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The pattern of career transition Ladd, W. Gary 1992-12-23

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THE PATTERN OF CAREER TRANSITIONbyW. GARY LADDB. A. (Hon.) University of New Brunswick, 1977M. Sc. (Clinical Psych.) Memorial University of Newfoundland,1982A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENTOFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF EDUCATIONinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of Counselling Psychology)We accept this thesis as conformingto t required standardTHE UNWERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAApril 1992,“, T .-.-L-1 lflflfl...r_, —Signature(s) removed to protect privacyIn presenting this thesisin partial fulfilment of therequirements for an advanceddegree at the University ofBritish Columbia, Iagree that the Library shall make itfreely available for referenceand study. I further agree thatpermission for extensivecopying of this thesisfor scholarly purposes maybe granted by the head of mydepartment orby his or her representatives, Itis understood that copying orpublication of this thesis forfinancial gain shall notbe allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department ofo\‘v/The University of BritishColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate v:k\99—DE-6 (2/88)Signature(s) removed to protect privacy11ABSTRACTA muItiple case study approach was used to investigate the pattern ofexperience in a career transition. The participants were five menand five women who had completed a career change. Theparticipants were selected to represent a variety of occupations. Thestudy produced ten rich, detailed narrative accounts of careertransition. Each one is told from the perspective of the individualwho went through the experience. The accounts were based on in-depth descriptions of the experience, and a charting of the transitionusing terms drawn from relevant transition models. Each accountwas reviewed and validated by the case study participant, who wasthe subject of the narrative, and by an independent reviewer.A comparison of the individual accounts revealed a pattern ofexperience that was common to all ten cases of career transition. Itcan be best represented as a three phase process, with each phaseinvolving a distinctive character and each subsequent phase buildingon the preceding one. Furthermore, in eachcase the careertransition reflected a process that was cyclicalrather than linear innature.Several theoretical implications arise from thisstudy. First, itsupports those models that describe career transition asa three stageprocess. The common pattern bears a remarkable resemblancetoU’the rites of passage process described by Van Gennep(1908/1960).Second, the accounts suggest that the meaning of one’s work canchange over the course of one’s life and that a career changebeconsidered a change in a person’s life path. Third, the accountssupport rejecting the notion of career transition havingto be a crisisor traumatic event. From a practical standpoint, the pattern oftransition can serve as a guide for those who are going throughacareer transition and for those who counsel them.ivTABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACTiiTABLE OF CONTENTSivLIST OF TABLESviLIST OF FIGURESviiACKNOWLEDGEMENTS viiiCHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION 1CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW9CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY54CHAPTER W: CASE STUDY ONE: JOAN74CHAPTER V: CASE STUDY TWO: CARLA87CHAPTER VI: CASE STUDY THREE: DANIEL 102CHAPTER VII: CASE STUDY FOUR: JOSEPH 124CHAPTER VIII: CASE STUDY FWE: RACHEL139CHAPTER IX: CASE STUDY SIX: LYNN157CHAPTER X: CASE STUDY SEVEN: JOBY170CHAPTER XI: CASE STUDY EIGHT: JACK187CHAPTER XII: CASE STUDY NINE: ERIK203CHAPTER XIII: CASE STUDY TEN: TRICIA225CHAPTER X1V: COMMON PATTERN ANALYSIS243CHAPTER XV: DISCUSSION261REFERENCES291APPENDIX A: INITIAL LETTER OF CONTACT324APPENDiX B: STUDY PARTICIPANT CONSENT FORM325APPENDIX C: INDEPENDENT REVIEWERINSTRUCTIONS 326VLIST OF TABLESTable 1, Descriptive summary of careertransition case study participants 319Table 2. Q-sort items: Career transitiondescriptive phrases 320Table 3. Example of a “factor x event” matrix:Case study eight 322Table 4. Example of rank-ordered Q-itemdefinition of factors: Case study eight 323viviiLIST OF FIGURESFigure 1. Overview of procedures used in the study 308Figure 2. Case study one: Joan 309Figure 3. Case study two: Carla 310Figure 4. Case study three: Daniel 311Figure 5. Case study four: Joseph 312Figure 6. Case study five: Rachel 313Figure 7. Case study six: Lynn 314Figure 8. Case study seven: Joby 315Figure 9. Case study eight: Jack 316Figure 10. Case study nine: Erik 317Figure 11. Case study ten: Tricia 318viiiACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI would like to thank Mankin, my wife and pal for life, for herencouragement, support, and patience throughout this project (WahEye Knee!). I also want to thank both our families and all ourfriends. They have been amazing. I have had their support from thevery beginning. I feel privileged to be a member of such a fine familyand community of friends.I would like to thank Dr. Larry Cochran, my researchsupervisor, and the other members of my supervisory committee,Dr. Walter Boldt and Dr. William “Bill” Borgen, for theirencouragement and guidance throughout this project. I would alsolike to acknowledge the editorial contribution Mr. Chris Petty made tothis project when it was at the proposal stage.I would like to thank the study participants (“Carla”, “Daniel”,“Erik”, “Jack”, “Joan”, “Joby”, “Joseph”, “Lynn”, “Rachel”, “Tricia”you know who you are) for opening up their lives to me. If it can besaid that the findings of this study contribute in any significant wayto our understanding of career transition, it is largely due to thewillingness of these people to allow their stories to be told.Thank You!W. Gary LaddApril 19921CHAPTER IINTRODUCTIONPurpose of the StudyThis study investigated the patternof experience in a careertransition. The study was intended to guide future counsellingpractice and help in the development of an empirically basedcareertransition theory. To this end, the studyproduced ten rich, detailednarrative accounts of career transition. Eachone is told from theperspective of the individual who went throughthe experience. Acommon pattern of experience of theoreticaland practicalsignificance was extracted from the narrativeaccounts.Research ProblemThe chief task of the career-change counselloris to help theperson through the transition(Brammer & Abrego, 1986). As tools inthis process, counsellors use models of transitionto provide aframework for understanding the client’s experience, andas asource of guidance for facilitating a successful career change(Abrego & Brammer, 1986; Brammer & Abrego,1981; Schlossberg,1986).Transition models describe whata person experiences whengoing through a major life change. Whilepractitioners andresearchers acknowledge that transitionmodels are applicable tocareer change (e. g., Collin, 1985, Perosa& Perosa, 1983, 1987),2several different models are usedto describe the career transitionexperience. It is not clear which one is the bestor most useful modelbecause very little research has investigatedhow well they describethe experience. Counselling theory and practice,therefore, remainsunguided by an empirically based model ofcareer transition.BackgroundIt is widely accepted that career changeis a transition.Psychologists from different specialties, suchas career (e. g., Abrego& Brammer, 1986; Collin, 1985; Hopson, 1982;O’Neil & Fishman,1986; Perosa & Perosa, 1983, 1987;Schlossberg, 1986) andorganizational development(e. g., Brett, 1984; Hall, 1986; Latack,1984; Latack & Dozier, 1986; Louis, 1980a, 1982;Nicholson & West,1989) concur on this point. In general terms, a transition is aboundary zone that a person crosseswhen going from one state ofrelative stability to another(Levinson, Darrow, Klein, Levinson, &McKee, 1978; Trice & Morand, 1989; Turner,1967). To experience atransition is to go through a process of changingor passing from oneform, status, role, or activity to another (George1982). Transitionsare a normal, inevitable part of adult lifethat almost everyoneencounters (Schlossberg, 1981; Sokol& Louis, 1984), As well ascareer change, there are several othermajor transitions peoplecommonly experience during their life.These include grief(Parkes,1971), retirement (George, 1980; Kosloski,Ginsburg, & Backman,1984), and immigration (Rosch & Irle, 1984;Stonequist, 1961).3There are several major models of transition which mayberelevant to the process of career change,They have been derivedfrom a combination of observations,reflections, and, in some cases,formal investigations of transition experiences.Each modeldescribes a sometimes slightly, sometimes dramatically differentprocess.In some models, the main purpose of a transitionis to reestablish a sense of stability(Troll, 1981). These models are based onconcepts drawn from the coping mechanismsand stress adaptationliterature (Sloan, 1986). Accordingto these models, there is thepotential for a person to develop, to finda new purpose in life througha transition (Brammer & Abrego,1981). However, this is notconsidered the main purpose of the process.After the transition hasbeen completed, life may be no better oreven worse than before.There are several variants within this perspective. Parkes(1971) considered transition to be a recovery from bereavement andgrief. Hopson and Adams(1976) described it as a similar process ofreacting to and recovering from a disruption in thecourse of one’slife. Schlossberg(1981, 1984) regarded transition primarily as aprocess of appraisal and assimilation. Sheemphasized that the type,context and impact of a transitioninfluences how a person respondsto and copes with it.Other models consider the purpose ofa transition is to create afundamental change in how a personlives. From this perspective,4transition is the process a person mustgo through in order to find abetter way of life. There are also significant differenceswithin thisposition. For instance, Van Gennep (1908/1960) considered transitionto be a process of status passage, of moving from one modeofexistence to another. He identified three phases for “ritesofpassage”, a pattern of experience he believed was characteristic of alltransitions. Eliade(1958) focused on transition as a process ofspiritual transformation. Its purpose is to realizea more fulfillingexistence achieved through a process of spiritualdeath and rebirth.Bridges (1980) represents a contemporary adult developmentview ofthe transition process. He regards it as a means of achievingpersonal growth. He has combined Van Gennep’s descriptionof thepattern of experience with Eliade’s view of the spiritual significanceof the process.Two other models are relevant to the process of careertransition. One is Janis and Mann’s(1977) conflict model of decisionmaking. It treats career transition as anemotionally chargeddecision making process. It is the most respectedmodel of decisionmaking in the literature(Mitchell & Krumboltz, 1984, Orford, 1986;Sloan, 1986). The other is Nicholson’s cyclicalmodel of worktransitions (Nicholson, 1984; Nicholson,1987). His model focuses onthe process a person goes through when his orher work rolechanges. Role change is a distinctive featureof transitions (Allen &van de Vliert, 1984).5RationaleThere are several important reasons forinvestigating theexperiential pattern of people who havegone through a careertransition. First, several different modelsare used to describe thecareer transition process. But since thetheoretical relevance of thesemodels is unconfirmed, the patternof transition for career change isnot yet known. This study examined thesetransition models in aneffort to discover which were more usefulfor counsellors, and todevelop a more accurate description of thecareer transition process.Second, the high number of people who go througha careertransition makes it important forpsychologists to develop a betterunderstanding of this experience. While itis difficult to determinethe prevalence of career change, itis accepted that it is anincreasingly common phenomenon(Gill, Coppard, & Lowther, 1983;Louis, 1980a; Vondracek, Lerner,& Schulenberg, 1986). A number offactors may account for this. Changing socialattitudes regardingwork, rapid technological development,quickly changing marketconditions, and the globalization of the marketplaceare all likely to befueling this trend (Bridges, 1988).Third, the findings of this study will havedirect practicalapplication. The frequency of careertransition has given rise to thedevelopment of counselling servicesfor career changers as a majorarea of professional activity(Herr & Kramer, 1984). Practitionersuse transition models as a guide in their practicewhen they are6working with career changers(e. g., Greenwood, 1987; Perosa &Perosa, 1987). The concreteinformation provided by subjects’accounts had important implications forthe development ofcounselling strategies and interventionprograms.Research StrategyThe case study approachThe study was designed to intensively studyindividual cases ofcareer transition. This approach was chosen forseveral reasons.Career transition is a complex, naturally occurringlife event overwhich the investigator lacks control. A case studyapproach is able totreat a person’s career transition experiencein a holistic fashion andconsider it within the context of the person’s life,rather than tryingto isolate one or two aspects and study them undercontrolledconditions (Yin, 1984).Secondly, the case study approach enablesan intensive,detailed analysis of an individual’s transition(Nicholson & West,1988, 1989). The study is primarily concernedwith the pattern ofexperience that defines a career transition. Thisapproachilluminated that pattern and allowed it to be comparedto the relevanttransition models.Thirdly, a case study approach has the capacityto employdifferent kinds of evidence (Bromely,1986; Yin, 1984). Theconvergence of different kinds ofevidence concerning an individual’s7career transition experience indicated that the case studies weresound.Finally, multiple replications of individual cases of careertransition established the extent to which the pattern of experienceapplies to different kinds of career change (Wertz, 1985). This wasdone by comparing the pattern of experience for diverse kinds ofcareer change.The individual yerspectiveThe study was designed to investigate career transition fromthe perspective of the individual. It focused on the personal reportsand interpretations of individuals who have changed careers. Thisapproach, seeking the individual’s perspective on the experience,was necessary for two reasons. First, an individual’s experience isnot open to direct observation (Giorgi, 1985; Valle & King, 1978). Onlythe individual who has gone through the career transition canadequately describe the experience. Similarly, individuals’experiences of what appear to be identical events can be dramaticallydifferent. For one person, getting laid off may be a devastatingexperience, while for another, it may be a relief. The individual’sexperience of an event cannot be known without the person’sdescription.Second, the individual’s perspective was needed becausepersonal experience cannot be fully understood without the person’sinterpretation of what happened and its significance (Kvale, 1983).8For example, one individual may feel devastatedby being laid offbecause work has been a source of self-definition. Thejob loss issignificant to the individual because it is regardedas the loss ofpurpose in life. In contrast, another personmay feel relieved whenlaid off. This experience becomes intelligibleonly with theexplanation that prior to being laid off the person had beenfeelingextremely frustrated at work but had felt stuck, reluctantto make thejump to a desired new career. Once the lay off notice wasservedthere was nothing holding the person back.Without the individuals’interpretations, the significance of these events would notbe known,nor could these reactions be understood.Research ProductThis study produced detailed narrativeaccounts of careertransition. Each story was told from the perspective of thepersonwho went through the experience. Previous investigationshavedemonstrated that narratives are an effective and fruitfulmeans ofunderstanding career phenomenon(e. g., Chusid & Cochran, 1989;MacGregor & Cochran 1988; Wiersma,1988). In this study, eachnarrative was based on elaborate descriptionsof the experience, andincluded a charting of the transition using termsthat were oftheoretical interest. These accounts werecompared with each otherin a search for a common patternof experience. The pattern thatemerged was compared to the relevanttransition models forcommonalties, differences, andinsights.9CHAPTER IILITERATURE REVIEWOne of the major functions ofa counselling psychologist is tofacilitate career development,to help individuals guide their lives inways that are more productive, satisfying,and meaningful.Particularly during periods of disruption and change,it is thecounsellor’s task to help a personto make a successful careertransition. Informed practice depends uponan adequateunderstanding of what is involvedin a career transition, what needsto be addressed if the transition is to be fruitful or tolerable.Atpresent, there are several transition modelsthat might guidecounselling practice. However, these modelsoften differ in what isincluded and excluded, what is importantand unimportant. Theaim of this chapter is to review career transitionmodels andresearch that are relevant to illuminatingthe nature of thisexperience.Models of TransitionFor Parkes (1971), transition isa process of grieving, of lossand recovery. Grief offers a paradigm casefor understanding otherkinds of transitions suchas job loss and career change. At thebeginning is a loss that isso significant that it alters the nature of aperson’s life structure and requiresbroad and fundamental changesin the way the person construes oneselfand the world. At the end, a10person has recovered a view of oneself and the world. Transition isaprocess of coming to accept a loss and going on to restorea liveableworld.The central terms for understanding transition are life spaceand assumptive world. Drawing from Lewin(1935), Parkes (1971)defines life space as “that part of the world which impingesupon theself.... (It) consists of those parts of the environment withwhich theself interacts and in relation to which behavior is organized; otherpersons, material possessions, the familiar world of home and placeof work, and the individual’s body and mind in so faras he (or she)can view these separate from his(or her) self’(p.103). Even thoughone’s life space is constantly changing, only some of these changeswill affect one’s assumptive world. “The assumptive world is theonly world we know and it includes everything we know or think weknow. It includes our interpretation of the past and our expectationsof the future, our plans and our prejudices. Anyor all of these mayneed to change as a result of changes in thelife space”(p.103). Atransition is initiated when a person loses something(a role, astatus, a relationship) that was salient in one’s lifespace and pivotalin sustaining one’s assumptive world.Transition involves a characteristic pattern of experience.Initially, a person is numbed by the lossand alternates betweendenying the loss and being angeredby it. Next, one often experiencesa sense of personal mutilation, accompaniedby a pining for and11frustrated attempts to recover that whichwas lost. One is disorientedand becomes depressed and apathetic. Finally,one gives up hope forthe recovery of loss. While fearful of one’s abilityto successfully livelife in a way other than how it had been beforethe loss, eventually,one becomes reorganized. One begins to make new plansand todevelop new assumptions about the world and oneself.Parkes’ model of transition emphasizes the progressivedisorganization of life following a loss andthe gradualreorganization of life as one recovers from the loss. While the personbecomes re-oriented, there is no sense of renewal or development.The world view which a person recovers is different from,but notnecessarily better than, that which was lost. In becoming reoriented, one does not necessarily develop, become a better person,live in a more fulfilling way, or attain a higher plane ofexistence.Hopson and Adams (1976) consider transition to be a process ofresponding to a disruption in the course of one’s life. Like Parkes’,Hopson and Adams hold that a transition is a disruption ofaperson’s world which is of such significance to the individualthat itchanges the way one lives one’s life. However, they describetransition in terms of a general model ratherthan usingbereavement as the exemplar of the transition process.The model they describe has a predictable seven phase cycleofreactions and feelings which is triggered by thisuprooting of one’sway of life. Initially, a person experiences a sense of being12overwhelmed or immobilized. This is particularly strong if thetransition is a novel one for the person or if he or she has negativeexpectations. Such feelings are much less intense or not experiencedat all if the person holds positive expectations about the transition.This is followed by the person minimizing, trivializing, or evendenying the disruption as a means of trying to cope with feelingoverwhelmed. As the impact of the change on one’s life become’smore apparent the person becomes depressed, angry, or filled withself-doubt. Also, there is often the frustration of not knowing how tomeet the challenges of one’s new way of living. As one begins toaccept one’s new situation as reality, one starts to let go of one’sattachment to the past. This enables the person to begin testingoneself vis-a-vis the new situation by trying things out. At this pointthe individual is often very energetic yet emotionally labile.Following this phase the person becomes concerned with makingsense of the change and seeks to understand the meaning of thechange in one’s life. Finally, this conceptualizing enables the personto internalize the discovered meaning of the change and incorporateit into one’s life.These phases are considered to represent an overall pattern ofthe transition experience. Any given individual might experiencevariations according to the uniqueness of their circumstances.Individuals would rarely, if ever, move smoothly through each of thephases. Still, regardless of the nature of the transition or the type ofonset (gradual or rapid, expected or unexpected) a predictable cycle ofreactions and feelings involving these seven phases would betriggered. Individual differences are regarded as superficialvariations of the fundamental transition process (Hopson, 1982).Schlossberg (1981, 1984) considered transition primarily as aprocess of appraisal and assimilation. It involves a pattern ofmovement where a person shifts from total preoccupation with thetransition to integration of the transition into one’s life. Whileagreeing with Hopson and Adams that a transition involves aprocess of continuing and changing reactions over time, thesereactions are linked to the individual’s continuous and changingappraisal of oneself in one’s situation. Since how an individualappraises oneself within the transition is linked to how he or she willrespond, Schlossberg asserts that it is necessary to assess thetransition process from the individual’s point of view. Like Parkesand Hopson and Adams, she considers a transition to be a change inassumptions about oneself and the world. In taking thisphenomenological position, she argues that “a transition is not somuch a matter of change as of the individual’s own perception of thechange” (1984,p.44). Consistent with this position is her stipulationthat “a transition is a transition only if it is so defined by the personexperiencing it” (1984,p.44).The transition process has a characteristic pattern ofexperience that involves three phases. Initially, a person is pervaded14by the transition, becoming completely preoccupied by it.This isfrequently accompanied by feelings of shockand disbelief, In themiddle period the person feels one is between worlds.The previousstructure of one’s life has been upset and anew one is just beginningto emerge. During this period it is common for the personto feelconfused and ambivalent about what is happening. Aperson can feelexcited about the future while feeling sad or angry aboutwhat hashappened. In the final period a person establishes a newlifestructure which incorporates the transition. Typically,a person willfeel positive about his or her new situationas well as a new sense ofinvestment and commitment. However, likeParkes and Hopson andAdams, Schlossberg argued that a transition may be for betteror forworse, therefore, the person’s resolution of the transition mayalsoproduce a negative outcome.Schlossberg argued that the type, context, and impact ofatransition will influence a person’s responseto it. For instance, thechange could be expected or unanticipated.It could be triggered by aparticular event, by something that was expectedto happen but neveroccurred, or by a “chronic hassle”. The changein assumptions canrequire an accompanying change in relationships, routines,androles. Furthermore, these changes canoccur within self, work,family, health, and economic domains (Schlossberg,1981, 1984).Likewise other characteristics of the transitionitself (duration,timing, source), one’s environment(social support, options available)15and oneself (personal characteristics,psychological resources,coping responses) will influence the experience.For Van Gennep(1908/1960), transition is a process of statuspassage, of moving from one mode ofexistence to another.Transitions are considered to be a central feature of our veryexistence. According to Van Gennep’s research, each time a majorlife event is encountered that requiresone to go through a transitionthe same pattern of experience is evident. In ceremoniesthis patternis referred to as the rite of passage. This recurringpattern involvesthree phases: separation, transition, and incorporation.The order ofoccurrence of these phases serves a special purpose, enablingselfrenewal or regeneration of the individual.Rites of passage exhibit a distinctive patternof experience.During the separation phase, what Van Gennepreferred to as“preliminal rites” involve activities that focus ontwo relatedpurposes. Initially, the individual experiencesactivities that areintended to prepare one for leaving one’s old life.This involveswithdrawal from everyday activities, spendingtime reflecting onone’s past life, and recognizing some of thesacrifices that would beinvolved in giving up one’s old life. Thesecond aspect of this phase isthe recognition that a change has alreadyoccurred. It is analogousto experiencing the death of one’s way oflife. This involvesacknowledging that one’s old life is over andeven though one mightwish to return to it, it is notpossible. A new way of living is needed.16In the transitional or “liminal”phase the individual is seen tobe existing outside of ordinary life. Duringthis period one does notbelong to either one’s old world or a newone, During the transitionalphase the experiences of individualsreflect two dominant themes.The individual is in limbo, no longer livingone’s old life yet notknowing what lies ahead in the future.A person will struggle andwaver, experiencing both bewildermentand excitement about one’spresent situation. There is often a longingfor the past and a desirefor a new life. One will experience alternatingperiods of confusionand glimpses of a vision about one’s future.Preparing for one’s newlife is the second feature of this phase.This involves acknowledgingthat one is a novice. Time is spent learningabout the new life one isembarking on. There is a sense of beingon probation and feelingvulnerable and apprehensive about the future.One feels that one isinvolved in a kind of pilgrimage or searchfor a new way of livingone’s life.The purpose of the final incorporation or “postliminal”phase isto integrate the individual intoa better way of life. The individualexperiences a breakthrough in his or herstruggle to change. It isanalogous to experiencing the birth ofa better way of life. There is afeeling that one has gained valuable insightor wisdom and hasreally changed. One no longerwishes for the return of or regrets theloss of one’s old life. One hasa sense of direction and purpose aboutone’s new life and looks forward to thefuture with confidence.17Accompanying these experiences are othersthat make the personfeel accepted. One experiencesa sense of belonging and a new senseof stability in one’s life.While the same basic pattern is evident for all majorlifetransitions, each of the phases are not developedto the same extent inall cases. In specific instances the three phasesare not alwaysequally important or equally elaborated.Similarly, sometimes aparticular phase, often the transitional period,has a duration andcomplexity so great that it seems to constitutea whole cycle in itself.Eliade(1958) considers transition to be a process of spiritualtransformation, of realization of a more fulfilled significantexistence. Spiritual death and rebirth arethe means by which thisoccurs. These two features represent the “structural commondenominator” or pattern of the transition process. Like VanGennep,Eliade also believes that transitions are basicto human existence.Through the experience of initiatory death and resurrectionthe individual experiences a revelation in whichone transcends orchanges one’s view of one’s own existence. Thisleads to afundamental change in how one lives one’s life.Prior to thisrevelation the individual feels like his or herlife is “off course” or hasa sense that it has been a failure. One’s lifebecomes one of conflictand struggle, falling into a state of chaos. Duringthe rebirth theindividual is instructed in how to live a newlife and is oftenchallenged to do so through a series of tests.One has the sense that18powerful forces are at work or that one is being guided by somehigher power. The individual is described as becoming completelypreoccupied or obsessed with what is presently happening. Thechange affects or touches virtually every aspect of one’s life.Following the transition, the individual is considered to be living, notjust a different life but, a more genuine and fully realized one.For Bridges (1980), transition represents the means by whichan individual realizes personal growth or development. He drewfrom Van Gennep for his description of the pattern of experience andfrom Eliade for his view of the spiritual significance of transition.For Bridges as well as Van Gennep and Eliade, transitions arebasicto human existence. In contrast to Parkes, Hopson and Adams, andSchlossberg, Bridges considers transitions to be fundamentallypositive rather than something that can have either a good or badoutcome. He shares Eliade’s belief that the purpose of the transitionprocess is not only self-renewal but the realization of a more fulfilled,significant life. However, he recognized thatsome people avoid orretreat from the process and attempt to perpetuate their old life insome form.Like Van Gennep, Bridges described an individual’smovement through a transition as a three phaseprocess. Initiallyan individual goes through what Bridgesrefers to as an ending andonce again the death analogy is used. Inthis phase an individualtypically experiences a disengagementfrom activities, relationships,19settings, or roles that have been important to him or her. Onelosesone’s way of defining oneself, and is disenchanted with life. Heorshe feels disoriented, vulnerable, and stuck.The middle or neutral zone is described as a time of chaoswhere there is a moratorium declared on the activities of on&severyday existence. Time is spent thinking about one’s life. Theperson feels a pervading sense of emptiness and meaninglessnesswhich he or she struggles to escape. One wishesfor a return to one’sold life. One often tries to deny these feelings or is overwhelmedbythem. Eventually, the person surrenders to the emptiness andchaos, letting go of the person he or she usedto be, and stopsstruggling. The final phase is a period of renewal or what Bridgescalls the new beginning. One feels like one has crossed a thresholdand there is no returning to one’s old life. A person often gets asubtle or sometimes clear signal about one’s future in the form of anidea, image, or opportunity that he or she feelattracted to. As aperson plans for and takes action he or she experiences innerresistance to the change. This often produces doubt, confusion oreven depression. Following through with the change, one graduallyidentifies with one’s new life and become engaged init. Thetranslation of the individual’s insight into actionmay take the formof new commitments at home and at work or itmay take the personinto new relationships or projects. “Buteither way, the oldconnections that were broken with the earlier disengagementarenow replaced” (Bridges, 1980,p.149).Like Parkes, Hopson and Adams, and Schlossberg, Bridgesholds that while every individual experiences transitions periodicallyin one’s life, he rejects the notion of there beingstages of adulthood orparticular ages when a person goes through particular transitions.Secondly, while he takes the position that personal development isachieved through transitions, Bridges recognizes that not everyonefacing a personal change will complete the transition process. Somepeople will get stuck in the ending or middle phase. Others will haveexperienced an ending and begun in a new situation, however, theywill have truncated the middle period, and not experienced the innerreorientation required for a new beginning. The three phases thatmake up the transition process need to be completed in order for anindividual to experience growth through transition.Career Transition: Other Relevant ModelsFor Janis and Mann (1977), career transition is a decisionmaking and a conflict resolution process. It isa process of problemsolving in which the person often experiencesconsiderable turmoil.A person wants to both decide what is best andsilence the agony offacing this decision. How a person deals withthe decision facinghim or her is determined by one’s appraisalof oneself in thesituation. Recognizing that people often experience conflictwhen21faced with a major decision means that this isnot a purely rationalprocess but one that is influenced by one’s emotions.When a person needs to make a decisionhe or she goesthrough a sequential appraisal process. Howone resolves thedilemma is determined by one’s response to four key questionsaboutone’s perception of the situation. For instance,if in response to theinitial question: “Are the risks serious if I don’t change?”anindividual considering a career change answers “no”, theindividualwill stay in his or her present career withoutexperiencing anyconflict. If the answer is “yes” then the nextquestion is posed: “Arethe risks serious if I do change?” If the answeris “no” then theindividual will switch careers without experiencing any conflict. Ifthe answer is “yes” then the next question isposed: “Is it realistic tohope for a better solution?” If the answeris “no” then the individualwill give up considering a new career by defensively avoidinganyfuture references or reminders, procrastinating or shiftingtheresponsibility to someone else. If the answer is“yes” then the nextquestion is posed: “Is there sufficient time to search and deliberate?”If the answer is “no” then the individualbecomes hypervigilant andpanics. If the answer is “yes” thenthe individual goes ahead andbegins a vigilant search for a new career.Vigilant decision making involves gatheringinformationabout alternatives, weighing the alternativesand deliberating aboutone’s commitment. The person will typicallyvacillate over what to doand worry about regretting the decision later. When one feels likeone has come to a decision one makes preparationsto implement itand announce it. At this point the person believesmore stronglythan ever that his or her decision was the correctone. In spite of theconsiderable effort, after the person.has acted on the decision oneoften finds another unexpected opportunity comesup or one’sexpectations are not met. This shakes one’sconfidence, one feelsdisappointed, and wonders if the right decisionwas made. If theperson’s decision making was vigilant then he or she will likely stickwith the decision. In contrast, if a personexperiences anunconflicted change, defensive avoidance, or hypervigilant decisionmaking then the decision is highly vulnerable. If challenged it islikely the person will begin the decision making process all overagain.Perosa and Perosa (1987) have presented a conceptualframework for counselling career changers whichutilizes Janis andMann’s (1977) model of decision making and theHopson and Adams’(1976) model of personal transitions. For them, a career transitioninvolves experiencing loss and integration as wellas choosingoptions and consequences. Hopson andAdams’ seven phasesrepresent the emotional factors and Janis and Mann’s appraisalprocess represent the cognitive factors involvedin career transition.Nicholson has developeda cyclical model of work roletransitions (Nicholson, 1984, 1987; Nicholson& West, 1988). The23transition cycle he describes involves four phases: preparation,encounter, adjustment, stabilization. In describing transition ascyclical Nicholson is positing that the process is recursive. From thisperspective, a person is always at some point in the processand thefinal stage of a current transition can also be the first stage ofafuture transition. Secondly, Nicholson considers the phasesto beinterdependent, in that, what happens at one stage will have apowerful influence on what happens in the next one. Finally, heposits that different psychological processes(i. e., experiences, tasks,problems) dominate each phase.Expectations and motives dominate the preparation phase. Anindividual’s experience at this stage will be influenced by the feelingsand motives one has about future change in one’s life, how clear ordetailed one’s expectations are, how well equipped one feels in theface of known and unknown future change, and how muchforeknowledge one has of a transition.Emotions and perceptions reign in the encounter phase. Theamount of shock and surprise an individual experiences atthis stagewill depend on how prepared he or she wasto encounter the change.He cites Hopson and Adams’ model as a possible descriptionof theemotional component of the process involved inthis phase. Headopted Louis’ (1980b) description of the “sense-making” processonegoes through when one finds oneself in a new situation tobe aplausible account of the cognitive component.According to the24process Louis described, a newcomer inevitably experiencessurprise, that is, he or she encounters eventsthat are discrepantfrom those which he or she anticipated.This triggers a need forexplanation and a corresponding cognitivesense-making processwhich enables meaning to be attributedto the surprise.Assimilation and accommodation govern the adjustmentphase. This can involve the individualexperiencing personalchanges and changes in the work role the individual is moving into.Nicholson (1984) described four distinctivemodes of adjustment:replication, absorption, determination, andexploration. In thereplication mode there is little individualchange or molding of one’snew role. In the absorption mode there is significantpersonalchange but not much shaping of the new role. Inthe determinationmode the new role undergoes extensive modificationand theindividual experiences only minorpersonal changes. In theexploration mode both the new role and the individualundergoextensive change.Relating and performing are preeminent in thestabilizationphase. During this phase changes are consolidatedand theindividual’s activities settle into a routine.Nicholson postulated thatsome people never experience thisstage. Rather, they move directlyinto preparation for the next transition.25Career Transition: Relevant ResearchOsherson (1980) used a casestudy approach to explore men’smidilife career change experiences. Twentywhite males who had allmade a voluntary, dramatic career changetook part in a series of fiveinterviews that were designed toelicit their experiences. He found anatural order and consistency emerged fromthe participants’descriptions of their career change. He characterized thepattern asa loss and grieving process.There is an initial period of disruption of one’sself-definitionwhich is characterized as a time of crisis andloss. A process ofreorganization of self follows. This isa period of turmoil and change.Finally, a reconstituted self emerges whereone’s roles andreorganized life situation are stable. Osherson’sdata indicated thatthe resolution of one’s loss took one of twocourses. An individual’sresolution was either “sculpted” or “foreclosed”.A foreclosed resolution represents anattempt to rigidly hold onto or let go of threatened self-perceptions.The career change is oftendescribed as an accident. There is no evidenceof the change beinggiven careful consideration and the individualcloses off anyquestioning of motive or reasons.An individual following this coursedenies that they have experienceda loss. Osherson observed thatconflict is avoided and suppressed. Thisoccurs for:“...both the conflict arousedby the discrepant experiences andthat of the underlying ambivalentlyheld aspects of self. Aspart of this defensive process we find that thecareer change isaccompanied for such individualsby either a sharp- devaluation of the initial career and/orflorid overidealizationof the second career” (p.154-5).In a sctilpted resolution ofthe grieving process there is anopenness to information about oneself.The conflict and ambivalentfeelings being experiencedare recognized. The loss is acknowledgedand confronted instead of being avoided. Previouslydevalued aspectsof oneself are acknowledged. Previously discrepantexperiences areexternalized through the career change. Suchindividualsexperience a “letting go” of certain roles or imagesof oneself yet areable to hold on to other valued aspects of oneselfCareer changedecisions are given more careful considerationand there is a sense ofinvolvement in and personal responsibilityfor one’s career change.Osherson observed that participants whosereports reflected sculptedresolutions were more satisfied with andinvested in their secondcareers.Osherson’s study is extremely valuable forits rich, detaileddescription of the process thesemen went