Career Development Association of New Zealand


In Memoriam: John Krumboltz,1928 - 2019

In Memoriam: John Krumboltz,1928 - 2019

John Krumboltz, retired professor of education and psychology at Stanford University, died in early May at the age of 90. Krumboltz revolutionized the field of career counselling by applying social theories of learning to making life decisions.

He developed the social learning theory of career decision making and the construction and validation of the Career Beliefs Inventory. He is well-known to career practitioners for his theory of planned happenstance, the theory he developed with Al Levin and Kathleen Mitchell that says random events have important influence on people’s lives. This was later refined to the Happenstance Learning Theory. He was a life-long advocate of learning, including learning from “failure” and encouraged people to try things out, to ask themselves “What would be fun to try next?”

Over his career he authored or co-authored many books including Fail Fast, Fail Often: How Losing Can Help You Win (with Ryan Babineaux, 2014), and Luck is No Accident: Making the Most of Happenstance in Your Life and Career (with Al Levin, 2004).

CDANZ members were fortunate to have met John when he came to New Zealand in 2001 to run a training workshop. This short tribute to John and his legacy was written by Robyn Bailey PMCDANZ.