Good hope in chaos: Beyond matching to complexity in career development

  • RGL Pryor
  • JEH Bright


The significance of both higher education and career counselling is outlined. The predominant matching paradigm for career development service delivery is described. Its implications for reinforcing the status quo in the South African community are identified and questioned. The Chaos Theory of Careers (CTC) is suggested as an alternative theoretical perspective which incorporates both stability and change using convergent and emergent perspectives. The counselling implications of the CTC are adumbrated in terms of confronting uncertainty by moving from closed to open systems thinking; accepting risk; not fearing failure and; negotiating uncertainty through shiftwork paradigms. An example of the application of the provision of career development services to a disadvantaged group is also described. It is concluded that a changed theoretical framework for the provision of career development services can provide a map and a strategy for incorporating stability and change as a basis for social reform and good hope for the nation’s future through higher education.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1011-3487