Students with special education needs (SEN) face challenges in developing career adaptability and self-efficacy. Using a sample of 355 students with SEN in Hong Kong, this study evaluated effects of social connectedness and meaning in life on career adaptability and career self-efficacy. Data were collected twice, participants completing self-report measures at baseline and 18 months later. Analysis found that meaning in life significantly and positively predicted both variables. At follow-up, social connectedness directly predicted presence of meaning, while indirectly predicting career adaptability and self-efficacy. Interventions for SEN students should seek to strengthen their social connectedness and meaning in life. Copyright © 2022 Springer.