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Society for Vocational Psychology – 13th Biennial Conference

Conference Theme: Transitions

June 18-20, 2018

Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

The Saguaro Hotel


The 13th Biennial Conference of the Society for Vocational Psychology will continue to examine the ways in which vocational psychology and career development theory, research, and interventions promote the well-being of individuals and organizations around the world. The conference theme, “Transitions,” broadly connects with ongoing research and other professional activities of our membership. In particular, presentations and interactive discussions will address specific topics related to transitions, including retirement, college to career, midcareer, life-role transitions, emerging adulthood, unemployment, underemployment, nonevents, adaptability, proactivity, resilience, etc.


Our economic structures, our lives, and profession are in the midst of a wide range of transitions. Individuals throughout the world are engaged in personal and work-related change and many are especially vulnerable to stress, chaos, and uncertainty transition introduces into their lives. In addition to individual intervention services, organizations focused on supporting disadvantaged populations require research and practical expertise to help them navigate these transitions.


Through dialogue and sharing our current personal work, this conference will enable participants to reflect on the roles we can play in improving transitions for individuals and organizations. As a Society, we are also in transition. This is a good opportunity to reflect on the transition of our field since the founding of SVP in 1994. The following questions can facilitate reflection on transitions and how our current professional activities can advance our impact on society:

  1. What theory, research and/or interventions are we most excited about as individuals? What does this say about the nature of our work as a professional society?

  2. How do our theory, research, and interventions support the varied transition needs of individuals throughout our society and the organizations that serve them?

  3. How are our theory, research, and interventions relevant to supporting specific populations who are struggling with career and life transitions? Some of these populations include:

    • Older adults who are retiring – some of whom will leave the world of work, others that need new career and life goals to guide them.

    • Mid-career adults facing job loss or life changes that precipitate the need to reevaluate their career and life goals and opportunities.

    • Emerging adults who are navigating postsecondary training and education as they prepare for and transition into the world of work.

    • Youth in middle and high school who are being pressed to become “college and career ready” such that they have career and life goals that guide their academic and postsecondary planning.

    • Younger children who are required to develop pre-employment skills (e.g., social emotional learning) and who need career education in order to better understand the relevance of education to the world of work.

    • High need populations that have unique and often more severe transition challenges. These include, but are not limited to: English language learners, immigrants, individuals in foster care, individuals with disabilities, lower income individuals, LGBTQ youth and adults, and individuals from African American, Latino, and Native American backgrounds who remain underrepresented in many career fields and postsecondary education.

The SVP conference provides a unique opportunity to present your work on current topics and discuss ongoing transitions in the field of vocational psychology and career development within a dynamic broader society.


If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Patrick Rottinghaus at

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