Career Matters: Leveraging Positive Psychology to Guide Us to Good and Right Work

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career navigation
career decision
career choice
meaningful work
positive psychology
character strengths
signature strengths
work satisfaction
purpose for learning
Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Organization Development
Other Psychology
Personality and Social Contexts
School Psychology
Social Psychology
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In order to live well, we should love what we do and feel that what we do is important. Some of us struggle with the difficulty of finding our way onto the right life path, while others navigate with energy and enthusiasm to fulfilling, successful lives. What is it that makes the difference? I believe that the principles of positive psychology can be applied to the career navigation process to elevate and enhance our capacity to find good and right work. In this paper, I will look through a positive psychology lens at career development theory and propose a series of interventions for the career navigation process which apply strengths-based interventions that have proven effective in non-career focused settings. Focusing on signature strengths both in the career development process and as an element of the career goal can provide numerous self-reinforcing, engaging and energizing pathways. The intended outcomes include leveraging of strengths to increase well-being along the way; creative exploration and career discovery; crafting powerful visions of future possibilities; cultivation of hope and perseverance to build resilience; and linking purpose and meaning to career goals to pave the path toward good and right work.

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