954) Critical Incident Technique (CIT). Data was primarily analyzed using the CIT methodology. A total of 182 incidents that were grouped into 9 categories were extracted from the participants' interviews. The categories were: 1) Personal Beliefs/Traits/Values, 2) Relationships with Friends/Family/Colleagues, 3) Taking Action/Building Capacity, 4) Work Environment, 5) Self Care, 6) Skills/Knowledge/Credentials/Education, 7) Personal Issues/Challenges, 8) Contexual Issues/Challenges, and 9) Government/Community Resources. The results reaffirm the findings in the existing literature on immigrant women's thriving, resilience and hardiness and adaptation and transitions after immigration while providing a more personal account of these experiences. Uniquely, while many of the participants spoke of personal sacrifice in order to ensure the well being of their families, the importance of self-care was also highlighted. The factors that immigrant women find helpful and hindering in doing well with change can inform service delivery, program development and future research studies with this population. TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ii TABLE OF CONTENTS iii LIST OF TABLES v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vi CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1 Purpose of the Study 2 Rationale for the Study 3 Definitions and Assumptions 4 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 7 Theoretical Foundations: Career Development from an Ecological Perspective 7 Vocational Psychology and Relevant Theories 10 Dawis and Lofquist's Theory of Work Adjustment 12 Krumboltz's Learning Theory of Career Counseling 13 Vondracek, Lerner & Schulenberg's Life-Span Developmental Approach 16 Gaps in the Field 17 Immigrant Women 18 Thriving, Resilience and Hardiness 19 Immigrant Women's Transitions, Adjustment and Adaptation 24 Immigrant Women's Career Development and Career Adaptability 32 Gaps in the Immigrant Women Literature 38 CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY 40 Critical Incident Technique 41 Data Collection Procedures 43 Data Analysis 49 Criteria for Trustworthiness 51 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS 56 Contextual Component Results 56 What does 'doing well' mean to you? 56 What are the changes that have affected your work life? 60 How have these changes impacted your work life? 63 Critical Incident Results 66 Category 1: Personal Beliefs/Traits/Values 69 Category 2: Relationships with Friends/Family/Colleagues 70 Category 3: Taking Action/Building Capacity 73 Category 4: Work Environment 74 Category 5: Self Care 76 Category 6: Skills/Knowledge/Credentials/Education 77 Category 7: Personal Issues/Challenges 79 Category 8: Contextual Issues/Challenges 81 Category 9: Government/Community Resources 82 CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION 85 Fit with the Literature and Unique Findings 85 Practical Implications 96 Limitations 98 Future Research 100 Conclusion 102 REFERENCES 104 APPENDICES 115 Appendix A: UBC Research Ethics Board Certificate of Approval 115 Appendix B: Recruitment Poster 116 Appendix C: Recruitment Ad .'. 117 Appendix D: Screening Interview Questions 118 Appendix E: Informed Consent 119 Appendix F: Interview Guide 121 Appendix G: Demographic Information 125 iv LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Demographics 46 Table 2: Themes from the question: "What does doing well mean to you?" 57 Table 3: Summary of Changes Experienced 61 Table 4: Impacts on Work 64 Table 5: Critical Incident and Wish List Categories 68 v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank many wonderful and inspiring individuals whose support, knowledge and inspiration have made this research project possible. First, many thanks to my research committee, Dr. William Borgen, Dr. Norman Amundson and Dr. Marvin Westwood. My sincerest thanks to Dr. William Borgen, my research supervisor, for his dedication and energy throughout the research process. Your support, encouragement and direction have made this a wonderful learning opportunity. Dr. Norman Amundson, thank you for your initial instruction, believing in my abilities and for introducing me to the research project in the beginning. Dr. Marvin Westwood, thank you for your interest in my project and for agreeing so quickly to be a part of it. Thanks to Drs. Borgen and Amundson's research team, especially Lee, whose direction and assistance made my research more sound and trustworthy. Thanks also to Dr. Richard Young for his valuable feedback in the thesis preparation course. My special thanks to my friends and family for their support and love. Thanks especially to my husband, Michael, for saving the day many times over the past two years with his computer expertise, listening ear or whatever the situation warranted. My warmest thanks to my classmates (especially the thesis preparation course participants) for their inspiration and support through this process, for offering suggestions and challenges, all of which made my research stronger. Special thanks to my classmates, Lisa and Natalie. Lisa, your gentle nature, supportive presence and research expertise have guided and encouraged me through this process. Natalie, my 'thesis buddy', your enthusiasm and integrity have continuously motivated me over the past two years. Many thanks to the people working with new immigrants at the local level who forwarded my information onto the appropriate families and showed so much enthusiasm for my research. Thanks especially to Maria, Rachel and Vivian for your special roles in the project. And lastly, but most importantly, to the 10 immigrant women who participated in this research project, thank you for welcoming me into your lives, homes and hearts. Your tenacity, enthusiasm, spirit and hope truly amazed and inspired me. I dedicate this project to you and to the immigrant women who are just like you who silently and valiantly struggle to make their immigration stories ones of success, prosperity and happiness. vi CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION Authorities agree that immigrants are needed to fill the shrinking labour force (McMullin & Cooke, 2004), and they are being encouraged to move to Canada and to apply for citizenship (Grant & Sweetman, 2004). As such, the visible minority population in Canada has quadrupled in the past 20 years (Tran, 2004). Researchers have suggested that employers do not recognize immigrants' qualifications and that highly skilled immigrants must often resort to low-paying jobs after entry into Canada (Bauder, 2003; Kadkhoda, 2002). Current research and theory have examined immigrants' adjustment and acculturation, primarily focusing on the barriers and challenges to adaptation (i.e. Kadkhoda, 2002; Tran, 2004; Westwood & Ishiyama, 1991). There is a small, but growing body of research on immigrants' resilience (i.e. Biolli, Savicki, & Cepani, 2002; Christopher, 2000; De La Paz, 2004; Gilkes, 2005; Goyos, 1997; Kallampally, 2005; Kleinman, 2004). This body of research is in reaction to the focus on immigration as an adverse event only resulting in struggles and difficulties (Christopher, 2000). For example, Christopher's research revealed that immigrants' resilience improved their positive psychological well-being after the immigration process. Similarly, previous studies have highlighted the discrepancy between immigrant women's education and skill level and their current work positions (DiCicco-Bloom, 2004; Read, 2004). Man (2004) argued that immigrant women are being deskilled in a context of gendered and racialized processes such as federal and provincial policies, accreditation 1 requirements and the need for Canadian experience. However, despite these hardships and barriers, many immigrant women ensured occupational adjustment by making sacrifices, throwing themselves into their family lives, retraining, learning the new language, and building their social support networks (Man, 2004; Salaff & Greve, 2004; Waters, 2002). The current world of work in North America is also characterized by change and transition (Borgen, 1997; Savickas, 1995; 2000). In response to the changing world of work, researchers have begun to study adaptability in the workplace with the general population. Some studies to date have focused on developing a taxonomy of adaptive behaviour (Pulakos, Arad, Donovan, & Plamondon, 2000) and a theory of behavioral adaptability (Griffin & Hesketh, (2003). In general, all workers are expected to be adaptable, flexible and resilient to cope with these changes. Therefore, immigrant women must deal with the transitions involved in moving to a new country and an unpredictable and changing workforce. P u r p o s e o f the S t u d y More specifically, the current study asked the following questions: What helps and what hinders immigrant women workers to do well with changes that affect their work? What would have been more helpful to do well with these changes? The purpose of the current study was to gain an understanding of the strategies that immigrant women employ to do well with changes that affect their work. 2 Rationale for the Study The rationale behind studying immigrant women who self-identify as doing well with changes affecting their work is grounded in the spirit of Positive Psychology. Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi (2000) made a call for research based on human strengths after critiquing current psychology theory and research for focusing on how people cope under conditions of adversity. By studying human strengths, Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi suggested that researchers and psychologists would learn how to prevent mental illness and develop programs and interventions that foster individual success. The current study aimed to learn what strategies help and hinder immigrant women to do well with change in order to develop a preventative counselling approach. Furthermore, Savickas (2001b) proposed that the mission for Vocational Psychology in the next ten years includes a call for researchers to advance knowledge on the changing world of work. The current study aimed to fulfill the mission of Vocational Psychology by examining the individual workers' perspectives of handling changes that affect their work. As the current study focused on a subset of immigrant women workers, it also met several authors' call for the study of diverse populations' vocational experiences (Betz, 2001; Lent, 2001). According to Donnelly (2002) and Ng (2004) current studies on immigrants' transitions used a coping model framework, which did not capture the interaction of the individual with his or her context. Ebberwein, Krieshok, Ulven and Prosser (2004) suggested that a study on career adaptation and cultural diversity is important. A focus on immigrant 3 women is timely as there is a developing body of research on women's labour force participation, suggesting that there are differences across ethnicity and gender (Read, 2004, Remmenick, 2005). These facts point towards a need to study immigrants' response to change impacting their worklife. Similarly, little research focuses specifically on immigrant women's successful response to transition and change (Khan & Watson, 2005; Wang & Jordache Sangalang, 2005, Waters, 2002). The scarcity of information on how immigrant women are successful is regrettable when success stories could encourage tolerance, acceptance and empowerment both within and without the immigrant group. An understanding of the strategies used by immigrant women to be successful in dealing with change affecting their work could help career and vocational counsellors develop programs geared at preventing workplace stress and encouraging ease in dealing with transition. Definitions and Assumptions In attempting to gain an understanding of the strategies that immigrant women use to do well with change that affects their work, the current study made the assumption that the use of the term 'work' is broadly defined to include more than individuals' entry into and holding down of one job, but all of their previous occupational positions which may also include periods of employment and unemployment. Therefore, in asking immigrant women to broadly describe what helped and what hindered them to do well with change that affected their work, I expected that these changes could have begun before transitioning into work into Canada, such as deciding to leave their country of origin and moving to Canada, or after 4 moving to Canada, such as moving into a different occupation and learning or operating in a new or second language. In an attempt to interview immigrant women at the stage where many such changes may have occurred, I chose to include participants who had immigrated to Canada within the last two years, who had experienced a change that affected their work within the last 6 months and who had begun working in Canada within the last 6 months. In the interview, the participants were asked to describe a change that affected their work. The open-ended nature of the interview questions allowed the participants to describe their own meaning and importance of the changes that had affected their work life by choosing which changes to describe. For the purposes of the current study, the assumption was that 'change' involved a shift or a transition from one state, situation or status to another which could be self-imposed or imposed by others or the environment. An individual could view change as an adverse event or a challenge. The current study also subscribed to Christopher's (2000) assertion that immigration has been seen as an adverse event. It was assumed at the formulation of the current study that women workers who were doing well with change might be thriving, therefore functioning at a higher level than those who were not doing well with changes affecting their work. Ickovics and Park (1998) and Carver (1998) conceptualized thriving as attaining a higher level of functioning after an adverse event. Resilience and hardiness are often found in the literature in relation to thriving. Hardiness is a personality trait that is composed of three components: commitment (a predisposition of how one involves self with people, things and environment), control (one's attempt to have an influence on one's outcome), and challenge (one's desire to learn 5 from both positive and negative experiences) (Maddi, 2002). Resilience involves responding to an adverse event and returning to the prior condition of psychological well-being (Carver, 1998). Others have described resilience as an adaptive process that helps people continue to lead healthy, hopeful lives despite adversity (Johnson & Wiechelt, 2004). Thriving, resilience and hardiness will be outlined in more detail in the following section. In terms of doing well with change, the participants were asked what doing well meant to them. The inclusion of this question into the current study is in response to Wong and Tsang's (2004) caution of using achievement-oriented values in studies of immigrant women because values such as "successful" and "productive" are socially-constructed within the dominant society. Immigrant women might have different views on what doing well means to them based on cultural or religious values. This was taken into consideration in the analysis stage of the current study. Lazarus (2003) cautioned against using Positive Psychology as a rationale to separate positive emotions from negative emotions. He asserted that a person could experience both in the same situation. Lazarus' cautions were taken into account in the current study. The chapters that follow include a review of the theory and research from the literature on career development, vocational psychology, thriving, resilience and hardiness, transition, adjustment and adaptation, an outline of the current study's method and results and a discussion including practical implications, limitations of the study and future research considerations. 6 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW Theoretical Foundations: Career Development from an Ecological Perspective The current study draws on theory and research from the literature on career development, vocational psychology, thriving, resilience and hardiness, transition, adjustment and adaptation. As the current study was primarily interested in examining how immigrant women do well with changes that affect their work, the field of career development from an ecological perspective acted as the theoretical foundation. The ecological perspective was used to frame an understanding of the interaction between immigrant women and their environment in the process of doing well with change. Researchers have critiqued career development theory and research for focusing on individualism and autonomy (Betz, 2002; Cook, Heppner & O'Brien, 2002). Career development theory may not apply to the experiences of people of colour and women as it has been developed from the experiences of middle-class, White males (Betz, 2002; Cook et al, 2002, Fouad & Arbona, 1994). Cook et al. critiqued career development in four areas: 1) for encouraging individualism and autonomy when women and people of colour's career decisions may be relational, 2) for encouraging a singular focus on career success which may not fit women and people of colour's experiences, 3) for assuming that women and people of colour's career paths follow an orderly and continuous path, and 4) for assuming that occupational success is related to individual merit when outside forces such as discrimination and prejudicial hiring and promotional practices may prevent women and people of colour's career success. 7 Various authors (i.e. Chen, 1999; Cook et al., 2002; Herr, 1996) have written about the ecological perspective in career development. Herr argued for an ecological view in career development because career development and theory cannot be separated from their economic, social and political contexts. Similarly, human behaviour cannot be understood when it is viewed as occurring within a vacuum (Cook et al.). Behaviour is influenced, encouraged and restricted by the contexts in which individuals live (Herr). Chen suggested that an ecological perspective is essential in understanding the complex relationship between the person and his or her environment. Chen outlined the four aspects of an ecological system: 1) organisms, 2) environments in which organisms live, 3) interdependent relationships within system, and 4) phenomenon of change accompanying interactions within the system. Chen's focus on change as an influence on the ecological system was useful for the understanding of change within the current study. While Herr (1996) and Chen (1999) provided useful information on the ecological perspective, Cook et al.'s (2002) outline of the ecological perspective on career development provided the framework for the current study as it focuses on women of colour and white women. Cook et al. (2002) developed their understanding of the ecological perspective from Bronfenbrenner's (1977) human ecology model. Bronfenbrenner's human ecology model aimed to define human development. He suggested that the person, the environment and the relationship between them be thought as systems and subsystems within systems. These systems overlap and influence each other. Bronfenbrenner postulated that there are four major subsystems that influence human behaviour: microsystems, mesosystems, exosystems 8 and macrosystems. Cook et al. asserted that macrosystems, which are the norms and values of a given society, are very influential on women's career development. From this understanding and influenced by Conyne (2000), Cook et al. (2002) asserted that "Human behavior results from the ongoing, dynamic interaction between the person and the environment. Behavior is the result of a multiplicity of factors at the individual, interpersonal and broader sociocultural levels" (p. 296). According to the authors, behaviour results within a context where the context is meaningful to the individual's behaviour rather than just being an outside force (Cook et al.). Yakushko and Chronister (2005) used Bronfenbrenner's (1979) ecological model to describe immigrant women's challenges, concerns and experiences after immigrating and suggested strategies to work with this population. Yakushko & Chronister suggested that understanding the mental health needs of immigrant women is important to foster a successful immigration transition. Successful negotiation of changes in women's identity and relationships after immigration occurs at many different levels according to the Bronfenbrenner (1979) model (Yakushko & Chronister, 2005). Successful negotiation is also dependent on the supportiveness of the women's context. Immigrant women who experience voluntary migration, hold optimistic expectations, possess language skills and have access to support experienced more positive psychological outcomes. This article demonstrated that an ecological framework was a useful way to conceptualize immigrant women's experiences. 