Career Success in a Depressed Economy: A Phenomenological Hermeneutic Study

Career Success in a Depressed Economy: A Phenomenological Hermeneutic Study

Author: 
Blake Daniel Wettstein
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological hermeneutic study was to understand career success experiences of entry-level call center workers in a depressed economy in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area. Protean, boundaryless, and traditional career success models dominated the field literature but offered little research into career success during depressed economies. In addition to scant research, employees behaved differently during depressed economies, and typical career success metrics of pay and promotion were not always attainable. Career success of employees directly affected employer profitability; therefore, employers had a stake in understanding how employees experience career success. The present study found that participants discussed eight essential themes while discussing career success in a depressed economy: supportive environment, personal strength, self-betterment, meeting of physical needs, refuge, enjoying life, human connectedness, and reassurance. In addition, the present study confirmed the presence of traditional, protean, and boundaryless career successes during the depressed economy. It is then recommended that during depressed economies employers give greater schedule flexibility to employees, allow more employee peer mentoring, and train and staff empathetic and supportive managers.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this dissertation to my wife, who has unwaveringly supported me in this pursuit. She permitted me to find feat and experience disappointment in this journey and never tried to circumvent the process I had to slog. I am a slow learner but I eventually do get it. Thank you. I also dedicate this to my children and hope that learning will always be a part of their lives. I love you all.
Acknowledgements: 
I acknowledge the support of my committee chair, Dr. Chris Van Ness, as well as my committee members, Dr. Edoardo Naggiar and Dr. Elizabeth Thompson, for their continual support, feedback, insight, and assistance in making this dissertation a reality. I am grateful for the participants in the study and their willingness to co-create with me their experiences of career success. I would like to thank Marlon Scanterbury. As a peer, he was priceless in helping me find resources to better understand hermeneutic phenomenology. He was an answer to many unuttered prayers. Most importantly, I thank and acknowledge my Heavenly Father. The desire to start the journey began with Him placing the seed in my heart. He performed miracles by awakening me early in the morning for many years to work excitedly on this dissertation. I believe God does live in the details of our lives and that He has led me down this path for many reasons unknown to me.