Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Carsten Schmidtke

Committee Member

Ketevan Mamiseishvili

Second Committee Member

Trevor Francis


Career Capital, Career Development, Career Self-Management, Human Resources, Protean Career Theory, Workforce Development


Understanding the prerequisites for career advancement helps to keep employees motivated and engaged. However, in the higher education (H.E.) workplace, where formalized career ladders are sparse and ambiguous for staff personnel - especially those in professional academic advising - employees who are interested in career advancement into mid-level administration (MLA) are often left to maneuver the professional, political, and social landscape unescorted. Some manage to find their way just fine, while others become frustrated or stagnant or decide to leave academia entirely. For those who create their own path and find their way to mid-level administration, what is their secret?

The purpose of this study was to learn about the career self-management behaviors of MLAs who formerly served as professional academic advisors (PAAs) and the career capital they believed was helpful for advancement into mid-level administration. This study investigated why participants believed they were successful in attaining their positions without formalized career paths into administration from academic advising and endeavored to increase the awareness of the academic advising community about an appropriate career self-management agenda for those that desire administrative positions in H. E.

This study referred to Protean Career Theory and Career Capital as its theoretical framework. A qualitative research approach and a constructivist grounded theory data analysis method were used to facilitate an examination of actions, intentions, and processes and the meaning that the fifteen participants assigned to each concept. Three primary themes were identified that facilitated an understanding of the career experiences of the participants. Comprehending Who They Are, The Career Challenges they Overcame, and The Career

Strategies they Employed provided useful insight into their career self-management tactics, and offered some possible explanations for the career advancement they experienced.

The findings are discussed within the context of the research questions and through the lens of the current literature. A model depicting the career self-management process and how it appeared to function in the lives of the participants was explained. A disclosure of the limitations of the study and suggestions for future research and recommendations for PAAs, Human Resource Development (HRD) professionals completed the research report.