UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Occupational identity : narratives of Asian internationally trained professionals' experiences Hung, Mandy


Although many immigrants in Canada are Internationally Trained Professionals (ITPs), possessing substantial skills, credentials, and experience, a significant portion of these immigrants cannot practice in the field of their qualifications. The purpose of this research was to examine the narratives of how Asian ITPs experience their occupational identity through the transition in their career and immigration. Existing research on ITPs has examined issues such as barriers to professional employment, and the psychological and social effects of unemployment and underemployment, and has yet to look at the concept of occupational identity (Aycan & Berry, 1996; Basran & Zong, 1998; Lev-Wiesel & Kaufman, 2004; Valenta, 2008). On the other hand, studies that have focused on identity changes through work role transitions have yet to focus specifically on ITPs. Therefore, I interviewed eight Asian ITPs who identified as being unemployed or underemployed to explore their stories around the experience of their occupational identity. Using an adapted version of the life story interview, the participants and I co-constructed the narratives of their “career life” in a semi-structured interview format. This resulted in chronological summaries of each participant’s career life story, demonstrating the struggles and changes in the Asian ITPs’ narration of the self throughout their career. There were common themes pertaining to the transitional experience across the eight Asian ITPs’ narratives, including immigration to improve quality of life, from the peak of a career to the beginning again, level of agency and hope, and professional identity maintenance. The results are discussed in terms of its relevance and expansion from the literature, its limitations, along with its implications for counselling and future research directions.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International