Applying Narrative Approaches to Support Undergraduate Career Decision- Making

Michael J. Stebleton, Mark Franklin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Narrative approaches to career development and career education continue to gain prominence in higher education, student affairs, and other contexts. In this chapter, the authors highlight the historical development of narrative within the career development profession; connect narrative to social justice principles; discuss narrative in relation to demographic shifts and the future of work; and provide several models for applying narrative approaches to undergraduate student populations. The authors outline potential advantages and disadvantages of using narrative approaches, discuss how practitioners can learn new skills, and provide insights into how narratives can benefit students and practitioners in a variety of contexts, from career clarification to job interviews. Specific examples of narrative tools are highlighted, including how different academic institutions implement storied approaches into their curriculum. The authors emphasize the value and meaning of stories, including the contributions from non-Western perspectives - and the impact on student development. Examples are offered within the context of the socio-political, historical events of 2020-2021, specifically the challenges brought on by the global Covid-19 pandemic, and the social and racial reckoning around injustice and equity issues following the police brutality and murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in spring 2020. Specific recommendations for educators, practitioners, and students are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMapping the Future of Undergraduate Career Education
Subtitle of host publicationEquitable Career Learning, Development, and Preparation in the New World of Work
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781000602555
ISBN (Print)9781032081144
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 selection and editorial matter, Melanie V. Buford, Michael J. Sharp, and Michael J. Stebleton; individual chapters, the contributors.


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