through. He enhanced thecredibility of this descriptionby having the career changers whoparticipated in the study reviewand comment on how well theresults captured the tone and substance oftheir experiences.Osherson’s detailed descriptionof his data analysis procedures and27interview methodology further enhanced the reliabilityortrustworthiness of the results,The chief limitation of Osherson’s study is a result of thehomogeneous type of career change that was sampled.He restrictedhis study to men who had resigned fromhigh status professionalcareers (e. g., engineer, business executive,lawyer) and establishedthemselves in second careers as artists.It is not clear to what extentthe process he described is applicable to womenor to other kinds ofcareer change.Lawrence (1980) challenged the notion thata career changewas the result of a midlife crisis. She interviewed tenmen andwomen about their career transition experiences. Shefound thatonly three people experienced a crisisprior to their career change.Instead, she discovered that career changecould best be understoodwhen it was viewed as an expression of an individual’s“personaltheme”. A “personal theme” refers topsychological characteristicsthat are reflected in a person’s decision-making pattern.Suchthemes become evident over time, expressing themselvesthroughoutone’s life, and pervade one’s work and personaldomains.Furthermore, she found that people consistentlydescribed theircareer change as a three-phase process whichevolved over time.Initially, there was a period of reassessmentof one’s life and career,a transition period during which one preparedfor and pursued thenew career, and, finally, a periodof socialization into the new career.28These periods were distinct from one anotherfor the crises cases.However, there was often considerableoverlap with the noncrisis orplanned career change cases. Thisbasic pattern was evident in all ofthe cases she reviewed.Unfortunately Lawrence did not provide enough ofadescription of her research method to establish thatshe hadsufficient evidence in support of these conclusions. Similarly,itappears there was no check done to ensure that theaccounts theconclusions are based on accurately reflected theindividuals’experiences. These limitations severely hamperthe extent theidentified transition pattern can be deemed credible,Perosa and Perosa (1983) investigated the applicabilityto careertransition of Hopson and Adams’ transition model and Janis andMann’s conflict model of decision making. Subjectswere 134 menand women who had either already changed careers, were in themidst of changing careers, or were persisting in theirpresent careeralthough they claimed they wanted to change. The“changing” and“changed” subjects had left their previous careervoluntarily. Datawas gathered using a structured interview questionnaireformatwhere each person was asked questionsdesigned to answer whetherthey had experienced the characteristic featuresof the Hopson andAdams and Janis and Mann models.The authors reported that, even within categories,not everyonehad the same experiences. Some peopleskipped stages and others29experienced an overlap of stages. Looking at theexperiences of thosewho had completed their career change,nobody reported they had feltshocked or immobilized. Ninety-six percentadmitted they hadexperienced minimisation and denial whileeighty-five percent hadfelt depressed and a sense of self-doubt ormeaninglessness.Everyone said they went through periods wherethey experiencedthemselves “letting go” of the past or their oldjob, testing theiroptions, and embarked on some kindof search for meaning. Ninety-six percent or all but one of the “changedcareer” sample describedthemselves as having internalized the change andexperienced asense of renewal. Turning to the fourquestions of the Janis andMann model, for the “changed career”subjects seventy percentreported they had asked themselves if the risk wasserious if theydidn’t change, thirty-two percent reported they hadasked themselvesif the risk was serious if they did change, sixty-threepercent askedthemselves if it was realistic for them to hope to finda better career,and ninety-eight percent said they askedthemselves if they hadenough time to search for a better career.The study’s design prevented investigationof several aspectswhich are relevant to the question of whether eitheror both of thesemodels are valid when applied to career transition.While theyidentified the frequency in which elements fromthe Hopson-Adams’transition model and Janis and Mann’s conflicttheory wereexperienced by career changers, they did not elicitthe pattern of30occurrence of these elements. Similarly, they did not addresswhether the basic tenets of each model were applicable to the careerchanger’s transition process. Finally, it did not address how orwhether the two models are related to each other.A study by Collin (1984, 1985, 1986) focussed on the significantsubjective experiences of career changers. She conducted relativelyunstructured biographical or life historical interviews with thirty-two men who were in the midst of an occupational change, She left itto each individual to decide if they viewed their occupational changeto be a career change. While cautioning that her study wasexploratory and did not set out to nor was capable of validating anyparticular theory of career change, the men’s reports of theirexperiences lead her to conclude that career changers appear to gothrough a psychosocial transitional process much like the grief cycledescribed by Parkes and subsequently expanded on by Hopson andAdams.Collin described career change as a “broken truce” where achange in circumstances upsets or shatters one’s definition of orsense of self and one’s assumptive world. The men’s reportssuggested that, regardless of whether the career change wasvoluntary or involuntary, expected or unexpected, the individuals feltcut off from their past. They experienced a sense of loss in theirconcept of themselves. The men reported feelingextreme discomfortabout their situation. Their world seemed to be ina state of disarray.31They found themselves havingto make significant decisions abouttheir lives in the midst of thisstate of confusion and dislocation.There was a strong desire toescape these feelings and jump atwhatever opportunity presented itself. Theywere uncertain andignorant about their future. Old dreamsand aspirations faded orwere destroyed and new ones began to replacethem. Participantsfound themselves to be both extremely energeticand lethargic.Furthermore, the participants reported thatthey turned to others foradvice and as a means of gaining new informationabout themselves.Moving through the transitionprocess, individuals eventuallyredefined their concept of themselves andtheir assumptive worlds.While the study is valuable for its focuson the experience ofcareer transition, its design hampers the extentthe results can bedeemed relevant to other career changers. Thestudy had only asingle contact with each participant andthis occurred in the midst ofthe career change. Given thatthe interviews were held when themen were either just leaving orhad just left their old occupation buthad not yet begun a new one,the study’s results do not represent acomplete picture of career transition.Similarly, there is no way ofknowing whether the study’sparticipants followed through withtheir planned changes or subsequentlyreturned to their originalcareers. While the samplewas relatively heterogeneous in terms ofthe occupations that were beingleft, the sample was restrictedto32men. For this reason it is unclear whetherwomen have the sameexperiences.McQuaid (1986) used the “grounded theory” model developedbyGlaser and Strauss (1967) to develop a descriptionof a pattern ofexperience midlife career changers appearto share. Groundedtheory is a qualitative, exploratory approachwhich is often used togenerate theory when an area of research hasnot been welldeveloped. McQuaid intensively interviewedtwenty men and womenwho had completed a career change and the confidantsof eleven.Using this approach a descriptive theory of midlife careerchangewas generated from the words of the career changersthemselves.The chronological phases which an individual mustgothrough to complete the process include thepredispositional,confrontational, action, and adjustment phases. Each phasehasparticular elements which are experienced bythe career changer.For instance, having certain misgivings and the developmentofcertain attitudes about one’s first career are predispositionalelements. Confrontational elements include beginninga reappraisalof one’s life, recognition thatone’s values have changed, and therealization that a career change is desiredor needed. Elementsinvolved in the action phase include planning,facilitating, andinhibiting the career change. Assimilationand the effects of the newcareer on life satisfaction areelements contained in the adjustmentphase. The theory describes howthese elements correspond33temporally with the old career, the transitionalperiod that was foundto exist between the two careers, and the new career.McQuaid tried to enhance the credibility of the careerchangers’ individual descriptions of theirexperiences by checkingthat the main events the career changers reported intheir interviewswere corroborated by the testimony of theirrespective confidants.Unfortunately, the trustworthiness of the descriptivemodel of careerchange the study produced is open to question. McQuaidfailed todemonstrate that the model accurately portraysthe career transitionexperiences the subjects described in their interviews.One means ofaccomplishing this would have beento have the career changersreview the descriptive model.Another attempt to describe the experience of midlife careerchange was undertaken by Vitalis (1987). She used aphenomenological methodology which included in-depthinterviewswith ten men and women who had voluntarilychanged to successfulsecond careers.The study produced individualdescriptions of career changeand a general description of thekinds of experiences the careerchangers had as they went throughthis process. Six major themeswere shared by all of the participants. Thethemes were: preliminaryconditions for change, an activechanging process, decision makingand risk taking, outside-the-self assistance, commitmentto oneself,and an assessment of the change. Vitalisconcluded that career34change is a process of becoming free of enmeshedfamily values. Shefound that the career change experience was essentiallythe same formen and women. The results were checked byhaving the careerchangers review and comment on the accuracy of the individualdescriptions and the general description of the themes.This study is valuable as an initial exploration ofthe careertransition experience. It is not clear whetherthe same themeswould be evident for other kinds of career change(e. g., people forcedout of their careers or people who were not successful in their secondcareers). Unfortunately the study did not compare the results ofeither the individual cases or the generaldescription to any of thetheoretical models of career transition.Nicholson and West (1988) used a two-phase survey ofjobchange in middle to senior managers as a means of analyzing andunderstanding various aspects of work role transitions. Twenty-three hundred male and female managersresponded to the firstsurvey and 1,100 of these responded againto the follow-up surveyfifteen months later. In regard to Nicholson’scyclical model of thework role transition process, thestudy only provides some limitedretrospective reports on aspects of themanagers’ transitionexperiences. In support of the existenceof the preparation stage,analysis of the survey results indicated thatthe managers who weremost anxious about what to expect in theirnew job were those whowere about to experience the most radicaland demanding job35changes. A related finding was that,on average, women were moreanxious about the pending change thanmen. A finding relevant tothe encounter phase was that almost threequarters of the managerswho reported some kind of job change said they had been surprisedbysome aspect of their new position. This was most extreme inthosecases involving an interorganizational change.The survey indicatedthat the most common adjustment mode isone in which theindividual both reshapes the work role they aretaking on andexperiences significant personal change. Finally,given the high jobmobility the study demonstrated individualsexperience, the authorsquestioned how often individual’s stabilize inany given position.These findings provide a thin empirical base for Nicholson andWest’s cyclical model of the work role transition process. While therelative occupational homogeneity of the sampleenhances thereliability of the study this same feature makes it unclear as to whatextent the study’s findings generalize to work roletransitions inother occupations.A study by O’Connor and Wolfe (1987) exploredthe experiencesof adults between thirty-five and fifty whowere anticipating orundergoing a significant career or life transition.Using thecomments of sixty-four men and women who wererecruited to a twoto three hour initial interview and one of a seriesof three dayworkshops, a set of meaningful themes andcategories wasconstructed. A five phase model of the transitionprocess was36developed as a way of describing the typicaltransition experience ofthe participants.The model has five steps beginning witha person moving intoa transition from a stable life structurewhich includes establishedroles and relationships. The secondphase is a period of risingdiscontent where a critical “inner voice” emerges.The third phase ischaracterized as a time of crisis as the person’sfamiliar world andlifestyle collapses. During this period,deep emotions like anger,depression, alienation, and the likeare evident. In the fourth phasethe person would either retreat to his orher old ways or begin topursue new directions. Re-directorswere required to experimentwith and adapt to new conditions including a newsense of self. Inthe final phase the person becomes committedto a particular lifestructure, re-stabilizing with a particular identityand sense ofpurpose.The steps could be further distinguishedby othercharacteristics like emotional tone, extent ofemotional arousal andscope of change being experienced in one’s life.However, there weresignificant differences amongindividuals on such measures. Forexample, for some people the changewas narrow and well-boundedwhile for others change was extensiveand extended into several lifedomains. A companion report (O’Connor& Wolfe, 1991), based ondata from the same study focused onaccounting for thesedifferences.37O’Connor and Wolfe (1991) found thatsome but not alltransitions resulted in a shift inwhat they refer to as a person’s“paradigm”. Adapting Kuhn’s(1970) concept, an individualparadigm shift “refers to fundamental,underlying changes in aperson’s structure of beliefs, values, feelingsand knowledge”(O’Connor & Wolfe, 1991,p.326). Several features distinguishedtransitions that resulted in a paradigmshift from those that did not.Transitions that resulted in a paradigmshift were typically broaderin scope and included a greater questioningof self, including thebeliefs, assumptions and philosophy one hasbeen living by. Therewas movement towards greater inner-directedness(i. e., greaterconcern with defining a sense of purpose andmeaning in one’s life)and some kind of commitmentto learning and life structuralchanges in the pursuit of personal development.By the end of thetransition, paradigm shifters were typicallyexcited and enthusiasticabout their careers and feeling positiveabout the future.Unfortunately, O’Connor & Wolfe did not provide enoughof adescription of their research method to establishthat they hadsufficient evidence to support their descriptionof the transitionsequence. Their reporting methoddid not provide any indication ofthe extent the experiences usedto develop the themes and steps of themodel were shared by the transitioners.Similarly, a separatethematic and category analysiswas not reported for the subset oftransitions that resulted in a paradigm shift.These deficits limit the38extent to which the model and distinguishing characteristicscan beconsidered credible. Finally, there was no breakdown of thetypes oftransitions that made up the sample. Thismakes it unclear whetherthe sequential model of the transition process and thecharacteristicsof the transitions that resulted in a paradigm shiftcan be consideredan accurate description of career transition.Defining Career ChangeThere have been some surprisingly diversedefinitions ofcareer change offered in the literature. Thishas led someresearchers to avoid using any criteria or simplyto allow the personto decide if an occupational shift was a careerchange (Collin, 1984,McQuaid, 1986). Relying on the individual’s perceptiondoes notidentify the criteria the person used and it neglects definingwhatcriteria should be used. In the career change literaturethere are twobroad criteria that seem evident behindthe various concretespecifications of career change.First, many authors have focused on changes ina person’s lifestructure. For example, Perosa and Perosa(1983, 1984) andGottfredson (1977) used Holland’s(1973, 1974) categorization ofoccupations to define career changeas a switch in one’s field ofactivity. According to Holland’s(1973, 1985) theory of career,switching from bank managerto teacher involves a shift from aconventional job environment toa social one. Thus, a shift in field of39activity reflects a significant change in and concernfor on&s lifespace or structure.For others, career change asa change in one’s life structure isexpressed through their use of the need forfurther training oreducation. Robbins (1978), Robbins, Thomas,Harvey and Kandefer(1978), Thomas (1979), and Armstrong(1981) used this as an objectivemeasure of Heistand’s(1971) concept of career change as adiscontinuity in one’s work life. In these studiesa person wasconsidered to have made a career change whentheir previoustraining for their old occupation was eitherunnecessary orinsufficient for their new one. For example,a university physicsprofessor would find that his training inphysics did not prepare himfor life as a musician; thus his orher need for music trainingindicates an important life structural change.Second, often implicit in some authors’ and explicitin others’definitions of career change isa focus on the modification of aperson’s assumptive world. Attentionto this criterion is evident inthe work of researchers who consider careerchange as a perceivedchange in role or change in orientationto a role already held (Hall,1987; Louis, 1980a; Nicholson,1987).To experience a change in a liferole is to alter the structure of theperson’s life to such an extent thata revision of how one looks at andlives in the world is required.Other definitions clearly intimatethat a career change involves anindividual changing one’sview of oneself and one’s world, For40instance, in Holland’s schema, to go from an enterprisingoccupation to a social one implies more thana change in life space.It implies a change in the individual’s orientationtowards his or herlife. While this is expressed by researchers of Holland’stheory (e. g.,Gottfredson, 1977; Robbins et al.,1978) as changed values, interests,and self-perceptions, it is one’s assumptive world thathas changed.For other researchers, including a change in one’s assumptiveworld in a definition of career change involves limiting theirinvestigation to people for whom work isassumed to be salient intheir life or represents a salient role in theperson’s life.Operationalizing this concept has meant studying onlythoseindividuals who have left upper-stratum occupations(McQuaid,1986; Neopolitan,1980) as defined by a classification systemwhichuses relative prestige and similarity of subculture as its two maincriteria (Turner, 1964). These researchers argue this is done because“the concept of career loses its meaning as onegoes down theoccupational hierarchy” (Krause, 1971,p.235). From thisperspective, changing from an upper-stratumoccupation likeengineering to another like antique dealer involvesa significantchange in the person’s assumptive world whilea labourer switchingfrom welding to pipe fitting willlikely experience very little, if any, ofthis type of individual change.It is inadvisable for this kind of research touse any particulartheory’s single criterion or set of criteria or definitionof career41change because doing so would representa commitment to aparticular theoretical formulation. However,two kinds of questionscan be formed to screen participants.First, has the career changeresulted in a significant change inone’s life structure? Secondly,does the career change represent a significantchange in one’sassumptive world?Intensive Study of Single CasesThe case study is a fundamental methodof scientific inquiry.In general terms, it takes an idiographicapproach in which theintensive study of individual cases producesa detailed descriptionand analysis of a naturally occurring real-world phenomenonorrelated set of events (Bromley,1986). Yin (1984) has defined it as adistinctive method of empirical inquiry that“investigates acontemporary phenomenon within its real-lifecontext; when theboundaries between phenomenon and contextare not clearly evident;and in which multiple sources of evidenceare used” (p. 23).Campbell, whose work on experimentaland quasi-experimentalmethodologies has become a standard referencefor psychologicalresearch (e. g., Cook & Campbell,1979), has endorsed the case studyas a valid methodology for a widerange of nonlaboratory research(Campbell, 1979, 1984). It is the preferredmethod when seeking anexplanation or description of acontemporary phenomenon or set ofevents which the investigator has little or nocontrol (Yin, 1984).42The case study is an approachwhich allows the phenomenonor related events under investigationto be regarded as meaningfuland treated in a holistic fashion(Yin, 1984) It can be used to revealthe structure of a phenomenon, establishan account of the process,and uncover important contextualconsiderations not addressed bymore closely controlled investigations(Bromley, 1986).When a single case investigation is concernedwith explaininghow and why a person acted the wayhe or she did in a particularsituation, it is referred to as a psychologicalcase study (Bromley,1986). It is “essentially a reconstructionand interpretation of a majorepisode in a person’s life” (Bromley,1986, p. 3) which is based on thebest evidence available. While theepisode is usually a relativelyshort, self-contained segment of theperson’s life it is importantbecause it is formative, critical, or culminant. Fromthis perspective,the case study is the intensive analysisof a pivotal life event.A common research strategy in singlecase designs is tospecify the rival hypotheses whichare likely to account for thephenomenon under investigationand then render them implausible.This is achieved through a processof pattern matching in which theresearcher compares the pattern demandedby each of the theoriesbeing investigated to his or herobservations of the phenomenon(Bromley, 1986; Campbell, 1979, 1984;Mishler, 1986; Yin, 1984). Thisfeature makes the case study ideallysuited for theory testing. Itenables the investigation of the adequacyof a complete model or4,3vision rather than having to limita study to one portion or aspect of atheory.Career transition is a significant life event overwhich aresearcher lacks control. Theobjective of the proposed study is todevelop accounts of career transition andsearch for a commonpattern of experience. Given thetype of phenomenon that will beinvestigated and the objective ofthe research, the case study is anappropriate and, in fact, thepreferred methodology for thisparticular study.The plausibility of a case study’sfindings can be threatened bya number of different sources.The most common source of problemsinvolve the study’s constructvalidity and reliability (Mishler, 1986;Yin, 1984). These threats canbe minimized by following threeprinciples of data collection(Yin, 1984). The first principle is to usemultiple sources of evidence as a means ofaddressing questionsabout the construct validity of the study’scase reports. This involvesdeveloping converging lines of inquiry througha process oftriangulation (Reichardt & Cook, 1979;West, 1990). Multiple sourcesof evidence are essentiallymultiple measures of the phenomenonunder investigation. Therefore,a study’s research findings will bemore convincing or credibleif different sources of evidence indicate acommon conclusion (Bromely,1986; Yin, 1984).The second principle involvescreating a case study data base.This means documenting and organizingthe data collected in a44study so that it is in a formal retrievableformat. This makes itpossible for other researchers toaccess and review the evidence uponwhich a study’s findings were based ratherthan having to simplyrely on the case reports. This increasesthe reliability of the study’scase reports and conclusions(Yin, 1984).The third principle involves maintaininga chain of evidenceas a means of increasing the reliabilityof the information in the casestudy. This is accomplished by ensuring thatsomeone reviewing thecase study is able to follow how the findings ofthe study were derived.This requires establishinga clear evidenciary link between theconclusions of the study, the actual data, andthe initial researchquestion. Following this principle also increasesthe constructvalidity of the study by establishing thatthe methodologicalprocedures probed the phenomenon that was theobject of theinvestigation (Yin, 1984).The methodological rigour of the currentstudy wasmaximized by following these principles. Forexample, each accountwas based on the convergence of evidence obtainedfrom threedifferent lines of inquiry:a detailed personal description of the careertransition, a theoretical description producedusing Q-sorts, and anelaboration on the meaning of the transition experiences.Every casereport was validated by havingeach person review a writtensummary of his or herown account. Furthermore, an independent45review of each case study was conductedto check that a chain ofevidence was maintained.The plausibility of a case study’sconclusions can also bethreatened by unanswered questions aboutthe external validity of thestudy (Mishler, 1986; Yin,1984), such as the extent to which theresearch findings are generalizablebeyond the case that was thesubject of the investigation. Statisticalgeneralization, which involvesenumerating the frequency of phenomena,is not the domain of casestudy research. “Case studies, likeexperiments, are generalizable totheoretical propositions and not topopulations or universes” (Yin,1984,p.21). In case study research the extentto which findingsgeneralize beyond the data to a theoryis established throughreplications or multiple-case designs(Barlow, Hayes & Nelson, 1984;Hersen & Barlow, 1976; Yin,1984). The current study conductedmultiple replications as a means of establishingthe domain to whichits account of career transition canbe generalized.QMethodolorvQ methodology is a “set of statistical,philosophy-of-science,and psychological principles” (Stephenson,1953,p.1) developed byWilliam Stephenson for the intensivestudy of the individual. It is aflexible, sophisticated and powerful methodwhich takes an ipsativequantitative approach to the study of phenomena(Kerlinger, 1972). Itprovides “a systematic way to handle aperson’s retrospections, hisreflections about himself and others, hisintrojections and46projections, and much else of an apparent subjective nature”(Stephenson, 1953,p.86). Its most distinctive feature is its ability toconsider an individual’s subjective experience, one’s thoughts,feelings, and beliefs as primary phenomena (Stephenson,1974).The most common form ofQmethodology is the Q-sort.Basically, this is a sophisticated way of rating and ranking stimuli.An individual sorts statements or descriptions representative of anobject, concept, or experience according to some self-referentcriterion. Statistical analysis of an individual’s Q-sorts yields datawhich can indicate intercorrelations of the individual’s experiencesand whether an underlying factor structure exists for thephenomena being studied (Kerlinger, 1972,1973). These factorstructures represent the subjective meanings of the psychologicalevent or phenomenon under investigation (Stephenson,1985).The reliability of the results produced by Q-sorts has beenconfirmed by several studies. It is the test-retest reliability which hasmost often been at issue. Retest correlations between .93 and .97 werereported by Frank (1956). Reliabilities over .95 were found by Kahieand Lee (1974). Kerlinger (1973) reported a correlation of .81 overaneleven month period while Fairweather (1981) reported test-retestreliability coefficients of .90 or higher for one totwo year intervals.Qmethodology has certain characteristics which made it anappropriate quantitative method for the currentinvestigation ofcareer transition.Qmethodology provides a valuable focus on the47measurement and statistical analysis ofthe individual case(Kerlinger, 1972). This allows complexcomparisons of sets ofmeasures within the data of one individual.Consequently, the datathe Q-sort yields can more accurately reflectthe complexity of theindividual. Some of the applications ofQmethodology have beennoted by Kerlinger (1972).Qis well suited for studying complexchanges in people over time. It is an excellentmeans of testingtheories. Finally,Qis particularly useful for uncoveringunanticipated relationships and openingup new areas of research.InterviewThe interview is an important source ofcase study information(Yin, 1984). While it is is one of the most commonly used methods inpsychology, it can take various forms and beused for differentpurposes (Kvale, 1983; Mishler,1986). Following Mishler (1986), thecurrent study treated the interviews as a formof discourse, anextended conversation or discussion about theinterviewee’s careertransition. It provided an opportunity toseek an understanding ofwhat meaning the career transition eventsheld for the individual.Mishler defines the interview as a speechevent. It is theproduct of the reciprocal interaction of theinterviewer andinterviewee, encompassing what they speak abouttogether and howthey talk with each other. Questioning andanswering areconsidered forms of speech. They are structuredby a complex set oflinguistic and social rules of appropriateness andrelevance that48each speaker brings to the discourse. In contrast, the standardbehavioural approach views the interview as a series ofdecontextualized questions and answers analogous to the elicitationof a response to a stimulus.Defining the interview as a speech event requires theimplications of three related issues be addressed. First, thediscourse of the interview is constructed jointly by interviewer andrespondent. The interviewer and respondent, “through repeatedreformulations of questions and responses, strive to arrive together atmeanings that both can understand. The relevance andappropriateness of questions and responses emerges through thediscourse itself’ (Mishler, 1986,p.65). This implies thatinterpretation of meaning will require an analysis of the interviewprocess.Secondly, interview analysis and interpretation are based on atheory of discourse and meaning. “Interpretation of the organizationand patterning of speech depends on a theoretical framework thatentails specifying the presuppositions and rules that people use inspeaking to each other” (Mishler, 1986,p.66). Since implicitassumptions about discourse and meaning enter into the analysisand interpretation of the interview, the task is to make explicit thetheoretical basis of the interpretation. The currentstudy usednarrative analysis as its theoretical framework for understandinginterviewee responses. This involved considering interviewees’49responses as a type of narrative or coherent story abouttheir careertransitions (Bruner, 1986; Cochran, 1986;Mishler, 1986;Polkinghorne,1988).Finally, the meanings of the questions and answersof theinterview are contextually grounded. The implicationsof this gobeyond acknowledging that meanings emerge, develop, get shaped byand in turn shape the discourse. From withina broadersociocultural and sociopolitical context,different interview methodsreflect different distributions of power in the interviewer-intervieweerelationship. This power distribution hasan impact on therespondent.Certain forms of interviewing may function to hinderrespondents efforts to construct meaning from their experiences.When an asymmetric power relationship exists in theinterview theresearcher is the sole arbitrator of the meaningof intervieweeresponses and the study’s findings. Respondents are not giventheopportunity to comment upon the interpretationsthat have beenmade.When an interview method is used which reducestheasymmetry of power the respondent is better ableto “constructcoherent and reasonable worlds of meaningand to make sense oftheir experiences” (Mishler, 1986,p.118). Respondents take on amore participative and collaborative role inthe research process.This can be expressed in any of a number ofdifferent ways. For50instance, it can take the form of the researcheryielding control of theflow and content of the interviewto respondents. It can also take theform of interviewees having a voice in theinterpretation of thefindings.The current study treatedthe interviewees as researchcollaborators. They shared in the developmentof the study and in theanalysis and interpretation of the data.The study’s interviewmethod was “intended to empower respondents,to facilitate theirefforts to achieve a meaningfulunderstanding of their experiences”(Mishler, 1986,p.138).Narrative AccountsA narrative is a story, an account of anevent or series of eventsin one’s life (Polkinghorne, 1988). “One ofthe significant waysthrough which individuals make sense of andgive meaning to theirexperiences is to organize them ina narrative form” (Mishler, 1986,p. 118). A narrative is both a description of the phenomenonand anexplanation of it (Cochran,1986). It is explanatory in the sense thatthe phenomenon is describedin terms that make it intelligible“Intelligibility, it coi.ild be argued,is a complete story”(Cochran &Claspell, 1987,p.15). The current study used the informationobtained from the in-depthinterviews about the person’s transition,the interview about itssignificance or meaning, and the results oftheQ-sorts to produce a narrativeaccount of each person’s careertransition.51The research informationthat was gathered in the currentstudy was organized into narrativeform for several reasons, First,transitions are already in narrativeform. They are temporal innature. Narrative employs theunits of story as structures that canbe utilized to help comprehend an experiencelike the careertransition. It enables the transition tobe viewed as a cohesive wholerather than as a collection ofelements (Cochran, 1986, Polkinghorne,1988). “One is concerned not just with isolatedfeatures that arerelatively constant but with a coherent,configuration of features”(Cochran, 1986,p.27). The elements gain meaningthrough theirposition in the series of related experiences thatmake up thetransition (Cochran,1986). Narrative reveals the significance thatevents have for one another (Polkinghorne,1988).Secondly, people describe themselves and theirexperiences innarrative form(Bruner, 1986; Polkinghorne, 1988; Robinson, 1990).They create narrative descriptions forthemselves and for othersabout their past actions and future plans. “Thatstories appear sooften supports the view of some theoriststhat narratives are one ofthe natural cognitive and linguisticforms through which individualsattempt to order, organize, and expressmeaning” (Mishler, 1986,p.106).Finally, narrative accountscan be analyzed in systematicways. Narrative offers a form forsystematic evaluation of themeanings and functions ofdifferent features and modes of speech52(Mishler, 1986). For example, an account can be analyzed for itstextual function or linguistic structure. Itcan be analyzed for itscoherence or referential meaning. Itcan also be analyzed in terms ofthe role relationship between thespeakers who generated theinformation of the narrative account.Two recent studies are exemplars of thecase study approachbeing used to produce narrativeaccounts of career phenomena(Chusid & Cochran, 1989; MacGregor & Cochran 1988). MacGregorand Cochran (1988) found that roles in one’sfamily-of-origin aresomehow transformed or displaced onto occupationalroles. In everyone of the ten cases investigated for this phenomenonthey discoveredthat vocational roles represented re-enactmentsof family drama.Chusid and Cochran(1989) extended this research and found thatindividuals re-enact family-of-origin roles in their work.Further,they demonstrated that when an individualchanges careers this reenactment in the vocational arena persists insome fashion. Thispattern was evident in each of the tencases they examined. Careerchange was found to represent acontinuation of one’s family oforigin role enactment in a new occupationalsetting, a shift toanother role or a synthesis of dramaticthemes which produced anew role.The methodological rigour of thesestudies allows one to haveconfidence in the credibility of their findings.For example, in bothstudies the narrative accounts were developedbased on convergent53interview and Q-sort information. Both studieshad the subjectsreview the findings. Both used multiple replicationsto assess thedomain of or extent to which the findings apply.Chusid andCochran (1989) further demonstrated the reliabilityof their findingsby having the interviews and narrative accounts independentlyreviewed.54CHAPTER IIIMETHODOLOGYDesign of the StudyThe investigation constructed narrative accountsofcareer transition and searched for a commonpattern ofexperience among them. This demandeda research strategy thatcould accommodate the intensive study ofindividual cases andtreat a person’s experience asthe phenomena that was ofprincipal interest. In contrast to traditionalbetween - and within- group approaches, the case study was idealfor this task. Itcould focus directly on individuals’ experiencesand examine eachperson’s career transition as a coherent whole.The main design issue in the investigation waswhetherthe narrative accounts, whichare the study’s research product,could be considered credible or plausible(Mischler, 1986).Satisfactorily addressing thisconcern meant showing that eachaccount was believable, that other interpretationsof the study’sresults were less likely. This concernrequired attending to thesoundness and trustworthinessof the accounts.In studies that produce narrativesas their researchproduct, ensuring the soundnessof the study corresponds withaddressing internal validityconcerns. Ensuring thetrustworthiness of a study corresponds withaddressing reliability55concerns (Polkinghorne,1988). These two related concernsrepresent the most commonsource of methodological problems incase study research(Yin, 1984).For an account to be consideredsound it must be shownthat it is well-grounded, thatthere is sufficient evidence to supportit (Polkinghorne, 1988). In thecurrent study, soundness wasaddressed by basing each accounton the convergence of threekinds of evidence. Each kind wasobtained through a differentline of inquiry. The first kindof evidence was a detaileddescription of the person’s life duringthe entire period of thecareer transition. This informationwas gathered in a series ofin-depth interviews. The secondkind of evidence involvedacharting of the person’s experienceover the course of the careertransition using terms thatare of theoretical interest. Thischarting was done by havingeach person do a series of Q-sorts,aspecial kind of card sorting andranking exercise that, in thiscase, described various experiencesdrawn from relevanttransition models. Thethird kind of evidence was the person’scomments and elaborations whenpresented with the results ofthe charting of the careertransition experiences. Discussionfocused on the significanceof the content and pattern of theperson’s experience. In short,the study provided participantswith an opportunity to providea personal description of theircareer transition, a theoreticaldescription through the Q-sorts,56and an elaboration on the meaning of theexperience. Eachperson’s narrative was based on theconvergence of these threetypes of evidence.For an account to be consideredtrustworthy it must be shownthat it accurately portrays the evidencethat was gathered about theindividual’s career transition experience.This involves ensuringthere was a free flow of information inthe research interviews andthat nothing of importance wasdistorted or left out of the finalwritten account (Polkinghorne,1988; Mischler, 1986).In the current study trustworthinesswas checked using athree part case reviewprocedure. First, all the evidence gathered oneach career transitionwas reviewed by the researcher and theresearch supervisor. They hadto agree that each account was anaccurate portrayal of the evidence.Second, the accuracy waschecked by having each participant reviewa written summary of hisor her own narrative account.Third, each account was checkedbyhaving an independent reviewerdecide whether it was a faithfulrepresentation of what was saidin the interviews. By following theseprocedures, the narrative accountof each person’s career transitionrequired agreement from fourdifferent people(i. e., the researcher,the research supervisor, an independentreviewer, and the studyparticipant) who had varyingdegrees of involvement and viewed thetransition from differentperspectives.57Using this design ensures there is areasonable basis forclaiming that the accounts are credible.The design requires eachaccount be checked that it is sound in the sensethat different sourcesof evidence support it. The designrequires each account be checkedthat it is trustworthy in the sensethat it accurately reflects theevidence. Figure 1 gives an overview of theprocedures that werefollowed in this study.All of the current study’s activitieswere conducted in one-to-one interviews. Each person’s participation inthe study followed thesame sequence of events. It began with theScreening Interview, wasfollowed by the Career Transition Interview,then the Q-sortingexercise. Once each person’s Q-sortings wereanalyzed, the resultswere presented in the Elaboration Interview.After the convergentinformation from these sourceswas written up in a narrativeaccount, the study participant reviewed the accountfor accuracy.Study ParticipantsStudy participants were recruited througha referral networkof personal contacts. The initialletter of contact used in the currentstudy is Appendix A. The participantswere selected according to thefollowing criteria. First, thepeople selected had the experience thatwas being investigated. Theyhad gone through a career change(Cochran & Claspell, 1987; Colaizzi,1978). The review of theliterature demonstrated thatbehind the various concrete definitionsof career change were twofeatures that all conceptionsshared.58Therefore, the study screened each potential participantto establishthat (1) the career change made a significantchange in theindividual’s life structure and that(2) it resulted in a significantchange in his or her assumptive world,Second, the selected participants had tobe capable of reflectingon and articulating the experience(Cochran & Claspell, 1987;Colaizzi, 1978). This required that participantshave a competentcommand of English, the language of the researcher,and were ableto speak coherently about their experience. Furthermore,thisinvolved selecting participants who were no longerimmersed intheir career transition so that they could reviewthe experience withsome perspective. At the same time they didnot go through theirtransition so long ago that all that remainedwas a hazy recollectionor flavour of the experience. Using these criteriaenabled selection ofpeople who could adequately describe theirtransition experience.Following replication logic, eachcase in a multiple-case studyis a test of the external validityof the phenomenon underinvestigation. Each account representsa test case of the applicabilityof conceiving of career changeas a transition process (Harre, Clark,& De Carlo, 1985; Yin, 1984). For this reason,in addition to meetingthe screening criteria, the finalselection of participants was based onrepresentation of diverse kindsof career change (Chusid & Cochran,1989; MacGregor& Cochran, 1988). This enabled the researchtosearch for shared experiencesand patterns of experience.59Furthermore, it provided themeans to account for variations(Rosenwald, 1988).Screening InterviewCandidates were individuallyinterviewed to ascertain whetherthey met the participant criteria described inthe previous section.This necessitated translating thestudy’s conception of career changeas a life structural and assumptive worldchange into common,everyday language. Each potentialparticipant was asked to give aninitial description of their careerchange in their own words.Furthermore, they were asked to briefly describethemselves andwhat their life was like before,during, and after their career change.Each person was asked: “Has your life changed?