9 Both Cook et al. (2002) and Betz (2002) cautioned against the generalization that all women and people of colour's career decisions are relational. They suggested that there are many within and between group differences. This caution was considered when interpreting the current study's results. The current study encouraged participants to speak about any change that they saw as affecting their work, whether it be at home, personal, relational, or work, which allowed the participants to speak about their interaction with their environment. Within the current study, considering the relationship between the person and the environment was necessary to fully understand immigrant women's experiences. Others have suggested that when studying immigrants, researchers must consider the influence of the environment or context (Fouad & Arbona, 1994). Vocational Psychology and Relevant Theories Vocational Psychology will be highlighted here as the current study's results may contribute to this discipline. As discussed in the Introduction, vocational psychology is "the study of vocational behavior and its development in careers, particularly emphasizing issues of occupational choice and work adjustment. The discipline focuses on the perspective of individual workers not the perspectives of the organization or occupation" (Savickas, 2001a, p. 167-168). Leaders in the field have suggested a mission for the future of vocational psychology. Savickas (2001b) proposed: Vocational psychology, a specialty within applied psychology, conducts research on vocational behavior among all groups of workers, at each life stage, in order to advance knowledge, improve career interventions, and inform social policy. It is characterized by innovative theorizing to comprehend the diversity of human 10 experience and the changing world of work; the use of diverse epistemologies and research strategies; an emphasis on programmatic and longitudinal studies; and the translation of research findings into models, methods, and materials for career education and intervention, (p. 286). Elsewhere, Lent (2001) offered a personal vision for vocational psychology in the next decade: (a) to foster scientific understanding of career choice and development, including issues of occupational preparation, transition, entry, adjustment, satisfaction, health, and change or stability; (b) to translate career theory and research into practice in the form of developmental, preventative, and remedial services; and (c) to train new professionals (and to provide continuing education to more senior professionals) to serve an increasingly diverse clientele consisting of students (of all ages), workers, the unemployed, those undergoing work transition, retirees, and systems (e.g., schools, work organizations, dual-career couples, and families), (p. 220). Savickas' (2001a; 2001b) and Lent's (2001) definition and mission statements guided the current study. The definition and mission statements called for an examination of work adjustment and change from the individual's perspective and the development of interventions from this knowledge. The current study examined how immigrant women do well with change that affected their work. The goal of the current study was to translate this knowledge into preventative tools for career and vocational counsellors. In reviewing the field of vocational psychology, Lent (2001) suggested that the main theories that guide vocational theory, research and practice were Holland (1997), Super (Super, Savickas & Super, 1996), Dawis and Lofquist (Dawis, 1996), and Krumboltz (Mitchell & Krumboltz, 1996). New vocational psychology theories have been developed that pull from other fields of psychology. Lent provided the theories of Lent, Brown & Hackett (1994) and Vondracek, Lerner, & Schulenberg (1986) as examples. For the purposes of this literature review, Dawis and Lofquist's Theory of Work Adjustment (Dawis), 11 Krumboltz's Learning Theory of Career Counselling (Mitchell & Krumboltz) and Vondracek et al.'s Life-Span Developmental Approach to Career Development (Vondracek et al.) were reviewed in more detail. Dawis and Lofquist's Theory of Work Adjustment Loftquist and Dawis (Dawis, 1996) developed the Theory of Work Adjustment (TWA) that posits that a person has needs that must be met for well-being and survival. These needs can be satisfied through or by the environment. In the work environment, the worker has work needs that must be met in interaction with the work environment. The work environment also has needs that can be met through the worker's skills and capabilities. If both parties' needs are met, they reach satisfaction. The TWA focuses on the satisfaction of the worker. The person evaluates his or her level of satisfaction through perception, cognition and emotion. Satisfactoriness refers to the environment being satisfied with the worker. In terms of adjustment to work, correspondence occurs when both the environment and individual's needs are met. However, this is not always possible as change occurs in many areas: work skills, task requirements, needs, and reinforcers (i.e. pay) (Dawis). The theory does not discuss how change occurs. According to the TWA, when workers are dissatisfied with change, rather than leaving their work environment, they try to adjust. Before adjustment there is a period of discorrespondence, the counterpart of correspondence, where the worker tolerates a certain amount of time where his or her needs are not being met. How long the worker tolerates this discorrespondence is called flexibility. The more flexible a worker is, the more satisfied he or she will be (Dawis). 12 Adjustment has two components: active adjustment and reactive adjustment (Dawis, 1996). With active adjustment, the worker tries to change his or her environment. With reactive adjustment, the worker tries to change his or her self. Each of these components has the goal of reaching correspondence. If the worker is not successful in adapting, he or she may stop trying. Persevering workers are those who persist in trying to adjust. If a worker is satisfied, he or she will try to maintain the state of correspondence. Dissatisfaction initiates adjustment. In the current study, the TWA applied if the participants were dissatisfied with the changes affecting their work and decided to adjust. Dawis (1996) referred to the TWA's applicability to minority groups. The TWA posits that people have adjustment styles. Dawis suggested that minority group status could be a variable that accounts for an individual's adjustment style. As many researchers have documented the barriers, discrimination and lack of support that immigrants face in their work environments (i.e. Kadkhoda, 2002; Westwood & Ishiyama, 1991), more research is needed to unpack how immigrant women are doing well with changes affecting their work, especially when the environment is not meeting their needs. Krumboltz's Learning Theory of Career Counseling Krumboltz's Learning Theory of Career Counseling is broken into two components, both of which may be useful in understanding the processes that immigrant women workers employ to do well with changes that affect their work. The Social Learning Theory of Career Decision Making (Mitchell & Krumboltz, 1996) posits that people's career decision-making and occupational preferences are based on four factors: 1) Genetic factors or traits and 13 special abilities which allow the person to learn from the environment, 2) Environmental conditions and events which are out of the person's control such as labour market conditions, educational opportunities and requirements and technological developments and advancements, 3) Learning experiences where the person's behaviour is reinforced or punished by the environment or associative where people learn directly or indirectly through watching others, and 4) Task approach skills which are created through interactions with the three factors above and the environment. These task skills can be brought to new problems. Examples of task skills are performance standards, work habits and emotional, perceptual or cognitive processes (Mitchell & Krumboltz, 1996). A person's beliefs about him or herself and the world are created through the interaction between the first three factors and the environment. According to Mitchell & Krumboltz (1996), task approach skills are "cognitive and performance abilities and emotional predispositions for coping with the environment; interpreting it in relation to self observation generalizations, and making predictions about future events" (p. 246). Although task approach skills are spoken about in the context of career decision-making, they also may be useful for understanding the process of doing well with change in the environment. According to the second component of Krumboltz' Learning Theory of Career Counseling (Mitchell & Krumboltz, 1996), workers have to cope with four trends: 1) People are required to expand their interests and abilities, 2) People need to respond to changing work tasks, 3) People need to be empowered to become active agents in their career, and 4) Career problems extend beyond selecting an occupation. Mitchell & Krumboltz suggested 14 that career counsellors can encourage clients to deal with the stress of constantly having to respond to change and develop new skills by helping people cope with the feeling of lack of control in their lives. According to the authors, career counselling must "facilitate the learning of skills, interests, beliefs, values, work habits and personal qualities that enable each client to create a satisfying life within a constantly changing work environment" (Mitchell & Krumboltz, p. 252). An addition to Krumboltz' (1996) Learning Theory of Career Counselling is planned happenstance (Mitchell, Levin, & Krumboltz, 1999). Planned happenstance is the "creating and transforming of unplanned events into opportunities for learning" (Mitchell et al., p. 117). Mitchell et al. asserted that people need to take action to generate opportunities through planning for and being open to change. In the current study, the concept of planned happenstance may be useful in understanding how immigrant women are doing well with change. Mitchell and Krumboltz (1996) do not speak to the cross-cultural validity of their overall theory. However, the recognition of the interaction between personal and environmental factors in career development is relevant for understanding the experiences of immigrant women. The Learning Theory of Career Counseling (Mitchell & Krumboltz, 1996) recognizes the impact of change on workers. The current study was framed within Mitchell and Krumboltz' (1996) suggestion that career counsellors should help clients successfully cope and respond to changing work environments. In the current study, immigrant women's experiences of changes such as entering a new job or occupation were 15 relevant. Through understanding the strategies that help immigrant women workers do well with change, the current study aimed to create preventative and informative data that would instruct counsellors' work with clients in dealing with the uncertainty and stress that comes with change. Vondracek, Lerner & Schulenberg's Life-Span Developmental Approach Vondracek et al. (1986) developed the Life-Span Developmenal Approach to explain individual development in the context of change. They suggested that career development must be studied across the life-span, not only at entry into a career. The life-span view of human development is a "set of interrelated ideas about the nature of human development and change" (Vondracek et al., p. 69). Vondracek et al. highlighted the need to study and understand the role of context on individuals' career development: "The ways in which a person's changing context - family, school, friends, community, and culture, for instance - influence and are influenced by these individual developments must be understood as well" (p. 82). This theory is in line with the ecological view of career development, which suggests the need to understand and study the interaction between the person and his or her environment (Cook et al., 2002). The Life-Span Developmental Approach was relevant to the current study's participants in light of research that suggested that immigrants face barriers and discrimination in their environments after moving to Canada (Kadkhoda, 2002; Westwood & Ishiyama, 1991). One of the key ideas of the Life-Span Developmental Approach is that of embeddedness. Vondracek et al. (1986) posited that human life exists at multiple levels 16 (such as individual, community, cultural, societal). There are interactions between each of these levels within the person and with the environment (Fouad & Arbona, 1994). Therefore, variables and processes at one level influence and are influenced by variables and processes at another level (Vondracek et al.). In this way, a person can produce their own development. There are reciprocal forces in play: a person can influence the context that he or she lives in which can in turn affect the person. Vondracek et al. theorized that an individual's development occurs in the context of other levels of developmental and non- developmental change phenomenon. In the current study, this could be interpreted to mean that the context of the new and changing world of work influences the participants who by their response to change influence the context. There has been support for the cross-cultural validity of Vondracek et al.'s (1984) Life Span Developmental Approach (Fouad & Arbona, 1994). Fouad and Arbona suggested that the theory could be used to examine the influence of context, such as socioeconomic factors and culture, on the career development of cross-cultural participants. Therefore, Vondracek et al.'s theory may be useful in conceptualizing the processes that immigrant women go through to do well with change in their environments. Gaps in the Field Lent (2001) reviewed the strengths and weaknesses of Vocational Psychology. He suggested that most theories focus on an individual's initial career choice or entry into a career. Of the theories outlined above, Vondracek's Life Span Developmental Approach (Vondracek et al., 1984) aimed to understand individuals across their careers. Lent asserted 17 that there has been less focus on understanding individuals' career adjustment including areas of occupational health, wellness, satisfaction, change and stress after career entry. Borgen (1997) echoed this sentiment. He suggested that current career theories do not address the context of the unpredictable world of work. Career opportunities are shifting rapidly and individuals have to adjust to keep up. Borgen wrote "Approaches need to be developed that fully take into account the influence of fluctuating labour market opportunities to make career choices and implement them" (p. 137). This statement is relevant to immigrants who are being encouraged to move to Canada because of labourforce shortages (Grant & Sweetman, 2004). The current study aimed to examine immigrant women at various stages in their careers who have experienced change impacting their work. This study aimed to fill the gap that Lent and Borgen identified. Immigrant Women A search of the ERIC and PsycINFO data bases on immigrant women resulted in the majority of articles on immigrant women's health concerns and violence against immigrant women. In this literature, immigrant women are seen as vulnerable (DiCicco-Bloom, 2004). There has been little research on immigrant women's vulerabilities and strengths (DiCicco- Bloom). The current study explored how immigrant women are doing well with change, therefore, highlighting women's strengths and resilience. In individual searches on thriving, resilience and hardiness, career development, and adaptation, I found some research that focused on immigrant women's experiences, strengths and successes. A synthesis of these studies will be highlighted below. 18 Thriving, Resilience and Hardiness The current study operated under the assumption that the immigrant women who are doing well with changes affecting their work may be 'thriving'. Literature on the concepts of thriving, resilience and hardiness will be reviewed below. Like Seligman and Csikszentmihaliyi's (2000) call for the study of human strengths, the literature on thriving has risen out of a desire for a paradigm shift from the focus on pathology to the study of enhanced health (Ickovics & Park, 1998). Thriving is "the effective mobilization of individual and social resources in response to risk or threat, leading to positive mental or physical outcomes and/or positive social outcomes" (Ickovics & Park, p. 237). Within this framework, adversity is seen as a challenge that can result in growth rather than a stressor that results in coping or succumbing to the threat (Carver, 1998). According to Carver (1998) thriving involves responding to challenge in a way that enhances health and well-being rather than returning to baseline functioning. Resilience involves responding to a challenge and returning to the prior condition of well-being. Both are seen as individual strengths as they involve responding positively to an adverse event. Others have described resilience as an adaptive process that helps people continue to lead healthy, hopeful lives despite adversity (Johnson & Wiechelt, 2004). Resilience will be detailed more in the following section. Carver (1998) used the term 'psychological thriving' to explain an individual's process of benefiting or gaining from a challenge and then applying that benefit to new 19 experiences, resulting in higher functioning. Therefore, as people learn and master new thriving skills, they are more confident and prepared for the next challenge. Carver differentiated thriving and accommodation in that thriving does not involve lessening one's expectations or being less demanding on the environment. One's level of thriving can be explained by individual differences such as coping styles and adult attachment styles and the context or environment such as presence of social support (Carver). Both Carver and Ickovics & Park (1998) suggested that the study of thriving is important for prevention and for the development of interventions. The concept of resilience is found in the literature in relation to thriving. A review of the ERIC and PsycINFO databases on 'immigrants' and 'resilience' revealed studies, many of which were dissertations, on areas such as immigrants' ethnic and cultural identity in relation to psychological problems (De La Paz, 2004; Kleinman, 2004), resilience as a predictor of immigrants' marital satisfaction (Kallampally, 2005), resilience and immigration (Gilkes, 2005), resilience in the face of trauma and adverse conditions (Biolli, Savicki, & Cepani, 2002), and immigrant youth's resilience (Goyos, 1997). In their introduction to a special issue on resilience, Johnson and Wiechelt (2004) illustrated the process of resilience. "In general, individuals and families demonstrate resilience when they draw on inner strengths, skills, and supports to keep adversity from derailing their lives" (p. 659). This explanation of resilience was useful in understanding the strategies that help immigrant women do well with change affecting their work. 20 Another study focused on the connection between immigrants' resilience and psychological well-being. According to Kulig (2000), Christopher's (2000) research was the first study to focus on immigrants' psychological resilience. Christopher utilized a correlational design to examine the relationship between demographics, resilience, life satisfaction and psychological well-being in 100 Irish immigrants in a metropolitan area. The sample was predominantly female, making the study relevant for the current study. The results showed that higher psychological well-being is predicted by higher resilience, less healthcare appointments and greater life satisfaction. Based on a review of the literature, Christopher suggested that immigration has been primarily studied as an adverse condition or disruption. She postulated that immigration could also have positive affects. However, little research has studied the positive affects of immigration. Christopher's results show support for immigrants' ability to successfully make adjustments when faced with change. Her study does not examine how immigrants are resilient in specific areas of their lives, such as work. Based on these results, Christopher urged for more qualitative research on immigrants' resilience and psychological well-being. The current study aimed to discover how immigrant women are doing well with change, with the goals of uncovering strategies describing immigrants' resilience. The concept of hardiness has been studied in relation to resilience. A review of the ERIC and PsycINFO databases on 'immigrants' and 'hardiness' resulted in a small body of literature on hardiness and immigrants' adaptation (Ataca & Berry, 2002) and hardiness and immigrants' mental health and psychological well-being (Kuo & Yung-Mei, 1986; Lopez, Haigh, & Burney, 2004; Perez, 1998). The concept of hardiness came out of Maddi's (2002) 21 notion that changes can be stimulating rather than debilitating for some if seen as a challenge rather than an adverse event. Hardiness is "a pattern of attitudes and actions that helps in transforming stressors from potential disasters into growth opportunities" (Maddi, 2002, p. 261). Hardiness is a protective factor that helps people confront stressful events (Lopez et al.). In this way, hardiness enhances and predicts resilience (Carver, 1998; Maddi, 2002; 2005). Hardiness encourages people to turn challenges into opportunities by utilizing their own coping methods, social support, and lifestyle patterns. People must feel that they have control over the events in their life (Lopez et al.). Maddi (2002; 2005) conceptualized hardiness as having three components: commitment (a predisposition of how one involves self with people, things and environment), control (one's attempt to have an influence on one's outcome), and challenge (one's desire to learn from both positive and negative experiences). How does hardiness develop in individuals? Maddi (2005) suggested that existential courage, defined by commitment, control and challenge, moves us towards valuable future choices. A person's hardiness develops through two sources: encouragement by others that he or she can turn adversity into a growth opportunity and the person's ability to see him or herself achieving this task. Practicing the skills of hardiness can strengthen a person's response to adversity in later situations. Maddi (2005) explained that in a world characterized by change and turbulence, hardiness is needed. In order to succeed, people have to accept change as a normal occurrence, turn change into a growth opportunity and use it to prepare for the future. In the 22 face of change, hardiness can help turn turbulence into meaning. Training programs enhancing hardiness skills have been developed to help people begin to deal with change (Maddi). These programs encourage skills such as coping, accessing social supports, relaxation, nutrition, physical activity and building the three hardy attitudes of commitment, control and challenge. Lopez et al. (2004) examined the relationship between hardiness and assimilation to a new culture and the relationship between hardiness and perceived stress. The participants were 88 Latin American first and second-generation immigrants in a metropolitan city in Australia. Over half of the participants were women. Lopez et al. postulated that hardiness serves as a buffer to the stressful situations associated with assimilation to a new culture. Results showed that immigrants with higher hardiness scores had lower perceived stress scores. Assimilation to the new culture was related to higher levels of perceived stress in the second-generation. Lastly, they found that, contrary to previous studies, first generation immigrants did not have higher hardiness levels than the second generation. In interpreting their findings, Lopez et al. stated that hardiness is a protective factor against the stress of assimilation. However, the authors suggested that there might be other protective factors in dealing with the challenges of migration such as contact with ethnically-similar social groups. No distinction was made between the protective factors of men and women. These protective factors need to be studied further. 23 Of all of the studies just outlined, very few mentioned employment or work and none mentioned how immigrant women thrive or are resilient in dealing with the challenge of change affecting their work. The current study aimed to fill this gap. Immigrant Women's Transitions, Adjustment and Adaptation I will now turn to the literature on immigrant women's transitions, adjustment and adaptation. It is beyond the scope of the current study to examine all of the literature on general transitions, adjustment and adaptation. The current study assumed that the participants would have experienced many different changes such as deciding to leave their country of origin and moving to Canada, or moving into a different occupation and learning or operating in a new or second language. The literature reviewed relates to such changes and the strategies that immigrant women require or develop to do well with and adjust to change. As immigrants move from one culture to the next, they come in contact with different environments to which they can chose to adapt or adjust. Acculturation will be mentioned briefly here as an adaptive process as it has been studied extensively in understanding immigrants' contact with a new culture. Linear concepts of the process of acculturation have been largely abandoned for Berry's (1997) model that theorizes that acculturation is a two- dimensional process involving immigrants' adaptation to a new culture and preservation of their own culture. Berry proposed four acculturation strategies - integration, assimilation, separation and marginalization. Integration involves placing value on maintaining one's culture and adapting to the new culture while marginalization is the opposite. Assimilation is characterized by only placing value on the new culture while separation is characterized by 2 4 only placing value on one's own culture. Acculturation is dependent on both external and internal factors such as the nature of the two cultures, the consequences of interaction with the new culture and personal characteristics (Berry, 1997). The concept of acculturation was thought to be helpful in understanding the current study's results, as it is an adaptive process that the participants might have revealed in their discussion of change. Several studies have examined immigrants' acculturation and adaptation. Ataca and Berry (2002) examined the psychological, sociocultural and marital adaptation and acculturation of Turkish immigrant couples in Canada. 200 married Turkish immigrants in a metropolitan city participated in the study. Key results showed that adaptation is a unique and multifaceted process. Results showed support for the hypothesis that people assimilate and acculturate differently according to socioeconomic status and gender. Ataca and Berry (2002) suggested that there is a lack of research on gender differences in adaptation. Their study highlighted the need to consider different factors in the adaptation of males and females. Results showed that there are different predictors for successful adaptation for men and women. For instance, hardiness predicted sociocultural adaptation, and marital stressors predicted psychological adaptation of the women in the study. With respect to sociocultural adaptation, females were less adapted than males. Social skills and psychological well-being may be more closely related for women than men. Ataca and Berry stressed the role of hardiness in immigrant women's adaptation, suggesting that those who are more in control are better able to overcome hardships, gain necessary skills and become socially adequate. Based on these results, Ataca and Berry asserted that 25 training and counselling programs should consider the different experiences of men and women in the process of adaptation. In terms of the current study, Ataca and Berry's study highlighted the need to study gender differences in adaptation and the role of hardiness in immigrant women's adaptation process. Remennick (2005) also studied the occupational, social, personal and psychological aspects of adjustment after immigration in 150 heterosexual couples. Although her research was conducted in Israel, Remennick's results are useful in highlighting the ways in which men and women adjust differently after arriving in a new county. Like Ataca and Berry (2002), Remennick highlighted the need to study gender differences in adjustment, stating that there is little research on the subject. Surveys were given to 150 couples from the Former Soviet Union who had to have lived in Israel for at least 3 years. 15 couples were interviewed in more depth. Results showed that men and women's overall adjustment levels are relatively similar, however they integrate into the social realm differently. Like Ataca and Berry (2002), Remennick's results showed that adjustment involves many different factors and is different for men and women. Unlike Ataca and Berry's study, Remennick did not highlight socio-economic status as a factor in immigrants' adjustment. With regards to occupational adjustment, the women in Remennick's (2005) study worked full-time and were responsible for the care of their children and home. Women found it more difficult than men to find jobs in a similar position than those that they had left in their home country. Most women adjusted by retraining in more female-dominated industries such as nursing and care-giving. Women experienced more downward mobility in 26 their jobs than men, however, women viewed their work more positively, finding it interesting, learning new skills, and enjoying the atmosphere and people. Some described their work as meaningful. Despite downward mobility, women were in favour of new work, seeing work as improving their lives. Also, women who could not find jobs initially showed resilience by switching their energy to their families. These women dealt with the initial shock of adjustment by throwing themselves into their daily home activities and by supporting their families through the adjustment process. Remmenick's results echoed Ataca and Berry's (2002) study, which suggested that immigrant women's hardiness, or feeling in control, is crucial to successful adjustment. In terms of the social realm, Remmenick's (2005) study revealed that women showed an advantage over men in learning a new language and developing social networks. Remmenick suggested that women are social agents since they have to interact with institutions in the new country. As a result, women had greater sociability and larger social networks. Surprisingly, women showed lower well-being than men, but greater connection with others. Women understood the importance of support of friends, coworkers and neighbours in successful adaptation. Other studies (Salaff & Greve, 2004; Waters, 2002) highlighted the importance of social support in immigrant women's adjustment. Based on her findings, Remmenick (2005) stressed women's strengths in the immigration experience. She asserted that the interviews shed light on how women negotiate in a new country, proving that women show more ingenuity and adaptability in social integration than men. Some of the women's strengths 27 included resilience, accessing social supports, flexibility, realism, trying new options, tolerance, pragmatism, initiative, and readiness to sacrifice for family survival and happiness. Waters (2002) study sheds light on to another dynamic in recent immigrant couples' transition and adjustment. Waters studied the phenomenon of "Astronaut" families in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Astronaut families occur when after immigration, the breadwinner in the family returns to the home country to work, usually leaving the wife and children to resettle in the new country. 43 families from Hong Kong and Taiwan who had immigrated to Canada participated in the study. Indepth interviews with 24 wives whose husbands had left within a few months of migration provided the bulk of the data for the study. Key results showed that women had to sacrifice in order to provide for the well-being of their families once in Canada. The women spoke of the first year of immigration being the most difficult. For instance, women talked about having more help and support in their home countries and feeling isolated and helpless upon arrival in Canada. In their new country, women found it difficult to hold down a job without the support of their families and husband. Most of the women gave up working because of added pressures and stress. However, many of the women spoke of not wanting to work and enjoying staying at home with the children. Waters asserted that women's sense of responsibility to their families might be the reason that they do not seek employment in the new country. The women in this study came from middle to upper class families, so the decision not to work may not reflect the experiences of all immigrant women. 28 Results also revealed that the Astronaut arrangement provided opportunity and positive experience for the immigrant women (Waters, 2002). Through their sacrifices, a process of transformation and independence emerged. For example, some women felt that they had more freedom and a new sense of agency. Like the women in Remmenick's (2005) study just mentioned above, Waters found that the women adjusted to the new culture by building language skills and increasing their social support and their confidence. Based on these findings, Waters asserted that the oppressive and negative nature of published accounts of immigrant women's experiences do not reflect the whole story of those who find immigration a positive, affirming experience. Studies on immigrant women's transitions and adjustment cite the importance of social support in successful adaptation (Remennick, 2005; Waters, 2002). Recognizing the importance of social support, Salaff and Greve (2004) examined whether or not immigrant women's social networks could migrate. They recruited 50 couples from China who had immigrated to Canada after 1996 as skilled workers. A qualitative methodology was utilized to examine how women organized childcare for their children while trying to enter the Canadian workforce into professional careers. Results showed that social networks allowed for the successful transition of immigrant women. Women found it difficult to bring their social networks with them to Canada and had to rebuild them upon immigrating. The women spoke of leaving their social networks and childcare behind in China, which had previously made it easy to pursue their career goals. In Canada, the women were suddenly in charge of their family's needs without extended family and friends to support them. As a result, women's careers became second to the family's needs. Women spoke of having to change 29 their professional goals as a result of not having their professional experience and credentials recognized and experiencing downward mobility in their work. Results also showed that women had to develop and build a new support system in order to build their professional careers. For instance, if they had to retrain, they needed to have someone to look after their children. Participants remedied this by bringing grandparents from the home country to look after the children, sending their children back to China while they retrained or counting on friends, roommates and neighbours in the new country. Based on these results, Salaff and Greve (2004) suggested that immigrant women's experience in a new country is one of readjustment and balancing their own and their family's needs. The connection between immigrant women's adjustment and mental health has been addressed in the literature (i.e. Khan and Watson, 2004; Wong and Tsang, 2004). Wong and Tsang (2004) studied immigrant women's understanding of and strategies for maintaining their mental health in a new country. 13 focus groups of 102 women from Korea, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Vietnam were held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Results showed that immigrant women developed strategies to maintain and negotiate their identities in a new country. Wong and Tsang found that the participants asserted their agency within their social contexts. The researchers make several cautions based on their findings that were useful for the current study. First, in studying immigrant women, the researchers cautioned against overgeneralizing women's experiences within a group or across groups. Also, in studying achievement-oriented values such as success, researchers should remember that 30 what determines "success", "productivity" and "contribution" is socially constructed (Wong & Tsang, p. 457). These cautions were taken into consideration when developing the current study and interpreting the findings. Khan and Watson (2005) also studied the mental health of immigrant women in their study on the experiences of 7 Pakistani women's quality of life and personal stress after immigration to Canada. Using a grounded theory approach, Khan and Watson (2005) found that the Pakistani women went through four stages of resettlement: 1) Dreams of seeking a better future in a new country, 2) Confronting the reality of immigration, 3) Grieving and mourning expectations, and 4) Adjustment involving gains, remains and coping. Like other research has found (Remennick, 2005; Salaff & Greve, 2004; Waters, 2002), Khan and Watson's (2005) study's participants had to take lower paying jobs because their qualifications were not recognized in Canada. They experienced losses involving financial, emotional, cultural and social aspects. Some women were not able to work because of a lack of accessible, affordable childcare. Women found that they had little social support in their new country. Also, the participants stated that their spousal relationships changed because of financial hardships and unemployment and underemployment. As part of the fourth stage of resettlement, "Adjustment involving gains, remains and coping", women cited coping strategies such as upgrading and gaining education, building social support and finding support through religion. Also, camaraderie was important in finding and connecting with others who were going through the same experiences. Khan and 31 Watson (2005) concluded by stressing the importance of studying recent immigrant women, especially Pakistani women who are underrepresented in research. Dyck's (2006) study on the immigration and settlement experience of South Asian women shed light into the reality of immigrant women's transition and adjustment. 10 Sikh women in Vancouver and Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada were interviewed for the study. While Dyck focused on the health practices of South Asian women migrants in keeping health and managing illness, the major context was in the work setting, making the results relevant for the current study. Results showed that none of the women had been working in India but almost all were now working in Canada. While working, women were not able to be as healthy. The study highlighted immigrant women's resilience in using resources and adapting to their new situations by integrating of their cultural health practices and the health practices in Canada. Also, prayer was found to be an important way to deal with stress. Immigrant Women's Career Development and Career Adaptability Many authors have written about the barriers and challenges that immigrants face in seeking and adjusting to employment in a new country (i.e. Kadkhoda, 2002; Westwood & Ishiyama, 1995; Yost & Lucas, 2002). Immigrants face outside barriers such as discrimination, lack of recognition of foreign credentials, the need for further training and an unstable labour market. They also experience culture shock, loss of occupational and personal status, second language anxiety and changes in family dynamics (Kadkhoda; Westwood & Ishiyama; Yost & Lucas). Yost and Lucas suggested that despite these 32 challenges, securing employment restores the balance in the family, builds social support and encourages successful adaptation to the new culture. The studies reviewed below highlight the experience of immigrant women's renegotiation of their career and reentry into the occupational field after immigrating. Themes that emerged were downward mobility, the need for retraining and balancing work and home life. In concert with these experiences and demands, women spoke of their own resilience, determination and success. The concept of career adaptability in general was useful in understanding the current study's participants' experiences of making the decision to move to Canada for better employment prospects or changing occupations when arriving in Canada. Career adaptability is the "readiness to cope with changing work and working conditions (Super & Knasel as cited in Ebberwein et al., 2004). This definition focuses on the individual's experience in relation to the environment. Ebberwein et al. suggested that people's reactions to change include fear and anger. The authors wanted to understand what skills were necessary to adapt to career transitions, what barriers individuals must overcome to cope with these transitions and what assets people bring to situations of change (Ebberwein et al.). They assessed these questions through qualitative interviews with 18 Caucasian men and women in a Midwestern metropolitan area. 9 participants were men and 9 were women. Results revealed themes of adaptive responses, contextual challenges and insights into the transitions. In terms of adaptive responses, those who approached job loss with a 33 sense of reality and planfulness, saw change as an opportunity, and took control over their situation were better equipped to deal with transitions. Contextual factors such as family responsibilities and financial resources and pressures impacted individuals' ability to cope with change (Ebberwein et al., 2004). With these results in mind, Ebberwein et al. concluded "Individuals with a sense of planfulness, as well as a sense of realism about personal and contextual factors affecting the situation, have a head start when the transition begins" (p. 304). While the transition Ebberwein et al. spoke about refers to potential job loss, the experience of transition in work can be applied to the experience of the participants in the current study. While the study's results were useful, they were interpreted with caution because they were based on an all-white and mixed gender sample. However, Ebberwein et al. made a call for more research on career adaptability and culture. The current study aims to attempt to fill this gap by studying immigrant women's responses to change affecting their work. Bhalalesesa (1998) used semi-structured interviews to study the experiences and challenges of six women from developing countries who were pursuing academic studies in England. While the women in this study may not have stayed in England after their schooling, their descriptions illustrate the challenges, motivations and strategies that cross- cultural women utilize to be successful in their career development. Key results showed that women maintained success in pursuing career and professional development by will and determination, needing to integrate traditional cultural values and career aspirations and balancing work and family. The women's sense of will and determination echos Ebberwein et al.'s (2004) findings that suggested that is an important aspect of dealing well with 34 transition. Bhalalesesa (1998) found that career success alone was not adequate for happiness, as the participants believed that success was necessary in all areas of life. Inspiration was found through others, such as parents, and the desire to be an example to their children. Bhalalesesa's (1998) study highlighted cross-cultural women's strengths and resilience in achieving their career and professional development goals. In closing, Bhalalesesa highlighted the need for more research to examine women's career development from a cross-cultural perspective. In response to the focus on coping in the immigrant women literature, DiCicco- Bloom (2004) explored the experiences of immigrant nurses in a new culture with the goal of hearing stories of success and struggle. She conducted semi-structured indepth interviews with 10 South-Asian nurses who were now employed as nurses in the United States. An analysis of the interviews revealed themes of cultural displacement, racial experiences and alienation at work and home, and the intersectionality of women's different identities. One of the participants spoke about the challenge of working in a new environment with White supervisors, another spoke of having to take a lower-skilled job in the United States after having worked for 10 years as a nurse in India. Yet another spoke of experiences of racism on the job in terms of being passed up for a promotion. Based on these stories and her findings, DiCicco-Bloom (2004) suggested that immigrant women are resilient in adapting to challenges while continuing to reproduce traditional patriarcial structures in a new country. She described this process as one of cultural negotiation where being successful means swinging back and forth between one's 35 new and old culture. DiCicco-Bloom concluded that for immigrant women, with success comes difficult and painful experiences of racism. She suggested that future research should continue to gather information on immigrant women's experiences to assess and utilize women's strengths. Wang and Jordache Sangalang (2005) studied work adjustment and job satisfaction and their relation to social support and self-efficacy of Filipino immigrants in Canada. 