Qualitative Research: Career Uncertainty in the UAE

Subject: Education
Pages: 6
Words: 1000
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: PhD


The question of finding a job and building a career bothers millions of people worldwide (Lin, Wu & Chen 2015). Adult workers want to change their lives and observe new occupational opportunities. Still, they are challenged by a number of new ideas and develop some kind of fear of career uncertainty. Students cannot make the final solution and suffer from career uncertainty because of poor background knowledge or the absence of experience. Therefore, having a strategic plan that can be used in career management is an integral part of person’s career success (Liburd 2014).

Career uncertainty may not be treated as a problem, but it is a challenge that has to be overcome. Cognitive and behavioural techniques can be used to solve the problems caused by anxiety, panic, and disappointments (Law, Amundson & Alden 2014). Students create a group of people for whom uncertainty is one of the main problems that have to be solved in a short period of time. Students are challenged by the process of globalisation that cannot be stopped and continues influencing the availability of jobs (Gutman & Schoon 2012). Recent economic and political changes influence careers as well, and uncertainty is one of its outcomes.

Career uncertainty is the issue for discussions in many countries, and the UAE is one of them. In the Middle East, people can use numerous opportunities and enjoy long-term career success (Matthijs et al. 2016). At the same time, it is the place where gender, culture, and interpersonal relations play an important role developing stereotypes and perceptions (Sikdar & Mitra 2012). Besides, career uncertainty has different outcomes on citizens’ well-being and country’s economic status. All these issues have to be discussed to comprehend if the citizens of the UAE should develop their activities to eliminate career uncertainty or support its presence as a sign of constant changes, development, and opportunities.

Literature Review, Conceptual Framework, and Research Approach

In this study, it is planned to use different sources to gather enough material for the analysis and evaluation. In addition to books and journal articles, latest articles from such online sources as The Gulf News, the National, and Forbes will be used. Liburd (2014) and Matthijs et al. (2016) introduce a strong background with the definitions of career management and its role in a human life. The articles by Gutman and Schoon (2012) or Lin, Wu, and Chen (2015) focus on career uncertainty as the way of how personal and professional aspirations can be changed and challenged by economic and social conditions. Law, Amundson, and Alden (2014) and Sikdar and Mitra (2012) aim at investigating the outcomes of career uncertainty and the solutions to develop the feeling of self-esteem, professionalism, and readiness to cope with different tasks and obligations.

An approximate conceptual framework of the study devoted to career uncertainty in the UAE should help to identify the main units for discussion and the steps that should be taken by the researcher.


This conceptual framework shows that the study should begin with a clear identification of career management and the discussion of possible challenges in the chosen field in such region as the UAE. Career uncertainty is the outcome of poorly organised career management. To comprehend its nature and the place in the UAE job market, it is necessary to understand what steps and activities should be made to face such type of uncertainty, and if all people are under the same conditions when they are challenged by career uncertainty. Then, the outcomes observed among those who face career uncertainty should be discussed. Finally, the study aims at discussing the solutions that can be offered to employees.

A deductive type of research will be used to test the already offered theories and approaches. Career uncertainty is a concept that may bother or challenge people, as well as motivate and promote self-development.

Methodology, Methods, Data Collection, Analysis and Interpretation

This project contains the proposal for future qualitative research the main method of which is to interview the participants and gather the necessary material in addition to the already offered literature. With the help of qualitative research, the researcher is able to gain an understanding of the topic and each concept identified in the framework. The main problem that is identified in the study is the presence of career uncertainty and the inability to comprehend if it should be treated as a challenge, problem, or even advantage. A phenomenology research study should be used to understand people’s perceptions and attitudes to the chosen concept and demonstrate their responses to a particular situation when they are uncertain in their future career choice. An interview is the main research method of gathering data that should be used to answer the research questions and discuss the peculiar features of the chosen topic. It is expected to cooperate with 20 students and 20 employees in one company. The choice of the participants is random sampling when students and employees are invited to participate voluntarily. All participants have a chance to refuse their participation at any stage. All interviews will be conducted via Skype at the date and time of the participants’ choosing. No specific directions will be given to people because they are free to give their answers in the ways they prefer. The participants should be audiotaped, and their participation remains to be anonymous. Confidentiality will be promoted.

Analysis and interpretation will be developed when the data is transcribed verbatim. All texts should be read and listened several times to prove the accuracy of the material. The analysis will aim at determining the gaps in discussions. The information may be introduced in a table format where the main ideas are underlined and used to develop new units and new statements. Phenomenological interpretation is the method of the analysis that will be used to relate the units taken from the interviews with different people in one narration. One researcher will be responsible for gathering the material and communicating with the participants, analysis, and interpretation of the material.


Gutman, LM & Schoon, I 2012, ‘Correlates and consequences of uncertainty in career aspirations: Gender differences among adolescents in England’, Journal of Vocational Behaviour, vol. 80, pp. 608-618.

Law, AK, Amundson, NE & Alden, LE 2014, ‘Helping highly anxious clients embrace chaos and career uncertainty using cognitive behavioural techniques’, Australian Journal of Career Development, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 29-36.

Liburd, S 2014, You can & you must: career planning for changing times, Troubador Publishing, Leicestershire.

Lin, SH, Wu, CH & Chen, LH 2015, ‘Unpacking the role of self-esteem in career uncertainty: a self-determination perspective’, The Journal of Positive Psychology, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 231-239.

Matthijs, K, Neels, K, Timmerman, C & Haers, J 2016, Population change in Europe, the Middle-East and North Africa: beyond the demographic divide, Routledge, New York.

Sikdar, A & Mitra, S 2012, ‘Gender-role stereotypes: perception and practice of leadership in the Middle East’, Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 146-162.