Thursday, October 30, 2008


Transition – from a stage point of view, it is the movement from one stage to another, may be smooth

Crisis – more negative term, a situation in which a person has to develop new methods of dealing with a problem that has arisen rather suddenly and may be disorienting


Schlossberg’s 4 types of transitions:
_ Anticipated -happens in the lifespan of most people
e.g. graduation, marriage, starting a job, retirement
_ Unanticipated - unexpected events, such as death of a family member, being fired or transferred
_ “Chronic hassles” - situations such as a long commute to work, an unreasonable supervisor
_ Nonevents (events that don’t happen) - an event that someone wishes to happen, but never occurs e.g. a promotion that never happens; for women: not being able to leave or enter the workforce easily

Hopson and Adams class of transitions:
voluntary - e.g. quitting one job to do another
involuntary - e.g. being fired or laid off

Career events are classified into three areas (Schlossberg):

1. Normative role transitions
Anticipated and voluntary (e.g. starting your first full-time job)
Occurs in Super’s exploration stage
Become crises when not anticipated

Louis’s 5 categories of normative transitions that people experience in work roles similar to Marvis and Hall’s “boundaryless” careers:
• Entering or reentering a labor pool
• Taking on a different role in an organization
• Moving from one organization to another
• Changing professions
• Leaving the labor pool

Career Transitions Inventory – to assess how well people believe they have made career transitions; 5 subscales:
• Readiness – how motivated you are to make a career transition
• Confidence – one’s sense of self-efficacy in being able to make a successful transition
• Control – degree to which people feel they can make their own decisions
• Perceived Support – how much support people feel they get from their friends and family
• Decision Independence – the extent to which people make decisions based primarily on their own needs or whether or not they are considering the needs and desires of others

2. Nonnormative career events

Far more likely to become crises than normative transitions
Most common – loss of a job (being fired or laid off), can be devastating unless
the work role is not a salient one
Other examples – promotion, transfer, or demotion to another job

3. Persistent occupational problems
career problems that persist for a long period of time, causing a cumulative effect that can lead to a transition crisis
examples – unpleasant work environment, pressures on the job, relations with colleagues and superiors

Reaction to crises takes place over a period of time

Two basic phases of transitions.
_ Dealing with and decreasing stress
_ Attending towards details of the crisis so that one can return to normal life

Individuals respond to job loss with depression, anxiety and reduced self-esteem

Positive change and growth can occur with involuntary work changes.

Outplacement counselors can help with these severe reactions (e.g. shock and negative emotional impact)
_ Help people access their current situations, abilities, values, and interests
_ Help clients set career goals and develop strategies for job search
_ Teach resume writing, interviewing, and locating job or educational opportunities.


Example: initial shock when you find out you’ve been fired
Overwhelmed, unable to make plans, possibly unable to verbally respond
Few moments to few monthshow long it lasts depends on situation and psychological makeup of person

Desire to make the change appear smaller than it is
Often, person will deny that change is even taking place or will tell herself that event doesn’t matter

Doubting oneself and one’s ability to provide for oneself and for one’s dependents
Common reactions are anxiety due to not knowing what will happen, fear of the future, sadness, and anger

Letting Go
Individual lets go of angry, tense, frustrated, or other feelings
Accepts what is really happening to her
Detaches herself from original situation and starts to look at future

Testing Out
May develop a burst of energy, a sense of “now I can do it”
Sometimes people will describe the way things should be, may have advice for others in the same situation
May have ideas of how they will move forward

Search for Meaning
Seeks to understand how events are different and why
Cognitive process in which people try to understand not only the feelings of others, but also their own

Change in both values and lifestyle
May have developed new coping skills and has grown emotionally, spiritually, or cognitively as a result of going through difficult crisis


Counselor’s experience with her own crises and transitions
Problems when the counselor is in crisis

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