142 Filipino immigrants in blue-collar positions in a medium-sized city participated in the study. The majority of participants (76%) were females, making this study relevant for the current study. The authors stressed that there were few studies that examine immigrants' adjustment into the workforce causing this phenomena to not be well understood. They defined immigrants' work adjustment as the level of psychological comfort in working within the employment system (Wang & Jordache Sanglang). The authors suggested that immigrants' adjustment into society differs from adjustment into the workforce because in society immigrants have a choice about how much they want to interact with the host culture and how much to maintain their own culture. In work, the maintenance of immigrants' culture is not always possible. This affects immigrants' work adjustment and job satisfaction. Results of Wang and Jordache Sanglang's (2005) study showed that workers reported feeling more support from their own cultural group than from their Canadian born co- workers and managers. The level of perceived support from each of the three groups of people was different for work adjustment and job satisfaction. Self-efficacy was related to work adjustment, not job satisfaction. Self-efficacy did not moderate between social support 36 and work adjustment or job satisfaction. With these results in mind, the authors suggested that immigrants feel more support from their ethnically-similar coworkers but support from Canadian co-workers and management can be crucial for successful work adjustment and higher job satisfaction. With regards to self-efficacy, if immigrants believe that they can perform effectively, they will deal better with change in the work environment and adjust more easily. Wang & Jordache Sangalang called for more studies examining the antecedent and consequent factors of immigrants' adjustment in their work. Man's (2004) work has been frequently cited in other research studies on immigrant women's adjustment. In her pivotal study, she examined the paid work experiences of immigrant women from China and Hong Kong who were now living in Canada. She held indepth interviews and focus groups with 20 women from China and 30 women from Hong Kong. These women were highly educated in their home countries. Results revealed difficulties in re-entering the workforce at a similar position and pay rate. Many experienced isolation and depression. Women talked of their frustration in the difference between their expectations and the reality of immigration and resettlement. Women experienced barriers to employment such as English language skills, the need for Canadian experience, racism, and lack of recognition of credentials and experience. Like Waters' (2002) participants, the women in Man's (2004) study made sacrifices for the well-being of their families. They did this by taking whatever job they could find, giving up entering the workforce, retraining or finding unpaid experience before entering the workforce. Man (2004) summarized women's underemployment stating that "Many endured 37 this with patience and tenacity, hoping to obtain better positions in the future" (p. 144). Man's study highlighted the difficulties and barriers that immigrant women face when attempting to reenter the workforce in a new country. While her participants spoke of the hardships, they also highlighted how they were dealing with these situations. Further research needs to specifically address how immigrant women are doing well with changes affecting their work. Gaps in the Immigrant Women Literature As the studies reviewed in this section has illustrated, more research is needed that examines immigrant women's adjustment into the workforce, career transitions and career adaptability. Little of the research just cited studied immigrant women's experience of change affecting their work. None focused solely on how women were doing well with changes affecting their work. More research is needed that examines gender differences in adaptation (Ataca and Berry, 2002, Remennick, 2005). There is a lack of research on career development and career adaptability and culture (Bhalalusesa, 1998; Ebberwein et al., 2004). Immigrant women's experiences of transition, adaptation, and adjustment into the workforce are underrepresented in the literature and need to be understood (Khan & Watson, 2005; Wang & Jordache Sangalang, 2005, Waters, 2002). Studies focusing on immigrant women's resilience, strengths, and will and determination are needed (Christopher, 2002; DiCicco- Bloom, 2004; Waters, 2002). The current study aimed to gain an understanding of what helps and what hinders immigrant women to do well with change involving many of these aspects. 38 While there was a balanced proportion of qualitative and quantitative literature addressing immigrant women's transitions and career development and adaptability, DiCicco-Bloom (2004) highlighted the need to explore and research immigrant women's experiences in order to recognize and access their strenghts. A qualitative methodology was fitting to explore and give voice to immigrant women's experiences. Based on the gaps identified in the literature reviewed, the current study's research questions were: What helps and what hinders immigrant women workers to do well with changes affecting their work? What would have been helpful in doing well with these changes? 39 CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY The current study used a qualitative method to explore the research questions, "What helps and what hinders immigrant women workers to do well with changes affecting their work? What would have been helpful in doing well with these changes?" was to gain a better picture of immigrant women's perceptions of their experience with change. The current study was exploratory in nature in order to address some of the gaps identified in the literature with regards to immigrant women and change affecting their work. A qualitative method was fitting because qualitative research serves to provide rich, detailed accounts of individual experience (Palys, 1997). Researchers have suggested the need for qualitative research in vocational psychology (Betz, 2001; Fouad, 2001) and with cross-cultural populations (Fouad & Arbona, 1994). The critical incident technique (CIT) was chosen as the primary methodology in the current study because it is a qualitative technique that can be used with a smaller sample size to examine behaviours or actions without losing the personal accounts that make qualitative data so rich (Flanagan, 1954). The CIT aims to "create a categorization scheme that summarizes and describes the data in a useful manner, while at the same time sacrificing as little as possible of their comprehensiveness, specificity and validity" (Flanagan, 1954 as cited in Butterfield, Borgen, Amundson, & Maglio, 2005, p. 6). In the current study, the CIT was used to elicit helpful and hindering incidents as it has been shown to be useful in eliciting this type of information (Flanagan, 1954; Woolsey, 1986). 40 The following sections will outline the history of the critical incident technique and provide details regarding the current study's data collection procedures, data analysis procedures and trustworthiness checks. Critical Incident Technique Flanagan (1954) introduced the critical incident technique during World War II as a method to identify effective performance in pilots. Flanagan asserted that the technique is not a rigid methodology but is "a flexible set of principles that must be modified and adapted to meet the specific situation at hand" (p. 335). The focus of a CIT study can include an examination of effective and ineffective behaviours, helping and hindering factors, functional or behavioural descriptions, successes and failures or critical aspects of an activity (Butterfield et al., 2005; Flanagan, 1954). The CIT has gained recognition as a respected exploratory and investigative tool (Butterfield et al., 2005). Researchers have adapted the CIT for research in job analysis, counselling psychology and nursing (Butterfield et al., 2005). Within counselling psychology, the critical incident technique has been used to study areas such as: helpful and hindering factors in group counselling (Amundson & Borgen, 1988); the experience of unemployment (Borgen & Amundson, 1984); meaningful engagement in the workplace (Morley, 2003); and stress and coping (O'Driscoll & Cooper, 1996). The critical incident technique also has been used with diverse populations (McCormick, 1994). 41 In a CIT study, the researcher aims to elicit incidents or directly observable behaviours, which are critical, or significant to an outcome (Woolsey, 1986). In an expanded CIT study, a critical incident refers to an event or experience that can have a negative or positive impact on an individual and his or her thoughts, feelings and behaviours (McCormick, 1994; Wong, 2000). A critical incident has three components: a) antecedent conditions which led up to the event or experience, b) a description of the experience or event, and c) a description of the outcome of the event or experience (McCormick, 1994; Wong, 2000). In an expanded critical incident study, participants are asked to give descriptions of these three components. Similarly, O'Driscoll and Cooper (1994) advocated that participants should be asked to describe the incident, the context, the helpful or hindering strategy, why it was helpful or hindering and the outcome of the incident. Because the current study aimed to gain a description of the helpful and hindering incidents along with their meaning and importance, McCormick, O'Driscoll and Cooper and Wong's suggestions informed the data collection and analysis procedures. Another innovation of the CIT is the 'wish list' (Butterfield, 2001), which was also included in the data collection and analysis of the current study. Woolsey's (1986) article on the CIT uses Flanagan's (1954) model to suggest five steps in a CIT study: 1) determining the aim of the activity or behaviour to be studied, 2) setting plans, specifications and criteria for the study in question, 3) collecting data, 4) analyzing data into categories, and 5) reporting the findings. Woolsey's steps informed the procedures of the current study. Therefore, the current study used a CIT methodology because it aimed to elicit descriptions of what helps and what hinders immigrant women to 42 do well with change affecting their work, and it can be called an expanded CIT methodology because it aimed to explore the importance or meaning that the participants attached to these helpful or hindering incidents. Data Collection Procedures 10 participants were recruited for the purposes of the current study after receiving approval for the research method and procedures from the Behavioural and Research Ethics Board at the University of British Columbia (see Appendix A for UBC Research Ethics Board Certificate of Approval). Flanagan (1954) commented on the required sample size in a CIT study, stating that "the sample size is not determined by the number of participants, but rather determined by the number of critical incidents observed or reported and whether the incidents represent an adequate coverage of the activity being studied" (Butterfield et al., 2005, p. 6). Participants were recruited using purposive sampling. Recruitment posters were posted at various community centres, libraries, neighbourhood houses and community poster boards. I also contacted various immigrant-servicing organizations in the Lower Mainland to introduce the study (see Appendix B for Recruitment poster and Appendix C for Recruitment ad). Recruitment was primarily achieved through word-of-mouth after information was disseminated to key members of immigrant communities by immigrant service-providers. Potential participants were invited to contact me through a confidential e-mail address and telephone number to prevent participants from feeling coerced into participating. I asked the potential participants screening questions to determine their eligibility for the current study (see Appendix D for Screening Questions). The current study's inclusion criteria 43 included those who were immigrant women, over the age of 19, had immigrated to Canada within the last 2 years, were working in Canada within the last 6 months, had family responsibilities, and had some training in their home countries. Family responsibilities were seen as having financial responsibilities to provide for the spousal partnership and/or children and/or parents. Immigrant women who were able to understand, read and converse in English were included in the current study because I did not speak any other languages and a translator was not being used. The participants came from a number of countries including England (2 women), Mexico (2 women), The Philippines (2 women), India (1 woman), China (1 woman), Romania (1 woman), and Russia (1 woman). Only one participant's first language was English. The current study's group of participants was seen to be well-balanced according to ethnicity with a wide range represented. Diversity in the group being studied can be advantageous in a CIT design as Woolsey (1986) suggested that a heterogeneous sample maximized critical incident diversity, which could strengthen the category formations. The participants' ages ranged from 27-52 with an average age of 38.7. All of the participants were married or in common-law partnerships. All of the participants had family responsibilities in terms of providing for the family or care for the children. Seven participants were mothers, one participant was pregnant, and two did not have children although one of the childfree participants was trying to get pregnant. All of the participants were currently working outside of the home. Each of the participants had completed education in their home countries: four had completed Bachelor's degrees, four had 44 completed Master's degrees and two had completed PhDs. Three participants had taken further studies in Canada. The participants' length of time in Canada ranged from 3 months to 2 years with an average of 15.6 months. A summary of the participants' demographic details can be found on Table 1. 45 Table 1: Demographics Part. # Age Country of Origin Length of time in Canada Marital Status Family Status Education Occupation 102 27 England 2 years Common- Law No Bachelors Communications Manager 107 35 Mexico 13 mos. Married Pregnant University Marketing Director 111 44 China 13 mos. Married 1 child Masters Packager 113 52 Philippines 3 mos. Married 3 children Masters Sales Associate 118 37 England 14 mos. Married 1 child Masters Regulatory Affairs Officer 123 40 Romania 15 mos. Married 1 child Bachelors Special Education Aid 128 38 India 19 mos. Married No PhD Employment Counsellor 138 47 Philippines 23 mos. Married 4 children Bachelors/ Diploma Office Administrator 143 36 Mexico 2 years Married 2 children Masters Spanish Instructor 144 31 Russia 8 mos. Married 1 child/ pregnant PhD Program Assistant 46 I conducted in-person interviews with all 10 participants. Individual interviews were held at a mutually agreed upon locations including the participants' homes, offices, or at my research team's research office. In the case of two interviews, the participants ran out of time so the remainder of the interview was completed over the telephone. Interview data was collected using semi-structured, open-ended interviews between 1.5-2 hours in length. Interviews were held between October 2006 and June 2007. Interviews were audio taped and transcribed verbatim. Field notes were taken during the interviews to aid with the analysis procedures afterwards. The interviews began with an introduction to the study. I reviewed the informed consent form (see Appendix E for Informed Consent Form), which included the study's purpose, procedures, confidentiality, contact information and the participants' right to stop the interview and or withdraw from the study at any time. Participants were asked to sign the consent form as an indication of their understanding about the study's purpose and procedures. I proceeded to ask the questions according to the Interview Questions Guide (see Appendix F for Interview Questions Guide). At the beginning of the interview, participants were asked open-ended questions to elicit contextual, background information about their work situations, what doing well meant to them, what changes they had experienced and the impact of those changes on their work (Cozby, 1997; Palys, 1997). After these questions were asked, I proceeded to the major part of the interview consisting of the CIT questions. 47 As part of the CIT questions, participants were asked what had been helpful and hindering to them in doing well with changes affecting their work. Participants were also asked if there was anything that would have been helpful to them if they had had access to it as part of a 'wish list' (Butterfield, 2001). At the end of the interview, participants were asked for demographic information (see Appendix G for Demographic Questions). Next, the participants were asked if they had any further questions. Participants were lightly debriefed to ensure that nothing distressing had arisen during the interview process. I gave the participants information about the next steps in the research process. Consent was sought to briefly follow-up with each participant for a second interview to share the analyzed data. Participants were contacted for a second interview from between 1 week to 9 months after their first interviews. The majority of participants were contacted within 3 months after their first interview. The long time span between interviews was due to a health concern on my part. Participants were e-mailed a copy of the summary of the analysis of their transcript and instructions with how to provide feedback. Participants provided feedback via telephone or e-mail conversations. Asking for participant feedback is referred to as participant cross checking (Butterfield et al., 2005) and is one of the credibility or trustworthiness checks for the results of the current study. This will be referred to in more detail in later sections. 48 Data Analysis The data analysis of the interviews was conducted in two forms: 1) A general qualitative methodology (Berg, 1995) was used to form themes or patterns from the background and contextual questions asked at the beginning of the interview. Participants' responses were grouped together according to similarities and differences (Berg, 1995), and 2) The majority of the interview questions were analyzed using a CIT methodology according to Flanagan (1954) and Woolsey (1986). Flanagan and Woolsey outlined the three steps to a critical incident methodology analysis. They were: 1) selecting the frame of reference, 2) formulation of the categories, and 3) determining the level of generality (Flanagan; Woolsey). This framework was used to analyze the data in the current study. The analysis procedures primarily involved extracting the critical incidents from the interview data, grouping the incidents into categories and determining trustworthiness of the categories. Before extracting the incidents, I re-read the transcripts in comparison to the audiotapes and field notes. I imported the transcripts into ATLAS/ti to code and manage the data. The participants' explanation of an event or experience that helped or hindered them to do well with change needed to contain detailed information including the context leading up to the event, a description of the event and the outcome of the event in order to be considered a critical incident (McCormick, 1994; Wong, 2000). After importing the transcripts into ATLAS/ti, groups of three transcripts were read carefully and critical incidents that were helpful, hindering or wish list items were extracted and coded using the participant's wording. The importance or meaning and any examples 49 that the participant related to the incident were coded as well. Incidents that did not include the importance or meaning or an example were flagged to be double-checked with participants in the second interview. This step was included as part of a credibility check which will be explained in more detail in the following section on trustworthiness. The coding was repeated for another batch of three transcripts and then another batch of three transcripts, leaving 10% of the transcripts, or one transcript in this case, left to the end to be coded and placed into the categories that had been created using the other 90%> of the transcripts. The development of the categories will be described in more detail below. Woolsey (1986) suggested that the formation of categories is an inductive process. The critical incidents from the first three transcripts were looked at as a group to look for similarities and differences. During this process, I periodically returned to the interview transcript for clarification and to gain a more detailed picture of the incident. Using my intuition, the extracted critical incidents were sorted into similar categories. Eight initial categories were formed with working titles. The definitions of the categories were developed as the analysis process proceeded. Woolsey stated, "Descriptions of categories should be rich, though not lengthy, vividly conveying a picture of the kind of incidents included in the category" (p. 251). These descriptions served to distinguish one category from another (Woolsey). Next, extracted incidents from the second grouping of three interviews were placed into the existing categories. No new categories were created with the fourth and fifth interviews but with the sixth interview, one category was broken down into two smaller categories to more accurately reflect the meaning of the incidents within. Subsequently, the last group of three interviews were placed into the existing nine categories. No new 50 categories emerged. The category titles and definitions were finalized. As a final step, incidents from the final 10% of the interviews (or one interview in this case) were placed in the existing categories as a trustworthiness check. No new categories were needed. Criteria for Trustworthiness Butterfield et al. (2005) outlined a series of nine steps to ensure the trustworthiness of a CIT study's findings. These steps informed the basis of the trustworthiness checks for the current study. First, to ensure descriptive validity or the accuracy of the participants' accounts, interviews were audio taped and transcribed from the audiotapes. The collection of field notes aimed to prevent the decontexualization of data. Flanagan (1954) suggested that if participants' accounts are detailed and clear then they should be considered as accurate. Next, a colleague who was familiar with the field of CIT listened to the first, third and eighth interview to ensure that the critical incident interview method was being followed. Feedback was provided which confirmed that the interviewer was following the critical incident method and not leading the participants. A recent graduate student who was familiar with the critical incident method was given 30% of the interviews (3 interviews) and asked to extract the critical incidents which was in agreement with Butterfield et al. (2005) suggestion that the number of critical incidents to be extracted is usually 25% of the total critical incidents in the study. The initial agreement rate between the independent judge and the researcher was 85%. After discussion, the agreement rate was 100%. 