(i. e., How you live,your activities, how you spend yourday?)” and “Have you experienceda significant change in how you lookat yourself and your life? (i. e.,Has what you consider importantin your life changed?)”Also, sufficient information wasgathered from each candidateto insure that different kinds of career changewere represented inthe study. This was done by obtaining theperson’s first and currentcareer work histories and findingout about the circumstancessurrounding the career change.Ten cases (five men and fivewomen), representing a varietyof first and second careers wereselected. Table 1 provides a descriptivesummary of the careertransition case study participants.Each participant gave his or her60written consent to participate in the study. Theconsent form used inthe current study is AppendixB.Career Transition InterviewThis interview focused on elicitingthe individual’s life-storyduring the career transition (Bromley,1986). Each study participantwas encouraged to take on a participative andcollaborative role in theinterview. This was accomplishedby considering what the personsaid as a story or narrative andby treating the interview as adiscourse intended to help the person achievea meaningfulunderstanding of the transition experience(Mishler, 1986).First, each person was askedto draw a lifeline for thetransition period and to identify allthe significant or landmarkevents connected with the career transition(Hopson, 1982; Johnson,1977). The construction of the transition lifelinewas intended toprovide a story outline that wouldhelp the person organize his or herthoughts and empower the personto tell his or her story.Second, each person was told, “The objective isto develop ameaningful understanding of yourcareer transition. I aminterested in hearing the story ofyour life during the time of yourcareer transition, from first inclination throughto feelingestablished in your second career”.Then the person was told to startat the beginning and asked to go ahead, tell thestory. Care wastaken to make the person feel comfortable,free to talk, and not tounduly influence what the personsaid.61The total amount of time ittook for a person to tell his or herstory and the number of sessionsover which the story was told wasunique for each person. Allinterviews were tape recordedandtranscribed for examination.Q-sortTo perform a Q-sort,a set of items that are a representativesample of the phenomenabeing investigated is needed. Forthisstudy, the items were the differentexperiences the transition theoriessuggested a person goes through.These are sorted by the studyparticipant according toa specified self-referent criterion. Secondly,a set of topics, concepts or, inthe case of the present study, events isneeded. These are used asreference points when sorting theindividual descriptions that makeup the set of items in the Q-sort.It is more common, especiallyin educational and politicalresearch, for the results ofQ-sorts to be analyzed across subjects.However, the current studyemployed a Q-sort in a single subjectrepeated measures design.Therefore, in the current study, principlecomponent analysis was performedacross the events of each subject.This involved having eachparticipant sort the Q-items severaltimes,once for each topic(i. e., once for each landmarkevent) andanalyzing each person’ssortings across his or herlandmark events.The use of Q-sortings in asingle subject repeated measuresdesign in the present studyfollows previous case studycareerresearch(Chusid & Cochran, 1989; MacGregor& Cochran, 1988).62Furthermore, this design hasbeen used by Brown, a prominentQmethodology scholar(e, g., Baas & Brown, 1973), and has beenadvocated by Stephenson,the pioneer of Q-methodology, as an idealmethod for intensively analyzingindividual cases (Stephenson, 1974,1980, 1985).Each study participant sortedthe deck of cards that make upthe Q-sort several times, oncefor each landmark event he or sheexperienced over the courseof his or her career transition. Foreachlandmark event, the subjectwas required to sort the Q-itemsaccording to how well the descriptionon each card matched his orher experience during that event.Q-sort ItemsThe study’s Q-sort was composedof a comprehensiverepresentative sample of descriptive phrasesabout the careertransition process. For adequatereliability and ease of handling bysubjects, a Q-sort shouldbe no larger than sixty to ninety items(Kerlinger, 1973). Forty-five itemswere drawn from the eightdominant models of career transitiondescribed in the literaturereview. As such, the Q-sort itemsrepresented the universe oftransition experiences thesetheories postulate an individual goesthrough during a career transition.They were translated intocommon, ordinary languageso the subjects could understandthem.(330-sort TopicsThe topics of the study’s Q-sort werethe significant orlandmark events of an individual’scareer transition. These eventswere identified in the career transitioninterview. The number ofevents and the events themselves were uniquefor each subject. Thenumber of events ranged froma minimum of nine to a maximum offourteen. Each person performeda sort for each landmark event heor she identified.Individual’s tend to recall significant personalevents veryclearly. For this reason, using the landmarkevents of a person’scareer transition as the Q-sort topics significantlyimproved thelikelihood of reliable recollections. Mostimportantly, these keyevents represent the career transition fromthe perspective of theindividual who has gone through it. Thisis consistent withStephenson’s intention thatQbe used to investigate that whichmakes up the individual’s world (Stephenson,1974, 1980).0-sort Item DevelopmentThe Q-sort that was used in thisstudy was constructed over aperiod of seven months. The developmentprocess is summarizedbelow:1. For each theory identified in theliterature review, anexhaustive list of key descriptive phraseswas drawn up.2. Each descriptive phrase wastranslated into the form of an itemfor the Q-sort.In collaboration with the supervisor, thisinvolved writing each item(i) in clear, ordinary or everydaylanguage that can be understoodby subjects, (ii) in the pasttense since the subjects werereflecting retrospectively on theirexperiences, (iii) in the active voice, and(iv) to reflect one mainidea. This produceda total of 157 items.3. In collaboration with the supervisor, themass of items wereorganized into coherent groups. Thisinvolved clustering theitems according to commonalty ofthe postulated careertransition experiences. Througha process of distillation,refinement, and revision a descriptionthat accurately reflectedeach item within each group or clusterwas developed. Thisprocess reduced the numberof items to forty-five.4. Each theory was recheckedto ensure that all the keydescriptive phrases were adequatelyrepresented in the items.As part of this reviewprocess the wording and focus of theitems was sharpened.5. The Q-sort was field tested withsubjects who met the study’sselection criteria. This resultedin altering the wording ofsome items.656. Finally, a theoretical validation of the Q-sortwas conducted.This involved consulting two experts on careertransition andhaving them check that the Q-sortaccurately represented thekey descriptive phrases of eachtransition theory.Q-sortingEach of the forty-five descriptionswas typed on a small card.Table 2 lists the Q-sort’s forty-fiveitems. Each subject sorted the deckof cards for each landmark eventconnected to his or her careertransition. The instructions forsorting were as follows:1. Take the deck of cards, read each card separatelyand put itdown on the table in front ofyou. Spread out the cards and tryto form a general impression of the attributesstated on thecards.2. Now pick up the cards, makea deck and shuffle the cards inthe deck.3. Now, (for example) sort these cards to describesignificantevent number one, retrospectively,according to your recall ofthe event, ranging from thosethat are most characteristic ofyour experience to those that are leastcharacteristic of yourexperience.4. Place the cards intoroughly three equal piles as follows:most characteristic, doubtfullycharacteristic; leastcharacteristic.665. Sort the cards as follows:1 2 4 8 15 8 4 2 16. a). Start with pile one (those most characteristic of yourexperience).b) Place the one “most characteristic” card to your far left.c) Place the two next “most characteristic” cards next to it.d) Place the next four “most characteristic” cards next to it.e) Place the next eight “most characteristic” cards next to it.0Repeat with pile three(i. e., those least characteristic of yourexperience) and follow the same process, going fromyourfar right toward the centre.h) Place the “doubtfully characteristic” cards(15) in themiddle.(Note: If necessary, it is possible to draw cards from themiddle pile.)7. Check the sorting and make any changes you wish but retainthe required number in each category.When the first sorting is completed and recorded,cards will beshuffled and the next event for sorting willbe introduced. Thenumber of sessions required fora person to complete the sortingsdepended upon the number of events there wereto sort.67Analysis of the Q-sortsEach item in the Q-sort was scoredaccording to the pile it wasplaced in. The structure of the Q-sortused in this study (N = 45) isillustrated below:Evaluative CriteriaMost DoubtfullyLeastCharacteristic Characteristic Characteristicof or ofLandmark Undecided LandmarkEvent Event**Frequency 1 2 48 15 8 4 2 1Q-score: 8 7 65 4 3 2 1 0Each subject performeda Q-sort for each of his or herlandmark events. Each sorting provideda score for each item. Thescores represented the matchof each descriptive phrase with thelandmark event. For eachevent there were items that wereconsidered to be a very goodmatch and those that were not agoodmatch at all.A Q-matrix of “items x events” wasset up for each person.From this a correlation matrixof the intercorrelation of “event x68event” was developed for each person.This showed how much eachevent has in common with each otherevent as represented by theQitems.Principal component analysisdemonstrated that the careertransition experiences couldbe clustered into factors or types. Twofactor unrotated solutions wereobtained for each of the ten cases.The total variance accounted forby the two types of experiencesaveraged 57.7% and ranged from 47%(Case study eight: Jack) to 74%(Case study four: Joseph).For each study participant, the prominenceof his or her twotypes of experience and their patternsof occurrence across eventswere defined quantitatively and graphicallyrepresented. This wasachieved by calculating a “factor (typesof experience) x event(landmark event)” factor loading matrix. Using casestudy eight asan example, on the first factor ortype of transition experience theloading was -.71 for his first landmarkevent, .61 for the second event,.56 for the third, on through to .55 forthe twelfth and final event. Onthe second factor the loadingwas .47 for the first event, .18 for thesecond, on through to .44 on the twelfthand final event.(See Table 3,Example of a “factor x event” matrix:Case study eight.) Plotting thefactor loading of each typeof experience at each event showed thepattern in which the typesof experiences occurred. For an example,see Figure 9. Case study eight: Jack.This identification of thetypesof events involved in thecareer transition and the pattern inwhich69they occurred was done for each person.(See Figures 2 11. Casestudies one - ten.)Finally, Q-item standard or z-scores were calculated foreachfactor or type of experience. For each factor, the Q-items thathad zscores exceeding ± 1.5 were extracted and rank ordered. Thisservedto provide a Q-item definition of each factor.(See Table 4, Example ofrank-ordered Q-item definition of factors: Casestudy eight.) Thisprovided a means of distinguishing each event using the theoreticalterms of the Q-sort. (i. e., Q-item describes the event very wellQitem not at all like theevent). For instance, with case study eight’sfirst factor’s loading being -.71 during the first landmarkevent, theQ-item experiences that best describe the event are feeling angry andoverwhelmed. Feeling happy, excited, or havinga sense of beingguided by a higher power are experiences that were definitely notpart of the first event.Elaboration InterviewAfter each person’s Q-sort data was analyzed,the results werediscussed in an individual interview. Each person was informedthat the quantitative results provided onlyan indication of how thecareer transition was made and that a personal elaboration wouldbeneeded to achieve a filler understanding of the experience.Agreement with the Q-sort datawas not sought. Rather, the resultswere presented as a means of stimulatingdiscussion and furtherexploration of the individual’s career transition.70The Q-analysis produced resultsabout the content of theindividual’s prominenttransition experiences and showedthepattern of occurrence of each typeof experience. Each personwasasked to respond to and elaborateon a series of content probes andpattern probes.Recalling that each factor isa prominent type of experiencethat is made up of a clusterof related Q-items, content probesweredesigned to elicit informationabout each prominent experience. Forexample, if being disorientedand confused was identified asaprominent experience foran individual then a content probewasframed around this factor.The interviewer would offer: “It seemsthat your experience was,to a great extent, defined foryou by yoursense of confusion and disorientation.”Typically, the personwasasked to respond by elaborating onthis experience. They wereencouraged to confirm, qualifr or denyit, whatever they considered tobe the most accurate representationof the experience. If theindividual considered thedescription to be relevant he or shewasencouraged to describe the experiencein greater depth and detail sothe interviewer could makesense of it from within the contextof theindividual’s life. This procedure wasrepeated for every prominentexperience identified in theQ-analysis.Next, a pattern probe was offeredfor each prominent typeofexperience. Recalling thatthe results of the Q-analysisalsodemonstrate how relevanteach factor is to each landmark event,71each prominent type of experience(i. e., principal component)exhibits its own pattern. Pattern probes wereused to elicitinformation about the pattern of occurrenceof each type ofexperience. For example, if the person’sexperience of confusion anddisorientation gradually became strongerover the first several eventsand then was dominant, then not apparent, ina cyclical patternduring the middle and later eventsa pattern probe was framedaround this. The interviewer might have said:“It seems thatgradually you became more and moreconfused and disorientedduring the beginning of your transition. Then itseems there was ashift, in that, there were times whenyou felt extremely confused anddisorganized. Yet this would alternate with other times whenitwasn’t part of your experience at all.” Againthe person wasencouraged to confirm, qualify or deny the observation and elaborateon what they considered the pattern to be.Finally, the person was asked to describe andelaborate on anyexperiences or pattern of experiences they feltwere important buthad not been brought out through the discussionof the Q-sort results.The interviewer encouraged the subjectsto elaborate on themeaning of the experiences and patterns throughthe use ofreflection, summarization, clarification, questioning,empathicresponses, and open-ended probes. All interviewswere tape recordedand transcribed for examination.72Narrative AccountA narrative account of each subjects’career transition wasconstructed. This involved synthesizing theinformation from theinterviews, the Q-analysis, andthe individual’s comments andelaborations on the Q-results. Convergenceof these sources ofevidence provided the basis for the developmentof each person’saccount (Reichardt & Cook, 1979; Yin,1984). They were written fromthe participant’s observational standpoint,using his or her words asmuch as possible. Each accountwas organized into narrative formso that it was a coherent story told from theperspective of the personwho went through the transition (Cochran& Claspell, 1987).Narrative Account ReviewStudy Participant ReviewConfidence in the credibilityof the study’s findings wasenhanced by having each participant reviewhis or her narrativeaccount. The main objective of this review wasto ensure that eachstudy participant considered the descriptionto be true to his or herexperience. Each participant wasgiven a copy of his or her narrativeaccount. He or she was askedto review it and assess whether itaccurately portrayed what he orshe intended to communicate andwhether anything of importancewas left out or distorted.Independent ReviewConfidence in the credibility of thestudy’s findings was alsoenhanced by having the interviewsand narrative accounts73independently reviewed. This review helpedensure that the subjectwas able to tell his or her story. For eachcase, an independentreviewer who has had graduate training incounselling and at leastten years of counselling experience listenedto the audiotape of thesubject’s interviews, then read the narrativeaccount. The completeinstructions for the independent reviewers arein Appendix C. Likethe study participants, he or she was asked tocomment on whetherthe researcher committedany acts of omission or coimnission.Comparative Pattern AnalysisFinally, the narrative accounts of theindividual cases werecompared as a means of exploring the existenceof a larger pattern orgeneral psychological structure common to allten cases (Wertz, 1985;MacGregor & Cochran, 1988; Chusid & Cochran,1989). This couldhave taken the form of shared experiences during thetransition. Itcould also have meant finding these experiences sharea particularpattern of occurrence. Conducting a comparative patternanalysisalso allowed variations on any shared patternsthat did emerge to beaccounted for(Cochran & Claspell, 1987; Rosenwald, 1988).74CHAPTER IVCASE STUDY ONE: JOANELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERTOCOMMUNICATIONS ENTREPRENEURPrincipal Component AnalysisThe first principal component accountedfor 44% of thevariance in the Q-sorts. Since the factor loadingsof events show aclear change from beginning(-£4) to end (.86), this componentportrays the meaning of the transitionto Joan, using the theoreticalterms. To define this component, all itemfactor scores exceedingplus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In orderof magnitude, these itemsare listed below, and phrased to characterizethe beginning of thetransition. The end is the opposite ofeach item,Bored (2.2)Stuck (2.1)Not excited (1.7)Not challenged (1.7)Numbed (1.6)Bitter (1.6)The second component accounted for15% of the variance in theQ-sorts. Since it did not showa clear change in event loadings frombeginning (.08) to end (-.18), this componentdoes not define the75transition. However, it reflects potentially importantitems thataccompanied and perhaps contributed to the transition.These itemsare listed below.Not happy (2.5)Novice with much to learn (2.4)Not confident (2.1)Challenged (1.9)Worried (1.9)Vulnerable (1.8)No sense of direction and purpose(1.7)The pattern of change on the first componentmanifestedextreme swings from bored entrapment to exciting self-direction.(See Figure 2, Case study one: Joan). Change across the transitiondid not appear to be gradual, but cyclic. Joan achieved some degreeof challenge, endured a setback, and struggled again. Onthe secondcomponent, changes tended to be more moderate with anextremeswing coming near the end, reflecting a dramatic rise inconfidenceand happiness.Personal NarrativeIn the first few years, teaching elementary schoolwasenjoyable and challenging. It wascertainly better than the routineclerical jobs Joan had held. Butit was also not like her dream toproduce documentary videos forthe Canadian BroadcastingCorporation or the Public Broadcasting System.Teaching was a76practical compromise worked out with her mother. Discouragedfrom pursuing her dream, teaching seemed satisfactory. However,as the novelty dwindled into routine and she beganto contend withdisturbing children, who distracted energy from teaching to behaviormanagement, frustration grew. She felt typecast, locked into a roleas a Grade 1 teacher, unable to change. Her requestto teach Grade 4was turned down. At work now, Joan felt like she was being kept ina box, locked into a child’s world with little capacity for self-directionand no opportunity to deal with adult issues. It began to seem like astressful trap, life lived in anticipation of the bell ringing, all guidedby external forces. She yearned for control of her life and challenge,to grow through taking on as much responsibility as she wanted. Yetthe reality was confinement and stagnation, an isolation that shewas coming to hate.Frustrated at work, Joan began volunteer work with the localteachers’ association, where she handled public relations andbecame responsible for a half hour television program, shown onceaweek. She was often able to fill the half hour with existing films butalso had to create several original shows, including live “phone-ins”.It was exciting and she did well, despite a lack of background.Meanwhile in the classroom, she was burning out although othersstill had high regard for her teaching.She increased her involvement in the teachers’ association,serving on committees where she overcame her discomfort to speak77in public. She was particularly interested inthe women’s rightscommittee. After serving on this committeefor three years, she wasnamed as a delegate to a large annual meeting. Shespoke to anaudience of 1200 people in a big hotel and receivedpublicacknowledgement. It was exhilarating,so much more adult-likeand self-directing. When the provincial manager positionfor thewomen’s rights program became vacant, Joan wasencouraged toapply. She overcame her fears and applied. After anintimidatinginterview with ten members of the executive committee,she wasoffered the job for a three year term.Immediately, she packed up her classroomand went to workas the provincial manager, with an office,a secretary, and supportstaff It was liberating just to be able to have lunchin a restaurant.As a symbolic gesture, she threw away the tupperwarecontainer inwhich she had toted her lunches to schoolfor so many years. Itseemed to capture her release from entrapment. Shenever wanted toreturn to teaching.Coordination involved holding meetings withteachers,making presentations, developing committeesthroughout theprovince, organizing conferences,and initiating programs. Therewas a great deal of travel, but herprograms went well and she foundthe change exciting and enjoyable.By the second year, she feltstabilized, adequate for the job.It was not quite as exciting, Further,she was becoming more immersedin political battles. Women’s78programs were still new and contentious, and therewere opponentswithin the teachers’ association who did not wantmoney spent onstatus-of-women projects. The politics were stressfuland by the thirdyear, she regarded her position as a hotbed. Shewas becomingrestless, stressed, and fed up. She decided not toapply for anotherterm.During the final year at the teachers’ association,Joan’smother’s health declined dramatically. Throughout thetransition,her mother was ill with a neurological disease that strikesin middleage and involves progressive physical and mental deterioration. Thedisease is hereditary and Joan knows she isat risk. Watching hermother deteriorate was very painful, serving asa constant reminderto do what she really wanted with her life while shecould. Joan’smother had always encouraged independence. To slowly die thisway, so contrary to the self-directed living she valued, left Joan withakind of legacy to strive for independence, most likely throughsomekind of self-employment if she could only figureout a way to do it.Yet after her third year at the teachers’ association,Joan was facedwith taking up elementary school teaching oncemore.Joan reluctantly returned to the classroom, not knowingwhatelse to do. She had naively expected that she wouldbe able to getanother job doing women’s work in government orfor an agency.Afterall, she had good experience now. She haddone her jobsuccessfully. She had spoken at national meetingsand at the steps of79the provincial legislature, and had appeared on television.But partlydue to economic restraint, there were no jobs fora women’sorganizer, or advocate, or specialist. It wasa rude shock to find thatshe did not seem to have a future in women’s workafter the progressshe had made.The school was fine, the principal and children werenice, butit was like trying to put on a shoe thatwas too small. She could notstand it. The confinement was intolerable after the challengesshehad faced, after having the freedom to move,manage her own time,and generally be self-directed. As Joan chafedthrough this year ofconfinement, she consulted a career counsellor. The counsellingconfirmed her initial career direction as avideo producer, atelevision executive, or a publisher. The counsellor advisedher thatshe needed more education to gain more career options.Acting onthis advice, Joan entered a graduate program in AdultEducation, achoice she considered to be as far from elementary teachingas shecould get. Partly, she wanted to distance herself fromelementaryschool. Partly, she knew from her experienceat the teachers’association she liked training and teachingadults.Pursuing an M. Ed. was enjoyableand challenging. It tookher out of her routine, stretched her intellectually,provided adultcompany, and gave her time to thinkabout things. Graduate schoolwas a good break. Even teaching one day aweek to support herselfseemed fine. Without anticipating constant confinement,the one day80was rather enjoyable. Overall, the careercounselling helped herestablish a general direction and graduateschool restored her faiththat there were other routes to follow, Shewas not stuck.Upon graduation, Joan founda job in a community collegeorganizing community programs. She organizeda conference forsingle mothers and worked to develop programsand courses. Shedetermined programs, located instructors,and promoted courses.The job was comfortable and free-wheeling.She liked it, but did notconsider her tasks challenging.When cutbacks threatened herposition, an acquaintance at the communitycollege referred her to ajob she knew about at the Ministry of Transportation.The ministryneeded educators to develop a traffic safety program.She interviewedfor a position and was offered a consulting contract.It was nice dressing up and working indowntown Toronto, sofar removed from suburban elementary schools, veryadult. In thefirst year, most of her time was spent developinga curriculum forschools. It was not very challenging and Joanyearned to work withvideo and media, using the careertest results as a reminder of heroptimal career direction. With thisin mind, she persuaded atransportation ministry manager to create anew position that wouldmanage special video and media projects. Asmanager of specialprojects, Joan developed a rock and roll videoon alcohol and driving,produced brochures, and becameinvolved in a number of other funprojects. However, the settingbecame more bureaucratic, with81plenty of forms to fill out and reports to give.Now housed in a newbuilding, the ministry became a big, boringsystem whose constantpaper control of employees through forms and reports seemedinsulting. Reporting to her hot-tempered bossmade Joan feel likeshe was back in elementary school, compromisingand putting on afalse front to avoid wrath. In her third yearat the ministry, Joanwas becoming fed up, and when she was offered permanentemployment as a traffic safety manager, itserved to crystallize herthinking about what she reallywanted to do.For all of her adult life, Joan had been blockedbecause she didnot know how to reach her goals.Initially, she had tried to work intelevision for the CBC, but did not know howto qualify for a positionor gain entrance to the field. Now,she wanted to become acommunications consultant, helping clientsuse various media in aneffective way. She knew how to dothe job, or could learn what shedidn’t already know, but did not knowhow to become set up as anindependent consultant, While thisdirection was rich andmeaningful, even holding out thepossibility of eventual televisionproduction, it was very uncertain.There were no clear and definitesteps. One could fail miserably.In contrast, taking a permanentposition with the governmentwould be secure, but little else. Itwould mean adapting to and beingencaged within a big, boringsystem, not all that different fromteaching grade one. In both, shewould feel confined, forced to takeon a child-like role. Besides, there82were tax-benefits to self-employment that were not availableonsalary. For many reasons, some quite practical and others burieddeeply in themes of her life, Joan resolved to become an independentconsultant with little assurance that she wouldbe successful.During this period, Joan dwelled on a name and descriptionfor her emerging company. She went through lists ofbusinessnames. It was much like naminga child. There was about a ninemonth gestation period that culminated inthe official birth of hercompany. She had found the perfect name that seemedto integratesignificant meanings of her life, her feminist leaning,her love ofbeauty and communication, her femininity. She had the nameregistered and it became an entity, something real. Nowshe had tofigure out what to do with it.In her first venture, she attended a national conference in theUnited States, handing out brochures to offer her servicesas a trafficsafety consultant. From this trip, despite attempts froma ministrymanager to discredit her, she gained a contractwith New York to setup a high school program. After an assistant deputy ministerlearned that Joan had contacts in the United States, shewasapproached and hired by the ministry’s publicrelations firm as aconsultant to market their traffic safety material.She went toconferences in the U. S. and even Europe, andwas able to land a fewbig deals, but not enough to justify expenses.After a year and a half,the ministry closed down its marketing operation.83During the period Joan was tryingto market traffic safetyprograms her father was very sick withcancer, During the last sixmonths of his life she pursued the oddcontract but spent most of hertime looking after her dad. His death wasvery difficult for Joan. Shebecame depressed and found herself searching for meaningin herown life. Throughout Joan’s life, her father had modelledanentrepreneurial spirit. His death addedresolve to live her lifewhatever way she wanted, to keep going inher search for a way to besuccessfully self-employed.Traffic safety seemed too narrow to marketeffectively. She hadexpected to successfully market her servicesinternationally. Shewas humbled when her efforts to expand herNew York contractfailed. She had a couple of other smallprojects but was growing tiredof the content. She sought to diversify her services.Due to a videoshe had produced earlier, the CanadianCoast Guard contracted todevelop a video on alcohol and boating. Itwas her first realindependent production project and it resultedin two videos. Joanthen took these videos to the Ministry of the Environmentand otheragencies as samples of her work. Shebegan to receive calls to submitbids, resulting in more video projects. Onething was leading toanother, moving her into increasinglydiverse productions.Meanwhile, a friend from Joan’scommunity college daysneeded help writing fund-raisingletters. Joan decided to try it. Itworked out so well she becameinterested in fund-raising as a84communications specialty. It had inherent diversity.It was usuallyfor a good cause such as education or medicine, makingfund-raisingvery satisfying, a way to make good things happenand get paid for it.One of her first major clients was a university. Onceagain, she waseventually offered a salaried permanent position butturned it down.At present she attempts to maintain three major projectsat anygiven time. To manage the increased revenue, she incorporatedthecompany. Although the work can be exhausting, seven daysa weekduring some periods, it is satisfying and she feels secureenough tolimit clients.Joan finds there is a dignity in self-employment, Shedoes notfeel anyone owns her. For Joan, to be employed is to be enslaved. Butto be self-employed in the right way is to live the self-directed life of anadult, unbounded and meaningful. It requires confidenceto live thisway but Joan had been developing confidence gradually since leavingelementary school teaching. It had grownthrough challenges suchas speaking to a group of 1200, being responsible for projects,andventuring out on her own. Yet to successfullymake the transitionshe did, rejecting the security of permanentemployment, Joan had toact when she was neither confident nor secure,but quite vulnerable.Joan does not see her transition from teacherto self-employedcommunications entrepreneur as courageous, Rather it issomething she feels she just hadto do.85ConvergenceThe event loadings of both principal components converge withthe flow of the narrative account. The narrative portrays a changefrom entrapment to self-direction, from a child-like role to an adultrole.The first principal component describes a change from beingstuck to being unstuck. Generally, the loading of an event matchesits description in the story. For example, when she returned toteaching after working at the teachers’ association, the eventloadings shifted from .74 to -.73. Similarly, her narrative descriptionmoves from excitement and challenge to confinement.The second component describes Joan as a vulnerable noviceduring the early part of the change and as a confident purposefulperson in the latter part. Once again, the event loadings match theirdescriptions in the story. For example, when Joan goes for herinterview for the teacher’s federation provincial manager position,the event factor loading was .46. Similarly, the narrative descriptionportrays her as being intimidated. The Q-sorts provide an abstractdescription of Joan’s transition. The narrativegives it a richness ofdetail and meaning.Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative AccountThis is really well written ... Its very accurate.I thinkits all true. Its very interesting, helps me see myself... Very86concise, very interesting to me Good for you. I’m veryimpressed.Independent Reviewer ReportI found the interviews facilitative. I did not find bias.Joan had the room and the trust to elaborate. While eventswere summarized, you made an effort to put them inproportion. Nothing of importance seemed to have been leftout. There was no distortion - just an effort to condense thingsin a manageable way.87CHAPTER VCASE STUDY TWO: CARLASOCIAL WORKER TO FORENSIC PSYCHIATRISTPrincinal Component AnalysisThe first principal component accounted for 37%of thevariance in the Q-sorts. Since the factorloadings of events show aclear change from beginning(.52) to end (-.70), this componentportrays the meaning of the transitionto Carla, using the theoreticalterms. To define this component, all itemfactor scores exceedingplus or minus 1,5 were extracted. Inorder of magnitude, these itemsare listed below, and phrasedto characterize the beginning of thetransition. The end of the transitionis the opposite of each item.Not excited (2.2)Not confident (2.2)Not happy (2.0)No sense of direction and purpose(1.8)Life off course (1.7)Drained (1.5)The second component accounted for21% of the variance in theQ-sorts. Since it did not show a clear changein event loadings frombeginning (.5 1) to end (.14), this componentdoes not define thetransition. However, it reflects potentiallyimportant items. Some ofthese accompanied and perhaps contributedto the transition. Others88were definitely not part of the transition.These items are listedbelow.No sense of being guided by some higher power(2.3)No dramatic mood swings (1.9)Was wondering about my future(1.8)Was searching (1,8)Not withdrawn (1.7)Not regretful (1,6)The pattern of change on the first component manifestedextreme swings from being drained withlife off course to feelinghappy, confident, and excited witha sense of direction and purpose.