Identity in Engineering Adulthood: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Early-Career Engineers in the United States as They Transition to the Workplace
Prior research has established emerging adulthood to be a time characterized by robust identity explorations in professional and nonprofessional domains. However, extant literature provides little contextual explanations in relation to how these identity explorations are experienced by early-career professionals. This article presents idiographic findings from a qualitative study that used interpretative phenomenological analysis on interviews with seven engineering students as they transitioned to their respective workplaces. These findings describe how the participants experienced a strong sense of commitment to their career identities while also exploring features of their identities that were unrelated to their careers. Additionally, we discuss how women participants experienced a gendered form tension in managing their career and family roles. In sum, this article contributes detailed insight regarding coherence and complexity of personal identity development as lived by early-career professionals.
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Huff, J. L., Smith, J. A., Jesiek, B. K., Zoltowski, C. B., & Oakes, W. C. (2018). Identity in Engineering Adulthood: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Early-Career Engineers in the United States as They Transition to the Workplace. Emerging Adulthood, 7 (6), 451-467. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2167696818780444