51 Redundancy and exhaustiveness were tracked while categorizing the data. When new categories stop emerging in the data analysis, it is a sign that the domain of the study has been adequately studied (Flanagan, 1954; Woolsey, 1986). As already noted in the data analysis section, in the initial analysis, incidents from the first three interviews fit into eight categories. The fourth and fifth interviews yielded no new categories. With the sixth interview, one category was broken into two smaller categories. With the seventh, eighth and ninth interviews, no new categories emerged. As already outlined, in order to assess exhaustiveness, 10% of the critical incidents were held back from the initial analysis and then placed in the categories that had been formulated previously. These critical incidents were placed in the existing categories with no changes made. Therefore, exhaustiveness was achieved after the sixth interview. Participation rates for each category were calculated. The participation rate was found by calculating the number of participants who talked about a specific category and then dividing that number by the total number of participants (Butterfield et al., 2005). Borgen and Amundson (1984) suggested that a participation rate of 25% is considered reasonable. Participation rates for each category were above 25% in one or more of the helping, hindering or wish list sections. This suggested that the categories were sound and credible. The participation rates will be highlighted in more detail in Chapter 4: Results. Next, an independent judge, who was a recent graduate student familiar with the critical incident method, was asked to place 25% of the total number of helping, hindering 52 and wish list critical incidents into the initial categories. These incidents were randomly- chosen. The independent judge was given the category name and description and the random sample of incidents and asked to place the incidents into the categories. For the helping incidents the initial match rate was 81%, the hindering incidents 75%, and the wish list items 63%). After discussion of discrepancies and clarification of the wish list category, each of the helping, hindering and wish list matching rates were 100%. According to Anderson and Nilsson's (1964) suggestion that an agreement rate of 75% or higher is sufficient, the matching rate for the current study is highly satisfactory. A summary of the results was sent to the participants for validation. As already highlighted, this process is known as participant cross-checking (Butterfield et al., 2005). It is an innovation of the CIT and was first introduced by Alfonso (1997). The summary sent to participants by e-mail included a list of the critical incidents extracted from the interview, an explanation of the placement of the incidents into categories and any follow up questions for the participant. Participants were asked to set up a telephone interview to discuss the results or to confirm by e-mail if nothing needed to be discussed. The following steps and questions were based on Butterfield et al.'s (in press) suggestions. First, participants were asked to review the list of incidents and answer the following questions: Are the incidents identified correct? Is there anything missing? Is there anything that needs revising? Do you have any other comments? Next, the participants were asked to review the categories into which their incidents were placed and asked to review the following questions: Do the category headings make sense to you? Do the category headings capture your experience and the meaning that the incident had for you? Are there any other incidents in the categories that do not appear to 53 fit from your perspective? If so, where do you think that they belong? Lastly, the participants were asked any follow-up questions that arose during the data analysis process. 80% of the participants were reached for their feedback. All of these participants confirmed their acceptance of the data analysis with no changes necessary. Multiple attempts by telephone and e-mail were made to reach the remaining participants with no success. This check demonstrated the soundness of the categories and added to the credibility of the current study's results. Two experts in the field of career and vocational counselling and immigrant services were asked to read over the categories and to comment on whether they found the findings valid (Flanagan, 1954). The study's results are considered more credible if the experts find the categories useful and reflective of their experience in the field (Butterfield et al., in press). Tentative categories and descriptions were sent to a family support worker who had worked with immigrant women and their families for almost 10 years. This expert remarked that the categories were very useful. She was surprised at the "Self Care" category, as she stated that in her experience new immigrants were so busy trying to survive and learn English that this self-awareness did not come until a later date. She stressed the importance of self-care and applauded the women for their efforts. She reiterated the challenges experienced by most immigrants in coming to a new country and having to retrain, gain Canadian experience and credentials. She stated that integration is always a challenge for immigrants. 54 The categories and descriptions were also sent to a program manager of a career service center who had been working with immigrants for over 15 years. This expert found that the categories made sense based on her experience working with immigrants and employment. She said that the categories were successful in capturing the employment challenges of immigrant women. She stressed the importance of the Contextual Challenges/Issues category in that in her experience, the multiple roles played by immigrant women impact all areas of their lives. Overall, this trustworthiness check demonstrated that the categories were useful, making the current study's results more credible. Lastly, theoretical validity of the findings was assessed by comparing the categories that were developed to the literature (Maxwell, 1992, McCormick, 1994). The exploratory nature of the CIT ensures that if a category is not reflected in the literature, it may mean that the study has uncovered something new (Butterfield et al., 2005). General support for all nine categories was found in the literature. Some categories reinforced previous findings and other categories shed further light onto areas with preliminary research and theory, in some cases providing cross-cultural validity to research previously focused on a Western population. The results of comparing the categories to the literature will be discussed in more length in Chapter 5: Discussion. 55 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS Contextual Component Results The interview began with a contextual component where participants were asked four questions: 1) Tell me about your current work situation, 2) What does 'doing well' mean to you? 3) What are the changes that have affected your work life? and 4) How have these changes impacted your work life? The contextual component of the interview was included for two purposes: 1) to gain background information as a context to the CIT results, and 2) to put the participants at ease in answering the interview questions in the context of being interviewed and audio taped. If the participants mentioned something in the contextual section that might be relevant to the CIT section, I flagged those comments for follow up. After asking questions from the CIT component of the interview, the participants were asked demographic information. Their answers were included with the information about their current work situation in Table 1 in Chapter 3. What does 'doing well' mean to you? As was indicated in the Introduction in Chapter 1,1 did not provide a definition of 'doing well' in order to encourage the participants to subscribe their own meaning to what doing well meant to them. The participants' responses have been grouped into themes that are listed in Table 2. 68 items were mentioned in total. Participation rates and frequencies are included. The top seven themes with a participation rate of 25% or more are discussed in more detail following the table. 56 Table 2: Themes from the question: "What does doing well mean to you?" Themes Participation Frequency Rate (#) (%) Growing, learning, progression 70 20 Feeling happy, confident, positive 50 11 Adapting, adjusting, transitioning, resilience 40 7 Being effective, productive and using skills 30 6 Positive relationships/environment 30 4 Inner peace, harmony 30 4 Maintaining balance 30 3 Having a purpose, doing something worthy 20 6 Coping, surviving 20 4 Success 20 2 Financial stability 10 1 57 The largest theme was "Growing, learning, progression" with a participation rate of 70% (7/10 participants) and with 20 items. Participants highlighted their desire for continued learning throughout their lives. Doing well meant being open to new learning and opportunities. Specific to this population was the desire to continue to grow and learn in a similar way that they had being doing in their home countries. For instance, one participant remarked that doing well meant "continuing on my kind of path at the same rate at the same progress that I had been doing in my own country". Many of the women held high goals for themselves and saw change as a way of gaining insight and experience to apply to similar situations in the future. The second largest theme was "Feeling happy, confident, positive" with a participation rate of 50% (5/10 participants) and 11 items. Participants said that when they were doing well they felt happy, enjoyment, and increased confidence. These items had to do with being happy in their work, finding work that they enjoyed, and feeling proud about their accomplishments. The third largest theme was "Adapting, adjusting, transitioning, resilience" with a 40% participation rate (4/10 participants) and 7 items. Participants mentioned items related to the end goal of accepting change and being resilient in the face of change. One participant remarked that if she did not accept the changes, she would be stuck. Participants spoke of the experience of transitioning to Canada, the changes they faced and their attempts to adjust to a new life. 58 The fourth largest theme was "Being effective, productive and using skills" with a participation rate of 30% (3/10 participants) and 6 items. The majority of participants citing this theme said that if they were able to use their skills effectively at work, they would feel that they were doing well. Participants spoke of doing well in relation to gaining a professional job over a survival job. The fifth and sixth themes were tied. The fifth largest theme was "Positive relationships, environment" with 4 items cited by 30% of the participants (3/10). Participants spoke of doing well in the context of positive relationships and a supportive environment. One participant spoke of her experience of seeking out connections and networking. Another participant described that she knew she was doing well if she received positive reinforcement from others. Next, the sixth largest theme was "Inner peace, harmony" with 4 items cited by 30% of participants (3/10). Participants spoke of doing well being related to how they felt about themselves rather than outward or external reinforcement. With a sense of inner peace, one participant suggested that she was better able to come to work and focus on her tasks. The seventh largest theme was "Maintaining balance" with a participation rate of 30%) (3/10 participants) and 3 items. These items highlighted the multiple roles that the participants played in their personal and professional lives. One participant spoke of knowing that she was doing well if she was able to find time for her career, herself, and her family. Another participant spoke of having to balance her role as a mother and housewife 59 with working outside of the home. Balance was sought between the physical, spiritual and emotional realms. What are the changes that have affected your work life? The third contextual question was: "What are the changes that have affected your work life?" Participants were asked to limit these changes to the last 6 months. These changes could have been experienced in any area of the participants' lives as long as they had had some sort of impact on their working lives. A total of 77 changes were experienced by the 10 participants. The changes have been grouped into themes. A breakdown of the themes is included in Table 3 with the participation rate and the number of items in each theme. The themes with a participation rate of 25% or more are discussed in more detail following the table. 60 Table 3: Summary of Changes Experienced Main Themes Sub-themes Part. Frequency Rate (#) (%) Work 100 40 New type, field of work 80 18 Change in work environment, culture 40 12 New job duties, requirements, promotion 40 7 New way of looking for work, labour 20 3 market conditions Personal Life 80 26 Change in family status, family roles 60 6 Moving to Canada 40 8 Health, wellness 30 6 Change in relationships, social life 30 4 Family member death, illness 10 1 Spirituality 10 1 Professional Life 50 11 Retraining, going back to school 40 10 Pursuing new career interests 10 1 61 The largest theme was "Work" with a participation rate of 100% and 40 changes mentioned. The work theme was broken down into four sub-themes. The first subtheme mentioned by 80%o of the participants with 18 changes was titled "New type or field of work". Participants spoke of moving into a different career then they had previously worked in their home country. Items in this theme also included changes in how the participant worked. For instance, one participant started her own business and another took on contract work. The second sub-theme, "Change in work environment, culture" was mentioned by 40%o of participants with 12 changes in total. Changes within this sub-theme included working in a more serious environment, different company structure, and changes in the policies and procedures in a workplace. The third largest sub-theme, "New job duties, requirements, promotion" had a participation rate of 40% with 7 changes. Participants spoke of being promoted and being required to take on new tasks and duties. The last sub-theme within the "Work" theme had a participation rate that was less than 25%, so it will not be highlighted. The second overall theme was that of "Personal Life". This theme had a participation rate of 80% with 26 items. The largest sub-theme within the "Personal Life" theme was "Change in family status, roles". These changes involved becoming pregnant, getting married, becoming the primary breadwinner, moving in with a boyfriend and having to parent differently in Canada. The next largest sub-theme was "Moving to Canada". 40% of the participants mentioned 8 changes that related to moving to a new country. Participants highlighted the new language, culture, and environment as changes that had affected their 62 work. The third largest sub-theme was "Health, wellness" with a participation rate of 30% and 6 items and included maintaining a healthier work and life balance, and changes that increased their quality of life. The last sub-theme, with a participation rate of 30% and 4 items, was "Relationships, social life". Here, changes included feeling a sense of isolation, loss of social support and building new relationships. The third and last overall theme was "Professional Life". Primarily changes involved going back to school, retraining, gaining Canadian experience and becoming certified in Canada. The overall theme had a participation rate of 50% with 11 items. How have these changes impacted your work life? The fourth and last contextual question to be discussed was "How have these changes impacted your work life" with the goal of gaining an understanding of the impact of change on the participants' work lives. A total of 46 impacts were mentioned. The impacts have been grouped into themes and the participation rates and frequencies calculated in the table below (see Table 4). The themes with a participation rate of 25% or more are discussed in more detail following the table. 63 Table 4: Impacts on Work Main Themes Sub-themes Part. Rate (%) Frequency (#) Professional Impacts/Work impacts 90 18 Ability to complete tasks, duties 60 10 Professional development, building skills 50 6 New job, position 10 2 Psychological Impacts 60 18 Positive 60 12 Negative 10 6 Experienced Emotions 60 7 Positive 20 3 Negative 40 4 Personal Life/Family Life 30 3 64 The largest impact was in the Professional and Work realms. This theme had a participation rate of 90% (9/10 participants) and 18 items. This theme was broken down into the sub-themes: "Ability to complete tasks, duties", "Professional development, building skills", and "New job, position". Participants highlighted positive impacts such as becoming more attentive to detail and using time management strategies. One participant described how the importance of work increased for her. Change also negatively impacted the participants' working lives in that they felt more pressure to perform and many did not receive the direction or assistance they needed to complete their work. The second major theme was "Psychological Impacts" with 18 items highlighted by 60%o of the participants (6/10). These impacts were of a positive or negative nature. In terms of positive impacts, participants spoke of building their self-confidence, assertiveness, problem-solving skills, insight and self-awareness. The positive impacts far outnumbered the negative impacts. Negative psychological impacts included low self-confidence, increase in anxiety and stress, and self-consciousness. The third major theme was "Experienced Emotions" with 7 items highlighted by 60% of the participants (6/10). Like the "Psychological Impacts" category, "Experienced Emotions" were positive or negative, however, the participation rate of negative emotions outnumbered the positive emotions whereas the positive psychological impacts outnumbered the negative. With reference to experienced emotions, participants spoke of being happy and of experiencing enjoyment. In terms of the negative emotional impacts, participants highlighted their experiences of frustration, low mood, lack of enjoyment and loneliness. 65 The last theme was "Personal Life/Family Life" with a 30% participation rate (3/10) and 3 items. Here, participants spoke of the impact of change on their role as a parent, in balancing their responsibilities and in connecting with others. Cr i t i ca l Incident Results The second part of the interview consisted of questions aimed to address the primary purpose for this study, "What helps and what hinders immigrant women workers to do well with changes that affect their work? What would have been helpful in doing well with these changes?" A total of 182 incidents were extracted from the participants' interviews. They were broken down as follows: 107 helping incidents, 45 hindering incidents and 30 wish list items. After cross-checking the results with the participants, all items were kept. The current study yielded a total of nine categories consisting of helping, hindering and wish list items. Participation rates for each group of helping, hindering and wish list items in each category were calculated by dividing the number of participants who mentioned an incident within a category divided by the total number of participants in the study (N=10). Borgen and Amundson (1984) suggested that a participation rate of 25% is considered reasonable. Each category met Borgen and Amundson's criteria in at least one of the helping, hindering or wish list groups. No apparent differences were found across the participants' age, time in Canada or other demographic. Table 5 lists the data and groupings in more detail. They have been placed under 'Helping Categories', 'Hindering Categories' or 'Wish List Categories' according to the group that had the highest participation rate for each category. The categories have been presented in descending according to their highest 66 participation rates. Helping, hindering and wish list groups were examined in more detail if they had participation rates of 25% or higher. The categories will be highlighted in the order that they are presented in the table. 