Work is a central aspect of life, providing a source of structure, a means of survival, connection to others, and optimally a means of self-determination. Across the globe, people devote considerable time and effort in preparing for, adjusting to, and managing their work lives. Many of the major crises affecting people and communities have been and continue to be related to working, including wars, famines, poverty, and risks to personal safety. At the same time, working, when it is dignified and meaningful, can create the foundation for a satisfying life that allows people to support themselves and their families, and to find an outlet for their values and interests in the world of work. This handbook is designed to expand and deepen a growing discourse about the psychological nature of working. Building on critiques of traditional assumptions and practices about work and career in psychology, the psychology of working perspective has been advanced as an inclusive, broad-reaching framework that explores the nature of working for the full spectrum of people who work and who want to work. This volume is characterized by disciplinary pluralism with contributions from a wide range of scholars and practitioners interested in the role of work in people's lives. Chapters explore theoretical foundations, the context of working, counseling and psychotherapy, organizational implications, community-based interventions, and public policy. As a major resource in the psychology of working field, this book is a must-have for counseling and clinical psychologists, I/O psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, management consultants, and a wide array of researchers and students who are concerned with the nature of work in the 21st century, transformative scholarship, public policy, and inclusive psychological practice.
David L. Blustein, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology, Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology at Boston College.