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Diversifying the careers workforce: opportunities and challengesAttracting high quality candidates with relevant and pertinent experience to any profession is often a challenge. A UK based research project is presented that employs a protean lens to examine the motivations and expectations of career changers who have recently moved into the fi eld of career guidance and counselling. The research comprised of a mixed methods design, utilising an online self-completed survey and interviews aimed at practitioners who have transitioned into the careers fi eld over the last fi ve years. The data refl ects practitioners working in a range of settings including, schools, further education colleges and higher education. The initial fi ndings present several important issues for the careers fi eld in the UK which may have wider applicability. Respondents transitioned from a diverse range of professional backgrounds including HR, education management consultancy and research. A common motivation focused on supporting and infl uencing a social justice agenda. The research identifies that the field is successful in recruiting highly qualifi ed and experienced candidates, the challenge is about diversity and attracting a workforce that better reflects the populace.