67 Table 5: Critical Incident and Wish List Categories Helping Critical Incidents (N=107) Hinderir Critical Inci (N=45) dents Wish List Items (N=30) Participants (N=10) Incid- ents Participants (N=10) Incid- ents Participants (N=10) Incid- ents Helping Categories n % n n % n n % n Personal Beliefs/Traits/V alues 10 100 41 0 0 0 0 0 0 Relationships with Friends/Family/ Colleagues 10 100 22 4 40 7 3 30 5 Taking Action/ Building Capacity 7 70 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 Work Environment 5 50 8 3 30 5 3 30 6 Self Care 3 30 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 Hindering Categories n % n n % n n % n Skills/Knowledge/ Credentials/ Education 1 10 2 6 60 8 4 40 6 Personal Issues/Challenges 1 10 1 6 60 12 0 0 0 Contextual Issues/Challenges 0 0 0 6 60 12 1 10 1 Wish List Categories n % n n % n n % n Government/ Community Resources 5 50 10 1 10 1 7 70 12 Note: Numbers are in bold if they have participation rates of 25% or higher. 68 Category 1: Personal Beliefs/Traits/Values The "Personal Beliefs/Traits/Values" category was the largest of the categories with a total of 41 incidents, all identified as helping, and with a participation rate of 100% contributed by 10 of the participants. No hindering or wish list items were identified in this category. The helping category consisted of incidents where the participants highlighted how their internal processes including personal belief systems (including spiritual beliefs), traits and values helped them to do well with change. Some referred to a proper mindset, self- awareness, personal philosophy or self-esteem. More specifically, these incidents included persistence, flexibility, purpose, ability to analyze a situation, having a positive attitude, realistic expectations, a belief in self, assertiveness, acceptance, hope and faith. The impact of having a personal belief system, traits and values was that participants were able to deal with the challenges of a changing environment by finding their inner strength and resilience. All of this occurred at the individual level. Through going through change, participants built their self-confidence and self-esteem because they were able to be successful by accessing their own inner resources. The following quotes illustrate the positive impact of personal beliefs/traits/values: I can't even think or contemplate in that line if I even decide that I'm doing something and I haven't given it my 100% I will actually feel like a failure so I tend to push myself a lot, I think that's something that comes naturally to me. I try and thrive in whatever I'm doing to the best of my abilities. That's just one of my coping mechanisms I guess (Participant 118). If you believe in yourself and you can do it, I think that's the whole, I don't know, I think that's the whole thing, like if you believe in yourself you're able to do it, there's nothing stopping you (Participant 128). To me, if I were to use an analogy, you know, a rubber band stretches and then goes back to its original position. Somehow resiliency is like that. You bounce back 69 whenever you go through hard times, you rise above it and somehow you bounce back. You get dips too, you get depressed, you get frustrated but you bounce back (Participant 138). I think though for me personally, ok, so I have goal, right? But if I am not flexible, so if I see that I cannot reach this goal, ok, I need to go other way that means for me I am flexible. That is ok for me if I analyze the situation and I see that this goal is not achievable for me then I pick another way and make up my decision towards another goal (Participant 144). Within this category, the importance of faith and belief in a higher power emerged as a sub-theme. For some of the participants, their internal strength came from a belief in a higher power or faith, which enabled them to have the hope and determination necessary to do well with change. The following quotes illustrate the meaning of faith in the participants' lives: So you know our faith teaches us that God has good plans for everyone so that whatever we are going through right now and whatever we have is for a purpose and in God's timing he will provide us let's say I am praying for a job in the future later on it will come. (Participant 113) So as a human being when challenges come, when changes like this come, I can easily give up, because I truly, truly depend on my own capacities and as a human being I cannot do that, but because I truly believe that there is a higher power that gives me enough strength and enough reason to go on because I know that there is something more to life then I start believing that yes I can do this (Participant 138). Category 2: Relationships with Friends/Family/Colleagues The "Relationships with Friends/Family/Colleagues" category had a total of 34 incidents: 22 helpful incidents with a participation rate of 100% contributed by 10 participants, 7 hindering incidents with a participation rate of 40% contributed by 4 participants and 5 wish list items with a participation rate of 30% contributed by 3 participants. The helping incidents formed the largest group in this category. The helping 70 group consisted of incidents where the participants highlighted how relationships with friends, family members or workplace colleagues (both within and outside of work) helped them to do well with change. Participants spoke of positive relationships with others including their partner, family, friends, community, religious support, colleagues, and people going through the same changes. The positive impact of these relationships included receiving help with adjustment, building the participants' faith in their abilities and purpose and practical support (i.e. with children) that allowed the participants to focus their energy on doing well with the changes they were experiencing. The following quotes demonstrate the importance of relationships with friends, family members and colleagues: It [relationships] helped me not have things on my mind as much.. .it helped me to have things more in perspective to concentrate on things better, I could come in here [to work] and feel better about myself and be more confident so concentration and confidence and just little bit feeling more secure in myself (Participant 102). They are also positive people and they help me to keep my hope because they don't discourage me, they don't say but that's too bad that they are not paying you or they always have something positive to say, so that's why we're trying to keep the positive friendships around us (Participant 107) It was really a welcome gesture and we felt very at home and very comfortable and it made our adjustment really, it was made easier because of this group of friends (Participant 113). [Parents' support] I think it's just, like I said an emotional blanket that their support and their belief in me, it sort of carries me through and even when I do have bad days from time to time, I know that I've done the right thing and I know that my family has supported me through it. It's very encouraging and that makes me you know feel better (Participant 118). The hindering section of the category consisted of incidents where the participants identified how the presence or absence of relationships with friends, family members and workplace colleagues made it more difficult for them to do well with change. These included 71 relationships that fell short of the participants' expectations, those where the participants could not be honest about their difficulties so as to not worry their loved ones and the lack of relationships or social network in a new country. The negative impact of these examples included participants feeling unsupported, lonely, isolated and struggling to do well with change. Some examples of these negative impacts are included below: .. .then with my family and friends they don't want to hear and I was conscious of their cares and concerns too so there wasn't, it made it really isolating because there just wasn't really an outlet or anywhere that was kind of a place to kind of release from it and come down from it (Participant 102). I think you sort of go into a downward spiral because you know you just sort of, I think you feel lonely, that's what it is, it's more of a loneliness really as it's not, not also, that's also the negative side of things so although you might think you're doing well but you, you're also thinking I could be doing better, I wish I had this kind of support so I guess it just puts a damper on you not having your family and friends around and not having you know you're having to basically you're at the bottom line and you have to start from scratch and that's not easy, that's very, very difficult (Participant 118). The wish list section of the category highlighted participants' desire for closer relationships with family, friends or workplace colleagues in order to do well with change. The wish list items in this category included a desire for a larger social network, a desire for family to be physically closer, and a desire to connect with other professionals and people who were going through the same changes. The participants anticipated that these relationships would provide support, encouragement and assist them in doing well with change. Two examples from one participant illustrate: [With family here] they'd be my blanket, everything would feel so much better and I would be able to do well in my endeavors and I'd be a happy person, I just think generally I would cope with things that I'm not coping so well with now, much, much better (Participant 118). 72 [By meeting similar people] I think it would have certainly prepared me. I'm one of these people who like to mentally prepare myself for things the more I know about, things I feel that much more confident and I don't, I feel very uncomfortable jumping into things so having, I think having, if I knew more people who had gone through certain things and having dealt with things that would have prepared me better definitely (Participant 118). Category 3: Taking Action/Building Capacity The "Taking Action/Building Capacity" category had a total of 16 incidents. All 16 were helping incidents with a participation rate of 70% cited by 7 participants. The helping incidents were those where the participants found it helpful to take action such as retraining or networking or building their personal capacity in order to do well with changes affecting their work. These actions were related to their jobs, to their contact with the community or society or in general. The helpful incidents included goal setting, making plans and time management and specific actions such as building industry contacts, collecting information, taking a professional development course or workshop or going back to school for a new program. The key here was that participants were consciously exercising agency in their lives by building their personal capacity to do well with change. The positive results of taking action and building personal capacity included feeling in control and building self-esteem and self-confidence, all of which had a positive impact on the participants' work. The following quotes demonstrate the positive outcomes of taking action and building personal capacity in order to do well with change: [Building industry contacts] made me, helped me feel like a part of an industry here and like I was taking a positive step, like kind of when you are being proactive, that just helps, you feel good, and then it helps you feel more confident at work (Participant 102). 73 In all this time I always set goals so when I see that I am getting, that I am getting to the point where I say this was my goal and I get it done, I got it done, then I feel better, my self-esteem is better (Participant 107). [Going back to school] helped me to do better, helped me to reach my expectations you can say, yeah, by doing it more confidently, like the work also, you know what you are doing, you are sure what you are doing (Participant 128). I think self esteem, yes I achieved these goals, that means for me I am efficient, and I can go further (Participant 144). Category 4: Work Environment The "Work Environment" category included 19 incidents grouped as follows: 8 helping incidents with a participation rate of 50% cited by 5 participants, 6 wish list items with a participation rate of 30% cited by 3 participants and 5 hindering incidents with a participation rate of 30% highlighted by 3 participants. Incidents within the helping category consisted of those where the participants' work environment helped them to do well with change. More specifically, helpful work environments included positive interactions with bosses and colleagues and on-the-job training and orientation. Helpful work environments were those that allowed for flexibility, including flexible schedules, holiday time and contract work. Aspects of their work environments were important in helping the participants to do well with change because they brought about positive emotions and actions such as feeling safe, relaxed, calm, trust and feeling included. As a result, participants were able to do their work more effectively and efficiently. The following quotes demonstrate the importance of a helpful work environment: Whenever I go there [to work] I feel really safe... I feel part of a group (Participant 107). [At work] you trust people, you know there is integrity and that's it. You are relaxed, you are calm you don't have to watch your back all of the time, like at home in many 74 of the situations. This is one of the many reasons that I wanted to go, to come to Canada (Participant 123). [Help from colleagues] helps you to perform better, your performance goes higher and higher and more. It's like team playing (Participant 128). Incidents within the wish list part of the category were those where the participant identified ways in which their work environment could be more helpful in assisting them to do well with change. More specifically, participants spoke of wishing for work environments that provided for more flexibility in practical elements such as holiday time and communication within the organization, but also in how they were viewed by people in the workplace such as wishing for different perceptions of immigrants and to be seen as more of an integrated person with other elements to their lives besides work. Participants anticipated that a more supportive work environment could help them do well with change in order to do a better job and know what to expect. The following quote illustrates a participant's desire for a supportive work environment and the anticipated outcome: [If people at work were more understanding] that would actually make my working day much better, it would improve, maybe improve my productivity too. I think just my overall just being there would be a much, much more fun and happier place (Participant 118). Incidents within the hindering part of the category included those where the participants identified aspects of their work environment as making it more difficult to do well with change affecting their work. More specifically, negative work environments included unprofessional bosses and colleagues, unsatisfactory treatment, lack of on-the-job training and insufficient holiday time. Participants explained feeling negative emotions such as frustration, confusion, stress and anxiety. The impact of these incidents was that 75 participants were not able to do their work well or to adapt to change well. Examples of the impact of negative work environments are included below: [With insufficient holiday time] I didn't have time to recharge, to rest, to nurture myself quite how I probably needed to, it was kind of go, go go, and give, give, give and I kind of got exhausted and depressed (Participant 102). There's lack of clarity here, those duties, responsibilities and expectations which made me more frustrated in the beginning (Participant 128). Ah, because the way my supervisor talked to me, he screamed, so it affected my concentration and my memory so and I did a lot of mistakes. I was under stress (Participant 144). Category 5: Self Care The "Self Care" category included 7 incidents, all within the helping category, cited by 3 participants (30% participation rate). Incidents within the helping category consisted of those where the participant identified ways in which engaging in self-care activities helped her to do well with change. This theme is different then the "Taking Action/Building Capacity" category because it is specific to making an effort to take care of oneself during times of change. Participants believed self-care was necessary on the levels of mind, body, spirit and emotions. More specifically, participants spoke of using exercise as a way to do well with change, engaging in healthy eating habits and lifestyle choices. Two participants spoke of the need to nurture or reward themselves during periods of change. Another spoke of needing to engage in self-care in terms of her thoughts, so she took care to not be too hard on herself during times of change. The impact of self-care for the participants was that they were able to perform better at work with improved concentration and focus, increased energy and motivation along with 76 an elevated mood. Self-care decreased pressure, stress and negative thoughts that made dealing with change affecting work more difficult. The following quotes demonstrate the positive impact of self-care: [I exercise] to primarily help with my mood and something to do when I didn't have much going on and definitely something that helps you feel more in control and at work, well, being more alert, having more concentration, and having more energy, having it provides a release so things aren't on your mind at work (Participant 102). [Exercise is important] .. .because my thoughts were clear and when I arrived to the office then I could think clearly because I didn't have too much stress or I could focus on what I was doing that day (Participant 107) Yeah, I totally I am totally convinced that if I have, if I don't have time for myself, meaning, like my daily exercise, I don't have the same energy, I don't have, I am not in the best mood, I feel tired, I think that things that are important for me, I think I have to do them too, make time for myself (Participant 143). Category 6: Skills/Knowledge/Credentials/Education The "Skills/Knowledge/Credentials/Education" category included 16 incidents grouped as follows: 8 hindering incidents with a participation rate of 60% cited by 6 participants, 6 wish list items with a participation rate of 40% highlighted by 4 participants and 2 helping incidents with a participation rate of 10% contributed by 1 participant. The majority of incidents within the "Skills/Knowledge/Credentials/Education" category fell into the hindering section. The hindering group included incidents where the participants found their lack of skills, knowledge, Canadian credentials and education made it more difficult for them to handle change well. Multiple participants spoke of the challenge of not having Canadian experience and education or needing to have Canadian credentials. Other participants highlighted the difficulties of feeling under challenged in their current 77 work. The impact of not having Canadian experience, education or credentials was that participants did not have the knowledge or skills necessary to reach their professional goals, experienced a lack of opportunity or had to change professional fields in order to find work to support their families. Participants felt frustrated, unmotivated, and experience a lack of self-esteem and confidence. Some of the negative consequences are highlighted in the participants' quotes below: I think that you know when submitting your resume and they do not see any, and they know that you are coming a new, just landed and you cannot you don't show in your resume that you had any work experience in Canada, I think that it automatically eliminates your chance of even being interviewed (Participant 113). Yes, it's frustrating because you know you can do it but because of that and it's quite expensive, you know just having your papers just being looked into you pay $240 non-refundable just for them to look at your papers and then enrolling in the classes and lining up to get a schedule with whatever university you want to go to take a toll, too and that means that I cannot work at the same time (Participant 138). Sometimes I feel useless, I have moments when I feel like I want to cry, I feel like I don't do much (Participant 123). The wish list part of the category included incidents where the participants expressed their desire for more knowledge, information, Canadian credentials and education in order to do well with change. For example, many participants highlighted their desire for access to Canadian education and experience or to have their previous skills and credentials recognized. Participants stressed that if these wish list items were to be realized they would be more successful in doing well with the changes affecting their work, that they could advance in their careers, provide for their families and would feel overall more happy, satisfied and motivated. Some participants highlighted their desire for more overall information. More specifically, two participants spoke of their desire to meet professionals 78 who could be a resource for information. The consensus was that with information in general, participants would be better able to make choices and decisions in their lives. The excerpted quotes that follow illustrate the anticipated outcomes of having more knowledge, information, skills and education: I think more and more different information for us, for new immigrants, maybe help us grow up in the work life (Participant 111). I think I will be getting better and better. I believe in Canada good education get good job (Participant 111). [Meeting professionals ] would help me to make a choice. Learn what's best for me and second, something that, a job that needs me. I am sure that there is something within the job field where I would fit but I don't know how to find that out and I don't know where I would do the best job (Participant 123). [If skills recognized] because it's recognized, that it will be recognized here, make it a reality so that they become congruent to what they promised, you know because a lot of immigrants come here and they become frustrated because it's not, it's not, they don't deliver what they promised (Participant 138). Category 7: Personal Issues/Challenges The "Personal Issues/Challenges" category consisted of 13 incidents broken down into 12 hindering incidents with a participation rate of 60% cited by 6 participants and 1 helping incident with a participation rate of 10% highlighted by 1 participant. Some of the incidents within this category could be seen as the opposite of the "Personal Beliefs/Traits/Values" category, but this theme also includes physical issues and challenges which were not related to the participants' inner processes. 