By Randi Bussin
Looking for your dream job? Ready to try something new? Helpful tips and tools to move you from one career to another.
William Bridges and Transitions
This month in YOUnique, I thought I would discuss one of my favorite books on the subject of reinvention and transition. I have always been fascinated by career transition, maybe because I have changed careers myself several times, and the various stages people go through as they navigate new territory, learn new skills, and create new professional networks.
In William Bridges’ book “Transitions,” the individual and corporate change consultant and author states, it’s important to distinguish between “career change” and “career transition.” For Bridges, these are two profoundly different phenomena.
- Change: is any external variation in your life – a new job, company reorganization or merger, a new home, or, a new relationship.
- Transition: is an internal shift within you. You have reached a “tipping point” where it is time to let go of old assumptions, self-images or dreams. A transition could be precipitated by an external change (job layoff) and is usually a period of self-reflection when a person questions their passions, work-life balance and the rewards they would like to obtain from their work. This phase could result in redefining who you are and what you do for work. It could ultimately result in a “career transition” to an entirely new field and a new role.
Transitions are a “process” and entail three specific phases: (1) an ending, (2) the neutral zone, and (3) a new beginning. Although the ending and beginning are important phases, the pivotal phase is the neutral zone, which most people try to rush through or ignore. In order to build anew, you need to dismantle and provide space within yourself for the creative act of reinvention. This can be a terrifying stage; most individuals have already gone through the ending zone, but clearly still have no idea where they are heading. They are confused, lack direction and are gripped by fear.
To learn more about the fascinating journey of reinvention and transitions, check out William Bridges’ book.
Randi Bussin, a Career Reinvention strategist, guides executives and business owners towards a renewed sense of direction, an actionable career reinvention and personal branding plan.