is an Emeritus Professor at the Nelson Mandela University, South Africa, an Honorary Professor at The University of Queensland, and a former Research Fellow at the University of Warwick.
My research focuses on lifespan career development across diverse ages, populations and
ethnic/cultural groups. This focus over recent decades has been framed within a systems theory
framework that considers the realities of how contextual factors influence individuals’ career
development. My research considers theoretical, assessment and counselling from a practitioner’s
perspective. This has led to the development of adolescent and adult versions of the My Systems of
Career Influences (MSCI) workbook (in collaborations with Wendy Patton and Mary McMahon). This
type of assessment reflects the predominant narrative approach that I choose to practice within.
My research has focused on children, adolescents, and adults. Thus, I view career development as an
ongoing process across the lifespan. More importantly, I see development in one life stage as
impacting on development in later life stages. Thus, my initial research on children’s aspirations, then
on adolescents’ career choice processes and what influences those choices, and finally on career
development in adults. The latter phase has predominantly focused on women’s career development.
Watson, M. (2022). The developing narrative of the Australian Journal of Career Development.
Australian Journal of Career Development, 31(3), 190-193.
McMahon, M., Watson, M. (2022). Career development learning in childhood: A critical analysis.
British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 50 (3), 345-350.
Watson, M., McMahon, M. (2022). Critical perspectives in childhood career developmental
learning: Expanding horizons. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 50, 474-480.
McMahon, M., Watson, M. (2021). Group work in career development: post-school age
populations. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 46, 46, 143-145.
McMahon, M., Watson, M. (2021). Group work in career development: Status quo and future
agenda. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 46, 226-234.
Watson, M., McMahon, M. (2021). Group work in career development: School age populations.
The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 46, 1-5.
McMahon, M., Watson, M. (2020). Career counselling and sustainable decent work: Relationships
and tensions. South African Journal of Education, 40 (supplement 1), S1-S9.
McMahon, M., Watson, M., Lee, M. (2019). Qualitative career assessment: A review and
reconsideration. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 110 Part B, 420-432. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2018.03.009.
McMahon, M., Watson, M., Abkhezr, P. (2019). People with refugee backgrounds: Innovating
career research and practice through systems and narrative approaches. In K. Maree (Ed.), Handbook
of innovative career counselling (pp. 375-389). New York: Springer.
Watson, M. B. (2019). Career maturity assessment in an international context. In J. A. Athanasou and
H. Perera (eds.), Handbook of career guidance (2nd ed.). New York: Springer.