79 The majority of incidents in the "Personal Issues/Challenges category fell into the hindering section as these issues were primarily experienced negatively. Incidents within this category included references to how the participants' own doubts, fears and negativity prevented her from doing well with change or posed a real challenge or barrier. Participants spoke of issues and challenges on physical, emotional, and cognitive or mental levels. More specifically, emotional challenges included losing motivation, perspective, homesickness, depression, shyness, and general negative feelings. Physical challenges included pregnancy and age. Cognitive or mental challenges included self-imposed pressure, knowing she could do better and lack of language competency. In most cases, participants explained that the negative impact of these personal issues and challenges was that it was difficult to keep these challenges out of their experience at the workplace. In some cases, these issues and challenges impeded progress and productivity. The following quotes highlight the negative impact of personal issues and challenges: Another thing I struggled with was motivation at times, even if I took it seriously and I knew how important it was, I couldn't motivate myself, and I think part of that is maybe because I was starting to get a little depressed and that was the challenge with that (Participant 102). You have more energy at 20, you don't see so many barriers usually when you are younger, you are more, I don't have the word, I have the word but it doesn't come. Yeah. When you are younger you just go and get it (Participant 123). [The pregnancy] I mean it is affecting myself, how I feel myself, psychologically and physically (Participant 144). 80 Category 8: Contextual Issues/Challenges The "Contextual Issues/Challenges" category consisted of a total of 13 incidents with 12 hindering incidents with a participation rate of 60% cited by 6 participants and 1 wish list item with a participation rate of 10% contributed by 1 participant. This category represented a collection of incidents that had the commonality of referring to the participant and her interaction with society or her environment. Incidents within the hindering category referred to how issues and challenges that were external to the participants or a part of the participants' environments made it difficult to do well with change. More specifically, the incidents included references to the participants' roles in society or their environment as mother, caregiver, wife, employee, and/or provider. The participants spoke of the challenges of these roles, family responsibilities and priorities, obligations to provide, financial pressures and other environmental constraints such as lack of time, as making it more difficult to do well with the changes affecting their work. These contextual issues and challenges primarily made the participants feel like doing well with change was out of their control. The following quotes illustrate these points: [Because of family responsibilities] I have to give up my own wishes (Participant 123). I'm doing well but I can do much more better than what I am doing right now if these [time] pressures were not there because I have more time, I am like not thinking, my thinking is right there, I'm not treading between what's happening at my work (Participant 128). It makes it more difficult because I have to work more, that doesn't mean that I make huge amounts of money by working Saturdays and Sundays, but so you have to work more in order to get this money, give up your own free time that you could have on the weekend and things that you would like to do, in order to provide for the family (Participant 123). You're going to school, like you're going to school and everything and that pressure sometimes, like I have to do my assignments, little bit time pressures are there that 81 might affect your performance, you can do much more maybe you're capable of but you're not because of these pressures (Participant 128). Category 9: Government/Community Resources The "Government/Community Resources" category had a total of 23 incidents with 12 wish list items cited by 7 participants (70% participation rate), 10 helpful incidents cited by 5 participants (50% participation rate) and 7 hindering incidents highlighted by 4 participants (40% participation rate). The wish list section of the category included incidents where the participants expressed a desire for access to or the creation of specific government or community resources that would help them to do well with change. These wish list items were those where the participants expressed a desire for access to resources and information sessions to help them prepare for the change of moving to a new country, settlement services including ethno-specific settlement services, job search facilities, maternity leave benefits, scholarships, and more or longer free English programs. With access to these resources, participants anticipated that they would feel prepared for and better equipped to deal with change and able to build their skills and capacity. The following quotes highlight the importance of these resources: [If I had access to job search facility] I would have been far more prepared, I would have looked into it far more and I think that would have been time worth spent if I had done that so resources like that would be fantastic and I guess that would have certainly helped in guiding me in what I wanted to really do, whether I wanted to move jobs, whether I wanted to move environment (Participant 118). [An embassy information session would] tell you the real world that you will encounter when you move here of course it is your choice in so many ways, it is your decision, everything but the real thing exists right for so many people they come new and they thinking that they would find certain situation and they would find the opposite and that's a big, big crash I think, finding out that you're not able to do work maybe in your field or whatever (Participant 143). 82 The helping incidents were those where the participants cited having access to government and community programs and resources helped them to do well with change. These included counselling, ESL study, free community centre programs, pre-departure and job-related workshops and immigrant servicing and settlement organizations. The positive result of having access to government and community resources included gaining perspective, insight, motivation and confidence. Government and community resources such as ESL courses and job-workshops provided information, direction and knowledge that helped the participants make choices that allowed them to do well with change. Also, participants spoke of feeling a part of their community and building their personal and professional networks. The following quotes demonstrate the importance of access to government and community resources: I think if I have a good enough language I can contribute, contribution my talent to my corporation, to the society. I think any boss use the people, want to these people contribution to the corporation (Participant 111). So that workshop reminded me that you know, Canadians also have good values and Filipinos have good values and I should pick the good ones like there are some that I should leave behind the Filipino values that aren't good and combine good values you should have a mixture of Canadian and Filipino values that are good (Participant 113). The hindering part of the category included incidents where participants suggested that access to unsatisfactory government or community resources made it more difficult to do well with change. One participant explained how the embassy provided misinformation about professional success in Canada, which made her feel discouraged. The following quote illustrates her point: 83 The Embassy they allowed us to think that we would be able to return to our own field and when we got here they were everywhere we were listening about the Canadian experience that we have to get before getting to our own field so I was really discouraged about it (Participant 107). 84 CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION Fit with the Literature and Unique Findings For the purposes of this discussion, wish-list items within the categories will be combined with helpful items because they were seen as being helpful if the participants had access to them. In reviewing the findings of the current study, it is apparent that as suggested by the human ecology model (Bronfenbrenner, 1977) and ecological framework (e.g. Cook et al., 2002; Herr, 1996) immigrant women's experience with change affecting their work cannot be understood without considering both individual and contextual or environmental factors. The current study echoes Yakushko and Chronister's (2005) assertion that after immigration, immigrant women's successful negotiation of the changes in their identity and relationships occurs at many different levels. In the current study, helpful and hindering factors were both individual, such as those in the "Personal Beliefs/Traits/Values" category, and external such as those in the "Contextual Issues/Challenges" and "Work Environment" categories. With the different levels of influence in mind, the current study's results lend further credence to Heir's (1996) theory that an individual's behaviour is influenced, encouraged and restricted by his or her context. Similarly, the findings in the current study can be interpreted with the assistance of vocational theories such as Krumboltz's Learning Theory of Career Counseling (Mitchell & Krumboltz, 1996) that asserted that individuals have to cope with four trends in the context of change. In the current study, participants demonstrated at least two of these trends by responding to changing work tasks and becoming active agents. Some of the participants could also be seen as embracing the concept of planned happenstance (Mitchell et al., 1999) 85 as they took action to ensure that chance events were opportunities for learning. Vondrackek et al.'s (1984) Life Span Developmental Approach has previously been found to be culturally valid (Fouad & Arbona, 1994). Vondracek et al. highlighted the need to study and understand the role of context on individuals' career development. The concept of embeddedness whereby a person can influence the context in which he or she lives which in turn can affect the person is apparent in the current study's results as the participants had reciprocal experiences of influence between themselves and the environment. It was assumed at the outset of this study that immigrant women who were doing well with change might be thriving. Ickovics and Park (1998) and Carver (1998) understood thriving to be an individual's response to an adverse event after which the individual reaches a higher level of functioning. According to Carver (1998) an adverse event can be a challenge that results in growth. In the case of the current study, participants were invited to share the changes that had affected their work regardless of their positive or negative nature. Some participants spoke of change being a "challenge" or "a hard time". Others spoke of the difficulty of moving to a new country, having to retrain and find new work. While the participants were invited to share changes that had affected their work within the last 6 months, participants described changes in their work, family and professional lives, many of which had been influenced by their immigration experiences. Christopher (2000) previously suggested that some researchers have seen immigration as an adverse event. Others have written about the challenging nature of adaptation and adjustment after immigration (e.g. Kadkohoda, 2002; Westwood & Ishiyama, 1991). 86 Notably, 70% of participants in the study identified 'doing well' with change as growing, learning and progression, which fit with Carver's definition of an adverse event as a challenge that results in growth. With Carver's (1998) definition of an adverse event in mind, the majority of participants in the current study could be seen as responding to a change that has been challenging and therefore possessed the appropriate conditions for thriving. The majority of participants spoke of change as having a positive impact on their work, but of experiencing both negative and positive emotions with regards to the change. Lazarus (2003) asserted that people could experience both positive and negative emotions with regards to the same situations. Carver (1998) suggested that individual thriving styles could be explained by individual coping styles and the context or environment. In both cases, participants in the current study demonstrated positive conditions conducive to thriving. Within the "Taking Action/Building Capacity" category, participants spoke of goal setting, self-determinism and being proactive. Within the "Personal Beliefs/Traits /Values" category, participants described personal resourcefulness, acceptance and belief in self. Within the "Work Environment" and "Relationships with Friends/Family/Colleagues" categories, participants highlighted their experience of supportive relationships and environments. One participant explained how her previous experience with change had helped her to do well with the changes affecting her work. Her experience is in agreement with Carver (1998) who suggested that thriving involves benefiting or gaining from past experience and applying that benefit to new experiences. 87 Johnson and Wiechelt (2004) described resilient individuals as those who draw on their inner strengths, skills and support to prevent adversity from taking over. Important here is resilience as an adaptive process where through making adjustments, people are able to continue to lead healthy, hopeful lives. Christopher's (2000) research previously showed support for immigrants' ability to successfully make adjustments when faced with change. The current study's results are consistent with Christopher's findings while providing a more detailed picture of immigrant women's response to change within a work setting. For example, one participant used the analogy of a rubber band to explain her own resilience. She explained, "You bounce back whenever you go through hard times, you rise above it and somehow you bounce back". The participants in the current study demonstrated the components of hardiness as described by Maddi (2002; 2005). Maddi asserted that hardiness included commitment (a predisposition to how one involves self with people, things and the environment), control (one's attempt to have influence on one's outcome), and challenge (one's desire to learn from both positive and negative experiences). With regards to commitment, the "Personal Beliefs/Traits/Values" category encompassed the participants' predisposition to coping styles and their overall way of being in the world. For example, one participant spoke of pushing herself because it was ".. .something that comes naturally to me". With regards to control, within the "Taking Action/Building Capacity" category, participants highlighted how they had become agents in their own success by building their skills, collecting information and setting goals. With regards to challenge, in the "Personal Beliefs/Traits/Values" category, participants spoke of "bouncing back" and "rising above" hard times. 88 Similarly, Maddi (2002) conceptualized hardiness as consisting of attitudes and actions that transform stressors into growth opportunities. In the current study, participants described both personal qualities and individual actions that helped them to do well with change. Hardiness could be seen as developing through encouragement from others and the individual's ability to see him or herself achieving a task (Maddi, 2002). In the current study, 100% of the participants spoke of both personal attitudes and support from others as helping them to do well with change. It could be argued that the participants demonstrated hardiness in their ability to deal with change because they demonstrated attitudes and actions consistent with hardiness and had the support necessary to build hardiness skills. Career adaptability has been seen as an individual's readiness to cope with changing work situations and environments (Ebberwein et al., 2004). Previously, the concept of career adaptability has not been culturally validated (Ebberwein et al.). Ebberwein et al. stressed the necessity of considering the influence of contextual factors such as family responsibilities and financial resources and pressures on an individual's ability to cope with change. Individuals who were successful in career adaptability demonstrated planfulness and realism. The current study's results lend cross-cultural validity to Ebberwein's results as in many of the participants' cases, contextual and individual factors impacted their ability to do well with change. Theory and research on immigrant women's transitions and adjustment cite the importance of social support in successful adaptation (Remennick, 2005; Salaff & Greve, 89 2004; Waters, 2002; Yakushko & Chronister, 2005). The participants in the current study confirmed the necessity of social support in doing well with change. They found relationships with family, friends and colleagues to be helpful on both emotional and practical levels. Salaff & Greve (2004) found that the rebuilding of social networks in a new country allowed for the successful transition of immigrant women. Similarly, the current study's participants highlighted the importance of connecting with people who were going through the same experiences. In some cases, ethnically-similar communities filled the gap left by family and friends who were back home. One participant spoke of feeling "at home" within these communities. Other participants found friends wherever possible: at work, church, school or in their communities. These experiences echoed Remmenick (2005) and Wong & Tsang (2004) who found that immigrant women are agentic and resourceful in expanding their social networks. The isolation experienced by new immigrants generally, and immigrant women in particular, has been highlighted in the literature (e.g. Khan & Watson, 2005; Man, 2004; Salaff & Greve, 2004, Waters, 2002). The participants in the current study highlighted the difficulty of having little social support, being separated from family and friends and building their social networks in Canada. Salaff and Greve's (2004) study underscored the difficulty of transferring social networks from one country to another. In the current study, participants described the challenge of not being able to be honest with their family and friends back home so as to not worry them. With the benefits of sharing transition experiences with others in mind, the current study's results showed there was a cost to those participants who were not able to be honest with those closest to them. Participants needed to find other 90 outlets for support. This finding is in agreement with Salaff and Greve's general conclusion that the building of social support for immigrants is one of readjustment and balance. The current study's results reinforced and provided a deeper understanding of the barriers and challenges that immigrant women face in a new country. The "Personal Issues/Challenges" and "Contextual Issues/Challenges" categories provided a snapshot of these difficulties. Notably, the participants spoke of both inner and external challenges without focusing on one in particular. Current research has highlighted the discrepancy between immigrant women's education and skill level and their current work positions (DiCicco-Bloom, 2004; Read, 2004). Man (2004) argued that immigrant women are being deskilled in a context of gendered and racialized processes such as federal and provincial policies, accreditation requirements and the need for Canadian experience. The current study's participants explained the difficulties of needing to retrain, gain Canadian experience and have their credentials recognized. Participants also spoke of challenges such as the lack of time, needing to provide for their families and financial pressures. Man (2004) and Waters (2002) stressed the frustration, isolation and depression experienced by immigrant women when trying to re-enter the workforce. Consistent with Man's findings, a number of participants described inner challenges and struggles. For instance, participants spoke of losing their motivation and perspective, feeling homesick and depressed. Participants also highlighted the difficulties arising through their experience of pregnancy and aging. 