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Edited by Ans De Vos and Beatrice I.J.M. van der Heijden

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Beatrice I.J.M. Van der Heijden and Ans De Vos

In this introductory chapter we will introduce the concept of ‘sustainable careers’ within the broader framework of contemporary careers. Departing from changes in the career context with regard to the dimensions of time, social space, agency and meaning, we advocate a fresh perspective on careers that recognizes the complexity of the career concept, thereby elaborating on existing career concepts, rather than aiming to replace them. Subsequently, we come up with a definition of the concept: ‘the sequence of an individual’s different career experiences, reflected through a variety of patterns of continuity over time, crossing several social spaces, and characterized by individual agency, herewith providing meaning to the individual.’ Next, we will outline how sustainable careers are conceived and examined theoretically or empirically throughout the different chapters of this Handbook.