Perceptions of Serendipity: Career Paths of Prominent Academic Women in Counseling Psychology

Elizabeth Nutt Williams, Elvie Soeprapto, Kathy Like, Pegah Touradji, Shirley Hess, Clara E. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Consensual qualitative research was used to investigate the impact of chance events on the career choices of prominent academic women in counseling psychology and to examine the contextual factors sorrounding the chance events. The results suggests that chance events affected career choices most often by changing women's career paths altogether or by altering their self-concepts. The results also suggests that both internal characteristics (e.g., ability to take risks, self-confidence, etc.) and external factors (e.g., a strong support system, few external barriers, etc.) helped women take advantage of chance opportunities. The implications of integrating the concept of serendipity into our existing understanding of career development is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-389
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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