91 Despite these hardships, the participants in the current study faced their challenges with realistic expectations, acceptance, hope and faith. They took action to ensure their own success by collecting information, undertaking professional development courses or workshops and building their industry contacts. Remmenick (2005) and Ataca and Berry (2002) previously stated that immigrant women's feeling in control was crucial to their successful adjustment. In many cases, the participants in the current study found individual and contextual factors difficult when they did not have control over them. By taking action, participants displayed a level of control, thereby increasing their successful adjustment to change. Furthermore, as already highlighted in the literature, immigrant women have been found to make personal sacrifices in order to ensure the well-being and success of their family unit (Remmenick, 2005; Salaff & Greve, 2004; Waters, 2002). The current study's participants were no different. Some participants explained how it was helpful to remain connected to their purpose of being in Canada. Through this connection, participants were able to face and overcome the challenges of change affecting their work. The majority of the current study's participants were mothers while all of the participants had family responsibilities. These roles and responsibilities added another layer to the participants' purpose and meaning of being in Canada. Participants described being motivated to meet their families' needs and making personal sacrifices to ensure the successful adaptation of their families. For instance, in giving up an opportunity to go back to school, one participant reasoned, "but at the same time what limited me to that was that I needed a job too, see, so at 92 that point I had to give it up because providing for the family was more important". These personal sacrifices are interesting in relation to the "Self Care" category to be discussed later. The importance of faith and belief in a higher power emerged as a sub-theme. For some of the participants, internal strength came from a belief in a higher power. One participant explained, ".. .but because I truly believe that there is a higher power that gives me enough strength and enough reason to go on...". Previously, Dyck (2006) highlighted the importance of prayer and faith in immigrant women's mental health. In summary, the current study's participants were resourceful in finding the strength to persevere by giving their challenges and struggles personal meaning. While previous research and theory has underscored the sacrifices made by immigrant women in order to ensure the well-being of their families, little published research has focused on immigrant women's experience of self-care. Salaff and Greve (2004) mentioned the balancing act undertaken by immigrant women in balancing their own and their family's needs. In the current study, "Self Care" emerged as a category. Participants spoke of the importance of engaging in self-care activities to help them to do well with change. Similar to the "Taking Action/Building Capacity" theme, the current study's participants displayed a sense of agency in considering their needs and making moves to fill them. Self-care was important on the levels of mind, body, spirit and emotion. One of the experts consulted in the trustworthiness checks for the current study's results expressed her surprise with the "Self Care" category, as in her experience, recent immigrant women were 93 so busy trying to meet their family's basic needs that they did not have the time or luxury to consider their own needs. The participants in the current study were not without demands and responsibilities (as highlighted in the "Contextual Issues/Challenges" category), however, they demonstrated a level of self-awareness and managed to find time to take care of themselves during periods of change. Possibly, a level of self-care balanced the immigrant women's personal sacrifices. The positive outcomes of self-care were plenty; participants spoke of performing better at work with improved concentration and focus and described feeling increased motivation and energy. This result underscored the importance of self-care to immigrant women. The current study's participants also demonstrated a clear understanding of what they needed more of or access to in order to do well with change affecting their work. Previous studies have highlighted immigrant women's strength and perseverance when faced with challenges (e.g. Lopez et al, 2004; Remmenick, 2005, Salaff & Greve, 2004), however, the current study provides further information about the personal qualities and outside factors that facilitate immigrant women's successful response to change with specific reference to their work. The personal qualities conducive to doing well with change have already been highlighted in the discussion of thriving, resilience and hardiness. Outside factors that helped the participants to do well with change included the incidents within the "Government/Community Resources" and "Work Environment" categories. Wang and Jordache Sangalang (2005) found that support from Canadian co-workers and managers was crucial to the successful adjustment of immigrants into the workforce. Similarly, in the 94 current study, participants highlighted the necessity of a supportive work environment to help them to do well with change. Beyond personal support, participants cited the value in on- the-job training, orientation, flexible work schedules, holiday time and opportunity for contract work. Research has stressed the necessity of building language skills, upgrading, gaining education and feeling part of a community for the successful adaptation of new immigrants (Khan & Watson, 2005; Salaff & Greve, 2004; Waters, 2002). In the current study, participants highlighted the importance of access to government and community resources including counselling, ESL study, free community center programs, immigrant servicing organizations and career services in helping with their adjustment to change affecting their work. With access to services, the participants gained perspective, insight, motivation and confidence. The "Government/Community Resources" category included the largest number of wish list items (70% of participants with 12 incidents). These results highlighted the participants' self-awareness and knowledge of their external needs. Participants expressed the desire and motivation to prepare themselves to do well with change. This result underscored the necessity of asking immigrant women what they need when putting together government and community programs. The participants in this study were articulate, aware, resourceful and realistic. They would be a valuable resource in developing a needs assessment for immigrant servicing program development. With this in mind, I turn to the study's practical implications. 95 Practical Implications The current study offers important practical implications and concrete examples of how immigrant women are successfully responding to change affecting their working lives. First,, the current study offers a detailed look at the experience of immigrant women workers in dealing with the unpredictable, ever-changing world of work. In order to support these workers, programs must be developed that meet their unique needs. The results of the current study might also inform the training of career and settlement counsellors working with immigrant women. Personal attitudes were the most mentioned helpful incidents in the current study. Therefore, training focused on enhancing the personal skills necessary to be successful in the face of change would be essential. Carver (1998) asserted that as individuals master new thriving skills they are more confident and prepared for the next challenge. Hardiness is seen as a personality trait that can be learned (Maddi, 2002; 2005). Programs enhancing hardiness skills have already been developed (Maddi) but could be changed to reflect and meet immigrant women's unique needs and circumstances. The current study's results underscored the important role of social support in immigrant women's adjustment to change. In light of this finding, immigrant women might benefit from the formation of support groups through community or government programs. These support groups could be informal or formal and focus on personal, familial and career issues. If these groups are already running, the marketing of these programs needs to be more widespread, using key community gatekeepers. For example, some participants expressed their desire for access to or formations of programs that I knew were already in existence. Counselling groups offered through career or settlement service settings could 96 offer immigrant women the opportunity to build community, to gain a sense of belonging and to build their self-confidence while offering validation and support to others. Within the work setting, career counsellors could facilitate workplace belonging, support and connection. In environments that involve change and chaos, managers need to offer immigrant women the organizational and personal support necessary to make a successful transition. Programs could be developed that are geared towards preventing workplace stress and encouraging ease in dealing with transitions. Career counsellors could be available to consult with managers and key employees by offering workshops and information sessions. The third largest category was "Government/Community Resources" with the majority of incidents falling into the helping and wish list categories. These results tell us that the participants find current resources helpful, but they need more programs or better access to these programs. A needs assessment that addresses immigrant women's adjustment needs would be helpful in developing programs catered to immigrant women's requirements. There are currently programs for multi-barriered immigrants and refugees. Possibly, the participants in the current study are falling through the cracks because they are high- functioning in some areas making them unqualified for current programs. However, the current study's results stressed the reality of these immigrant women's needs and requirements. 97 Furthermore, programs that currently meet the basic settlement and career needs of immigrants could benefit from the addition of elements of self-care. While not discounting the importance of meeting the basic needs of family and self and the collective nature of the women's cultures, the addition of small components of self-care could add to immigrant women's ability to do well with change and counter the experience of self-sacrifice which is so common in immigrant women's stories. The participants in the current study spoke of competing demands and obligations. A small but important detail would be to offer childcare and transportation subsidies to ensure that immigrant women could access government and community resources. Lastly, career and settlement counsellors could offer emotional support to immigrant women who are dealing with change affecting their work. Counsellors could help immigrant women subscribe a sense of meaning and purpose to their struggles and challenges. Counsellors could also normalize the feelings of isolation, homesickness and depression. In doing so, counsellors could help immigrant women develop a sense of hope and opportunity following their personal experiences of change. Limitations The current study is not without limitations. This was a qualitative, exploratory study with a small sample making it difficult to generalize to other populations. However, the goal of the current study was not to generalize to others but to highlight what helps and hinders a group of immigrant women to do well with change. The current study is also limited by its 98 reliance on volunteers. The participants self-selected themselves to participate in the study because they identified themselves as doing well with change affecting their work. It is possible that those who volunteered were different than those who were doing well but did not volunteer. As with all studies that use a self-report method instead of observation the current study is reliant on participants' memory and recollections. In utilizing the CIT method, Flanagan (1954) said that if participants give full and precise details, then the information could be assumed to be accurate. In the current study, incidents were only extracted if they provided the meaning or importance of the event or experience and/or an example. Incidents that did not provide this information were flagged for follow-up with the participants. Only one incident was flagged for follow-up and after checking with the participant it was deemed to not be an incident. Therefore, the issue of self-report is less of an issue in the current study. The CIT method produces large amounts of data that requires subjective interpretation and analysis. This limitation was addressed by using ATLAS/ti to make it easier to manage the data. A series of credibility checks aimed to ensure that the analysis was sound. First, a second interview or participant cross-check was used to ask the participants whether or not they agreed with the incidents extracted and how they had been categorized. Next, an independent graduate student familiar with the CIT method was asked to extract incidents from 30% of the total interviews. Thirdly, an independent judge was asked to place 25%> of helping, hindering and wish list items into the tentative categories. In 99 all examples, there was a high level of agreement, demonstrating the soundness of the data analysis. Lastly, the current study did not measure the acculturation level of the participants. The participants' acculturation level could be linked to or influence how the participants were dealing with change. The inclusion of an acculturation measure and consideration of the participants' contexts could provide a more detailed picture of the participants' experiences. This and other further research directions will be highlighted now. Future Research This research has deepened the understanding of immigrant women's response to change, specifically what helps and hinders them to do well with change affecting their work. The helpful nature of self-care in immigrant women's lives is a new concept and deserves further exploration using an exploratory method. Notably, a few participants talked about the dire situations they had left behind in their home countries for a new life in Canada. The current study raises new questions about whether the immigrant women's context or background experience has any impact on her ability to do well with change. It also raises questions about the process of how immigrant women are doing well with change. Future research using a grounded theory or phenomenological method could shed more light into the women's process and experience of doing well beyond focusing on what has been helpful and hindering. 100 Longitudinal research could also examine whether or not what immigrant women find helpful and hindering changes over time and in relation to their level of acculturation into Canadian culture. This research could shed light into whether different supports are useful at different times and at different acculturation levels. As thriving involves growing from the experience of an adverse event or challenge (Carver, 1998), further research involving a measure of acculturation could investigate whether the immigration experience and acculturation levels predict immigrant women's ability to thrive in new situations after dealing with the challenges of immigration. Also, the current study's results could be brought to focus groups of immigrant women to check the categories' relevance to their own experiences and therefore to a larger population. Future studies might explore immigrant women's help-seeking behaviour in relation to doing well with changes affecting their work. The categories indicate that these women are reaching outside of themselves for assistance in doing well with change. Further research could shed light on the attitudes and perceptions of immigrant women in relation to their help-seeking behaviour. Lastly, the current study offers insight and suggestions that could be used to develop programs and services to better cater to immigrant women's needs. While the participants are 'doing well' and adjusting into Canadian culture, their needs may fall through the cracks because they are not experiencing multiple barriers like some refugees or immigrants who may arrive with no skills or training. Further research into the effectiveness of current programs using qualitative and quantitative methods is necessary in order to provide the 101 appropriate services and resources to all immigrant women. This research could also inform the development of new programs and marketing approaches. In closing, this research could be used to inform effective services and programs to promote the successful adjustment of immigrant women in response to changes affecting their working lives. Conclusion The current study's results are important because they reinforced the importance of social support in immigrant women's lives, explored the internal and external barriers and challenges faced by immigrant women and how those who are successful deal with them, provided further information into the personal attitudes and qualities that facilitate success in dealing with change, and highlighted the importance of self-care when dealing with change. Similarly, the current study is important because it responded to the call for a focus on immigrant women's strengths (DiCocco-Bloom, 2004). Also, the study provided a cross- cultural example of the concept of career adaptability. The current study's participants demonstrated personal strength and perseverance when faced with changes that were often challenging. They displayed a thirst for knowledge and information, always wanting to better their situations, often involving sacrifice in order to do well. The participants demonstrated a desire for control over their situations. In many ways, these participants were going to do well no matter what. However, despite the participants' drive, motivation and desire to do well with change, an unsupportive environment often challenged them. The current study found that a large portion of the hindering incidents were external to the participants such as difficult contexts, lack of 102 resources and unsupportive people and work environments. This result points to the necessity for change in the environment. The onus is not only on immigrant women to adapt to change, but as a society we have a responsibility to create a supportive environment to facilitate immigrant women's success. These are stories of struggle, survival and hope. The current study's results offer hope for those who are not doing well with change as there are personal qualities and attitudes that can be taught and external supports that can be put into place to facilitate the process of doing well with change. I thank the participants for sharing their courageous stories with me. I hope that their stories can be an inspiration to other immigrant women and inform program development and service delivery. 103 REFERENCES Alfonso, V. (1997). Overcoming depressed moods after an HIV+ diagnosis: A critical incident analysis. Unpublished Doctoral dissertation, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Amundson, N. E. & Borgen, W. A. (1988). 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Do you have family responsibilities? 4. Have you had some skills/vocational training in your home country? 5. Have you been working in Canada within the last 6 months? 6. Are you able to understand, read and converse in English? 7. Have you experienced change(s) that affected your work within the last 6 months? 8. Would you say that you are doing well with these changes? 9. Would you be willing to talk about these experiences in a 1-1.5 hour face-to-face interview and a follow-up 30 minute telephone interview? 10. Do you mind being tape-recorded during our interview? 118 Appendix F: Interview Guide These interview questions have been developed for a larger research study by N. E. Amundson and W. A. Borgen, entitled, "Towards a Preventative/Developmental Approach to Counselling: Helping People Meet the Challenges of Change". They were most recently used in Butterfield (2006). Orienting and Contextual Questions Preamble: As you know, I am investigating the ways in which working immigrant women do well with change(s) that affect their work. The purpose of this interview is to collect information about the changes you have experienced and the ways in which you are doing well with them. 1. As a way of getting started, maybe you could tell me a little bit about your work situation. 2. You volunteered to participate in this study because you identified yourself as experiencing workplace change and doing well with it. What does "doing well" mean to you? 3. What are the changes that have affected your work life? 4. How have these changes impacted your work life? (Probe: Are there any other impacts on your work?) 121 Critical Incident Component 1. You said that even with all of these changes, you see yourself as doing well. What has helped you in doing well with the changes that have affected your work? (Probes include: What was the incident/factor? How did it impact you? "Social support is helping" How is it helping? Can you give me a specific example where social support helped?) Helpful Factor & What it means to participant (What did you mean by....?) Importance (How did it help? Tell me what it was about... that you find so helpful.) Example (What led up to it? Incident. Outcome of incident.) 122 2. Are there things that have made it more difficult for you to do well? (Alternate question: What kind of things have happened that have made it harder for you to do well?) Hindering Factor & What it means to participant (What did you mean by...?) Importance (How did it hinder? Tell me what it was about.. .that you find so unhelpful.) Example (What led up to it? Incident. Outcome of incident.) 123 Summarize what has been discussed up to this point with the participant as a transition to the next question. 3. We've talked about what's helped you to do well (name them), and some things that have made it more difficult for you to do well (name them). Are there other things that would help you to continue doing well? (Alternate: I wonder what else might be helpful to you that you haven't had access to? Wish list item & What it means to participant (What do you mean by...?) Importance (How would it help? Tell me what it is about... that you would find so helpful.) Example (In what circumstances might this be helpful?) 124 Appendix G: Demographic Information Participant # Occupation Number of years in this occupation Occupation/Job Level Length of time in current Job Industry in which the person works Industry in which person works Number of Years in Industry Length of service in this company Age Sex Income Level (household) Country of Birth Length of Time in Canada First Language Marital Status Family Status/Parental Status Education Level Interview End Time: Length of Interview: Interviewer's Name:

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