Self-authorship and creative industries workers’ career decision-making

Dawn Bennett*, Sophie Hennekam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


Career decision-making is arguably at its most complex within professions where work is precarious and career calling is strong. This article reports from a study that examined the career decision-making of creative industries workers, for whom career decisions can impact psychological well-being and identity just as much as they impact individuals’ work and career. The respondents were 693 creative industries workers who used a largely open-ended survey to create in-depth reflections on formative moments and career decision-making. Analysis involved the theoretical model of self-authorship, which provides a way of understanding how people employ their sense of self to make meaning of their experiences. The self-authorship process emerged as a complex, non-linear and consistent feature of career decision-making. Theoretical contributions include a non-linear view of self-authorship that exposes the authorship of visible and covert multiple selves prompted by both proactive and reactive identity work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1454-1477
Number of pages24
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


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