(See Figure 3, Case study two: Carla). Change across the transitiondid not appear to be gradual but cyclical. Carlabriefly felt confidentand happy, endured a period where she feltdrained and her life wasoff course, then felt excited with a sense of directionand purposeagain during the latter part of thechange. The second componentindicates much of the change was spentsearching and wonderingabout the future.Personal NarrativeWhen Carla finished her general arts degreeat DaihousieUniversity in Halifax, Nova Scotiashe still didn’t have any clear ideaof what she wanted to do. She wantedto somehow work with peoplebut nothing grabbed her in a directway. A one year follow-up degreein social work seemed to be a practicalway to finish off school and get89out into the work force, The coursework seemed manageable, andsort of interesting so she went ahead anddid a one year B. S. W. Aftera miserable year working as a case workerin a small Cape Bretonfishing village that was worse than theone she had grown up in andhad gone to uxiiversity toescape, Carla managed to badger the headof social work at the provincial mentalhospital in Halifax into givingher a job as a psychiatric social worker.The next couple of yearswere pleasant, being back in the city, workingwith interestingpatients. She found the mental hospital tobe so intriguing that noother work setting held any appeal for her,However, it becameapparent that, other than administrative positions, therewere noother jobs she could move to in the hospital.She enjoyed her day today work with the mental patients but aftera time it all seemed prettyautomatic. She felt limited in what she coulddo. Her involvementwith a patient was always directedby the attending psychiatrist, notthe social work department. Carla wantedthe excitement of beingresponsible for the case management of a patient.She realized thatas a social worker she was never going tobe able to be in charge.Being the oldest girl in the family,she was not used to this. It reallyirritated and frustrated her.After two years at the mentalhospital, Carla wondered what todo next. She had saved somemoney and had applied to McGill forgraduate school in social work. This seemedto be the next step inher career but it didn’t feel right.She was restless, ready for a90change, and needed to sort out what to do with her life, She decidedto take four months off and go bum around Europe with a girlfriend.Carla was more than just bored with her job. She felt like anoutsider in the culture she had been raised in, like she didn’t fit in.She was finding herself more and more in conflict with many of thetraditional Anglo-Saxon Irish-Catholic values and beliefs she hadbeen brought up to hold, values most of the people around her sharedwith each other but apparently did not even thinkto question. Shefound the watchful presence of the church in her life and the strongpush for conformity that she felt, even living in Halifax, to beoppressive, confining. There were narrow boundaries within whicha single woman was expected to live and she found it necessary toconform.Carla hoped the trip to Europe would be a way to slow downand give some thought to what to do. Europe was a chance tosee thedifferent ways people lived, an opportunity to expand beyond theCapeBreton culture she had grown up in. By the time she returned fromher trip she had pretty much decidedto forget about the M. S. W.idea. She realized that looking for a future withinsocial work wastoo confining. An M. S. W. would just be a ticket to more of whatshealready wanted out of. Studying more social workwouldn’t changethe kind of secondary role the medical system forcedsocial workers toassume. And she knew from the professionaljournal reading shedid that, compared to medicine or psychology, shewouldn’t find91social work research to be very excitingor provocative. But she didn’tknow what to do instead.Shortly after her return from Europe,Carla was discussingher dilemma with someone at a party whowas preparing to go tomedical school. Medical school sounded interesting, maybesomething she should consider. At the same timeshe heard herselfsaying, “No, I can’t do that!” The course work scaredher; it would betoo hard. But after reviewing Daihousie University’s medical schoolprogram, the idea didn’t seem all thatoutrageous. She decided totake a couple of the prerequisite courses she would need tosee if shecould survive them.She returned to her job at the mental hospital and over the nextseveral semesters took a series of night courses, not telling anyoneshe worked with what she was upto. The final course she neededwas only offered in the day-time, making it necessary to tell hersupervisor what she was doing. She found herto be quiteaccommodating, allowing her to rearrange her workschedulearound the course, When Carla appliedfor medical school shealready knew she wanted to go into psychiatryand outlined her planin her application. She was astonished whenshe was accepted sinceshe had heard how selectivemedical schools were.Her first year of medical schoolwas horrible. That first yearwas her first life crisis, her most memorableblubbering moment.Still lacking much of the expected mathand science background,92Carla struggled with the heavy workload and difficult course content.For instance, she would sit in biophysics class, feeling a sensation ofdisassociation, thinking “What in the name of God are they talkingabout?” She had always thought of herself as being bright. For thefirst time in her life, she felt inadequate, like she was in way over herhead. She was certain she wasn’t going to make it, that she hadmade a mistake. This sense of inadequacy was aggravated by howalien she felt to many of her young classmates who had beengroomed for medical school since high school, While it was all shecould do just to keep up, they would be upset because they had made93% instead of 95%. She found it was a waste of time to seek helpfrom the school’s student advisors, the people who were supposedtobe there to provide assistance. They offered no support. Knowing shewas headed for psychiatry made it even harder, since many of thecourses she was struggling with weren’t relevant. She reached apoint where she decided that all she could do is study as much as shecan while waiting for the day they discover how stupid she is andthrow her out. Her whole life became devoted to school. In ordertosurvive there could be nothing else.She was surprised to find she made it through that first year.The following two years were pretty muchsmooth sailing. Finishingmedical school was a triumph, something she had worked hardat toachieve. It felt like an important turning point. Shehad not botheredto attend the graduation ceremonies for her previous two degreesbut93this one was something worth celebrating.At the ceremony, hermother’s presence and uncharacteristic but obvious high spiritsheightened the sense of happiness and confidenceshe felt.Carla was still planning to go into psychiatrybut she had beenadvised by most people to do a one year general medicineinternshipfirst. This would qualify her asa general practitioner, giving hersomething to fall back on just in case she shouldever decide to leavepsychiatry. Following this advice, her internshiptook her toSaskatoon for the next year. Toronto had been her first choice butitwas only for a year and so long as she was leaving the Maritimes,Saskatoon would be airight.Carla had planned to spend the year rotating through differentmedical areas: emergency, pediatrics, surgery, orthopedics, etc. Thefirst six months were grueling, very tough.going. The work wasphysically overwhelming and she was tiredall the time. There werealso other things that were troubling her. Carlafound she wasn’treally interested in the work. It wasn’t intellectuallystimulating.She was frustrated by the orientation of the supervisorystaff and thepace at which she was required to work. Shefound herself beingexpected to learn how to get in and get outwith a minimum ofinteraction with a patient. She was discouragedfrom listening to apatient’s concerns, something she hadbeen geared to do all of herlife. She resisted, yet every occasionshe spent time talking to apatient, she fell behind in the rest of her work.There was no sense of94appreciation for her efforts from the staff, As a resident she wastreated as an unwelcome intruder.Her pediatrics rotation was horrible, The senior resident didnothing but study for exams, dumping all of the work on Carla.After one exhausting fifteen hour stretch with eight admissions,Carla tracked down the resident and confronted her. Her responsewas “This is the way it is”, this is how the system works, Then in themiddle of the rotation Carla received word that her mother wasdying. Carla flew home to be with her. Her mother pulled throughand, as soon as she could, Carla returned to Saskatoon, Nocompassion was expressed or support offered, The staff physicianwas angry that she hadn’t covered the service. It was during thisrotation that Carla decided, “No way!” She wasn’t buying into asystem that treated people this way. Somehow she would find a placewhere what she had to offer would be valued, some little niche thatpromotes values she could understand and be committed to.She went to see the director of programs and told him how shefelt, He listened to what she had to say and outlined her options.This included starting on her psychiatry early, as long as she wassure this is where she wanted to go. Carla jumped at the chance. Ifthere had ever been any doubt, she was sure now.She spent the remaining six months of her internship workingpsychiatry. It was very pleasant. She was offered the chance to stayon and do her residency in Saskatoon, but Carla wanted to go to95Toronto. It was the place that appealedto her. The same girlfriendshe had travelled through Europe with had lived in Toronto whileCarla was in medical school and Carla hadvisited her a couple oftimes. Getting accepted at the University of Torontowas fairly easy.She was really enthused about moving and getting started on herresidency.The next four years were a joy. The six month rotations gaveher a chance to be involved a little bit and theday to day work wasgood. For the first time in a long time she was ableto talk to patientsand their families again. She was finally gettinga chance to havethe kind of contact she had wanted witha patient. For the first timein six years, people looking at what shewas doing were saying, “Youaren’t so bad at that” and even, “you’re prettygood”. She feltcompetent even while she was learning. Shewas accomplishingsomething that was worthy of someone’snotice, it was rewarding.Things were fitting together, she belonged there,Even the peoplerunning the psychiatry residency programwere ‘people’ people.They were fairly attuned to interpersonalneeds. They didn’t feel theyhad to beat her to death in order to makeher perform. It was a reliefto be out of that kind of system.She went through the program witha small group of about tenothers. They did all their courses together andthey became a kind ofsocial network, working and partyingtogether. They were peoplefrom different places, with different points ofview, and even from96different countries and cultures. Getting to know such a diversegroup of people was very broadening, interesting, even enlightening.She found herself learning about all kinds of things(i. e., ancientcultures, eastern religions). She found herself thinking about thingsshe never would have thought about before. She was experiencingthe same kind of comradeship and stimulation in her work. Shecould pursue any question she wanted for as long as she wanted.Asking questions was valued since poking around and learning newthings was rewarding for everyone. Because the residents were allpursuing their own questions and reading different material, andthe staff and ward people had their own points of view, there wouldoften be a dozen different ways of looking at a problem. Carla foundthis diversity to be very enriching. It was such a contrast to herexperience in social work back in Nova Scotia, where everyone hadbeen trained in the same theories and even with the same books. Itwas possible to look at something many different ways. As shelearned to do this she found more doors opening up, there were evenmore skills she could learn. She found living in Toronto gave herabroader world view.As Carla worked through her rotations she gradually becameaware that she was always particularly interestedin the legalaspects of her patients’ cases. Back in the provincial mental hospitalin Nova Scotia, she had done about a year asthe social worker on aforensic ward and had found it very interesting. She decidedshe97wanted to do her elective rotation in forensicpsychiatry. She wasaware of a small group of people who practicedin this area butneither the Clark Institute’s Forensic Departmentnor theMetropolitan Toronto Forensic Clinic wasaffiliated with theuniversity. She approached the forensicservice, told them what shewanted, and after meeting her, they approveda residency. It was aroaring success for her and for the service. Resistingan attempt toplace her in a women’s forensic ward, shegot to do a mix of work,She got to work on some of the old chroniccases at the mentalhospital and some newly charged high profile cases.She loved everyminute of it! It was a very fulfilling six months.Carla was determined that forensic psychiatrywas what shewas going to do after she finished, And sureenough the forensicservice asked her to come on staff as soonas she finished. She wentto work half-time for the forensic service and half-time for theuniversity. Starting in practice came pretty easily.By the end of herresidency she knew she was up to scratch;she knew what she wasdoing, It was clear to her that she coulddo the work.Carla has found her niche in forensic psychiatry.She isaware that most other psychiatrists run away atthe very mention oflegal or forensic work. She finds the patients intriguingand iscomfortable with her role in the legal system. Mostof the work iscourt ordered which means she reports toa judge and doesn’t have toreport to anyone in the medical system.For financial and personal98reasons, her self-employed status is importantto her, It gives her asense of independence when it comes to her work. It isimportant toher that nobody can tell her what to do, Carla has avoidedprivatepractice. She thinks she would find it very limiting andboring. Shefinds it hard to believe that anyone in private practicecould have justone perspective that fits all their patients. She wouldmiss thenetwork, the stimulation, the mix of ideas on what isgoing on andhow to approach a particular problem that she values so muchin herpractice of forensic psychiatry.As a social worker in Nova Scotia, Carla had been livingwithin narrow and externally imposed boundaries of whatshe wasallowed to do in her work and how she should live her personal life,Carla’s change to forensic psychiatry reflects a shift away fromconformity, from feeling requiredto live her life a particular way.She now feels free to live in accord with what is important toher. Shevalues the freedom of choice and self-direction she experiencesin herwork and personal life. But to achieve this required her togo throughseveral years of medical training that was more restrictivethan shecould have imagined. Until she reached her psychiatric residencyprogram, she was often unhappy, felt outof place, and wondered ifshe was going to make it through the training.To achieve her goal ofbecoming a psychiatrist required her to keep going no matterwhathappened, especially on those occasions whenshe lacked self-’confidence,99ConvergenceThe event loadings of both principalcomponents converge withthe flow of the narrative account. The narrativeportrays a changefrom limitations and confinement to self-directionand authenticity.The first principal component describesa change from a life offcourse to one with a sense of direction andpurpose. Generally, theloading of an event matches its descriptionin the story. For example,when Carla was accepted into the psychiatryresidency program atUniversity of Toronto, the event loadingsshifted from .64 to -.61.Similarly, her narrative description movesfrom anger andfrustration to enthusiasm and enjoyment.The second component indicated muchof the change wasspent searching and wondering about thefuture. The loading of anevent on the second component also matchesits description in thestory. For example, when Carla comesback from Europe, the eventloading was .73. Similarlythe narrative describes her not knowingwhat to do now that she has written-off theM. S. W. idea. TheQsorts provide an abstract descriptionof Carla’s transition. Thenarrative gives it a richness of detail and meaning.Study Participant’s Self-review ofNarrative AccountI think its pretty accurate ... I thinkits a pretty goodsummary of the whole thing. Itcaptures the essence of thewhole thing. I think you did a good job onit. Its amazing100actually that somebody can put it all down(on paper) ... Itspretty dead on!Independent Reviewer ReportYou left her a lot of space to speak.You didn’t butt in inany way. When she paused to think you just left her thespaceto continue elaborating. When you did speak it was to help herexpand her comments. One example thatI thought was reallygood ... was a clarification when she talked about the residencybeing so easy for her. You said “Because itwas easy, does itmean that it was insignificant for you?” And she responded“No, it was indeed significant . . .“ But just by putting thisquestion in allowed her to say “Hey! What was significantabout it being easy?” I found that really good. Similarly, whenshe said the residency was pleasant you asked “What waspleasant about it?” Just allowing her to elaborate, pause andthink.... I was very aware of occasions when you mirroredorparaphrased. That brought out and confirmeda lot of whatshe said. Your voice was very soft. I could often hear in thedistance (on the tapes) the good “Um Hmm”, followingkinds ofthings. The other thing I was very impressed withwas ... howvery capable you were about staying ontrack with her. I foundyour write-up of the case study to be verythorough andincluded a lot of her own words. I thinkthat was reallyimportant. What an interesting person!You did a reallythorough job.101102CHAPTER VICASE STUDY THREE: DANIELPRIEST TO LABOUR UNIONISTPrincipal Component AnalysisThe first principal component accountedfor 33% of thevariance in the Q-sorts. Sincethe factor loadings of events did notshow a clear change from beginnings(.54) to end(.58), thiscomponent does not define the transition.However, it reflectspotentially important items. Some ofthese accompanied and perhapscontributed to the transition. Otherswere definitely not part of thetransition. To define thiscomponent, all item factor scores exceedingplus or minus 1.5 were extracted. Inorder of magnitude, these itemsare listed below.Did not pretend nothing was wrong(2.0)Not stuck (1.8)Not bored (1.7)Sought support(1.6)Determined(1.6)No emptiness about life (1.5)Not rigid (1.5)The second component accounted for17% of the variance in theQ-sorts. Since it shows a clear changein event loadings frombeginning(.4 1) to end (-.45), this component portrays the meaningof103the transition to Daniel, using the theoretical terms. In order ofmagnitude, these items are listed below and phrased to characterizethe beginning of the transition. The end of the transition is theopposite of each item.Angry (2.9)Not happy (2.7)Not confident (1.8)Was struggling with conflict (1.7)Was being tested (1.7)The first component indicates that, except for one periodtowards the end, the change was spent seeking support and feelingdetermined(See Figure 4, Case study three: Daniel). The pattern ofchange on the second component manifested extreme swings.Daniel went from being angry, struggling with conflict, and feelinglike he was being tested to being happy and confident. Change acrossthe transition did not appear to be gradual but cyclical. Danielalternated between between periods of confidence andhappiness andangry periods, where he struggled with conflict and felt hewas beingtested.Personal NarrativeWhen Daniel took up his first assignment asa Roman Catholicpriest, he had a kind of missionary zeal about the social action workhe was taking on. He was part of the new wave of Catholicreformthinkers who were setting out to implement changes ofthe Vatican104Council, under the leadership of Pope John XXIII. In manywaysDaniel had been preparing for this work sincehe had been ateenager. Daniel’s high school teachers had been Jesuitpriests. Hissense of social conscience was heavilyinfluenced by one teacher inparticular, who later became a prominent.U. S. antiwar leader.Prior to ordination Daniel had beena student in WashingtonD. C. for six years with the Paulist Fathers,an American basedactivist order that did religious educationwork in nontradtionalsettings: publishing, broadcasting, streetand university work. Whilein training he found himself leadingdifferent social action projects.For instance, while finishing his Master’sdegree in theology, he wasan organizer for the Washington civilrights demonstrations. Danielfound organizing, mobilizing peoplearound social goals or ideals tobe very closely wedded to being a priest.Daniel’s first assignment was to Vancouver,to teach adultsabout Catholicism. The order hadbeen invited to open an adultreligious education centre downtownand to place chaplains at SimonFraser University. The firstyear was a ball, he really enjoyedhimself. He ran education programsfor the public, spoke at publicforums, did a weekly interfaithradio show. Daniel attracted a lot ofpeople, he was an inspiringteacher. People were excited aboutmoving beyond literal interpretationsof Christian teachings andunderstanding spirituality at an adult level.Others were disturbedby his demythologizing of their childhoodreligious training. He105realized he was upsetting people but didn’tsee anything wrong withthat. “To create change you have to create ferment. Thatwas part ofthe job.”In his second year, a new more conservative archbishopwasappointed to Vancouver. About the same time, Daniel startedtakingthe Vatican Council’s renewed understandingof Catholicismdirectly to the parishes. He found he was not speaking thesamelanguage as the parish priests. Their training had been completelydifferent. He felt like an outsider, like he didn’tfit in, nor did hewant to. He didn’t identify with the parishpriests, their values, theirlife, what they saw as their mission. The localchurch leadershipwas increasingly troubled by Daniel’s message.They began toconsider him dangerous. While he felt absolutely rightabout whathe was doing, he felt persecuted, like they were tryingto drive himout of town. In the midst of this growing furor, the archbishopcontacted New York, where the Paulist Fathers’ headquartersislocated. A short time later, Daniel received word hewas being movedto Austin, Texas. He was angry with his order for pullinghim. Hefought it but ended up heading reluctantly forTexas.In Austin, there was a reenactment of the samecycle ofexcitement, growth of support, and conflictthat had taken place inVancouver. Daniel was to do adult educationwork at a parishchurch across the street from the University ofTexas. Initially, hekept his head down, doing religious educationgroups. He was trying106to approach his work more gently, trying to treat it asa longer termbuilding process. Once again, the number of people who reachedanew understanding of their faith grew quickly. Once again,as thissupport grew, the church establishment and many influentialconservative parishioners became alarmed about some of thechanges they witnessed. Once again, Daniel came to be considereddangerous by those not committed to reform.During this period a new more conservative Pope wasappointed, reversing the course of action the Vatican council hadadvocated. The church leadership silenced many of Daniel’s friendsand former teachers, sanctioning those who challenged itsauthority.Leaving the priesthood became a phenomenon. It struck Danielthata person may not be a priest forever, that people do leave thepriesthood.Emblematic of this reversal of position on church reform,thechurch announced that, contrary to expectations, itwas not going tochange its policy on birth control. Daniel told peoplethey havefreedom of conscience despite the church policy.He felt he had tostand up for people in the face of what hesaw as a kind of abuse ofauthority.Daniel continued to push for reform withinthe parish,encountering more and more resistance.He was admonished for notbacking down on his reform stance. Whenthe parish split over theissue of focusing religious education effortson parents instead of107their children, the pastor in charge of the parishordered Daniel tocancel his adult education program and reassignedhim as ahospital chaplain. Daniel refused to cancel the programand wasordered to face a tribunal madeup of the rest of the priests in theparish. Rather than submit himself to the tribunal, he left the parishstaff.Daniel spent the next couple of weeks in isolation,off byhimself at his parent’s summer place in Long Island.He wasdisillusioned, angry, feeling rejected. The church leadershiphadtaken a turn, abandoning the course of actionto which Daniel hadcommitted himself. He knew hecoukln’t continue but stoppingmeant abandoning the people in the parish who werecommitted toreform. While he was in Long Island, thereform group set up acontinuing education centre and wanted himto come back to be theirchaplain. Breaking from the order would make hima religiousoutlaw. It was a dilemma; he didn’t know whatto do.He went to see the leaders of his order back in New York. Theywere very nonjudgemental, supportive in a number ofways, but theydidn’t think there was any position he couldhold without getting intocontroversy. He visited a number of theparishes that were part of anew “underground church” movement,religious groups set up byclergy who had left the ministry.While Daniel was disillusionedwith the church, he saw himself as stillbeing very idealistic whilemost of the clergy leading thesegroups were quite cynical. Daniel108saw this way of being as a logical outcome for himself if hefollowedthis path. He decided he was not going to continueto be an activeminister. The church was silencing its own leaders, it had betrayeditself. “So what the hell!”, he decided to leave theorder. Daniel neverwent to the church to say he was resigning. Hejust left.Daniel never applied to returnto laity status. One of theconditions of doing so required an admissionthat he had made amistake in getting ordained in the first place.He couldn’t say he hadmade a mistake, that he shouldn’t be a priest. The decisionto leavethe active ministry was not a decision notto be a priest. It didn’tmean who he was had changed. It wasa realization that he couldnot function within the church.Leaving the ministry made it possibleto look at a woman hehad been working with in a different way. He and Laurahad beenvery, very good friends and close partners ina lot of their work sincethey had first met in Vancouver. She had beena lay catholic workerdoing group work. Daniel had introduced herto the parish in Austinand they had hired her to coordinate their adulteducation programs.When the reform group split off from the parish,they had hiredLaura to run their education centre.Daniel suddenly realized heloved her, Leaving the ministry createdat least the possibility that hedidn’t have to leave this relationship behind.He may be able tonurture or deepen it. This was part of an internalshift that wastaking place, the closing of one doorand the opening of another. He109went back to Austin and asked herto marry him and come with himto British Columbia. She agreed and they received the blessingof thereform group.Driving from Texas to B. C., Daniel felt adeep sense of loss,like he had gone into mourning. It felt likethe church had rejectedhim. Perhaps it was a mutual rejection. Whateverthe case, it wasvery, very painful. At the same time the trip was exciting, providingan opportunity to speculate about whatwas in front of them. Theorder had looked after him for the last fifteen years. Hedidn’t have asocial security number, had never receiveda paycheck, had neverdone a resume. The last job he had heldwas in a garage in highschool. It all seemed like foreign territory. “Whatdoes a thirty-twoyear old theologian teacher do for a living?” Hewas filled withtrepidations about starting a new life and stepping into the practicalworld of going to work. Thinking about it was unnervingandbewildering. He felt completely unprepared for whatwas facinghim.Staying with friends on Vancouver Island, Daniel worked as alabourer in temporary jobs while he tried to figureout what it was hewas equipped to do for a living. He and Laura hadagreed they wouldnot get married until he found work. He felt a realsense of urgencyto get going, to find something quickly. He applied fora job as aschool teacher but was turned down because he didn’t haveateaching certificate. After telling hisstory to an old friend of the110people they were staying with, this man arrangedan interview for asocial worker job with an agency in Victoria hewas on the board of.Daniel had done some counselling as part ofhis work in Vancouver.The agency offered him a job on condition thathe could get registeredas a social worker. The registration act had just been passed theprevious year and there was a year’s periodof grace for people whodid not have a social work degree but had relevantwork experience.A social worker friend with whom he had worked with vouched forhim and, after a review of his academic record, hewas able to getregistered.He was relieved to have a job and started work for the VictoriaFamily and Children Services as soon as the registrationwasconfirmed. Two weeks later, he and Laura were married at a privateceremony by a Catholic priest friend who was alsoa bit of a rebel.Being married in the church by his friendinstead of a justice of thepeace was important, It was affirming, a recognition that somebodyhe respected understood what he was doing.His first assignment involved counselling women whowerepregnant and in the dilemma of keeping,aborting, or putting thechild up for adoption. There was a senseof continuity that camefrom doing this work. While the setting was different, he was abletocontinue to be a touchstone.Within that first year of joining the agency, Daniel was askedby his peers to be president of the stall society that acted as111intermediary with the agency’s director over employmentissues.Daniel felt very fortunate that everything had worked outso well forhim. Feeling compelled to give something back to his peers,heaccepted. Less than a month later, the Capitol RegionalDistrictthreatened to take over the agency. The employees feltvulnerable,afraid their service would be brokenup or done away with. Aftermeeting with representatives of several existing unions,Daniel andhis coworkers opted to form their own union, tailoringit to suit theirown needs.What he had expected to be a peer relationship that everyonewould be involved in became almost fatherly. Daniel foundhe wasacting as a guide for people, directing them on what to do and how toproceed. When the union was certified, Daniel had a sense of havingcreated something important. Looking around, he realized thesignificance of work in people’s lives, the impact of their workingconditions. The union was the first in the province for social serviceworkers. Other agencies’ staff heard about it and asked to join. Theunion hired an organizer and went through a three year period ofrapid growth.During this period Daniel was promoted at work to supervisor.At the same time he continued to play a central role in thegrowth ofthe social service union. His workload snowballed into almosttwofull time sets of responsibilities. He felta tremendous weight,struggling to keep up both his agency and union responsibilities.112During the period the union was rapidlyexpanding, Daniel had avision that crystalized how he felt abouthis situation. While layingin a hospital bed recovering from back surgeryhe had a flash of aninverted pyramid pressing down on, breakinghis back. The pyramidwas made up of faces of all the people for whom he feltresponsible.He was aware of himself feeling this heavy loadthroughout thisperiod but whenever he tried to lessen hisinvolvement with the unionhe would be drawn back in.Daniel was just out of hospital when hereceived word hisfather was dying. It was a very importantmoment in Daniel’s lifewhen his father told him how much he lovedhim just before he died.His father had never been an expressiveperson and Daniel hadyearned to know of his love. In the aftermath of hisfather’s death,Daniel found himself questioning who hewas in the face of hisfather. Daniel had never dared challengehis father’s authority,anger, or dominance. He had always runaway from it. Forinstance, this had been a large part of whyhe had gone away toWashington D. C. to complete high schoolin the seminary. Danielgot involved with a team of therapists andover the course of the nextseveral years found he was able to releasemuch of the anger he felt.He became more expressive, and more confidentabout himself in theface of authority. He began to understandthe rebel in himself,understand his need to be both anti-authoritarianand the niceresponsible child.113Around the same time of Daniel’s father’s death, theNewDemocratic Party was elected as the government of the province ofBritish Columbia. They quickly restructured the entire provincialsocial service, using one model for the Lower Mainland and anotherfor the rest of the province. The government took overthe privateagencies, making everyone government employees. As a result ofthese changes Daniel’s social service union was required to split. ItsLower Mainland members became part of the Community ResourcesBoard and its Vancouver Island members went with the BCGEU.When Daniel’s local joined the BCGEU, the BCGEU formeda socialservice component and Daniel became first vice president of thecomponent. Also as a result of the restructuring, Daniel became adistrict supervisor of social services for the government.Over the next several years Daniel continued to walk on twosides of the line, holding down his social worker job while continuingto hold down a series of progressively more responsible jobs with theunion. After catching the chair of the social services componenttrying to sabotage the union’s collective agreement, Daniel replacedhim. He served in this position for several years but continuedto findit challenging to meet both his social work and union obligations.Eventually he stepped down, tired of splitting himself between twovery responsible roles. He had just finisheda period of intensetherapy and had decided to take better careof himself. His socialservice job had become much more demanding, making it harder to114be away on union business. And not longbefore this, he had rejectedan offer to be an employee of the union. Itseemed to be the logicalthing to do. He had expended as much energyas he could give at thatpoint.For the next three years Daniellimited his involvement tositting on the provincial executive councilas an advisor. He missedbeing at the centre of the actionbut it was good to not be away fromwork so much. At least his councilseat let him continue to have aninfluence on the union’s direction.He was relatively satisfied withthis set up until certain developmentswithin the union drew himback into a more active role. Therewere a number of things in thelife of the union that called out to himto intervene. The union wasgoing off course. The head of the unionand his staff, all nonelectedemployees of the union, were becomingincreasingly dictatorial,Daniel had invested the last tenyears into the union’s growth anddevelopment. He couldn’t standby and watch this happen, he wasangry, compelled to wade back in,determined to reform the union.During this period Daniel reemergedas an active politicalforce within the union. Heset out on a course to democratize theunion, but found even theway he became first vice-president oftheunion to be representativeof the problem he felt compelled tofight.When the first vice-presidentof the union resigned and Daniel stoodbefore the executive council for theposition, it turned out his electionwas manipulated. He was angry andashamed by this and several115other subsequent events, making him even more determinedtoreform the union. He began by seeking ratificationof his position asfirst vice-president directly from the unionmembership and thenleading a campaign that had the union shift from havingits head apaid hired employee to an elected full-time presidentialposition.This constitutional change set off a war within the union.Danielwas leading a movement that was changing the structure of powerand decision making in the union. The union establishmentsawhim as a threat, as further reform would meana loss of their power.During this period the provincial government, as part of acontroversial package of labour legislation that includes giving it theabffity to fire its employees without cause, fired a long list ofemployees who just happened to be union activists. Lead by theBCGEU, mass opposition to the government’s action took to thestreets, The campaign succeeded in forcing the governmenttowithdraw or modify much of its legislative package. It was duringthis campaign that Daniel decided he was goingto run for presidentof the union on a platform of reform. He had found the government’saction to be so abhorrent, it galvanized in his mindthe necessity ofthe union. It really was a genuine instrument of social change thatpeople have available to them if only they can access it.Personally, Daniel felt the die had been cast. Thegovernment’s anti-labour move had put Daniel’s reform plans onhold, but until then he had been leading a growing reform movement116within the union. People had been looking to him to do more thantalk about democratic control of the union and the ability of themembership to control events through control of the union. Theexperience they had just come through demonstrated the power ofgrass roots involvement. Daniel had played a key role in thismovement. It was very clear that it was up to him to give control ofthe union to the membership. If it was going to happen he was theone who was going to do it. He was very comfortable with the idea oftaking on the administration. He had the support of most of theexecutive council and felt the membership expected it of him.Daniel was elected president of the union at the nextconvention. He knew he had a very big job on his hands but wasn’tquite sure how he was going to accomplish it without resorting to thesame kind of tactics that had convinced him of the need for reform.He made several advances, starting with working on the union’s wayof operating and style of negotiating, trying to get rid of its bullyimage and replace it with a more intelligent, sophisticated one.Later he and the executive council developed a blueprint to restorepower to stewards and generate more activity at the rank and filemembership level. However, it seemed each time Daniel started toreform the internal structure of the union, the process would getdelayed. The government kept dropping some unexpected bombshellthat required the union leadership’s attention.117The government’s next attack on the union turned outto beDaniel’s most significant personal crisis. In themidst of contractnegotiations with the BCGEU, the governmentannounced they weregoing to do away with the government service by privatizing it. In themiddle of this struggle, Daniel found himself takingon this issue ashis own personal battle. He was head of the union, he wasresponsible. Once again, he felt it was all up to him. He did not wantto preside over the destruction of the union or the governmentservice. Everyone around him seemed to be immobilized, theyjustcouldn’t believe what was happening. Although he had been theonepushing hard for democratic membership involvement, as thefightwith the government wore on, he moved toa position in his own mindwhere he could not rely on the executive. In theprocess ofnegotiating an acceptable collective agreement, Daniel isolatedhimself from the executive and the membership.The executive hadbeen left out of the process and Daniel had forcedhis bargainingcommittee to obey his command on all the major decisions.Even though he had been preaching democratization, Danielhad become a solo act, ignoring his executiveand using “strong arm”tactics on his own bargaining committee. He hadbeen afraid thiswould happen. Despite his intentions, hewas now acting much likethe leadership he had feltcompelled to replace. But he was soenmeshed with carrying the responsibility thathe wasn’t able to seethis.118Daniel’s loss of trust in the people hewas supposed to beworking with was a major point of contentionat the next convention.He retained the presidency witha very slim majority but it was amoral defeat. After all hehad done for the union, particularly in thislast battle, the membershipwas rejecting him. Daniel was reallyhurt, really in a tailspin. Hewas blind to what had gone wrong untiltwo things happened, teaching him two importantlessons abouthimself.After the convention he and his wifewent on a trip to Spain.One afternoon they got lost while out on a walking tourof Madrid.Daniel had a mental picture of where they needed togo but Lauraeventually refused to follow him anymore.They ended up in a ragingargument over which direction togo in. Daniel felt like Laura wasundermining his authority by not following him. It washisresponsibility to be the guide and she was preventinghim from doingwhat he needed to do. When they later talked over whathappenedshe told him she had refused to go any furtherbecause he wastreating her like an appendage. They were supposedto be walkingtogether but he had left her behind somewhere.He had gotten sofixed on finding the metro, she felthe had forgotten she was therewith him. It clicked for him that how he had reacted inthis incidentwas symbolic of the way he respondsto responsibility. He wouldbecome so focused on the importance of carryingthe responsibility fora project that he would forget about his relationshipwith whoever119else was involved, even when itwas his most intimate partner.Realizing this, Daniel decided hecouldn’t afford to do this anylonger.The second lesson occurreda few months later. He had beenreading Joseph Campbell’s writingon mythology and had becomeintrigued by the notion that thestructure of a person’s mind createshis or her reality. He beganto wonder what his own mythology was,how did he structure things? Ashe mulled this over, he began to payattention to his dreams as they cameup. He and Laura had taken aweek off and were spending it attheir cabin on Hornby Island. Onenight he woke up from a dream.In the dream his grandmother wastelling him it had been his grandfather’swish that Daniel be the firstAmerican pope. And in the dreamhe saw an image of himself asthe lone ranger. He cameto see himself acting like the lone hero thatwould come to the rescueand then ride off. The dream hadcrystalized a personal mythology thatwas not working. This was aselfimage, a projection of himself as hero,that was not useful to himanymore. All his heros were martyrs,people who had been killed.He realized that he had also expectedthis would happen to him. Ifsomebody else didn’t do it, he wouldend up killing himself. He hadalways pushed a fairly uncompromisingline, regardless of thepersonal consequences. He told himselfhe could let go of this, hedidn’t need to live this way. Over thenext couple of days he talkedwith Laura, unraveling the myth, reflectingon the role he was in120and wondering how it would be if he was not doing it to carry outsome personal myth structure. He wondered if the presidency wouldlose all of its juice for him.Going back to work without the mind structure of martyr, theone that had to carry responsibility for the union all alone,wasenormously freeing. He had shed the feeling of thejob being aburden. This had some important consequencesat work. Instead ofnot having any energy for his job, he found hecould be much moreresponsive and have many more choices available when consideringwhat to do in a situation.The shift has allowed new possibilities to openup concerninghow Daniel can do his job and live his life. It has allowed him to be amore effective executive officer. He finds he has less of a need forrecognition; he no longer pushes himself into the spotlight with themedia. He has regained the support and involvement of his staff. Hefinds he now shares the responsibility, letting others carry theirshare. He has been able to recognize that the executive council reallyis in charge and accepts direction from them.Daniel is not finishedwith being president of the union but he does find it has a differentplace in his life. He has lost the compulsion tohave to be the leader.He still sees the value in social action, but heis now less driven aboutit.Daniel has spent his adult life rebelling against authority:hisfather, the church, the dictatorial union leadership,and the121government. His career transition began whenhe took on theRoman Catholic Church and endedup leaving the priesthood. Buthis internal struggle continued throughhis discovery andimmersion in the labour union movement.His change to labourunionist was not complete until he had finallybroken free of the lonecrusader role he had been living.This breakthrough didn’t occuruntil, after becoming union chief, herealized he was acting muchlike the authoritarian figures he had spenthis life fighting against.Letting go of the martyr image has broughthim an innerpeacefulness, a quiet assurance that is evidentin his daily affairsand leadership style. He is now much morelike the responsible,democratic leader he has always strived tobe.ConvergenceThe event loadings of both principal components converge withthe flow of the narrative account. The narrativedescribes a changefrom compulsion to liberation.Joseph went from being a lonecrusader, full of fury and driven to challengeauthority to being aresponsible leader, free to choose his battlesand how to fight them.The first principal component describesall but a single periodof the transition spent fullof determination and wanting support.Generally, the loading of an event matchesits description in thestory. For example, when Daniel reactedto the dictatorial style theunion leadershipdemonstrated, the event loading was .62.122Similarly, the narrative describes Danielbeing compelled to wadeback in, determined to democratize the union.The second component describes a change from being angrytoa sense of well being. Once again, the eventloadings match theirdescriptions in the story. For example, when Daniel’s father tellshim he loves him, the event loading is .58. Similarly, the narrativedescribes this as a very important moment,something Daniel hadyearned to hear. The Q-sorts provide an abstract description ofDaniel’s transition. The narrative gives ita richness of detail andmeaning.Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative AccountYou captured the story very accurately. It’s absolutelyaccurate ... I’d say you captured the essenceof the experience.The redescribing of the harmonizing of the lines - it felt goodtoread it. Its a good biography. I mean, it captures a lot of thedetail, distils it, picks up on clear lines ...As I read it, itsbasically as it was.You are a good listener and the openness ofthe listeningallowed a lot of freedom for the story to come out unimpeded.Iappreciated that part of it.Independent Reviewer ReportThe interviewer did not influence the contentof thesubject except to occasionally ask for clarification oramplification of a point. Daniel seemedeager to talk and was123not made uncomfortable or reluctant by the interviewer’soccasional interruptions.This was a most interesting story. The write-upof thecase is accurate and interesting, leaving nothing majorout -except to say that the subject is of Irish descent!124CHAPTER VIICASE STUDY FOUR: JOSEPHINDEPENDENT PETROLEUM AGENTTOUNIVERSITY PROFESSORPrincipal Component AnalysisThe first principal component accounted for66% of thevariance in the Q-sorts. Since the factor loadings of events did notshow a clear change from beginnings (.61)to end (.74), thiscomponent does not define the transition. However, it reflectspotentially important items. Some of these accompanied andcontributed to the transition. One item was definitely not part of thetransition. To define this component, all item factor scores exceedingplus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, theseitemsare listed below.No emptiness about life (1.8)Sense of direction and purpose (1.6)Challenged(1.6)Took charge(1.6)The second component accounted for8% of the variance in theQ-sorts. Since it shows a clear change inevent loadings frombeginning (.61) to end (-.15), this componentportrays the meaning ofthe transition to Joseph, using the theoreticalterms. In order of125magnitude, these items are listedbelow and phrased to characterizethe beginning of the transition.The end of the transition is theopposite of each item.Was wondering about my future (2.6)Did not take charge(2.0)Did not have a breakthrough(1.9)Considered options(1.7)The first component indicates thatthroughout the transitionJoseph had a strong sense of directionand purpose, felt in charge ofhis life, and challenged(See Figure 5, Case study four: Joseph). Thepattern of change on thesecond component manifested moderateswings. Joseph went from wonderingabout his future andconsidering his optionsto taking charge and having a breakthrough.Change across the transitiondid not appear to be gradual butcyclical. Joseph alternated betweenperiods spent wondering abouthis future and consideringhis options, and times when heexperienced a breakthroughby taking charge of the situation he wasfacing.Personal NarrativeJoseph had never really planned tobe in the petroleumtrucking business. It was simplysomething he had ended up in, anaccident of circumstances. He hadbeen working a variety of jobs(e.g., driving truck, operating heavy equipment)when the opportunityto become an independent wholesalepetroleum agent for ESSO had126been offered to him by someone he had met. ESSO neededarepresentative in northwestern B. C. He was in his early twenties,recently married, didn’t have anymoney, and was expecting to havechildren soon. The company offered to finance him and itwas achance to do better, to earn a little more, maybe builda house. Hestarted with one truck and had soon built itup to three. Fifteen yearslater he had built his house, was raising his fourdaughters, and hadsettled into a comfortable small town lifestyle that included skiing,hiking, and playing in a dance band with his wifeon weekends.Financially the business was doing fine, it had become thenumber one company in the area. Butover the last two or threeyears, it had become very routine and thechallenge had gone out ofit. It had become too predictable, the same thing overand over again.He knew exactly what was coming. Thiswas true for both runningthe business and the kind of life he had in FortSt. John. When helooked ahead there was presumablya good enough living for the restof his life, but it wasn’t really what hewanted to do.Joseph had never felt he was like many of the other businesspeople in town. They were far tooconservative, far too set in theirways. Everything was measuredby the dollar sign, a chamber ofcommerce mentality which he couldn’tabide. He felt many of thepeople around him had atrophied or gottencaught up in the pettypomposity of their businesses. ForJoseph ideas were important,more important than the materialmeasuring devices everyone127around him was using. And a lot of people didn’t wantto hear that.In a small town it was noticeable ifyou were different or tended tobuck the establishment. He wantedto escape this kind of life.Joseph wondered what to do. Over a period of timehe startedto feel that maybe there was something else. His wife played aninstrumental role in this. Carol encouragedhim to considerteaching. She thought it was something hewould be good at. Carolhad been a teacher before comingto Fort St. John and she had gottenback into it as a substitute. Joseph had alwaysdone a lot of reading,even while running the business. Reading andstudying had alwaysbeen easy for him. He considereda number of other occupations, butthere were several reasons why teaching seemed likethe naturalthing to do. It was something he felt capableof doing. Joseph’sbrother, Carol’s sister and a number oftheir friends were teachers.There was a comradeship amongteachers that he admired and hethought he had a pretty good idea what itwould be like. It wassomething he could train for relatively quicklyand get back into theworkforce pretty easily without abig investment. Given his familyresponsibilities, this was a criticalfeature.Once he had made his decisionto go into teaching he put thebusiness up for sale, quickly sellingit to his employees. Selling thebusiness felt good, like it was a loadoff his back. He had beenanxious to sell it and was glad tobe rid of it. It represented an128important psychological break. He was donewith it; it was gone.There was no turning back now.Joseph had intended to qualify fora temporary teachingcertificate at U. B. C.’s summer schoolsession and then take a job.Leaving his family in Fort St. John, he camedown to Vancouver tostart his courses. He hadn’ttaken a course in seventeen or eighteenyears. Not knowing what wouldbe expected of him, he pushedhimself to study hard. The hardwork paid off with Joseph makinghigh marks. He decided to stayand do the winter session. To hissurprise, he found he really thrived onbeing in university. Thecourse load was heavy and somewhatbewildering but he readextensively, worked hard, and enjoyed himself.As part of histeacher training program, he was requiredto declare two areas ofinterest. He chose history as his major,feeling it was really his field,and English literature as his minor.The following summer, Joseph tookanother full course load atsummer school before returningto Fort St. John to teach high school.He found teaching to be very challenging,not what he had expected.He thought he would be teachingEnglish or social studies. He had toteach a whole range of subjectssuch as art, music, and physicaleducation. And he had beenhanded an occupational class of slowlearners no one else wanted, givento him because he was the newestteacher on staff. He found it verytough, at times wondering what itwas he was doing there. But itwas too late. He had crossed over and129he wasn’t going back. He was firm, determined he was going tomake it as a teacher.That winter Joseph landed a major teaching scholarship fromthe University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Education. Winningthe scholarship made it possible to go back to school full time foranother year. That really did it. It was both a psychological andmonetary boost. He had come to consider working between schoolsessions to be a stopgap measure to earn money. The awardstrengthened his resolve to finish his degree as quickly as he could.It was an external confirmation that he was on the right path and itgave him the financial support he needed to do it withoutinterruption.From the time he had started university, Joseph had assumedhe would get his degree. It hadn’t taken him long to size up theprofession, realizing that if he didn’t have his degree he would getstuck in certain teaching jobs and at a certain salary level. He wasaware of the financial demands that a family placed on him. Thosewho got ahead and enjoyed teaching had a solid background. Heknew he could get by in whatever subject he had to teach, but thatwasn’t his style. He always wanted to know more, to have an indepth knowledge of his subjects. It was a matter of principle. Also,he knew his own self-esteem and confidence were related to howwellhe did academically.130He returned to the University of British Columbia(U. B. C.) thefollowing summer, taking his family with him, and spent the nextyear taking as many courses as he could. During the winter sessionhe won a scholarship to attend an international summer school inOslo, Norway. That summer he met academics and other historystudents from all over North America and Europe. It was veryexciting, exposing him to a whole new world of possibilities, otheracademic institutions, and what it was possible to study. Thisexperience crystalized in his mind that it wasn’t enough to just do abachelor’s degree. He was determined to continue his studies, to atleast do a master’s degree.The following winter was spent back in Fort St. John teachingand sending off applications for graduate school. Applying tograduate school was a very big move, reflecting a fundamentalchange in Joseph’s life. Since Oslo, going to graduate school was allhe thought about. It would mean the whole family leaving Fort St.John. He was full of questions: If he was accepted what would he doabout it? Would he sell the house? Would there be enough money tolive on?He had decided he wanted to go somewhere other than U. B. C.and one of his mentors had given him a list of schools to apply to, Hehad expected he would attend a Canadian school but none of themwould accept him, believing he was too old. Fortunately theAmerican universities did not have the same attitude and he was131accepted by three or four U. S. institutions that had excellenthistoryprograms. He accepted an offer from theUniversity of Oregon inEugene, Oregon. In the summer, Josephwas back at U. B. C.finishing the last course for his bachelor’s degree.Saying good-bye to Fort St. John was a very emotional moment.He had lived there for thirty years and hiswife had been theretwenty. They had raised their four daughters there.Joseph’sparents, many relatives, all their friends werethere. It was going tobe a big change but there was no question he and his wifewere bothready to leave. They sold the house,packed up, and headed forEugene in their ‘56 Chevy stationwagon.Joseph quickly settled into student life at the University ofOregon. Everyone was very receptive, helpingthem get set up in theuniversity community. He felt rightat home that first week. Theylived in student housing, survivingon Carol’s earnings from a job atthe university library and his teachingassistantships,Joseph found the pace to be much faster thanwhat he hadgrown used to at U. B. C. He wasin with a high powered group ofpeople, the cream of the crop. He thrivedon it. His first graduatecourse was historiography, his baptismat the University of Oregon.How well a person did in this coursewas considered the acid test ofhow well he or she was goingto handle the challenge of graduateschool. The students saw their firstseminar presentation as a trialby fire. Joseph refused to beintimidated. He was determined to132make a good first impression on his professor anddid an outstandingjob. Everything else fell into place after that. When Joseph wasapplying for graduate school, one of his mentors atU. B. C. had toldhim not to come back until he had a Ph. D. Heeding this adviceduring his first year, Joseph consulted with his professors aboutskipping the master’s degree and proceeding directly to the Ph. D,They consented, and he spent the next two years completing hiscourse work, language requirements, and comprehensiveexaminations with flying colours. He approached each of thesesimply as an interesting personal challenge. He saw nothing to getintimidated or upset about. He felt confident about his ability to dowhatever was required of him. Besides, after the gambles he hadtaken, (e. g., selling the business, making the move), it wasn’t goingto be the end of the world if he didn’t pass an exam. He worked hard,enjoying his studies, but it was clear to him he didn’t want to stickaround. Even at the graduate level he was crammingto get done asquickly as possible.At the end of his second year he set up his dissertationresearch topic. After being dissuaded from political constitutionalhistory he struck upon doing a study inimmigration history. Itseemed like a natural topic for him. The field was wide open.Scandinavians were a major local immigrantgroup that no one elsewas studying, and he was a Scandinavian immigrant himself.As ayoung boy he had come with his parents to Canada.It was also133important that it seemed feasible that he could do a project in thisarea in less than a year. He had already decided he was going tofinish his program the next year.He spent the first half of the following year looking for a jobwhile he researched his dissertation topic. Assuming he was goingto have his Ph. D. completed, he applied to a number of universitiesfor a faculty position. After being interviewed in the spring by theUniversity of Michigan, he was offered a tenure track position oncondition he had his Ph. D. in hand by the fall. He wasn’t sure hewanted to live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but it was a Big Tenuniversity. For each of the schools he had applied to, he had beencareful to consider the reputation and long term career implications.He had other offers but felt lucky to be offered a Big Ten appointment.He just couldn’t afford to turn Michigan down.He accepted the appointment, telling the University ofMichigan he had finished his dissertation. The truth was he hadn’teven started writing at that stage. He had fourmonths to get thecompleted copy of the dissertation done. Itwas a real race, workingat breakneck speed around the clock. It waspush, push, push, buthe managed to finish in timeand headed to Michigan.Michigan did not turn out to be anything likehe had expected.Being a graduate student had beena breeze compared to having to getdown to the routine of teaching full time atthe University ofMichigan. He had to immediately face upto fact that he didn’t like134teaching nearly as much as he enjoyed being in graduateschool, Healso found himself going through a kind of natural decompressionfrom the rigourous self-imposed schedule he had been on the lastthree years. For instance, he couldn’t stand to look at hisdissertation or do any writing. This was compoundedby thebittersweet feelings he and Carol had about leaving the pacificnorthwest. They both felt out of place in Ann Arbor. The universitycommunity had given them a warm receptionbut it was a brutallydifferent world outside of the university gates: the physicallandscape, the political tensions of the 1960s, the violence,and thepoverty. They felt like they were a long, long way from home.He hadn’t been in Ann Arbor for more than two or threemonths when a U. B. C. Faculty of Education department headphoned Joseph, asking him to come back for two monthsas a visitingprofessor to teach summer school. He accepted immediately. Twomonths after that he received another phone call fromU. B. C., thistime offering him a temporary one year appointment inaddition tothe summer position. At the same time theUniversity ofSaskatchewan called to offer a tenure trackposition. When he toldthe University of Michigan, they offered topromote him immediately.He talked things over with Carol and theydecided as a familyto take a chance on U. B. C. Before leaving EugeneJoseph and Carolhad promised themselves they would try to eventuallyget back to thewest coast. Carol’s parents lived in Vancouverand she wanted to be135closer to them. Joseph missed the outdoors,the active mountainlifestyle he had given up in his pursuit of anacademic career.There was no way Joseph could be surethere would be a futurefor him at U. B. C. However, they had doneso many things that wereout of the ordinary that gambling a sure positionat the University ofMichigan for a temporary one at U. B.C. just didn’t seem riskyanymore. While Michigan offered great intellectualstimulation,Joseph was not sure that U. B. C., at the time,would offer acomparable intellectual environment. However,after everything hehad been through, he knew himself well enoughto know he couldmaintain his scholarly interests without it,After reaching hisdecision, it was just a matter of waiting out thewinter, packing upand heading for Vancouver.Driving across the border south of Calgary, backinto Canadawas a very high point, marking the completionof Joseph’stransition. When Joseph’s transition began,the petroleumwholesaling business had long since lost itschallenge and he hadbeen craving some kind of work that wouldexcite him intellectually.While he had been very attachedto many aspects of his life in Fort St.John, neither his job or thecommunity had ever given him theintellectual stimulation hecraved.Joseph had successfully leftthe mindless routine of his smallbusiness to live in a world of ideas.But in the pursuit of this dream,he had sacrificed his love ofthe outdoors, the active lifestyle that,136when he wasn’t working, revolved around his mountain hiking insummer and cross country skiing in winter. His quest had takenhim to Michigan, a place that from a political, cultural, andgeographic perspective turned out to be substantively different thanwhat he had known in the pacific northwest.Heading to Vancouver was like going home after thesuccessful completion of an adventure. Having an academic positionat U. B. C. meant Joseph was able to have both the way of life he lovesand the world of mind he loves. It was the culmination of the biggamble he and his family had taken leaving Fort St. John.Joseph always believed that as long as he kept his eye on hisgoal he could make it. He had this attitude when he made the initialdecision to leave his business for teaching. It was also evident afterhe discovered the world of ideas that existed in academia and decidedto go to graduate school. It was this same goal orientation and clarityof purpose that took him to the University of Michigan and guidedhim home unscathed. The times he spent wondering about hisfuture were not filled with self-doubt or feelings of emptiness. Theywere occasions for reviewing what was important to him and sortingout how to take on the next challenge.Joseph ended up securing a tenure track position in theFaculty of Education and eventually became department head. Nowretired, he continues to conduct research and write about137immigration history while maintaining an active outdoor life skiingand hiking in the mountains.ConveraenceThe event loadings of both principal components converge withthe flow of the narrative account. In the narrative it is evident thatthroughout the change Joseph feels he is in command of his life, thathe is capable of doing whatever is necessary as he searches forabetter life. Within this frame, he has periods of review andcontemplation before shifting into action.The first principal component describes a relatively constantand strong sense of purpose, the importance of feeling challengedand in charge. Generally, the loading of an event on the firstcomponent matches its description in the story. For example, whenhe describes the trial by fire that was his first historiographyseminar, the event loading was .90. Similarly, his narrativedescription portrays him thriving on the pressure,determined tomake a good first impression andrefusing to be intimidated.The second principal component describes a cyclical changefrom wondering about the future and consideringoptions to havingbreakthroughs by taking charge. The loading of anevent on thesecond component also matches its descriptionin the story. Forexample, when Joseph decides to sell the businessand go back toschool, the event loadings shifted from.36 to -.30. Similarly, hisnarrative description moves from reflectionand deliberation to138decisive action. After sizing up the teaching profession andreviewing his family responsibilities he quickly moves to sell off thebusiness, describing the decision as an important psychologicalbreak from the past. The Q-sorts provide an abstract description ofJoseph’s transition. The narrative gives it a richness of detail andmeaning.Study Particiyant’s Self-review of Narrative AccountI think it is pretty accurate as far as the general story isconcerned ... In terms of the broad story itself and the wayyou’ve itemized things, and set out - I think the narrative istrue. I don’t think there is anything I can see in the way it isdone that does any violence to the facts ... I think it is a prettyaccurate reading. That is how things came about.Independent Reviewer ReportThe content and tone of Joseph’s interviews are clearlyand concisely captured in the summary. Joseph was guidedvery effectively in recalling relevant information withoutunnecessary and tiresome diversions. Yet he felt free to recallhis story as it came to mind. He spoke clearly and with a greatdeal of energy about his career transition. His consistency indescribing his approach to change and his feelings ofadventure, confidence and family involvement are realisticallyand sensitively portrayed by the summary.139CHAPTER VIIICASE STUDY FIVE: RACHELPHYSICIST TO MINISTERPrincipal Component AnalysisThe first principal component accounted for 40% of thevariance in the Q-sorts. Since the factor loadings of events showaclear change from beginning(-.67) to end (.70), this componentportrays the meaning of the transition to Rachel, using thetheoretical terms. To define this component, all item factor scoresexceeding plus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude,these items are listed below, and phrasedto characterize thebeginning of the transition. The end is the opposite of each item.Not excited (2.4)Emptiness about life (1.7)Bored (1.7)Stuck (1.5)Angry (1.5)The second component accounted for 22% of the variance in theQ-sorts. Since it did not show a clear change in event loadings frombeginning (.10) to end(.02), this component does not define thetransition. However, it reflects potentially important itemsthataccompanied and perhaps contributed tothe transition. These itemsare listed below.140Vulnerable (2.9)Not confident (2.3)Was struggling with conflict(2.0)Challenged (1.7)Not happy (1.6)The pattern of change on the first component manifestedextreme swings from being trappedto being excited about life. (SeeFigure 6, Case study five: Rachel). Change acrossthe transition didnot appear to be gradual, but cyclic. Rachelalternated betweenperiods of excitement and times when she felt angry, bored,stuck,and an emptiness about her life. On the secondcomponent, duringthe first half of Rachel’s change, therewas a growing feeling ofvulnerability and of being challenged as Rachelstruggled withconflict, During the second half of the change,Rachel had periodicrelief from this.Personal NarrativeBy the time she was twenty-four Rachel had finished herdoctorate in physics at Oxford, England andwas working as a postdoctoral research fellow in the physics departmentat Simon FraserUniversity (S. F. U.) in Vancouver, B. C. Shewas supposedly set forlife. But she felt terrible, just awful aboutthe direction her life washeaded in. She found herself having doubtsabout the career trackshe was on. She wondered if she could handlebeing a professor orfull time researcher, whether she had the commitmentto do the141academic rat race. She was questioning more thanher ownadequacy as a physicist. She found herselfwondering why she hadbeen attracted to physics in the first place.As a child, school had always been a kindof safe haven. Herschool performance had been her sole source ofrecognition from herparents that she was of any worth. Physics hadalways beensomething she had enjoyed in school andit was easy for her to dowell in it. As an adolescent, she had seen schoolas a way to escapethe unexplainable oppression and fear she feltat home. She hadgone off to Oxford, done well academically,and had married Kevan,also a physics student, the year she had completed herbachelor’sdegree.She was doing a post-doc at S. F. U. because her husband haddemanded that she come with him to Vancouver. Shefelt like shehad been dragged from Englandto Canada. Kevan hadn’t done wellenough to do graduate work at Oxford. Afterworking on a master’sdegree for a year at another British school, he announcedthey weremoving to Canada so he could do his doctorateat S. F. U. For Rachel,being married meant she was supposed to stick with herhusband nomatter what. Feeling obligedto follow, she had scrounged up thepost-doc and joined him a few months later.Rachel had found it hard to get settled in Vancouver.Everything was so different, soforeign. There was so much to adjustto. She was living in a city ina part of the world where the gigantic142scale of everything was overwhelming. Shewas working in an areaof physics she could function inbut didn’t feel connected to orinvested in. To complicate matters,many of the people in her labwere either mean or patronizing.And she found living with herhusband to be very difficult. She found herselftrapped in a badmarriage with a man who dominated and controlled her with hisanger.Prior to moving to Canada, Rachel had beena member of theChurch of England and, since leaving home,had attended regularly.Shortly after arriving in Canada she beganlooking around for achurch. Kevan’s grandfather was a Methodistminister so they haddecided to check out the United Churchof Canada. They chose onewith a good Methodist name, found thecongregation quite friendly,and settled into going together every Sunday.Over the next couple of years Rachel moved out of the postdoctoral position and became a researchassociate but the work wasmuch the same, She continued at the physics lab, doing research,teaching the odd course, and publishing. Shecontinued to havedoubts about what she was doing in physics,questioning therelevance of her research in some cases andthe ethical implicationsof other work. However, she stayed with it, recognizingshe wasdependent on it for their bread and butter.Without landedimmigrant status there was no prospect ofdoing anything else.143During this same period, Rachel becameincreasingly involvedwith the church, teaching Sunday schooland sitting on the board. Itbecame the centre of her life. Everything else shedid was withKevan, doing whatever activities he wanted themto do. She feltobligated to take part in his world. She was required to have hisfriends as her friends. She continued to feel controlledby him, evenat work. He was in another division of thephysics department butalmost every day he would get her to helphim with his research orcome to her lab for sympathy or advice.Rachel knew she was moving away from physicsbut had noidea what she would do instead. Her lifewith Kevan continued to be“the pits”. At the same time, she was becomingdissatisfied withchurch. She was experiencing a growingdesire to know more abouther faith, to understand the context withinwhich it had developed.She was frustrated with the level of informationand understandingthat could be reached as a lay person relyingon the resources withinher congregation. She wasn’t sure whyshe had such a strongdesire, only that she did and there was somethingshe couldn’taccess that was important. Asa way to explore this, Rachel signedup for a summer course in religiousstudies.The religious studies course helped Rachelfeel moreconnected to the church, and with Christianityas a faith. What shegot out of it was more than justknowledge. It gave her a newunderstanding of what it meant to be a Christian.It deepened and144changed what she believed it meant to be a Christian. It felt like shehad done a kind of family tree work. The activities and topics werevery different from anything she had ever done in physics. Shewasstudying philosophy and history, exploring ideas she had neverconsidered before. There was a certain appeal to the strangeness of itall. It opened her up to herself and to a whole new world ofpossibilities. She was learning to think for herself, beginning toexplore who she was as an individual.It was just a few weeks after the summer course had finishedthat she realized she wanted to further explore her faith. Herphysics supervisor had wanted to know how long she was going tostay at the lab. She heard herself tell him she would be with him atleast another three or four years, at least until Kevan finished hisPh. D. but she knew she was lying. The next logical step in herphysics career would have been to find an assistant professorshipsomewhere but she just couldn’t entertain this idea. Instead shecontinued at the lab and took a couple more religious studies courses.The following fall she gave birth to her first son and, while on athree month maternity leave from work, starteda master’s programin theology at Vancouver School of Theology. At that point, she wasstill in Canada on a work visa and her research position was the onlyemployment she was allowed to hold. When she started the master’sprogram, Rachel had no clear vision of being a minister oneday. Sheonly knew that she wanted to study theology.145School was wonderful! While it was a struggleat times, sheworked hard and enjoyed her studies.But it wasn’t just going toclasses. Rachel had joined a community. Shegot to know people andthey would get together to go to worship or justhang out. She wasfree to make her own friends, to have a sociallife that was her ownrather than one defined by Kevan. After herleave of absence, Rachelspent the next two years working half-time inthe physics lab andgoing to school half-time. It was a reliefjust to be on campus,leaving the hassles behind. Work was a grind andat home she wasalways fighting with Kevan. Her relationship with Kevan hadneverbeen good but it had disintegrated after the birthof their son.Compared to the rest of her life, school was heaven.Rachel felt drawn to the ministry. Studying along side peoplewho were on the road to becoming ministers clarified what itmeantto be a minister. She began to think of the ministry in more concreteterms, as something she would like to do.Rachel gave her firstsermon at an evening service in her homechurch. She impressedher classmates and a professor who hadcome out to cheer her on.Their support was important, representingexternal confirmationthat she could do it and was on the righttrack.Rachel knew being a minister would be possible only if shewasable to stay in Canada. In England theministry is not a vocation thatis open to women. Unfortunately, shestill didn’t have landedimmigrant status in Canada, making itimpossible to officially apply146to become a ministerial candidate. At this pointshe didn’t know ifshe would ever be a candidate.Rachel was pregnant with her second sonwhen she gave thatfirst sermon. Unfortunately, not long after thisoccasion thepregnancy became difficult and she was forcedto temporarilysuspend school. This left her feelingcut off from her community,her source of strength and support. Bythe time she gave birth to hersecond son, Rachel was physicallyand emotionally exhausted. Shefelt drained by Kevan, by work, by lookingafter her first son, and bythe pregnancy. Immediately after hersecond son’s birth, Rachelquit her job at the lab and went backto school, spending whatevertime she could manage doing coursework.During this period Rachel felt like she wasliving in anightmare, feeling threatened and intimidatedby Kevan, Kevan wasrarely home and when he was theywere constantly fighting. He hada series of girlfriends whom he spent his free timewith and heinsisted Rachel know the most intimatedetails of these relationships.When he had to look after the childrenhe would have a girlfriendbaby-sit. He would threaten to leaveRachel if she didn’t do as heinstructed or if she objected to his behavior.She was afraid shewould be forced to go back to Englandif they split. In her heart, shehad come to believe she couldn’t survive withouthim.A job offer to Kevan from a local computercompany becametheir entrée to landed immigrantstatus. This change of status made147it possible for Rachel to go public with herintention and apply to herchurch for sponsorship as a ministerial candidate.She was acceptedas a candidate but it was clear that the support from many ofthepeople in her home church was qualified.They wanted to know howshe could be a minister when she hadtwo children and a husbandwith a career of his own to consider. Aswas her style at the time,she said nothing, but she was hurt and angrythat people valued hermarriage and her husband’s career more thanthey valued her. Shewas resolved to do it in spite of what they thought. However,theirattitude made her feel even more pressureto keep her marriageintact while pressing on with her studies.This was compounded byKevan’s open resistance to her becoming a minister. Sinceheracceptance as a candidate, her career intention was the mainsubjectof their fights. Rachel felt totally trapped, havingto choose betweenbecoming a minister and staying at homeso her husband wouldn’thave a reason to leave.Over the course of the next year, Rachel continued at schoolbutbecame very depressed. She sought therapy for the depression andatfirst tried to pretend it had nothing todo with her situation. But itdidn’t take too long to see the connection.After a couple of months intherapy she told Kevan shewas leaving him. The next six weekswere hell, with Kevan trying to block herleaving and Rachel callingtransition homes, desperately tryingto find a place she and the148children could live. Eventually, she managedto get a bed sittingroom at the theological school and movedin there with the two boys.It was such a reliefto be separated from Kevan. It felt sowonderful to have a place that washer own, to be free. It was an easytransition. Going to school full timegave her a sense of purpose. Shehad moved into her community,a place where she had friends. Shehad felt so alone and isolated in her marriage.These people madeher feel welcome, looked out for her,comforted her. Rachel spent thenext two and a half years doing courses anda one year internship asa student minister. She and the boys livedon a grant from thecollege, money Rachel made tutoringphysics students part time, andoccasional child support payments. She felta strong financialpressure to finish her program andget out to work as soon aspossible.For a number of reasons, the internshipyear was a time full ofconflict, both internal and with others. First,she was faced withhaving to do for the first time mostof the duties that would beexpected of her as a minister. No matter howmuch support othersshowed, she found it nextto impossible to act independently and haveany confidence in herself. Second,she discovered she responded toconflict at work the same way shehad in her marriage. She wouldbe extremely passive and then lashout in anger. These old habitsonly served to complicate matters.One other ingredient proved tomake life difficult during this period.149During her last year withKevan, Rachel had come to realizeshe was lesbian. Knowingthis had made past sexual feelings thathad always puzzled her make sensebut it took a long time to come toterms with this. Similarly,naming her sexual orientationposed anew dilemma. She waspreparing to be a minister ina church thatwas in the midst of its own internalturmoil, struggling to decidewhether it was acceptableto have gay or lesbian ministers.Seemingly irrelevant behavior likewearing pants or not wearingmake-up aroused suspicion amongsome people. She felt vulnerableto anyone who had any say about hersuitability as a minister, afraidher sexual orientation wouldbar her from her desired vocation.Shehad not come out of the closetabout this with anyone but a few closefriends. She found herself havingto risk disclosing her secret tosupervisors and church officialsshe did not want to have to trust.During this period she wasseeing a therapist, trying to figureout how she was going to copewith being a lesbian in the church andhow she was going to cope with theunpredictable demands Kevankept making. Since separating, Kevanhad taken her to court severaltimes, trying to revise custody,visitation rights or child supportarrangements.Shortly before the completionof the internship, it cameout intherapy that she wasa victim of incest. When Rachel wasa little girlher father sexually abusedher and her sisters for years, rightthrough until she was a teenager.No one else in the family hadever150spoken of this and Rachel had completely buried it, She wasoverwhelmed, inundated with memories and nightmares andfeelings. When it first came out she wasn’t surehow she was goingto carry on. A comment or an exercise ina seminar wouldunintentionally trigger a memory or symbolizeabuse she hadsuffered. While preparing to graduate, addressingher abuse becamethe focus of her life. She began to understandthe impact it washaving on her life and how her model forministry, “compassionatesubversion”, was shaped by her experience.As part of the Master of Divinity degreerequirements, Rachelsummarized her stance. Itwas the starting point for her ministerialwork. Rachel believed Christ to be one’s community.In herministry, compassion meant protecting and nourishingpeople incontrast to possessing and controlling. Subversionmeantoverthrowing that which controls so that peoplecan be free. Thiswas a statement of what had become importantin her own life.Upon ordination, Rachel’s first posting as a UnitedChurchminister was in Whitefox, Manitoba, a rural communityof a fewhundred people. She was really excitedwith the prospect of movingto a new town and conducting her ministry.Ironically, her first dutywas to perform a funeral service theday after she arrived. Shequickly discovered the town itselfwas dying.Within the first few months itwas apparent there was no placefor her in the community. Rachelhad not been prepared for the151narrow boundaries that defined whatwas an acceptable way to live ina small rural town. The people of the townwere not comfortable withher being a single parent. She didn’t dare admitthat she waslesbian. However, given her struggleto break the isolation andsilence concerning her abuse, she foundit intolerable to go back tothis way of living. Rachel knew she was introuble, that she wasfloundering. She knew she didn’t fit in anddidn’t know what shecould offer them. But she felt she just had to makeit work. This washer first placement. If she left so soon shewas afraid there wouldn’tbe another placement available or the placement committee wouldconclude she couldn’t hack living in a small town, Her fearwascompounded by another court battle with Kevan looming in thedistance. How would it look to the court if she wasout of work anddragging the boys around the country?Rachel stuck it out in Whitefox fortwo years. After eighteenmonths she was completely isolated from the community and thechurch membership. During this periodthe United Church’sgeneral council had asked its churches toconsider several reformsincluding the ordination of gays and lesbians.Rachel’s position wasalways opposite that of most of her congregation.Attendance atchurch had dropped from about fortyto nine or ten and she knewthey were staying awaybecause of her. They were openly hostiletowards her and she was angry with them. Shefound herselfactually relieved that they stopped coming.152She gave the parish six months notice andstarted looking foranother job. She had still not come out ofthe closet about her sexualorientation but privately she had decided notto accept a positionwhere the congregation objected to havinga gay or lesbian minister.This made it difficult to find a new position.When she was packingto leave Whitefox she still didn’t have a new church. She had decidedto move to Winnipeg, file her unemployment insurance claimandlook around for a job. She didn’t want to go backto physics but it wasa marketable skill she was prepared to use. It actually feltgood to befacing this. Knowing she could allow herself togo back to physics ifshe had to meant she was a survivor, that she was going to be able tocare for herself and her kids no matter what happened. Theprospectof having to take a break from the ministry allowed her to discoverher identity as a person was not dependent onher being a minister.Given the way she had separated from Kevanit was something shehad wondered about. Thankfully, it looked like Rachel’s worldwasnot going to end if she didn’t havea job as a minister.Rachel’s break from the ministry never came.The nightbefore she left Whitefox she received a telephone call offeringher aposition on Hornby Island, B.C. It was a rural island church on oneof the many small islands thatsit between Vancouver Island and themainland. There was no way she could havea formal interview andthere was only enough money to guaranteea one year, half timeposition. Most of the congregationhad left the church with the153previous minister over the ordination ofgays and lesbianscontroversy. She accepted immediatelybut a half hour later she wasoffered a full time position with an Edmontonchurch she hadinterviewed with earlier. Sheturned down Edmonton but, until shegot to Hornby, woke up every morning wondering ifshe had made amistake.Rachel’s reception on Hornby was wonderful.At first contact,there were signs that she was goingto fit in, For instance, when shefirst arrived she stayed over atthe house of the family who would beresponsible for getting her settled.Rachel noticed the books layingaround their living room were the kind of booksthat she might haveread. The church had only one family left andfour or five others thatwere interested. She was preparedto start with this number butthirty people showed up that first Sunday.The people of Hornby keep surprisingRachel. More and morepeople keep coming out to church. The congregationis enthusiasticabout her ministry. Rachel ispleased with how well her position hasturned out and how much she hasbecome part of the community.She has broken free of the isolationand emotional terrorism sheexperienced as a child and in her adultmarried life. To do thisrequired her to break her silence,to act against the powers that hadtrapped her. She struggled with asense of being powerless for years,gradually breaking free from herimprisonment.154Rachel continues to struggle with her own abuse. Shekeepsworking at it, gradually moving forward. The movement itselfispainful but there is no way around it, Sheis trying to live her lifewith integrity. She has discovered that to do this requires herto actwhen she feels her most vulnerable. Rachel hasfound comfort andstrength in her religious community. Sherecognizes the importanceof her own struggle and how much otherpeople endure in their lives.Rachel now feels free to value her life as somethingworthwhile forits own sake. Her ministry is a means of nourishing andencouraging others to do the same.ConvergenceThe event loadings of both principal components converge withthe flow of the narrative account. The narrativeportrays a changefrom entrapment to self-direction. Rachel shiftedfrom feelingpowerless and victimized to having a sense of self-worth, feeling freeto value her life.The first principal component describesa change from beingstuck to being unstuck. Generally, the loadingof an event matchesits description in the story. For example,when Rachel left herhusband and moved into the bed sitting roomat the theologicalcollege, the event loadings shifted from -.56to .80. Similarly, hernarrative description moves from isolationand depression to reliefand freedom.155The second component indicates Rachel periodicallyfeltvulnerable and struggled with conflictduring the transition. Onceagain, the event loading matches thedescription in the story. Forexample, when Rachel is pregnant with her secondson, the factorloading is .60. Similarly, the narrative descriptionportrays her asfeeling threatened and intimidated, wantingto object to herhusband’s behavior but afraid she won’tbe able to live without him ifhe makes good on his threat to leave her. The Q-sortsprovide anabstract description of Rachel’s transition. Thenarrative gives it arichness of detail and meaning.Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative AccountThe whole thing, its - it is my life. It struck me that theway you have written (the story), it is reallyexaggerated? But Idon’t think it is. I mean, that is how it struckme. But when Ithink about it ‘No, that really happened!’That is how bizarre itwas ... It seems more weird than fiction.But (the story). istrue.Independent Reviewer ReportThis is a brief review of interviews conductedby GaryLadd with Rachel, a woman who hadundergone a majorcareer transition. This type of interviewingaims to be noninterventionistic, except for the purpose of elicitingorclarifying the story. I saw my roleas attempting to judgewhether or not Mr. Ladd was ableto pace his client in tone and156affect, ask clarifying questions appropriately,and generallyassist in the development ofa story that is rich in detail yet freeof outside bias or influence.The summary was accurate in every respectand deeplyempathetic. Mr. Ladd, at various times,asked specificquestions about details which conveyedto me that he wasactively interested in herstory and that he felt her details wereimportant. At the same time, her story flowedtensionlesslyand unabated, pursuing its own line of action. Inother places,he uses self-disclosure to promote her feelingunderstood andstimmary statements to expresstacit themes. I wasimpressed with both his restraint andpresence: it reallyseemed as though a special environment for storytellinghadbeen created.157CHAPTER IXCASE STUDY SIX: LYNNREGISTERED MJRSE TO SOCIAL WORKERPrincipal Comnonent AnalysisThe first principal component accountedfor 43% of thevariance in the Q-sorts. Since it did not showa clear change in eventloadings from beginning(.77) to end (.82), this component does notappear to define the transition. However, itdoes reflect importantitems that accompanied and contributed tothe transition. To definethe first component, all item factor scoresexceeding plus or minus1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude,these items are listedbelow, and phrased to characterize the beginningof the transition.Sense of direction and purpose(1.9)Confident (1.8)Excited (1.8)Happy (1.6)Not numbed (L6)Not overwhelmed (1.6)Not bitter (1.5)The second component accounted for 13%of the variance in theQ-.sorts. Since it did not show a clear change inevent loadings frombeginning(- .34) to end (-.13), this component does not appear to definethe transition. However, it does reflect potentiallyimportant items158that accompanied and contributedto the transition. These items arelisted below and phrased to characterizethe beginning of thetransition.Happy (3.7)Not angry (2.3)Not surprised (1.9)Had not envisioned a better life(1.8)Life not off course (1.5)The pattern of change on the firstcomponent indicates therewas a strong sense of direction and purposewith intermittent periodswhere this was lost.(See Figure 7, Case study six: Lynn). Changeacross the transition did not appearto be gradual, but cyclic. Lynnbegan and ended with a sense of direction and purpose,feelinghappy, excited, and confident about her life.In between were periodswhere she felt overwhelmed, numbed, or bitterabout what washappening in her life. On the second component,Lynn began andended the transition feeling happy about herlife. In between she wassometimes surprised to find her life was offcourse. Knowing shecould have a better life, Lynn wouldbe angered by what washappening during these times.Personal NarrativeWhen Lynn was trying to figureout what to do during her lastcouple of years of high school, nursingseemed like a natural. Sheknew she would like it becausetaking care of people was something159she had always done and enjoyed.Even as a little girl she had afamily reputation as a caretaker,At home she was always watchingout for her brother. At school she wasthe one who would take thenew kid in class under her wing.As a young woman she was theone in the family her motherturned to for help. She had neverseriously considered goingto university because it hadn’t seemedpossible. At the time, her familywas poor. They had no money forher to go to school. Besides,she made decent marks at schoolbut hadnever thought of herselfas the studious type. While she was intraining at Vancouver GeneralHospital she became completelydevoted to nursing. This devotion was reflectedin the top marks shemade and becoming presidentof the student nurses’ association.For the first five years, nursingwas glorious. Shortly after shefinished training, Lynn marriedand moved to the United States sothat her husband, Harry,could go to school, Nursing in the statesreally fitted with her devotionto the profession. Americans tend tobelieve Canadian nurses arebetter trained and show a specialappreciation for them. Lynnenjoyed the recognition and respect shereceived from the medical professionalsshe worked with. There wasplenty of work and once she hadestablished a reputation for qualitywork, was able to call her ownshots. She liked pediatrics andeventually specialized in privateduty nursing for extremely illchildren.160After five years in the United States, Lynn andHarry decided itwas time to go home. Even though Lynn’swork was going well,moving back to Vancouver had becomean extremely attractive idea.First, if they didn’t get out of the UnitedStates, her husband mighthave to go to war. Harry had leftcollege and found work he liked.However, not being in school meant itwas likely he would be draftedinto the U. S. military and sentto Vietnam. Second, Lynn wanted tostart a family but had decided shedefinitely did not want to raise herchildren in the states.Lynn thought she was coming hometo settle down and starther family. The prospect ofworking in the very hospital that hadprepared her for the profession she wasso dedicated to was veryexciting. She had no ideamoving home would be the beginning ofher world caving in on her.She took a job in pediatrics at Vancouver GeneralHospital butwas surprised and disappointed to discovershe was not treated withthe respect and considerationshe had expected. Instead of beingvalued for the skills and experience she hadbrought back, she wastreated like a rookie. It wasobvious all the hospital wanted wasbodies to do the jobs. There wasno flexibility in the work schedules orshift rotations, no room for consideringthe workers as people withindividual needs and lives. Shethought nursing was about strivingfor excellence, being rewarded formerit, being appreciated for thetasks you took on. It made herangry to be treated like a cog in a161wheel. Over the next twelve to fourteen months,she becameincreasingly disenchanted. Inthe very hospital she had been trainedin, the ethics, the standards,the principles she had come to valueand practice were not real. She was proudof being a nurse but wasenraged by the administration’s lackof respect for her profession.When a request for time off was turneddown, she quit on the spot.She wasn’t going to take their “garbage”any more.After interviewing with severalphysicians for an office basedposition and discovering they were unwillingto pay her for theworkload and responsibilities shewould be expected to carry, shedecided to try another hospital. At RichmondGeneral she felt somerelief when she switched from caring for childrento an adultmedical ward for older people. The administrationdemonstrated thesame inflexibility and lack of respect she had experiencedbefore. Atleast the adult patients were ableto give clear feedback about theircare. She felt they valued and appreciated her.She knew from theirwarmth she was doing a good job taking careof them, making themas comfortable and happy as she could.When Lynn had been at RichmondGeneral about a year, oneday she slipped on a wet floor and hurt herback. She did not know itat the time but that was the lasttime she would ever work as a nurse.Lynn ended up having to take threemonths of disability leave andgoing on workers’ compensation.With the exception of aprescription for painkillers, no carewas offered for her injury.162When she did not recover and the Workers’ Compensation Boardquestioned whether she was really hurt, she was incensed.She feltlet down by the very system that was in charge of lookingafter people,that was now supposed to be caring for her. She feltso poorly treatedshe ended up turning her back on the whole system and walkingaway from it. At the time, she never said to herself she was leavingnursing forever. However, she would never again feel stronglyenough about nursing to go back into it under thekind of conditionsshe felt forced to work in.Lynn’s whole world had crumbled around her. Since cominghome, nothing had worked out the way she had expected. Thedegradation at work was only one of several disappointing blows shesuffered during this period. When she hurt her back, Lynn hadbeentrying for three years to have the first of what she had expectedwouldbe a family of five or six kids. Why she wasn’t pregnant was amystery. She had all the tests and there was no reason for it. Shehad figured all you had to do was decide and it would happen.Whenher younger sister accidently got pregnant, Lynnwas devastated. Itjust didn’t seem fair! Meanwhile at work, watching childrendiewhen she so badly wanted one of her own wasgetting to her. Thiswas one reason she had switched to adults whenshe went toRichmond General.At the same time, Lynn felt like there was no longer any roomfor her in her family. When she went to theUnited States, she lost163her place in the family. She used to be the personher parents turnedto when there was trouble. When she came back her youngersisterhad grown up and married a very capable youngman. Now whenher mom and dad turned to anyone, they turnedto her sister andhusband. They had become the family caretakers. Lynnfeltdisconnected from her family.The back injury eventually healed but Lynn did not go back towork. She continued to be disenchanted with nursing andwas stilltrying to get pregnant. She was angry and bitterabout the cruel turnher life had taken. She stayed at home, spendinghours and hoursevery day talking with close friends andher husband, sortingthrough what was going on in her life. Asthe months passed, thetests, the waiting, the effort, become more andmore of a torture.While walking home from the doctor’s officeone day, Lynn decided toadopt a baby. She and Harry had talkedabout it before but now it wasclear. If adopting was what it was goingto take to get a baby, thatwas what she was going to do!Lynn and Harry made an application to adoptand within sixmonths were parents of a ten day old baby boy.Lynn was overjoyed.It was wonderful to finally be a mother and sheloved caring for herbaby. She also found having a baby gave hera new connection withher sister.When her son was six weeks old, Lynn had akind of mysticalexperience in the form of an edict that wouldhave a profound impact164on her future. Standing at the foot of his bed, she looked at him andheard herself ask, “What do I want for this child?” And the answerwas, “I want him to be free to be who he is.” And the next statementwas, “If he is going to be free, then you have to be free.” This visionbecame her set of running orders.For Lynn, freedom meant not being imprisoned in the kind oflife she saw her mother living. She saw her mother as a martyr, avictim who had spent her life passively accepting the emotionalbrutality and chaos her alcoholic father dealt out. In Lynn’s eyes,her mothers life was a series of household rituals held together byensuring certain family taboos were not broken, Any attempt toaddress her father’s alcoholism was scuttled. Any attempt to speakhonestly about one’s feelings or personal problems was diverted. Shehad begun to recognize this after she moved back from the UnitedStates. She saw her sister, now married and with her own family,patterning herself after their mother. When Lynn had her ownchild, she realized she was destined to live her life the samewayunless she did something to change it. Lynn was resolved not tobecome her image of her mother. More positively, she wasdetermined to have options in her life.Lynn began her rebellion by loosening her housekeepingstandards, giving up things like ironing which she didn’t want to bedoing. She began to press for greater honesty in her relationships,questioning the basis of certain friendships and letting some go. She165had always been outspoken, but now she becameeven more vocal onsubjects that were important to her like individual rights.While Lynn continued to find motherhoodvery fulfilling, hermarriage was breaking down, Harry wasnow finding life difficultand having a baby was very distressing. Lynnwasn’t exactly surewhy but there was a new tension betweenthem. When their son wastwo, Lynn and Harry turned down the adoptionagency’s offering of asecond child. Lynn wanted to have more childrenbut was reluctantto willfully stress their marriage further witha second baby.Lynn was overflowing with love and affection for her childandsomehow wanted to extend this feelingto other children, to hercommunity. A few months after they hadturned down the secondadoption, she read an ad in the local newspaperpleading for a fosterhome for a fifteen year oldboy. Lynn found herself wanting to takehim in. After discussing it with Harry, sheresponded to the ad.Within days the boy in the ad was living withthem. When a friend ofhis needed a place, they endedup taking him in too. Pretty soon theyhad three teenage boys living with them. Itwas heavy slugging a lotof the time, intense and tiring. Lynn enjoyed itbut Harry had adifficult time taking these changes in his life instride.When Lynn and Harry took in their first fosterchild, they wereinvited to attend a regular meeting at the teenplacement departmentof the Children’s Aid Society. The agencyran support groups for alltheir foster parents and Lynn and Harrystarted attending regularly.166During the period they had the three fosterboys, the agency waslooking for help running their groupmeetings. Lynn liked thegroups and had some free time. Shesigned on as a volunteer andbegan to work regularly with different groups of people inthe agency.She found she really enjoyed the work.When she was doing a groupit felt “right”, like that was where sheshould be.After Lynn had been a volunteer forabout eight months, achance to take a job as a social workerjust opened up in front of her.The supervisor of the teen placement departmentwas having troublefinding a holiday replacement for herself.None of the eight staffsocial workers wanted to take herjob for the month she would begone. Lynn said she would do it and the supervisor endedup takingher up on the offer. When the supervisorreturned, she hired Lynnon as a full time social worker for the department,paying her asalary equivalent to a master’s degree.Lynn spent the next couple of years workingat the agency,establishing herself in her new profession.She primarily did groupwork with families and teenagers, trainingherself on the job,studying family therapy, gestalt,etc. She was amazed by hownatural it felt to be doing this kindof work.Lynn had managed to become a mother andhad slipped into anew profession she could devote herselfto. These parts of her lifewere going well. Unfortunately,her relationship with her husband,which had been strained, had continuedto flounder. When their167marriage finally ended Lynn felt likethe bottom fell out of her world.She was afraid she was going to fallapart. She needed to know shewas going to be able to raise her son on herown. It wasn’t until shediscovered this confidence in herselfthat she considered hertransition to be complete.Lynn’s movement out of nursing and intosocial work reflectsan important shift in how she livesher life. Nursing reflected theimportance she placed in caring forpeople. But she had come to feelbeing a caretaker, for her family andas a nurse after she came backto Canada, meant having to be oppressed anddegraded. Her desireto break free of this state came outin the love she felt for her adoptedson. Trying to bring her son up free of thiskind of imprisonmenteventually moved her into a careerin social work. Social workreflects the importance Lynn places on beingfree to determine thedirection of one’s own life. She wants this freedomfor her son, herclients, and herself. It requires both self-confidence and resolvetolive this kind of self-directed life. She discoveredthis when sheadopted her son. She rediscovered it when shewas faced withraising him alone.ConvergenceThe event loadings of both principalcomponents converge withthe flow of the narrative account.The narrative portrays a changefrom imprisonment to freedom. When Lynnreturned home, almosteverything in her life that held meaningwas lost (i. e., her devotion to168nursing, her place in her family of origin,the prospect of being amother). Contrary to what she had envisionedfor herself, sheseemed destined to live a life filled withoppression and degradation.An adopted child gave her reason tobreak out of this kind of life andprovided her with an unexpected entrée intoan occupation in whichshe could teach others to do the same.The first principal componentdescribes Lynn’s loss of a senseof purpose in her life and the emergenceof a new one. Generally, theloading of an event matches its descriptionin the story. For example,when Lynn ends up on compensation for herback injury, the eventloading has shifted from .77 to -.15. Similarly,her narrativedescription portrays her as being excited andfull of hope when shefirst moves home. By the time she injures herback, it describes herfeeling like the world has caved in on her.The second principal componentdescribes Lynn’s periodicanger over how her life is off course. The loadingof an event on thesecond component also matches its descriptionin the story. Forexample, when she quither job at V. G. H., the event factor loadingwas .56. This corresponds with the narrativewhich describes her asenraged and disillusioned. TheQ-sorts provide an abstractdescription of Lynn’s transition.The narrative gives it a richness ofdetail and meaning.169Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative AccountIts well done ... Its kind of interestingto see it. Its likeseeing it at arm’s length. Its well written. It basicallysayswhat I said and what I experienced ... Sounds fine,Independent Reviewer ReportI have listened to the tapes, read the transcripts andsummary case description and attest that:a) the interview conducted by Mr. Ladd was withoutapparent intent or bias.b) the written case summary is an accurate condensationof the subject’s narration re: her career changes.170CHAPTER XCASE STUDY SEVEN: JOBYCORPORATE EXECUTWE TO MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTPrincipal Component AnalysisThe first principal component accounted for 55% of thevariance in the Q-sorts. Since it did not show a clear change in eventloadings from beginning (.82) to end (.72), this component does notappear to define the transition. However, it does reflect importantitems that accompanied and contributed to the transition. To definethis component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus 1.5were extracted. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below.Excited (2.2)Not stuck (1.9)Sense of direction and purpose (1.7)Was not wavering in uncertainty (1.6)Taking charge (1.5)The second component accounted for 11% of the variance in theQ-sorts. Since it showed a clear change in event loadings frombeginning (.11) to end (.72), this component portrays the meaning ofthe transition to Joby, using the theoretical terms. In order ofmagnitude, these items are listed below and phrased to characterizethe beginning of the transition. The end of the transition is theopposite of each item.171Took charge (2.1)Confident (2.1)Did not realize I had to change (1.9)The pattern of change on the first component indicates astrong sense of direction and purpose with intermittent periodswhere this was lost. (See Figure 8, Case study seven: Joby). Changeacross the transition did not appear to be gradual, but cyclic. Jobybegan and ended excited, filled with a sense of direction and purpose,and feeling in charge of his life. In between were periods where hefelt stuck and wavered in uncertainty. On the second component,Joby periodically realized he had to make some kind of change in hislife. Such a realization defined the completion of his transition.Personal NarrativeBy the time he was twenty-six Joby already had an excellent jobas a product manager with a large construction materialscorporation. He had a wife, three children, a mortgage, a car and awallet full of credit cards. By any social measure of the day, he was awinner. But he felt like he had fallen into a rut, like his life was over.Joby was very good at his job but it wasn’t something he haddreamed of or planned to do. It was more the outcome of a series ofevents, something he had ended up doing. He had worked as acarpenter while in high school and his father had been a managerwith a construction materials company. Joby wanted to be anarchitect but his father wanted him to be an engineer. Joby had no172interest in engineering but enroled in an engineering programanyway. He flunked out during the first year of studies and endeduptaking a drafting and design program at a trade school. He wasworking in a lumberyard when he was recruited to Domtar,aconstruction materials company, as a salesman. Withina couple ofyears he had become a sales manager for Domtar.Because he was such a promising young executive, Joby wasinvited to take part in a two week company sponsored workshop. Thecompany had recently consulted with Peter Drucker, anorganizational guru, and had decided to gather a number of itsmanagers so they could address the issues he had raised. Theworkshop used an intensive experiential learning approach. It wasall new to Joby and he was intrigued about the process. The centraltheme of Drucker’s work was the importance of being able to answerthe question “What business should your company be in?” This is aquestion companies need to ask themselves so they can be clear abouttheir focus, their purpose, their future direction.Joby saw that theparallel question he needed to ask himself was “What should Idowith my life?”During the workshop, Joby had a remarkableexperience thatwas destined to direct the rest of his life.In a meditation exercise inwhich participants were asked to envision their future,Joby had apowerful vision that would be the beginning of hiscareer change. Hesaw himself as an independent consultant working with troubled173decision makers who were struggling with the questionof whatbusiness their company should be in. Joby’s visiongave him amission he would spend the next fifteenyears preparing himself for.The workshop transformed Joby. He had never feltlike avictim but he had never before felt fully in charge, fully capable.Hehad begun to feel he had some potential when he started succeedingat his job but it was at the workshop that he realized the worldwasfull of potential, full of ideas. It was at theworkshop that he realizedhe could take charge of his life. As a result of the workshop he setoutto acquire the skills he would need to achieve his vision.Joby was hungry for knowledge. He began to go down to thepublic library, eventually consuming everything they had availableon psychology, sociology, group dynamics, anthropology. Thenheenroled in an executive development programat University of BritishColumbia. He spent the next three years gettingup at 4:30 in themorning, putting the coffee on and doing his homeworkuntil he hadto go to work at 8:00 a.m. He loved studying, eatingup as muchknowledge as he could take in. He had alwaysbeen a crummystudent, just barely scraping by. Heastonished himself with thisnew attitude, particularly when hewon the scholastic achievementaward at graduation. Joby hadbecome devoted to learning,committed to learning the toolshe would need to enact his vision.Over the next four years,Joby managed his career by takingdifferent jobs within the companythat would make him a generalist,174someone who has experience with many differentaspects of thebusiness. He continued to read extensively and takecourses hereand there. Meanwhile, the company continuedto invest inorganizational and management development.Joby was recruited tobe an internal consultant, spending a couple of years doing nothingbut training and consulting with the company’s managers.Domtar’s president had continued to be interested inaddressingDrucker’s question of what business the company shouldbe in.During this period, Joby became part of a resource team that workedon this with the president. After eighteen months ofstruggle, ofspinning their wheels and getting nowhere in monthly meetings,they gave up.Joby was distraught, not knowing what had gone wrong. Hehad spent the last seven years preparing himself to help peopleanswer this question. The men he had been workingwith weremature, well trained, and very committed to answeringwhat they allagreed was a crucial question. They all knew thecost of not having afocus, a direction, a reason for doingbusiness, Yet they had gottenstuck; they hadn’t been able to do it.Shortly after this project died, Jobywas recruited to anothercompany. The man who had originally hired himas a salesman forDomtar was now the president of CrownZellerbach, a multinationalforest products company. He hiredJoby one more time, this time to175head a collection of two hundred lumberyards, many of which werein financial trouble.Joby’s task was to redefine the business the company’slumberyards were in. He spent the first three months visiting all theoperations and listening to the people who worked in them. Sensingthe will, vitality, and capability of these people, he recruitedanumber of them to work as a development team. He knew from hispainful experience at Domtar that knowing what questions to askand having the will to answer them was important but not enough.In the absence of some method, he would never succeed. He chose toapply a structured linear model of strategy making he had studied.It seemed to promise at least the beginnings of a way to approach thequestion. He tried to practice the model but after two or threesessions of repeatedly making some progress then crashing, he couldsense they were replaying what had gone on at Domtar. At the end ofone of these sessions he stayed behind at the retreat they wereworking at to try and figure out why the process kept unravelling.While mulling over what was going wrong, he experienced abreakthrough. He realized there was a fatal flawin the method hehad been using. The group always wanted to loopback and reevaluate the soundness of their earlier decisionseach time they wereasked to make a new set of decisions. But themodel didn’t allow forthis process. When faced with making the nextset of decisionswithout going back, the group would crash. A picture ofa wheel176came to mind. The idea was to use a wheel instead of a line as thebasis of a conceptual model for decision and strategy making. Jobywas relieved, confident he finally had the beginnings of a functioningtool he would be able to use. He tested the concept with his team andthey were able to work successfully with it. They eventually redefinedthe business, setting up one corporate unit to run the oldlumberyards and another to create and operate a chain of homebuilding products centres that would come to be known as the “HomeTown” stores.Joby’s life was driven by his business career. Pursuing thevision had become central in his life. He had become so absorbed bythe excitement and challenge of learning how to fulfill his dream, hewasn’t paying much attention to his wife or his children. His wifehad always been a full time housewife and mother and Joby hadreinforced this, wanting a traditional life outside of work. However,his wife had some talent as an artist she had never tapped and overthe years she grew restless, increasingly frustrated with her life.Joby’s work had required him to move his family severaltimes. For instance, he had started in Winnipegand gone toVancouver, Toronto and Montreal with Domtar, His switchtoCrown Zellerbach included a move to Calgary.Once he set up thechain of home centres, he headed up thatbusiness as a corporatevice-president and moved the head officeto Vancouver,177When Joby and his wife came to Vancouver their marriagewas deteriorating and they were both anxious to somehow changehow they were living their lives. Joby wanted to be free to devotehimself to pursuing his vision in whatever form it expressed itself.At the same time, his wife wanted to respond to the increasing driveshe felt to be an artist. They both felt burdened, distracted by theconventional upper middle class lifestyle they were maintaining.Joby was conscious of no longer wanting to be encumbered by owninga large traditional house. Their was no longer any practical need;their two daughters and eldest son were grown and their other sonwas in boarding school. He and his wife decided to live in adowntown apartment and bought a sailboat that they moored nearby.A short time later, while coming and going on the sailboat, Jobydiscovered and fell in love with a little float house anchored at CoalHarbour. When the man who owned the float house stopped bytheboat one day, Joby ended up buying the float house from him.Joby was very conscious of how established he had become. Hedisparaged all of the trappings and possessions that surroundedhim. This feeling had been building for some timebut hadcrystalized around the float house. From a very practical standpoint,moving onto a tiny one room float house necessitated selling off allthe inventory he had accumulated and no longervalued. Forinstance, he had seven coffee makers to get rid of. On the floathousehe had to be very clear about what mattered andwhat he wanted to178have around him. Living there wasa great discipline for simplicity.Moving to the float house also helda clear deeper meaning. Itsymbolized a letting go of the traditional way of lifeJoby had come toreject. The move was very freeing, very liberating. Hevalued theminimalist kind of existence he was beginningto live, It allowedhim to think of all kinds of newpossibilities concerning what was inhis future.Many people were intrigued that a seniorvice-president of avery conservative multinational corporationwould be living whatwas commonly seen as a counterculture lifestyle. The people heworked with were astonished. However, at thetime of the move to thefloat house, Joby had no intention of quitting hisjob. He was havinga great time creating the new business for the corporation. Whathewas now doing at work were things he had dreamed of. Butat thesame time he was vaguely aware of thinkingthat should the timeever come, he now had the meansto go out on his own. Heappreciated the self-sufficiency he hadcreated for himself bydrastically simplifying his life through thismove.Around the same time Joby movedto the float house, a friendencouraged him to enrol in an executiveM. B. A. program at SimonFraser University. He knew it wasa good idea, aware that in an M.B. A. program he would experiencea new level of formality andstructure. This would force him to confrontareas he was weak in.Everything he had learned the last severalyears was self taught,179done within a self directed study program. However,he had neverseen himself as smart enough, capable of doing an M.B. A. Hejoined the program and worked at it on a part time basis over the nextfour years. It was a wonderful feeling to temporarily be part of afocused learning community. The M. B. A. gaveJoby new confidencein himself, in his abilities. He found he already held the kind ofcorporate post that many of the people in the program aspired to. Hefound he was valued by the professors and other students forhisideas and experience. Completing the program would finallyput torest the remnants of the old image he had held of himself as adummy.Two years after moving to Vancouver to head up the new“Home Town” venture, there was a downturn in the economy.Crown Zellerbach had made too many unprofitable investmentsandhad run out of cash. Every single venture had to stop. Joby’sstoreswere beginning to blossom, but they were a very cash consumingnewventure. The company simply couldn’t afford to continue to invest.He had to shut them down, close them out. Itwas very distressingbecause it was a powerful activity. He had agreat team of people andthey had done something significant. They hadeven won awards fortheir achievement. And he had to wrap themup anyway.The next six months were spent managingdown the business.He snapped to attention whenthey began to talk very generouslyabout reassigning him to another challengewhen the economy180improved. Suddenly he began to become very conscious ofwhat washappening in his life. This company was a very large conservative,prestigious company in which he had risen to becomea seniorexecutive. They were promising to look after him. He was beingtreated so wonderfully he could feel the “golden handcuffs” closing onhim,One Saturday morning, while doing his regularjog aroundStanley Park, Joby wrote a letter of resignation to his boss in hishead. When he got back to the float house he could hardly waitto putit into hard copy. On Monday morning, he gave it to the president,There was an urgency in Joby’s action. He believed that if hedidn’t quit now he would never see his vision come to life. He hadbegun to realize that if he waited out this economic downturn anotherchallenge would consume another five to seven years of his life.Itwas clear if he didn’t write that letter and get it to his boss on Mondaymorning he might never do it. He felt it wouldbe a tragedy if he lethimself drift through this time without acting.He was afraid hewould lose his courage and the company would possess him.Beneath the fear of losing his opportunity to fulfillhis dreamwas a powerful force that drove Joby to be independent.Years ago,Joby had watched his dad get emotionally destroyedwhen the smallcompany he had worked for all his life was takenover by a largecorporation. His dad had been completely devotedand committed tohis job but this made no difference.They treated him harshly,181demoting him from his senior position and forcing him into a trivialjob. When he died, he had still not recovered. Watching this happenand later reflecting on it had taught Joby an important life lesson.Joby did not believe the security the company was offering was real.He knew the people offering it wanted to believe it was real. But frombeing a witness to his father’s demise, he knew it to be an illusion.Joby had come to believe the only security he couId have is that whichcomes from having confidence in his own competence.Joby was very, very clear about what he was doing. Thedecision to resign was anything but a rational or scholarly kind ofprocess. He had no place to go and no work to do. Yet there was nouncertainty about resigning. He had developed a hardened sense ofconfidence about himself. He knew he could go and make differencesin organizations. That was what really mattered and he had noquestion about that in his mind. Quitting was scary, but he knewfrom his experience that if he could leave he wouldbe freeing himselfto see the world clean and clear and full of opportunity.Shortly after Joby decided to leave Crown Zellerbach,he wasrecruited by a friend to a major management consultingfirm,presumably to work with client companies thatneeded to redefinetheir purpose. When he had made his decisionto leave CrownZellerbach, Joby had imagined himself workingindependently.However, the offer to do his work from within anestablishedconsulting firm sounded attractive, easy. But it turnedout to be a182disaster. The company never cameup with the kind of assignmentsthat had been promised and the managementkept giving Joby jobs hewasn’t interested in. After eight months, he quitto pursue his visionon his own.Shortly after he left the managementconsulting firm, a fellowhe knew approached him for help. His fastfood company was introuble and he was in the middle of tryingto rethink and redirect thebusiness. His offer of a small consultingcontract was the beginningof Joby enacting the vision he had fifteenyears earlier.Even as he began to live his dreamat work and enact hisvision, Joby’s marriage continuedto unravel. Since moving to thefloat house, Joby had continued tobe absorbed by his work and hisrelationship with his wife had grown more distant. Sincethe move,he had been on his own most of the time. Hiswife had been spendingever longer periods of time in Mexico. About sixmonths after hewent out on his own, she left himfor another man. Distraught bythis news, Joby went to a friend forcounsel. She advised him to go ona travel adventure to some place he had alwayswanted to go.Instantly, he said he would go toGreece. He had no rationalexplanation for why he said Greece,but it was very clear that heshould go. He prepared to leave immediately.The day before he left he met someoneat a friend’s dinnerparty who was from Crete, a smallGreek island, and now lived inVancouver. Joby agreed to delivera package of Christmas presents183to this man’s family. As the result of this remarkable coincidence,he ended up staying with the man’s family while on Crete. Duringhis stay with them, certain experiences showed him that he neededto make yet another change in how he was living his life.Joby discovered his own inability to accept love. He had beentaken in by the family of a stranger and they treated him like a son.But Joby had trouble accepting their love and generosity. In hisstudies, Joby had learned of Carl Rogers and had come to valueRoger’s concept of the fully functioning human being. But thediscomfort Joby felt in the face of the overwhelming warmth thesestrangers bestowed upon him made him feel he was not able to begenuine with others when it mattered the most. He felt like he wasnot fully alive.He realized there were pieces of being alive he had never hadany contact with before. For instance, he had always believed in theimportance of control, that it was a sign of weakness to have strongfeelings. On Crete he realized it wasn’t true. He had been movingaway from this kind of attitude for some time but the emotion andvitality of the people that were looking after him had clarifiedwhat itwas that was missing in himself. His experience on Crete gave himlicense to be passionate about things that were important in hislife.It opened channels to his feelings, his emotions. He began toallowhimself to feel excited, to cry, to get angry. Hebegan to allow himselfto express these emotions.184Joby considers his life and his work to be one. Over the yearshe has continued to refine his strategy wheel model and workexclusively with companies only when they need to address their ownrenewal. It has become his life’s work, his mission, and he ispassionate about it.Joby feels he has fulfilled his vision. First, the consulting workhe dreamed about doing for so many years has been more successfulthan he could have imagined. Second, he is in a powerful synergisticrelationship with a woman who has become both his life andbusiness partner. He believes the transformation he went through (i.e., becoming more loving, more accepting, more open) is what madeit possible for him to have this kind of relationship and is largelyresponsible for the success the business has experienced.Changing from corporate executive to this special kind ofmanagement consultant was the fulfillment of a dream Joby spentfifteen years preparing for. It began with a vision that inspired himto take charge of his life and create a future. This required him to becourageous and have confidence in himself, especially when stuck orfacing uncertainty. This was true when he failed in his firstattemptto work through the corporate renewal process and later when hewas managing down the “Home Town” venture. These periodsrequired him to address recurring questions about whatkind of lifedid he want to live and reaffirm the importance of livinghis vision.Ultimately, unifying his life and his work requiredJoby to let his old185way of life and his old images of himself die. Joby did this gradually,starting with his image of himself as a student and, eventually, theimage he had of himself as a person, as a human being. He foundeach time he let go of a part of his old life, new possibilities wouldopen up.ConvergenceThe event loadings of both principal components converge withthe flow of the narrative account. The event Q-sortings begin withJoby having the vision that gives him his mission and end with himliving it. The narrative describes Joby changing from feeling dead orhollow inside to feeling fully alive. It describes him discovering hislife’s work and the translation of dream into reality.The first principal component describes Joby spending most ofthe transition feeling in charge and enthusiastically working tofulfill his mission, what has become his purpose in life. But thereare recurring periods where he gets stuck and flounders for a timebefore bouncing back. Generally, the loading of an event matches itsdescription in the story. For example, when Joby has to wind downthe “Home Town” venture the event factor loading shifts from .76 to-.69. Similarly, the narrative description portrays Joby’s sorrow overthe project’s demise and the anguish he experiences while trying todecide whether to stay with the company or be independent.The second component describes Joby periodically realizing hehas to change. Once again, the event loadings match their186descriptions in the story. For example, when Joby goes to Crete theevent loadings shifted from -.19 to .72. Similarly, the narrativedescribes Joby admitting that until now, emotionally, he has neverbeen “fully alive” and that this has to change. The Q-sorts provide anabstract description of Joby’s transition. The narrative gives it arichness of detail and meaning.Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative AccountIts quite revealing, exciting to read (the account). Thereis a completeness to the story. Its accurate, detailed ... Its funto read it in one piece like this.Independent Reviewer ReportI have listened to the tapes of Gary Ladd’s interview withhis research subject (Joby) and I have read Gary’s narrativereport of the interview. They are congruent. I found noexamples of the subject being lead by the interviewer’squestions and the subject sounded very comfortable in relatinghis story. The write-up is a complete and accurate renderingof the interview and I found nothing omitted or distorted.An interesting fringe benefit of the interview is that thesubject said he gained many insights into the structure of hislife story from having the opportunity to relate it to a sensitivelistener.187CHAPTER XICASE STUDY EIGHT: JACKPSYCHOLOGIST TO ANTIQUE DEALERPrincipal Component AnalysisThe first principal component accountedfor 28% of thevariance in the Q-sorts. Since it showeda clear change in eventloadings from beginning(- .71.) to end (.55), this component portraysthe meaning of the transition toJack, using the theoretical terms. Todefine this component, all item factor scoresexceeding plus or minus1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude,these items are listedbelow and phrased to characterize the beginningof the transition.The end of the transition is the opposite ofeach item.Not happy (2.6)Not excited (2.2)Angry (2.1)Did not have sense of being guidedby some higher power (1.6)Overwhelmed (1.5)Bitter (1.5)The second component accountedfor 19% of the variance in theQ-sorts. Since it did not showa clear change in event loadings frombeginning (.47) to end (.44), this componentdoes not appear to definethe transition. However, it does reflects potentiallyimportant items.One item accompanied and contributed tothe transition while others188did not appear to be part of the transition. In order of magnitude,these items are listed below.Was not withdrawn (2.3)Struggling with conflict (2.1)Not happy (1.9)Time was not dragging (1.9)Did not pretend nothing was wrong(1.7)The pattern of change on the first component manifestedextreme swings from entrapment to excitement.(See Figure 9, Casestudy eight: Jack), Jack went from feeling angry, overwhelmed andbitter to feeling happy, excited, and a sense of being guidedby somehigher power. Change across the transition did not appearto begradual but cyclical. The second component indicates Jack spent thechange struggling with conflict. This struggle was especiallyprominent in the middle of the transition.Personal NarrativeFor the first several years, working as a psychologistin thepublic school system was exciting and rewarding.Jack had alwaysbelieved there was no greater profession thanto be a teacher of somekind, These years were full of achievements,full of firsts (e. g., firstintegrated school in the province for ‘normal’and ‘disabled’children, first infant stimulation program inthe region) and Jackquickly climbed the administrative ladder.He was always very goodat pushing others and pushing himself to achievemore than seemed189possible. After university he started out working asa teacher andadministrator in a special school for retardedchildren in the EasternTownships of Quebec, jumped to a school psychologistposition at theschool district head office, then became Directorof Special Servicesfor the district. He was a “fast-tracker”, having skippedall the inbetween administrative positions on his way to the big time.As Director of Special Services Jack’s relentless,fast-pacedpush for change got him in trouble. His strength wasas an advocatefor children not as a departmental politician.He was frustrated withall the political “garbage” he had to deal with and lacked confidencein himself as an administrator. Even ashe racked up moreachievements, Jack lived in fear. He was afraid others knewmorethan him, afraid someone else could do a betterjob, afraid otherswere working against him behind his back.He felt he had to knowand have “hands on” control of everything that happened inhisdepartment. He came to believe he was a misfit, confidingin a friendthat he didn’t belong in the education system.Jack had gotten so enmeshed in his departmental battles,hewas taken by surprise when the superintendenttold him to take anextended leave of absence or facea demotion. Jack was surprisedand angry but knew he wasn’t happy at work.He worked out a dealwith the school district, taking a forced but paidsabbatical leave. Hemight have liked going back to working directlywith the childrenand their parents but he didn’tsee how he could possibly do that, It190would be too much of a loss of face. Instead he decided to wash thispart of his past out of his life.Jack felt like he had no control over what was happeningin hislife. During the period Jack’s work life was falling apart, his spousalrelationship was also breaking dowr. He was devastated when hispartner, whom he had been with for over eight years, left him forsomeone else. When that relationship broke up, all hell broke loose.He was still reeling from the impact of this when he wasforced toleave the school system.Jack spent the next year traveling, wandering aroundAmerica. The travelling was botha time of adventure andexcitement as he pushed to discover moreabout himself and a timespent wondering about his future. Two significant developmentsoccurred during this period. First, Jack began to think aboutfollowing his avocational interest, antique collecting. Fortunately,acouple of good friends supported his interestby giving him money tobuy antiques for them while he travelled around. Thisgave him apurpose when he was travelling.Second, it was during this period Jack confirmedfor himselfthat he was gay and met Russ,now his business partner andcohabitant. Meeting Russ brought Jack’s lifeback together for him.Jack found he could talk to and trust him.Russ was a very gentle,very loving soul. And they shareda common bond in their love forfiner things. Prior to meetingRuss, Jack had been developing an191idea of what he could do in the business world. WhenJack talked toRuss about his ideas, Russ thought they were real, that Jackwasalready doing what he was describing. Russwould find out later thathe was to become a major part of Jack’s vision.By the end of Jack’s sabbatical year he was formingacompany. As he had planned before meetingJack, Russ started lawschool at McGill. Jack was ifiled with fear and uncertaintyabout thebusiness. He and Russ were going to work together in the businessbut Jack was particularly concerned that not succeeding in theantique business would ruin his relationship with Russ.Around the same time Jack was gettingthe antique businessstarted, he was approached by a Montreal psychology firm.When hehad first left his job at the school district he had briefly lookedintoworking in business as a psychologist. It was an area he had beencurious about since his college days. When he was approached, hedecided to go to an interview. Several interviews later, they stillwanted to hire him. They found the combination of his experienceand his business orientation to be very attractive. Havingsoldhimself so well, he felt trapped. He looked at their offer fromafatalistic perspective, thinking that taking thejob was meant tohappen. He told himself he and Russ coulduse the cashflow sincethe antique business was just getting going.He told himself he hadnothing to loose. He would just do it for a bitand see what happens.192Jack took the job and within six months racked up the first ofwhat would be a series of new personal achievements. His monthlybillings were greater than any other associate in the firm. Thiswasfollowed up by matching, then exceeding, the partner’s billings.Soon after, Jack created a new division in the company. The newservice he was offering was untested at the time but within sixmonths it was making money for the company.Jack wanted to become a partner in the firm but it wasn’tgoing to happen. It would have caused a major shake up between thefirm’s two original partners who were longtime friends. Instead heformed a partnership with one of his first clients and a consultantwho had recently joined the firm but was anxiousto leave. Within aweek of approaching them, the decision was made and a month laterthey were up and running. Jack felt like operating independentlywas something he had been destined to do. In the process of workingfor the psychology firm he had learned howto make money forhimself. There was a new burden, knowing thatif he didn’t performhe didn’t get paid but he was confident the skywas the limit. Moneysaid you were doing airight and the new companystarted makingmoney immediately.Getting the business going was fun and exciting but, over thenext four years, Jack became increasingly frustratedanddissatisfied. He was having serious problemswith his partners. Thebusiness was growing but he found himselfworking harder and193longer hours to support his colleagues. Jack was doing the majorityof the billings and generating the new accounts. One of his partnershad set up a series of new ventures that weren’t making any money.When Jack announced he was no longer prepared to finance hisprojects, that partner left the firm. Meanwhile, he had been findingit increasingly difficult to work with his other partner. There weremany things about him he didn’t approve of. He wasn’t a companyperson, always looking out for himself. He seemed jealous of Jack’spsychologist status. As their relationship deteriorated Jack foundhis trust betrayed. When Jack finally told him he had decided todissolve the partnership a battle ensued. Jackwas so angry with hispartner and the underhanded tactics he used, what could have beena simple and amicable divestment turned into a legal battle. Jackbecame preoccupied with being right and not letting his partner win.He got so caught up in this fight, they endedup going to court overwho could have the company name and phone number. It seemedtobe the only way he could save face. He didn’t know exactly who hewas saving face with, but he felt it was something he just had to do.Jack eventually won the right to keep the company’s phonenumber and set up business as a sole practitioner.It was a source ofpride and affirmation that all his old corporateclients stayed withhim. Jack told himself he wanted to keepthe operation small butwithin three months it was flourishingand he found himself hiringadditional staff. He continued doing the sametype of psychological194work as he had been doing previously for hiscorporate clients. Inaddition, expert witnessing becamea large part of his practice. Hispsycho-legal practice was very lucrative andbusiness was booming.Jack was tired from trying to keepup but the work kept coming. Thebusier he got, the more he raised hisfees. It didn’t seem to matterwhat he charged. He had a winningreputation among lawyers andthey kept coming at him with morebusiness.Although Jack was extremelygood at the psycho-legal workand it had become his main sourceof billings, he did not fit into thelegal world. At first he enjoyedthe challenge and the demands of thecases. But as time wore on, he became increasingly frustrated.Themore he dealt with lawyers the more he cameto dislike them and thework he was doing. He was proudof how good an advocate he couldbe for a client, how through the words of a reporthe was able to makea judge or lawyer feel the pain the injured personwas living in (e. g.,what it is like to no longer have your legs functioningfor you). But hecame to feel he was working in a world thatdidn’t care aboutmorality or justice or considerthe worth of a human life. It was aworld that was only concernedwith winning.Jack came to believe lawyershad no soul. One episode thatepitomized the value system hewas immersed in involved a medicalmalpractice suit. Jack’s findingsindicated the victim, a five year oldboy, needed immediate treatmentor the damage would beirreversible. Counsel for the physician,whom Jack was working for,195decided to suppress Jack’s report since it wouldbe admitting liability.When Jack expressed his moral outrage, counsel toldhim hemisunderstood what the justice system was all about.Jack wasstunned and angry to hear counsel actuallysay to him that winningthe case was more important than the littleboy’s future.This episode stuck in Jack’s mind. Ever since his early days inthe schools, it was important for himto be the advocate, to feel hiswork was enabling people to get some justice from theworld. He wasconstantly challenged to be true to what he perceived his ethicsto be.Too often, he was torn between giving the clearest picture possibleand writing a favourable report. When he looked around atthelawyers he worked with, it seemed the gamesthey played, that wereso much a part of the justice system, had warped their values.Staying in psychology seemed too risky. Jack was afraid hewas becoming dependent on the income he was making fromthepsycho-legal work. He was afraid he would betrapped into staying inthis kind of work. He was afraid of being consumedby his anger andfrustration. He was afraid of his own soul disappearing,of becomingthe kind of person he loathed.Two years after setting up the sole practitionership,Jack wasresolved to close up shop and walk away frompsychology for good.He no longer wanted to be part ofthe legal world but his attempts toreduce his involvement had failed. He realizedthe work was going tokeep coming until he simply stopped acceptingit. He was exhausted196and angry with himself. It was his businessto help others look aftertheir affairs. He was so busy doingtheir jobs, he wasn’t taking careof himself. Jack destroyed allhis office files and threw everythingelse out, making sure he couldn’tgo back easily. He didn’t want to betempted to sneak back in later. It wasa part of his life he wanted toput behind him.Leaving the psychology businessmeant Jack was free to joinRuss in the antique business andhelp it grow. All the time Jack hadbeen pursuing his psychology business, heand Russ had maintainedtheir antique business. Russ had felt stifledpracticing law and hadleft his practice for the antiquebusiness two years before Jack finallymade his break. The day Jackdestroyed the files he went home andsat down with Russ at the kitchen tableto plan the future of theirbusiness.Coming off of the psychology, Jackhit the pavement runningwith no rest period. He startedto work the same week he leftpsychology and it was go, go,go! His ideas about how to expand theantique business poured out. UntilJack joined the business fulltime, the company was verysmall, operating out of their house. Intheir early years, they werelimited to dealing in French Canadianpine furniture and distributingfor a North Carolina company. Jacktook over responsibility for creatingthe company’s goals and settingup relationshipswith collectors and private auction houseswhileRuss focused on sales. Shortlyafter joining, Jack had moved them197into the European market. As planned, beforeJack’s first year wasup, they had started to move into manufacturing reproductions andhad opened a prestigious uptown storefront shop.Jack found it exciting to woo suppliers and dealers and breakinto a system dominated by established firms. He enjoyed the timespent developing the store. But he quickly fell into doing all thecompany’s administrative tasks. He spent 90% of his time dealingwith the endless paperwork and phone calls. Hewas always facing abarrage of questions from the staff. He would go into the storein themorning and work straight through, doing twelve hour daysagain.He hadn’t left psychology to end up buried under a mass ofadministrative “garbage” but he didn’t know howto break out of it.Jack was terrified of failing. His fear showed as acommitment to perfection and it built the company an impressivereputation. Nothing was done casually or leftto chance. Jack triedto control and oversee everything. He had his hand ineverythingthat was happening: trade shows, manufacturingcontracts,catalogue publication. He oversaw themovement of every piece offurniture that went through the shop.As their business continued togrow they developed a proud internationalname for themselves as“the good guys from Canada”. But thecost to Jack was constantworry about whether he was doing agood enough job. There was toomuch for one person to do, too muchfor one person to be responsiblefor.198Jack had left psychology to break free of the senseofentrapment he kept feeling. He felt moretrapped now than he hadwhen he was in psychology. By joiningRuss in the business he hadexpected to have the freedom to be moreflexible with his time, tomake money in a way that did not conflictwith his values, to be doingthe business kinds of things he enjoyed. Somehowthe idea of lookingafter himself got lost, replaced by the familiarrefrain “bigger isbetter”. His concept of doing something important,something hewanted for himself, had turned into anotherpush to go up, up, up.Jack had spent his first two years in the antiquebusiness blindlydedicated to this ambition.Towards the end of his second full year in the antiquebusiness, Jack began to experience some physicaldiscomfort. Over athree month period he went for varioustests but nobody was able todiagnose the problem. It wasn’t until he passedblood while on a tripto Germany that he discovered he had coloncancer. Lying in ahospital bed in Munich, he felt relieved.Someone else was going tohave to deal with all the tasks thatwere sitting on his desk inVancouver waiting for him.The cancer was removed as soonas it was discovered. It wasall very quick. But the cancer’slegacy was a special gift. The cancerwas a sign, a warning that hewas going to have to change how helived his life. It caused Jackto stop and review everything he was199involved in. When he came downwith the cancer, he had once againbeen telling himself “it’s all too much”, thathe wanted out.Jack realized he did not really takecare of himself when he leftpsychology. The cancer told himhe had better start doing the thingsthat are important to him and learnhow to eliminate the burdens. Itgave him the opportunity to regroup, to start nurturinghimself.Having cancer made him feeljustified in not worrying about andhaving to control everything thathas to do with the business.When Jack returned to workhe began restructuring hisinvolvement in the business so thathe could have more time forhimself, He wanted timeto focus on the aspects of the business heenjoyed, (e. g., the marketing andplanning) and time to exercise,relax, reflect. This meant givingmore responsibility to hisemployees. When he got cancer his staff tookover in his absence.When he returned to work he noticedhow much they wanted to showhim how well they could do. Inspite of his obsession to achieve, toalways push for more, Jack hadfostered a strong loyalty in his staff.When he saw this he realized hecould trust them to do a good job, ifhe would only give them the opportunity.Leaving psychology for the antiquebusiness was an attempt torestructure the kind of world Jacklived in, He had come to seehimself as a victim of his ownabilities, continually climbing ladders,and ending up trapped doing workhe didn’t value. The antiquebusiness looked like a way to breakfree of this. The switch did allow200him the freedom to make the kindof living he aspired to in a settingwhere he could surround himselfwith people of integrity. Workingin the world of antiques, he felt free to limit himselfto dealing withpeople he considered to be honourable. The switchalso allowed himto be more closely involved in his partner’s life.But Jack’s cancer brought into focus howhis life hadcontinued to be ruled by his blind obsession withachievement. Thecancer served as the catalyst for confronting howhe still needed tochange how much this force directed hislife. It wasn’t until Jackbegan to feel he was making significant progresschanging this thathe considered his career transition tobe complete.Tempering the power of this force has involvedmany things.It has meant having to address his fears concerningsuccess andsecurity. It has meant acknowledging the sexual,physical andemotional abuse he suffered as a child has hadan impact on his life.It has meant admitting that in the shiftto the antique business hehas lost and misses the advocate role andthe intimacy, the specialcloseness that was so often there when hewas working with apsychology client. It has meant trying tobe gentler with himself, tolet up the pressure heputs on himself to make more and more moneyor to expand the business.It has meant trying to be clearer aboutwhat he expects from othersand not pushing them so hard. Placingmore trust in others has meant allowinghimself to be vulnerable. Inall these ways, Jack has continuedto struggle with taking care of201himself. He continues to work at it, with the memoryof cancergiving him a reason to regularly checkhis progress.ConvergenceThe event loadings of both principal components convergewiththe flow of the narrative account. Thenarrative portrays a changefrom entrapment to freedom.Jack shifted from feeling like a victimof his own ambition to feeling freeto live his life with integrity. Thefirst principal component describes a change fromfeeling trappedand angry to being excited about hislife. Generally, the loading of anevent matches its description in the story. For example,when Jackwalked away from his psycho-legal practiceand joined Russ in theantique business, the event loadings shiftedfrom -.34 to .74.Similarly, his narrative description moves from anger andfrustration to excitement and enjoyment.The second component indicates Jack is strugglingwithconflict throughout the transition andthis is also evident in thenarrative. Once again, the event loadingsmatch their descriptionsin the story. For example, when thepsycho-legal work is Jack’smain source of billings, the event factorloading is .72. Similarly, inthe narrative description Jack is frustrated,feeling like he is out ofplace in the legal world. The Q-sortsprovide an abstract descriptionof Jack’s transition. The narrative givesit a richness of detail andmeaning.202Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative AccountIt was fine. (The experience) was accuratelyand “softly”(a.k.a. with compassion) represented. It was nice.Independent Reviewer ReportI found the summary to be an excellent description of thisman’s journey from one career to another. Therewere nodiscrepancies. The subject sounded at ease andwas able to shareother confidential areas of his life in thecontext of the interview.Given the impact of other life events on his careerpath, it wasnecessary to discuss these. Gary’s open stylecombined with periodicsnmmaries and clarifications enabled himto reflect in depth on hiscareer transition and its relationship to the restof his life,203CHAPTER XIICASE STUDY NINE: ERIKREALTOR TO CLINICAL COUNSELLORPrincipal Component AnalysisThe first principal component accounted for 33% of thevariance in the Q-sorts. Since it showed a clear change in eventloadings from beginning(-.03.) to end (.77), this component portrayspart of the meaning of the transition to Erik, using the theoreticalterms. To define this component, all item factor scores exceedingplus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, these itemsare listed below and phrased to characterize the beginning of thetransition. The end of the transition is the opposite of each item,Emptiness about life (2.3)Did not have a breakthrough (2.1)Numb (1.7)Overwhelmed (1.7)Not vulnerable (1.6)The second component accounted for 22% of the variance in theQ-sorts. Since it showed a clear change in event loadings frombeginning (.67) to end(.-.30), this component also portrays part of themeaning of the transition to Erik, using the theoretical terms. Inorder of magnitude, these items are listed belowand phrased to204characterize the beginning of the transition. The end ofthetransition is the opposite of each item.Vulnerable (2.6)Not happy (2.0)No sense of direction and purpose (1.9)Worried (1.7)Did not have a breakthrough(1.6)Did not gain insight, knowledge, or wisdom(1.6)Not confident (1.5)The pattern of change on the first component indicates Erikperiodically experienced a series of breakthroughs.(See Figure 10,Case study nine: Erik). Particularly during the middle period, thetransition was complicated by feeling empty, overwhelmedor numb.The pattern of change on the second component manifested moderateswings. Erik went from being worried to being happy, confident,possessing a strong sense of direction and purpose abouthis life andexperiencing a breakthrough involving an insight, newknowledge,or wisdom. Change across the transition did not appearto begradual but cyclical. In varying degrees throughoutthe transition,Erik experienced a pervading feeling of vulnerability.Personal NarrativeErik grew up in the real estate business. His parentswererealtors and he spent his summers workingin their real estate andinsurance business. When Erikwas twenty his father died, forcing205him to co-manage the family business. As a teenager, he hadwanted to be a psychiatrist but after failing first year university twicehe had given up on the idea and settled into selling real estate. Realestate became his life. He worked seven days a week and lived abovethe office. Ever since he was a little boy, Erik’s father had fosteredand encouraged him to be a millionaire. At age twenty-five Erik hadbought the business from his mother and the realization of thisdream, of having a million dollars, had become totally compelling.Erik was having a stellar career in real estate. He had alreadymade his million by the time he was twenty-nine years old. He wasthe youngest person ever to be president of the Fraser Valley RealEstate Board and head of the provincial realtor’s association. He wasconsidered to be the millionaire boy wonder; anything he touched wasgold.At twenty-nine, having achieved a sense of economic security,Erik’s world began to unravel. On his way to the top, he had alwaysenjoyed his professional achievements and financial successes.However, for about a year, he had been having twinges of discontent.For instance, after getting a standing ovation fora talk he had justgiven at a convention he noticed himself feelingdisenchanted withwhat he was doing, like something wasn’t quite right. The feelingstarted gradually and kept building. It cameand went, but hecouldn’t shake it. For the last couple of monthsof that year hecouldn’t ignore it. He tried to form some newgoals for himself. He206thought about building some apartmentbuildings or movingdowntown. The things he came up with held no meaning for him.He knew there was something more he wanted but didn’t know whatit was. He felt a yearning for something he couldn’tyet define and atthe same time a sense of foreboding about things yet to come. Notknowing what else to do, he took a vacation to Hawaii.While on vacation, a near drowning episode that would haveaprofound impact on his life occurred, Although hewas a very weakswimmer, Erik had tried to swim to shore after getting trappedon asandbar because of an incoming tide. Struggling and thrashinginthe water, he had exhausted himself and finallygave up trying tosave himself. As he was going under, everything went quiet. Thenavoice suddenly spoke to him saying, “You waitedtoo long to find outwho you really are. Now it’s too late and you’ll neverget anotherchance.” After that everything went black, then white likein themiddle of a snowstorm. In the next instant itfelt like he was beingshot from a cannon as he broke through the surfaceof the water.Someone on a surfboard yelled at him to hold onto her board.Moments later a lifeguard had put him safelyback on shore.It was all very quick but that voice had impact.Being thatclose to dying, the bizarreness ofthe episode, it struck him that hislife was not the way he wanted itto be. His father’s dictum had been“you can only do what you want if you haveenough money.” Foryears, Erik had been telling himselfthat when he made enough207money he could do what he wanted. In business he had been drivenby a desire to survive, to feel safe from the world. He had decided heneeded at least a million dollars to feel safe and had gone out andmade it. Having escaped death’s grasp, he felt compelled to searchfor something more in his life. Something not yet definable had tochange. He spent the next three or four days lying around readingspiritual books and crying. He was scared but, at the same time, feltthere was a quest he had to follow. He didn’t know where it wouldlead, only that he had to do it. He had a strong sense it would bedeath to stop.When he returned to Vancouver he felt disconnected andalienated from his friends and coworkers. There was nobody hecould talk to in his ordinary world about what was going on. It was avery lonely time. He was already distant from his wife. His strangetalk scared and overwhelmed her, His closest business friend didn’tunderstand what had happened to him, The only person he felt closeto was a salesman some people thought was crazy. When Erik toldhim about his near drowning experience he wanted to hear about itand made some mystic comment like, “So its started....” Erik didn’tknow what he was talking about but it was better than the terror anddistance he felt from everyone else.Erik was compelled to take on this quest. He became as drivenin this as he had been to succeed in business. Back when hewastaking over the business, he had started seeing a counsellor. At the208time, he thought he was going to have a nervous breakdown overconflicts with his mother. He went back to see his old counsellor, toldhim what was going on, how scared he was, and asked for his help.The therapist didn’t think he could go any further with Erik,therefore, be recommended some residential personal growthprograms.Two months after the near drowning incident, Erik wasinterviewing for a residency at Esalen, a famous growth centre inCalifornia. He was turned down for the program he applied to butdecided he would go back later for a self-directed program at thesame centre. In preparation for this, he spent a month at FritzPerl’s Gestalt Institute in Cowichan. It was a wild time, full ofstrange experiences like dance and movement exercises, groupencounter sessions. He mostly watched and listened, choosing not toparticipate. What he saw there terrified him. He was a veryconservative, successful businessman with his red and whiteThunderbird convertible and car phone in the middle of a wholecommunity of counterculture types. He was very conscious of howinadequate and out of place he felt. Here were these people with verylittle money, driving old broken down vehicles, who seemed so muchmore easy and secure about their lives than he was. It felt likeeverything he had done meant nothing, absolutely nothing. Hefelthe had wasted his life.209After his experience at Cowichan, Erik was more convincedthan ever he had to go to Esalen. However, the people he used to relyon for support weren’t giving him any. For instance, whenever hespoke to his wife about what he was going through, she would juststare at him. Afraid his marriage couldn’t handle the gap heexpected Esalen would create between him and his wife, he had triedto no avail to convince her to come with him or at least stay nearby.Similarly, he was surprised and disappointed to discover his oldcounsellor had tried to get Erik’s physician to convince him not to go.On his way to Esalen, he was filled with terror, feeling veryvulnerable, afraid he was going crazy. He still couldn’t make senseout of the near drowning incident. He had begun to wonder if itreally was an accident, if it was an attempt to destroy himself? Stillnot clear where all this was heading, it was evident he was going tohave to do this journey alone.Erik’s experience at Esalen began as a repeat of Cowichan.Once again, he was too scared to participate in any ofthe groupsessions. But then, for the first time in his life, he took LSD and hadan experience that would challenge afundamental belief he heldabout himself. Erik had always believed there wasa darkness insideof him that he had to control or restrain.Instead of seeing this while“tripping” on the acid, he experienceda profound state of grace, ofbeing connected with the universe. It feltlike the universe wasairight and so was he, This was an importantinsight, a tremendous210breakthrough. It made him feel it was airight to connect with thepeople around him. He began to feel comfortable, at home at Esalen.Wonderful things began to happen without having to try (e. g., hewould make a new friend, a relevant book would fall into his lap).At the end of his third month at Esalen, Erik had reached apoint where he felt he wouldn’t be able to leave if he stayed muchlonger. It was either leave now or stay on for at least a couple ofyears. He had noticed in visits to the nearby town that it wasbecoming difficult to be in the outside world. He had talked to peopleat Esalen who seemed to be waiting until it was safe for them to leave.The world seemed alive to Erik; he didn’t want to cut himself off fromit. Therefore, even though he now felt very much at home at Esalen,he had no choice but to leave.When Erik returned to Vancouver, he began divesting himselfof the symbols of his old way of life. For instance, he sold hisThunderbird to buy a Jeep 4 x 4. About a year after Esalen, Erik lefthis wife. He had been after her to go to therapy with him but she hadrefused over and over again. He felt like he had spent the better partof a year preparing to leave her, putting more distance between them.He couldn’t believe how free he felt when he finally moved out.When he came back from Esalen almost everyone at work,even his bank manager, thought he was crazy. He had let his hairgrow long, had a beard, and had taken to wearing velvet pants. Onlythe mystic salesman who had been interested in his near drowning211episode could fathom what he was going through. Everyone else waspolite to him but there were rumours in his business circles that hewas schizophrenic or had gotten hooked on drugs.During this period Erik was upset about having to tend to hisreal estate business. Unless somebody wanted something specific, hetried to stay away from the office. He found it very hard to put on asuit and go into the office. He would come home and his jacket wouldbe soaked with perspiration. Erik let go of the various professionalassociation and board positions he held and managed to workhimself out of the day to day chores involved in running the business.His role was now pretty much limited to looking after the financialmonitoring and planning of the business and putting togetherpartnerships for major land developments.Erik knew he was drifting, still searching. He wanted todistance himself as much as he could from his old way of life. At thesame time, he was afraid if he changed too much, too fast, he wouldgo over the edge. He already felt unstable enough. The mostcommon, everyday experiences(e. g., eating in a new restaurant,seeing his reflection in a store window) often held an intensity thatwas bewildering, sometimes scary. A number of people he knewfrom Esalen tried to counsel him on what to do. He felt reluctant tocommit himself to any specific course of study or philosophy forliving. More than anything, he simply wantedto let go of all theconstraints he felt. He spent his time going backand forth between212Vancouver and California, attending workshops,trying differenttherapies, juggling different lovers, and taking short jauntstodifferent parts of the world(e. g., Japan, Thailand, Africa, Scotland,England).Erik’s focus became the world of psychotherapyand exploringEastern approaches to spirituality. During this period,he explored avariety of approaches at private institutes and trainingcentres. AtEsalen he had been trained in body massage. However,he graduallybecame more and more interested in somatic approachestopsychotherapy, including rolling as an approach tobody mindintegration. When a broken arm wouldn’t heal with traditionalmedical methods, he used rolfing to completethe healing.Impressed with the results, he took his fouryear old son, who wasdepressed and having problems talking, toa renowned rolfer andsomatic psychotherapist in California. Afterseeing this man workwith his son, Erik started seeing him himself. Thiswould turn out tobe a ten year association involving therapyand training in somaticpsychotherapy.Being a therapist felt like somethingErik really wanted to do,work he considered meaningful.About three years after Esalen, hedecided he would start counselling others.It was the fulfillment of adream, in that, he saw itas a way of helping people by being himselfwith them. It was the resurrectionof a vocational desire he hadgiven up for the familyreal estate business. A lover in Portland,213Oregon, who was a counsellor, was instrumental in assistinghim todevelop a somatic psychotherapy practice. Overnight he hadall thework he wanted, working one week in three in Portland.Erik started a small part-time practicein Vancouver butcontinued to jump between Oregon, California, and Vancouver.Itfelt right to be in practice but Vancouver didn’t give him anyof the“collegial hanging out” that was important to him. He didn’treallyfeel included in the Vancouver therapeutic community. Because hehadn’t trained in Vancouver, he was considered an outsider,Compared to California, local therapists were more conservative, notas willing to explore or embrace a new person’s ideas.All his professional friends, his community, lived in eithertheSan Francisco Bay area of California or Portland. Esalenhadbecome like home to him. He had been tempted to emigrateto theUnited States, always feeling more comfortable, more sane therethan he ever did in Vancouver. However, Erikhad two ties toVancouver that kept him based there. First,his son lived there withErik’s ex-wife. Erik had becomedevoted to his son, making a point ofregularly spending time with him. Second,although he haddistanced himself from the realestate business, he still owned thecompany and it was based in Vancouver.Still pushing hard to let goof his old life, Erik ended up gettingsick in the fourth year of hiswork with his somatic psychotherapist.In the middle of a therapy session,while doing a shallow breathing214exercise, Erik felt a startling rush of energy throughout his entirebody. At that moment “I felt God go out of my life.” He felt very, verylost and couldn’t shake the feeling. In the next eight days he lostapproximately fifteen pounds. He wasn’t able to digest any kind offood. His digestive system would be a chronic problem for the nexttwelve years. Without realizing it, Erik had become very depressedand withdrawn, often seeming to others to barely be connected withwhat was happening in the world around him. Several people whowere close to him at the time were afraid he was dying. As thedistress and pain of his sickness wore on, it filled him with anger.He was upset and disgruntled a lot of the time. Erik had beengripped by something he couldn’t let himself yield to. At the sametime, he wasn’t able to outmanoeuvre it.In spite of his sickness, Erik began to focus on developing hisVancouver practice. After a couple of years, he split up with hislover in Portland and let go of the practice there. Afterabout fouryears of working mainly in Vancouver, Erik had establishedwhat heconsidered to be a successful practice of at leasttwenty clients aweek. However, he did not feel content with this.He was thinkingabout going back into real estate again.Moving back into real estate in additionto maintaining hisfull-time counselling practice was appealingfor several reasons.Even though he had a successful, satisfyingpractice, he continued tofeel lonely. He was disappointedhe had never connected with the215local therapeutic community. As a way of combating hisloneliness,he had taken to importing people from the states for workshopsorshared work. But it wasn’t the sameas having a local network ofcolleagues.For a long time he had devalued his real estate career.Looking back, he realized the very thing he longed for in hiscounselling career had been a central feature of his life inreal estate.He had been part of a wonderful, rich business community. Over theyears, the people he did business with in real estate had reallybecome a kind of family to him. However, after Esalen Erik had cuthimself off from these people, even though they had been very close.For instance, one person Erik rarely saw any more was the man whohad been his mentor when Erik’s father died. Hehad counselledErik on the intricacies of business and finance. Erikfelt like awandering, lost soul, yearning to reconnect with his oldbusinessbuddies.When he started getting together for lunchwith his oldfriends, lots of memories and questions aboutwhat he was doingwith his life got stirred up. For instance,for the last six years, Erikhad been living off the interestof the money he had made in realestate. In the meantime, his two closestfriends had continued to“burn up the road” in the realestate