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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Career decision-making of immigrant young people who are doing well : helping and hindering factors Mathew, Deepak


Immigrant young people in Canada are making career decisions within the context of a volatile labour market and with contextual barriers and opportunities that are deeply rooted in terms of culture and other sociopolitical and economic factors. In spite of these challenging circumstances, there are immigrant young people who are doing well. This study addresses the gap in literature pertaining to identifying contributors to successful career decision-making of immigrant young people. Using a positive psychology framework, this study aimed to understand the decision-making process of immigrant young people who believe they are doing well with their career decision-making. Eighteen immigrant young adults who self-defined as doing well with career decision-making participated in an open-ended semi-structured interview based on the enhanced critical incident technique (ECIT). The ECIT is a well-established qualitative research method and it was used to obtain a description of what helped, hindered or would have helped participants' career decision-making processes. The results obtained in the form of nine categories of helping and hindering factors along with their wish list focused on three groups of influences, namely personal and interpersonal, experiential and external, and cultural and transitional. The potential contribution of the study included enhancing empirical literature with regards to successful career decision-making of immigrant young people, expanding career development theory, assisting practitioners in the development of more inclusive tools and counselling interventions, and informing policymakers about the needs of these young Canadians. Perhaps most importantly, the research will assist immigrant young people and their families by providing examples of how others have made career decisions in the face of personal and evolving economic and sociocultural challenges and opportunities.

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