The role of imagination in emergent career agency

Heidi Muijen, Reinekke Lengelle, Frans Meijers, Wim Wardekker

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Career agency is a vaguely defined concept that is usually explained in terms of cultivating self-reliance, while it is at the same time being critiqued as a difficult to reach goal as a result of societal pressures. Instead of viewing agency through the lens of these opposing viewpoints, focused on people either being self-reliant or determined by outside forces, this article proposes a ‘medial’ perspective on agency. People can be assisted to develop agency when it is conceptualized as an emergent phenomenon that can be fostered through imaginative and playful writing, where individuals are invited to engage in a field where an expansion of both symbolic and material space can be promoted. The dangers of an instrumental focus on career management skills are outlined and the philosophical considerations underlying the idea of imagination as fostering agency are explained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-98
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Journal of Career Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul. 2018


  • Agency
  • career writing
  • game
  • holding space
  • imagination


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of imagination in emergent career agency'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this