Serendipity Is Not Serendipitous

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Abstract

Serendipitous events have been shown to affect the careers of prominent counseling psychologists. Why should this seem surprising? Unplanned events affect everyone's career. The surprise is due to the widespread but unfounded assumption that career decisions should be the logical outcome of a “true reasoning” process. Counseling psychologists need to (a) broaden their view so that the reluctance to make an occupational commitment in the face of unpredictable future events can be celebrated as open-mindedness, not denigrated as indecisiveness, (b) teach clients that unplanned events are a normal and expected part of the career development process, and (c) teach clients how to generate unplanned events that contribute to a more satisfying life.

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