Careers and Positive Psychology


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It has been 21 years since Seligman’s (1998) call for a focus on “the science of positive subjective experience, positive individual traits, and positive institutions” (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000, p.5). This call has been heard within the careers literature as represented in research on work as a calling (Wrzesniewski, 2012), job crafting (Wrzesniewski & Dutton, 2001), and career counselling (Magyar-Moe, Owens, & Scheel, 2015). However, there is still room to expand our knowledge of careers using theories and frameworks from positive psychology. For instance, career is understood as a lifespan construct with several life stages such as early, mid-life, late, and post-retirement phases (Jiang et al., 2019). Nonetheless, the lifespan focus is seldom considered in theorization and empirical examination of career scholarship (Jiang et al., 2023). Similarly, there has been a call for research to study the temporal aspect of career proactivity (Jiang et al., 2023). Others have called for a focus on career experience rather than outcomes (Hall & Las Heras, 2013). Positive psychology helps us to understand the individual differences, environmental factors, and organizational practices that support a range of process-oriented experiences such as purpose, meaning, and fulfilment. This special issue has the potential to expand the perspectives used to study careers, it also promises implications for how organizations can support careers.

Topic Areas

Some of the themes that might be examined include, but are not limited to:

  • How can we use theories and concepts from positive psychology to support the multidisciplinary study of careers? 
  • How can we understand the factors that guide and shape career experience? 
  • How do positive relationships support the career development process? 
  • Can we use our existing theories from positive psychology to enrich our understanding of careers and career experiences (e.g., strengths, broaden and build, high quality connections)? 
  • How can organizations leverage knowledge from positive psychology to support the careers of their people? 
  • Can we use knowledge from positive psychology to support careers at various stages (e.g., emerging careers, continuous learning and master, and retirement)? 
  • How can positive psychology approaches support individuals from a diversity of socioeconomic and racialized backgrounds?


Submit your paper here!

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available here.

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see here.

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”. Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key dates

Submission: 01/09/2023