Author: Lam, Kwok Keung Kent
Title: From play to work : an exploratory study on the casual leisure experience and career adaptability in life and career planning of non-engaged young people in Hong Kong
Degree: DSW
Year: 2018
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Vocational guidance
Youth development
Teenagers -- Counseling of -- China -- Hong Kong
Social service -- China -- Hong Kong
Department: Department of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: xi, 291 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Compared with practice in Western societies, the development of life and career intervention in Hong Kong is lacking. Career development services are mainly provided to University and secondary school students by career guidance officers and teachers. However, this service is not provided to non-engaged young people by outreach social workers. Moreover, current social work practice is delivered without a sound knowledge base. Therefore, there is a need to develop a social work intervention model that is responsive to the needs of the life and career development of non-engaged young people in Hong Kong. This study presents qualitative research exploring how a group of 20 non-engaged young people who have non-engaged experience in Hong Kong spend their casual leisure time and the relationship of this with career adaptability. Career adaptability was defined by Savickas (1997, p. 254) as "the readiness to cope with the predictable tasks of preparing for and participating in the work role and with the unpredictable adjustments prompted by changes in work and working conditions". A qualitative study with thematic analysis was used to explore the subjective experiences of non-engaged young people and their social workers through twenty interviews and three focus groups. A conceptual model specifying the relationship between casual leisure experience and career adaptability is developed. Based on this, a life and career intervention framework, which is responsive to the needs of non-engaged young people in the current Hong Kong context, is suggested. In this study, young people's subjective experiences regarding how they spend their casual leisure time is identified as an engagement point for the development of life and career directions. By mediating between casual leisure time and career goals, four dimensions of career adaptability (4Cs) are identified: Concern, Curiosity, Control and Confidence (Savickas, 1997; Savickas & Porfeli, 2012). These 4Cs are dimensions of psychosocial competencies that could facilitate individuals to effectively manage career tasks and will go through different transitions across the lifespan (Rudolph, Lavigne, Katz, & Zacher, 2017). These dimensions are proposed to be the main focus for social work intervention in working with life and career planning of young people. The findings of young people's career adaptability in this study shed light on the focus of social work intervention in four phases of career intervention: engagement, exploration, life and career management, self-understanding and development. A fifth dimension of career adaptabilities is proposed here: "Connection" which is based on the conceptual understanding of the adaptive efforts of non-engaged young people in their development of life and career planning in this study. This suggestion is proposed in light of the cultural context and psychosocial needs of young people in Hong Kong. Further theoretical work is required to integrate social work practice with different paradigms of career intervention, which is grounded in the casual leisure experiences of young people. A strength-based approach is suggested to work with the non-engaged young people in development of life and career planning services in Hong Kong. It would need to remove the barriers that blocks the potentiality of growth and fulfilment of dreams of young people, recognise their strengths even in casual leisure activities, help them to have a more in-depth self-understanding to themselves, and to formulate young people career identity with social work intervention that helps to nurture their competencies in career adaptability in the career development services.

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