The devastating unemployment rate in South-Africa has the biggest effect on young adults from socio-economically challenged backgrounds. This study used career counselling with life design principles to explore the growth capacity of unemployed young adults’ career adaptability skills to enhance their employability. The study is embedded in a constructivist paradigm with elements of social constructivist and pragmatism with an interpretive stance. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were implemented, using a quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test comparison group-design to explore the possible effect of the intervention. The outcomes of the study show it was possible to positively influence the career adaptability and employability skills of young adults in socio-economically disadvantaged contexts through career and employability counselling.