To read this content please select one of the options below:

The hybrid career concept: creating hybrid career pathways

Michelle Gander (Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 8 October 2021

Issue publication date: 22 October 2021




Hybrid career has been discussed in the literature for some time but is still an emergent concept. The study investigated the careers of university professional staff working in universities in Australia and the UK to better understand the careers of this underresearched cohort of staff. The findings were used to extend the theory of the hybrid career.


A total of 139 career stories were collected via an open-ended question in an online survey. Inductive thematic analysis was used to create themes and theorise career pathways relevant to the participants' careers.


It was found that participants had a hybrid career orientation (HCO) based on their essential values and their reciprocal relationship with their employer. Four career pathways emerged from the data: intra-organisational advancement, inter-organisational advancement, work–life balance and dead end.

Research limitations/implications

There is a need for future research to investigate the HCO, both to add depth to the understanding of careers for university professional staff in universities and to examine the hybrid concept in other settings.

Practical implications

It is suggested that by grouping staff into career pathways, human resource practitioners could provide more targeted interventions to ensure that staff are motivated and productive for the benefit of the organisation.


The research has extended the concept of the hybrid career and discovered four career pathways relevant to university professional staff.



The author would like to thank one of the anonymous reviewers who clearly gave a considerable amount of time engaging with my work and whose feedback was critically constructive, leading to a much-improved paper.


Gander, M. (2021), "The hybrid career concept: creating hybrid career pathways", Career Development International, Vol. 26 No. 7, pp. 853-868.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles