Are you sure? the role of uncertainty in career


University of Queensland Business School, c\- PO Box 142, Toowong, QLD 4066, Australia (e-mail:


Although uncertainty is a fundamental human experience, professionals in the career field have largely overlooked the role that it plays in people's careers. The changed nature of careers has resulted in people experiencing increased uncertainty in their career that is beyond the uncertainty experienced in their job. The author explores the role of uncertainty in people's experience of their careers and examines the implications for career counseling theory and practice. A review of the career theory and career counseling literature indicates that although contemporary approaches have been offered to respond to the changed nature of career, none of the approaches have identified uncertainty as a core part of individuals' experience of their career. The broader literature on uncertainty is then reviewed at the societal, organizational, and individual levels.