market. One was now worthfour million and the other sixmillion dollars. They had started outin business around the sametime he did; they used to do land and216development deals together. Hearing them talk about what they weredoing, Erik began to think he should have been able to challengehimself to do more than have a full counselling practice.Beneath all of this, Erik was afraid doing therapy was the onlything he could do anymore. The idea of going back to real estateterrified him. When he first started his practice he was very shaky.He wasn’t sure he could function, that is, put in a full day’s work.Now with a full practice he felt better about this. But only as long ashe didn’t push himself to produce, to take on a new challenge, to doanything else that counted for anything. He was still afraid if hepushed himself he would have a nervous breakdown. From time totime, people would ask him to get involved in a project or inquireabout him coming back to manage the family business. He wouldalways respond he wasn’t interested or was too busy with hispractice. But the truth was he had lost confidence in himself as abusinessman. He wanted back in but didn’t know if he could stilloperate in the real estate world.Erik dropped himself back into real estate, startingwith a fewinvestments with his old buddies. After a couple of years, he becamedissatisfied again. He was disturbed by his cautious,conservativeinvestment style. He was doing fine financiallybut felt he should beable to do better. He decided he lackedguts and needed to challengehimself to take more risks. Over the nexttwo years he entered into aseries of business ventures and relationshipsthat turned out to be217disasters. In his zeal to achieve more, Erik stopped following hisown rules of sound financial management. For instance, he starteddoing deals in U. S. markets he didn’t know. Similarly, he madeinvestments largely on faith, taking the word of someone he wantedto trust without personally checking the fiscal health of a project.Before long he had a negative cash flow, losing large amounts ofmoney every month.Around the same time Erik’s investments were unravelling,he discovered the family real estate and insurance business was inserious financial trouble. He hadn’t paid attention to it in years.Ever since Esalen, Erik had distanced himself from the day to dayoperation. Around the time he started his counselling practice hereduced his involvement to signing documents at the lawyer’s office.He had given signing authority to the manager and stoppedpreparing the company’s financial forecasts. He had even stoppedreviewing the monthly financial statements. Because of poormanagement, the company was in dire straits. Revenue was down,costs weren’t being controlled, and the company was tied into somebad partnerships.Erik realized his business world was out of control. He was indanger of going bankrupt. While trying to keep his counsellingpractice commitments, he tried to find a way out of the mess his realestate investments were in and sort out what was going on at thefamily business. To complicate matters, the Canadian andU. S.218economies were moving into a recession. Itwas all too much tojuggle at once. He had always been living off of the profits of his lifein real estate. He had never before seriouslyconsidered having to liveon the relatively small income from his counselling practice. Withhis financial security collapsing, it felt like his life was beingdestroyed. He knew he should step out of his counselling practiceand turn his complete attention to straightening out his finances.From a financial standpoint, the most sensible move wouldbe to takeover the operation of the family business. However, doingso wouldmean giving up what had become his life’s work forthe sake ofsafety. He was not willing to do that.Erik discovered that in both his U. S. real estate investmentand the management of the company, certain people he trustedwereguilty of misrepresentation and, when it came right down to it, lyingto him in some cases. He had always been the “nice guy”,but asevents unfolded he got more and more upset.He got very tough,eventually deciding to force the managementof the family businessinto buying him out. This gave him enough moneyto bail out of hisU. S. property troubles.In the struggle to keep from goingbankrupt, Erik had severalrevelations. First, he realized the real estate businesshad been hisdad’s dream, not his. Erik had fallen into it througha combinationof family tradition andcircumstances. He only went into thebusiness because he flunked university andhis dad died. In219contrast, counselling was a career he had clearly chosen for himself.Second, if he was going to stay involved in real estate he would haveto be clear about what purpose it served in his life. Erik realized thatwhile he wanted the main focus of his life to be counselling, he didn’twant to live the kind of life a therapist’s income would provide. Hevalued the kind of life he was living and wanted to continue to live thesame way. His financial crisis made him very aware that it was hisreal estate career that provided him with this life.Finally, surviving the threat of bankruptcy gave him newconfidence in himself, a new appreciation of himself. Since thebeginning of his transition Erik had devalued the drive, the ambitionhe displayed while pushing himself to become a millionaire. He hadcome to be afraid of pushing himself, of challenging himself, Herecognized the toughness, the resilience from before. He began toconsider his incredible capacity to endure (e. g., fatigue, sickness,pressure) as a strength rather than an aspect of himself he shouldfear.The period following Erik’s brush with financial disaster wasa time spent striving to regain a sense of balance in his life. He wasclear about his desire to counsel. Whatever else happened, heintended on keeping his practice going. As a way of feeding andfocusing his interest in psychology he enroled in a part-time programthrough the Saybrook Institute, an accredited nonresidentialpsychology school in California. This would turn out to be a ten year220involvement, culminating with the completionof a Ph.D. in humanscience.Erik was also sure he wanted to maintain some kindof contactwith the business world but he wasn’t clear about theamount ornature of involvement he wanted. Friends made plenty ofsuggestions and offered a variety of opportunities. Overthe nextseveral years he tried several things including managementconsulting, and teaching a marketing program for British ColumbiaInstitute of Technology, and teaching organizational management inthe M. B. A. program at Simon Fraser University. Each projectwould turn into a huge investment of time and energy. Each timeErik ended up juggling the equivalent of two full-time jobs: teaching,consulting, etc. and the counselling practice. He noticed thatwhatever else he was involved in, no matter how successful orfinancially rewarding his other projects were,he kept getting drawnback to the counselling practice. It was his main focus and hedecided he was going to make his schedule, the structure of hisdailylife, reflect this.Since then Erik has spent most of his worktime in hiscounselling practice. He maintains one majorinvestment propertyup the coast from Vancouver. He is in partnershipwith a friend heknows from experience he cantrust to manage the day to dayoperation. At the same time, Erik makessure his partner knows he221is interested in what happens in the business, He makesa point ofspending several days “on site” every couple of months.As Erik achieved a sense of balance in his work, he begantoregain his physical health. Around the same time healso metBrenda, who is now his wife. Through this relationship he begantorecognize how much he wanted to feel part of a real family. Foralong time he knew how important it was in his work to feel part of acommunity, to have close relationships. This desire for contacthadbeen an important part of what had drawn him into the worldofpsychotherapy and later, in his loneliness, back into business,Buthe had never realized how cut off he was from his own family oforigin or how much he yearned to feel connected with them. Heandhis wife went for family counselling and Erik set out to rediscover hisfamily of origin. Outside of his son and a stormy relationship withhis mother, he had lost contact with the rest of his family. It wasn’tuntil he found his sister Mary, who had been lostto him for fortyfiveyears, that Erik considered his career transitionto be complete. Thisevent symbolized a breakthrough in his effortto put his family oforigin back together.Erik’s change from real estate to counselling reflectsanattempt to let go of a life of ambition and responsibilitythat no longerheld meaning. He felt compelledto search for a different way to live.In the process he turned his backon his old life and devaluedhimself. Only when he was aboutto lose his wealth, something that222was important to him for practical reasons and because of a deeplyrooted belief he inherited from his father, did he realize there wereaspects of his former self and life that were worthwhile. Erik’sjourney into the world of psychotherapy, initially as a client and lateras a therapist, often required him to examine himself closely. Thistook courage and Erik felt scared and vulnerable, often terrified,throughout the transition. Knowing he had endured manychallenges in his life gave him the strength to push on anyway.Erik feels he has found a balance in his work life between thepragmatic and the soulful parts of himself. Erik comes from fivegenerations of real estate businessmen. Trying to cut himself offfrom the business world was like trying to deny his family’s history.In his view, to live authentically is to stay focused on his counsellingpractice while staying active, to some degree, in business.C onverenceThe event loadings of both principal components converge withthe flow of the narrative account. The narrative describesa way oflife that no longer holds meaning, that is no longer of value, and thesearch for a new more meaningful way to live. It portraysa changethat involved collapse and reconstruction.The first principal component describesa series ofbreakthroughs. Generally, the loading of an event matchesitsdescription in the story. For example, whenErik decides he is going223to be a therapist, the event loading was .83. Similarly, hisnarrativedescribes this decision as the fulfillment of a dream.The second component describes a cyclical change frombeingworried to being happy and confident with a new sense of directionand purpose. Once again, the event loadings match theirdescriptions in the story. For example, when Erik realizes hisfinances are out of control, the event loading on being worried is .62.This corresponds with the narrative which describes the collapseofhis financial security as being like his life being destroyed.Similarly, when Erik finds his lost sister, the event factor loading onbeing happy with a sense of direction andpurpose is -.30. Thiscorresponds with the narrative which describes the eventas theculmination of a yearning to rediscover his familyof origin.Finally, both principal components indicateErik experiencedvulnerability during the transition. Thiswas also evident in thenarrative. The Q-sorts provide an abstractdescription of Erik’stransition. The narrative gives ita richness of detail and meaning.Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative AccountThis is great! Its great to read this ... I think it isoverallreally accurate of the flavour of the transition.Bothchronologically and the emotions andcomponents or differentconfigurations - you know, passages -I went through.224Independent Reviewer ReportI have read the complete transcript and listened toportions of the tapes of interviews with ‘Erik’, a participant inGary’s dissertation research. The interviews were conductedin an open and unbiased manner such that Erik appearedcomfortable and unconstrained in his responses.Gary’s summary of the wide-ranging content appears tobe true to the intent of the interviewee and I believe it to be areliable account of the information provided by Erik.225CHAPTER XIIICASE STUDY TEN: TRICIAAUDITOR TO DATA ANALYSTPrincipal Component AnalysisThe first principal component accounted for 37% of thevariance in the Q-sorts. Since it did not showa clear change in eventloadings from beginning(.83) to end (.82), this component does notappear to define the transition. However, itdoes reflect importantitems that accompanied and contributed to the transition. To definethis component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus1.5were extracted. In order of magnitude, these itemsare listed below,and phrased to characterize the beginning of thetransition.Happy (2.1)Excited (2.0)Envisioned a better life(1.8)No emptiness about life(1.8)The second component accounted for 13%of the variance in theQ.sorts Since it did not showa clear change in event loadings frombeginning (-.36) to end(.08), this component does not appear to definethe transition. However, it does reflectpotentially important itemsthat accompanied and contributedto the transition. In order ofmagnitude, these items are listed belowand phrased to characterizethe beginning of the transition.226Not struggling with conflict(2.4)Not wavering in uncertainty (2.7)Not wondering about my future (2.7)Felt like a novice (1.5)The pattern of change on the first component manifesteddramatic swings. (See Figure 11, Case Study Ten:Tricia). Triciabegan and ended the transition full of a vision of a better life, feelinghappy and excited about this. This experience was not constant, butcyclic. In between were periods where she felt an emptiness abouther life. On the second component, Tricia wondered about herfuture, struggled with conflict and wavered in uncertainty. On otheroccasions, she sometimes felt like a novice.Personal NarrativeTricia never made a deliberate decisionto be an auditor. It“just kind of happened” to her. All through university she had beeninterested in doing graduate work in psychology. But whenshe wasexposed to the business of doing research in the last yearof herbachelor’s degree she found it slow moving and really boring.Believing her B. A. wasn’t worth much in thejob market, Tricia wasafraid she would end up typing fora living unless she had a graduatedegree in something. Thinking she would likethe business worldmore than academic research, she enroled inan M. B. A. instead ofa psychology program. When she completedher degree she wasworking in a bank as a teller, one of severaljobs she did while in227graduate school. When the bank offered her a position in their auditdepartment, she decided to try it. She had intended to work her wayinto personnel or human resource administration. However, aftertwo years of hoping and trying to transfer into human resources sherealized it wasn’t going to happen.Frustrated with the bank, Tricia decided to look for another job.Certain that another company would only hire her for a position shehad experience in, she felt constrained to audit. However, for thefirst time in her life she made a deliberate, considered careerdecision. Because she had become very interested in the petroleumindustry, she decided to look for a job with an oil company. When shelanded an audit position with Odeco Marine, an oil drilling company,it was a job in an industry she had chosen with a company she hadsought out.Tricia’s work became the centre of her life. She was based inLos Angeles but travelled extensively (i. e., over 100,000 miles/year),spending weeks at a time at company work sites around the world.Working for Odeco was wonderful and exciting: the assignments,thetravel, the people, living in Los Angeles. She lovedit! In her firstyear, she was promoted rapidly and placed on the seniormanagement career track. They were aware of her interest inhuman resources and were interested in eventually moving her intothat area.228Shortly after starting with Odeco, Tricia went to Mexico foravacation with some old school friends. While there she met and fellin love with Al, who was vacationing from Calgary, Alberta. Withinthree or four months of their meeting they were “commuting”between Calgary and Los Angeles on long weekends and Tricia wasdoing “stopovers” in Calgary on her way to or from overseasassignments. About a year later, they were engaged and Al, whowasn’t very happy with his job in Calgary anyway, was prepared toconsider moving to Los Angeles.About a month later, Tricia’s company announced the headoffice was going to be moved to Dallas, Texas and she was one of ahandful of people invited to go. Before the company announced itsmove to Dallas, Al moving to Los Angeles had seemed reasonable toher. It was an exciting place to live with plenty to offer. And if shehad exercised her option to move out of audit and into humanresources eventually she would have done less traveling. But theredidn’t seem to be any point in considering living inLos Angeles ifthey were both going to be unemployed. Itbecame a choice betweenhim coming to Dallas or her going to Calgary. However, Triciacouldnot reconcile with her conscience draggingAl to Dallas, a place shehated, just to abandon him three quartersof the time to go on herassignments.The following six months was a time full ofturmoil andconfusion, with Tricia not knowing what todo. In terms of her229career aspirations, she knew going to Dallas was the right decision.At the same time she was clear about wanting to marry Al. Untilshortly before she met him, being part of a couple hadn’t beenimportant to her. But now in her late twenties, with all her friendsmarried and having children, she often felt like an outsider.Marrying Al represented a chance to have a companion, a personallife.As a way of avoiding making a decision they decided Al wouldapply for a U. S. visa and she would apply for a Canadian visa. Theywould decide what to do based on which one came through first.Tricia’s application was approved in three months and they were toldit would likely take a couple of years to get a U. S. visa issued for Al.Tricia put off making a decision while she explored the “ins and outs”of getting married in the U. S. versus Canada. At the same time, herboss tried to speed up Al’s visa application.Tricia’s life had become a very bizarre existence. It felt likeshe had been swept up by a tornado. The geographic split that existedbetween her professional life and personal life grew intolerable. Shecontinued to globe hop on audit assignments and sometimes therewere months between weekend visits with Al. After looking forwardto a visit with Al for what seemed like forever, she would braceherself for the visit ending even as they were saying helloat theairport. Most of the time she was caught up in a vortex ofdecisionsthat needed to be made. Several times, while strugglingto decide230whether she should leave her job and later during her firstyear inCalgary, she found herself questioning what shewas doing. “Wait aminute! What do I know about this person? What do I knowaboutCalgary?”, “There’s never going to be any job that couldever compare(to Odeco).”She wished she could do everything allat once: marry Al, keepher job, stay in Los Angeles. But that clearly wasn’t possible.Triciaeventually decided it made more sense forher to move to Calgary andAl basically let her make that decision. Leavingher job to come toCalgary felt like diving off a cliff. She didn’tknow what to expectexcept, as far as work goes, it couldn’t possiblybe as good. Moving toCalgary seemed like the right decision but she also knew thatit wasnot a good career choice. She knew that in choosing to havea lifewith Al, she had chosen to moveaway from her career. At the sametime, she told herself she wasn’t risking verymuch, that she couldalways get her job back if things didn’t work out.When Tricia arrived in Calgary she was exhausted andsick.All the travel and emotional turmoil had wornher out and, tocomplicate matters, she discovered she waschronically ill with aninfection she had contractedwhile in Africa on a business trip. Shespent the first couple of months sleeping andtrying to prepare for herwedding. As the result of her illness she hadto have surgery shortlyafter the wedding and spentanother two months recovering.231Tricia’s new life in Calgary was very different fromthat whichshe had cultivated in Los Angeles. Within days of arriving, sherealized there were many personal changes ahead. Suddenly shewas living in a place she didn’t know, and, except for Al, was allalone. She was going to be part of her new husband’s family, but sherealized she knew next-to-nothing about them except they seemedvery different from her own family in terms of what was valued. Forinstance, education and having a career was always tremendouslyimportant in her family. Her father was a Ph. D. psychologist andher grandmother had completed a master’s degree back in 1914, atime when women rarely attended university. There had never beenany question about whether Tricia would attend university and havea career. Her new in-laws had a “blue collar” background. Al andhis brother were the only ones in the family who went to university,It was obvious Al’s mother was worriedabout what kind of wifeTricia would make for her son. Her new father-in-lawwasn’t sureshe made an honest living because he didn’tunderstand what it wasshe did.Tricia started driving Al crazy, Because she didn’thave anyfriends in the city and wasn’t working, shewasn’t talking to anybodyall day. After dealing with people allday, when Al came home fromwork he wanted quiet. All Triciawanted to do was talk to someone,For something to do and to havepeople to talk to, Tricia started232working part time in a bank as a typist while she looked around foran audit position.Jobs were scarce but after a couple of months of searchingTricia started working for Montreal Trust as an internal auditor.The people were pleasant but the audit functions she was performingwere very basic. Because she was highly overqualified, theassignments were pretty boring. However, the biggest problem shehad with the job was the travel. Even though she had enough oftravelling, her job required her to be out of town at least sixty percentof the time. Tricia wanted to work in town. And compared to whatshe had been used to, the destinations were pedestrian. Whereas,her assignments with Odeco had been in places like Singapore,Africa, Australia, now they were in Regina, Winnipeg, etc.Tncia was still thinking a little bit in terms of career path butit seemed any opportunity for advancement was blocked, partly bydifferences in the nature of audit as an occupation in Canada, partlyby Montreal Trust’s corporate structure, and partlyby her growingreluctance to compromise her personal life forthe sake of her career.Tricia was discovering that in contrast to whatshe had been used toin the United States, inCanada auditing was considered asubspecialty of accounting rather than a professionalfield of its own.This presented several unanticipatedproblems for Tricia. Becauseshe wasn’t an accountant by training,the number and kinds of jobsshe qualified for in Albertawas limited. Second, Tricia had no233interest in becoming an accountant orperforming the accountingtasks typically expected of Canadian auditors.Third, there was nopromotional path or lateral moves open to herat Montreal Trustunless she was willing to move to the company’s head office inMontreal, Quebec. If she stayed with Montreal Trust, she wasgoingto be stuck doing the same job forever.About a year after Tricia and Al were married they decidedtohave a baby. When she moved to Calgary to marry Al, Tricia didn’twant to have children. Al, on the other hand, had always wantedtohave children and was very influential. Sometimeduring that firstyear of marriage, Tricia changed her mind. While she “stilldidn’tlike the idea of kids generically, (having)Al’s children seemed to beOK”. But what seemed so easy for most people wasn’t for them.Trying to get pregnant became a real effort.They went through everykind of undignified test imaginable to figureout what was wrong butthere was no medical problem. For overa year Tricia charted hertemperature, trying to track when she wasovulating. It seemed shewas always in some out-of-town hotel room,away on yet anotherbusiness trip when it was biologically thebest time to try to conceive achild. The whole situationwas very depressing.From the start, Tricia didn’t like theextensive travel her jobrequired. However, beingaway was now more than an aggravation,it was a major problem.Her job was interfering with herchances ofhaving a baby. Tricia knewshe was never going to have a child ifshe234stayed with Montreal Trust. She desperatelywanted a job where shecould be home.When an opportunity toswitch companies came up, Triciajumped at the chance. An acquaintanceshe sat with on aprofessional association’s boardof directors invited her to interviewfor an internal auditor positionher company, Canadian NationalRailway (C. N.Rail), had open. There was only about two weeks peryear of travel required, the office wasonly five blocks from whereTricia lived, and it seemed likethere would be a little more varietyinthe work. It sounded great, and initiallyit was.While she was glad she didn’thave to do much travelling andthe office’s location was convenient,the job itself was largely a repeatof what she had experiencedat Montreal Trust. C. N. Rail alsothought of her as a kindof specialized accountant. Over time, theassignments kept getting furtheraway from what she was good atand closer to things she didn’tlike or have the background for.But the most important thingwas she now had a job that lether be at home most ofthe time. Tricia thought this wouldgive her abetter chance to havea baby. When she had beenwith C. N. Rail for ayear she did become pregnantbut had a miscarriage. Herdoctorstold her she shouldbe happy, at least it was evidencethat she couldconceive, But as faras she was concerned itwas just anotherdepressing failure and itleft her feeling bitter and empty.235After three years of frustration, she and Al bothgave up hope.It seemed Tricia was never going to give birthto a child. By thistime, they had bought a house in what they consideredwas a goodneighbourhood to raise a family in. They wanteda baby so badly theywere going to adopt one. It took a long time to cometo this decisionand, once again, Al’s strong desire to have childrenwas a biginfluence. To their surprise, not long after deciding to adopt, Triciabecame pregnant. Paranoid about having a Down’ssyndrome babybecause she was in her thirties, Tricia was on her best behavior forthe duration of her pregnancy. She was veryrelieved to give birth toa healthy baby girl.When Tricia gave birth to her daughter, Crystal, she hadbeenwith C. N. Rail for two and a half years. She didn’tlike the work shewas doing and didn’t approve of the way her departmentwas beingmanaged. However, there was no question shewas going back to herjob after maternity leave. Her decision to returnhad nothing to dowith the work itself. She would havepreferred to stay at home withher daughter but she didn’t feel she hada choice.Tricia couldn’t afford not to work. Duringthis period herhusband was was in the midst ofa career move. When Tricia met Alhe was an assistant bank manager.About six months after shestarted with C. N. Rail he left hisjob for a certified accountantarticling position with a publicaccounting firm. Since as an236articling student he was making far less money than before, Triciawas bound to her job. She couldn’t afford to stay home.When Tricia returned to her job, the work was the same. Herfrustration with it and her manager was stronger than ever. Forinstance, her boss had demanded she finish an audit report before he“allowed” her to go on maternity leave. She managed to get it doneand had left it for his signature so it could be issued. It was still onher desk, waiting for his signature, when she came back to worksixteen weeks later. She felt stuck in her job and the next year wasreally awful. She was having conflicts with her superiors andtheybegan to actively encourage her to leave.Tricia wanted out of audit but had no intention of leaving C. N.Rail. If at that point she had intended to stay in audit she would havebeen gone. She could have gotten another internal auditor positionwith a different company. But it would be the same boring workandprobably would return her to having to contendwith a heavy travelschedule. Her daughter was now the focus of her life and it wasTricia’s responsibility to look after her. It wouldbe impossible to carefor her and travel for a living.She had no choice but to stick it out atC. N. Rail.Tricia figured her best chance to leave herprofession was tostay in her job at C. N. Rail and draw herpaycheck. If she went toanother company she knew there was noway they would let her workat something she wasn’t trained for. Shewould try to trade into237another job at C. N. Rail, try to convince them to let hertry somethingelse. Tricia spent several months looking for another job within thecompany. She talked to the human resources and personnel people,telling them she wanted to move, but nothing was offered.The information systems department was the area that heldthe most appeal but it was the last place she looked into. Itwas atotally different functional area and she didn’t have any of thetechnical skills she imagined she would need to work there. Havingaudited the department three or four times, she was alreadyacquainted with the manager there. When she told him shewaslooking for a job, he had one of his analysts talk with her. To hersurprise and delight, they wanted her. Her knowledge of thecompany’s operations made her very attractive. They thought thatwith training she would make a good data analyst,a new specializedoccupation within systems analysis that involves designingdatabases and drawing pictures of clients’ informationrequirements. It relies heavily ona person’s conceptual and problemsolving abilities and doesn’t require knowledgeof computerprogramming languages.It was exactly the kind of situation she was lookingfor. Shecould trade her knowledge of the company’soperations for newtechnical skills. She was relieved to be outof audit and her managerwas glad to have her gone.Now he could bring in a real accountant.Systems modeling was a good choice, shereally liked it. It uses the238parts of auditing she enjoyed, like working withclients to find outwhat their functions are and what they need todo. But instead ofgoing away and writing a report everyone basically ignores,she wasnow actively involved in helping build a tool people used.Severalaspects of the job were new to her. For instance, the workenvironment was very “high tech” and she had tolearn the modelingskills and computer technology used to construct theinformationsystems.Tricia had been in systems for a year whenC. N. Rail startedto disintegrate. A change in the corporate leadershipwas followed byseveral mystifying personnel firings. This leadto rumours about theentire information systems department being eliminated. The lastthing Tricia wanted was to be part of a mass ofpeople all on the streetlooking for work at the same time. Fortunately, an excellentopportunity was unexpectedly brought to her attention.A friend whohad left C. N. Rail for Prudential was tellingher over lunch howhard a time they were having finding anexperienced data analyst.When Tricia expressed interest, she wasinvited to an interview andoffered the position.Tricia was willing to consider goingto Prudential because thework conditions there fit the requirementsshe had to meet asCrystal’s caretaker. It was important thatchanging jobs not haveany impact on Crystal’s care. Therewas no travelling required,their office was no further fromher home than C. N. Rail’s and the239hours of work were the same. She had previously turned down anotherwise attractive offer from another firm because it would havemeant finding a new day care centre for Crystal.Being hired by Prudential signified Tricia had really succeededin changing her paid work occupation. Tricia considered it externalvalidation of her new skills as an analyst. But it was her concernwith job security that prompted the change. The switch to Prudentialestablished a sense of financial security, something centrallyimportant to her as a mother.It is partly because of her husband’s work routine and lack ofparental participation that Tricia’s life revolves around Crystal.“Someone’s has to.” Her husband is now an accountant for a largefirm and works long hours, When he is home he plays with Crystalbut often he isn’t there. Tricia carries all the responsibilities for hercare. Feeling she can’t do anything to change Al’s lack ofinvolvement in Crystal’s care, she has come to accept her situation.She doesn’t resent all the time she spends with Crystal; she enjoysher daughter tremendously. What she resents is all the time shespends on household chores. “I need a wife, so all thatstuff would bedone for me and then I could just spend time withher,”At the same time, Tricia finds it important todo paid work.Tricia works partly out of interest, but largelyas a means ofproviding her daughter with a better life now (e.g.,private school)and a financially secure future. Not working wouldbe like gambling240with Crystal’s future. It isn’t that Tricia doesn’t trust Al to look outfor her and Crystal. She doesn’t trust life. She needs to know thatshe has the financial security her job provides should somethinghappen to Al. She can only do this if she continues to work. Becauseof the rapid pace of information and technological change, herknowledge and technical skills would be out of date if she stoppedworking for an extended period. It would be very difficult to comeback once she stepped out.Tricia’s life now is entirely different from what it was like inLos Angeles. Her paid work used to be the centre of her life. NowCrystal is the centre of her life. Being a mother has become centrallyimportant to her and she has modified her career aspirations toaccommodate this. She enjoys her work in systems analysis, shefinds it very rewarding. But the reason she works now is to providefor her daughter.Just before her transition began Tricia had a clear vision ofherself as a successful career woman making herway to the top onher corporate career track. At the end of the transitionher vision isof a happy and secure family life. Choosingto marry Al and move toCalgary turned out to be the first of several decisionsthat graduallytook Tricia into her new career as a working mother.Movementthrough this transition required her to overcomea powerful internalstruggle over which future to pursue.241ConvergenceThe event loadings of both principalcomponents converge withthe flow of the narrative account. The narrative describesa shift inwhat gives Tricia’s life meaning, a change fromaspiring executivedevoted solely to her career to working motherdevoted to herdaughter.The first principal component describesTricia’s periodicexcitement and optimism about the future. Generally, theloading ofan event matches its description in the story.For example, whenPrudential offers her the data analyst job, theevent loading is .82.Similarly, the narrative describes how happy sheis to find a positionthat meets her needs as a mother and recognizes her competenceinher new occupation.The second principal component describes Triciastrugglingwith conflict during the first part of her transitionand feeling like anovice on certain other occasions. The loadingof an event on thesecond component also matches its descriptionin the story. Forexample, when Tricia told her boss shewas getting married, theevent factor loading was .83. Similarly, thenarrative descriptionportrays her as deeply conflicted,in a real bind trying to figure outhow she can marry Al without messingup her career. The Q-sortsprovide an abstract descriptionof Tricia’s transition. The narrativegives it a richness of detail and meaning.242Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative AccountI think it is a fair representation of what I said. It iswritten very well.Independent Reviewer ReportI think the write-up of the case study portrays what thesubject intended to communicate. The information has notbeen distorted at all. It seems to me that this subject began toexplore her career transition during these interviews. Theresearcher did not direct the subject away from this, so theinterviews are an accurate reflection of the subjects concerns.I was so caught up in her story that I wanted to know moreabout her psychology!243CHAPTER XIVCOMPARATIVE PATTERN ANALYSISThe purpose of comparing the ten accountsof career transitionwas to compose, if possible, a more abstract accountthat reflects acommon pattern of experience. Is there a commonstructure? Canten individual stories be adequately reflected inone general story?These were were the kinds of questionsthat guided the comparativeanalysis. It was not an attempt to identifyisolated or fragmentedthemes, but an attempt to discern a common orderwithin the uniqueparticulars of each case.The analysis proceeded by first developingoutlines of the flowof significant events for each case, attemptingto phrase these eventsmore abstractly. For example, afterworking as the women’s rightsprogram manager, Joan returned toteaching. What is ofsignificance here is that she returnedto the old condition from whichshe was seeking escape and her experiencewas miserable. To allowfor comparison, this event would notbe phrased just as a return toteaching, but a return to the old experienceof confinement. Uniquedetails were either dropped or placed ina secondary position in orderto emphasize what might be commonto the other cases.Once the flow outlines were developed, comparisonsof generalmovement began. As particular movementswere identified, theywere checked against the other accounts, leadingusually to revision244or abandonment. During comparisons,it became possible to phraseevents more generally and sharplyas parts of a pattern, and thesechanges were checked against actualaccounts.As particular movements were connected,a common patternbegan to emerge which, in turn, helpedto describe the meaning ofthe parts. This comparative procedureof sharpening and checking,attending to parts and the whole,continued until the commonpattern crystalized in a way that didnot seem to require furtherrevision. When it was compared tothe ten accounts, it reflected eachwith no sense of strain. While thisprocess sacrifices or obscures thecomplexities of individual experiences,it captures the prominentexperiences as parts of a general flow.Pattern of Career TransitionThe common pattern of career transitioninvolved three phasesor stages. These stages overlap andblend together, but each isdistinctive nevertheless.That is, while the boundaries betweenstages are permeable, each stage involvesa distinctive characterwith each subsequent stage building uponthe preceding stage.The background for the firststage is a first career that oncehad a significant purpose,but one that the person has outgrown.For instance, the papal reform movementwas the arena withinwhich Daniel had been ableto express his rebellion againstauthority. Similarly, thecorporate world was a place Tricia hadbeenable to pursue her ambition forsocial esteem and recognition. School245teaching was the way Joan had gotten outof being a secretary, Socialwork served a similar purpose for Carla. Itwas a way to stay out ofthe small town life she had escaped by going to university. Sellingpetroleum products had been a way for Josephto support his family.Stage I: Growing DiscontentThe beginning of the career transitionwas marked by growingfrustration and dissatisfaction over aspects ofone’s life. The focalpoint and scope of this frustration varied. Sometimes it wasexperienced primarily as a work problem as in the casesof Joan andDaniel. Sometimes it was personal as in thecase of Tricia,Sometimes frustration was evident in both domains as inthe cases ofJack, Lynn, and Joseph. Sometimes it was not possible for theperson to identify the source as in the cases ofJoby and Erik. Thefrustration and discontent the person feels isnot just dissatisfactionwith aspects of one’s work or life. It reflects and constitutesa loss ofpurpose.As events unfolded during this period, one became dominatedby a feeling that somehow one’s present situation, one’s life,is notwhat it should be like. This is accompaniedby a variety of relatedfeelings about one’s life. Several people felt confined, stuck,trapped.Others felt an emptiness in their lives, or that life was off course.Forsome it was a more diffused and less dramatic feeling,a vague yetindisputable yearning for something indescribable that is missinginone’s life. The strength of such feelings fluctuated, sometimes246pervading one’s consciousness and at other times experiencedas adistant nagging in the back of one’s mind, but they wereunshakeable.By this time an important change has already takenplace.Namely, one’s current way of life no longer holdsthe same worth.Events tend to repeatedly highlight or remind one of thisinternalshift. For example, in his second battle with church authorities,Daniel was now questioning whether he should remain inthechurch, whether he could continue to live this life. Certain aspects ofone’s work or personal life that were previously taken forgranted,ignored, or not considered centrally important now drawincreasingattention and concern. For instance, Joan and Carla hadnot noticedthe structural limitations their occupations imposed on them.Atthis point most people feel like they are outsiders, like theydon’tbelong or fit in. Jack and Joan felt this way about work, Tricia hadcome to feel this way about her friends, all of whom werenowmarried. Joseph felt this way about the small town businesscommunity to which he supposedly belonged.The rise in dissatisfaction is accompanied,to varying degrees,by what is usually the first of several periods of self-review andponderings about the future. The person has begunto reflect on whatis important, what is valued,what is wanted from life? At this pointthe answers are fuzzy at best. The personmay have an idea of whatit is they want to get away from,but usually there is no vision, no247image of how one’s life should be. Oneis simply enduring,increasingly aware of how he or she is feeling. Thereis a growingdesire to change the situation, but littleconscious effort to changeone’s circumstances. Except for expressions of frustration,discontent, anger, or the like, the person is not takingany action.Stage II: Searching for a More Worthwhile Way of LifeDuring the second phase of the transitionthe person steps outof the life structure he or she is familiar with.Within a process ofchange that follows a cyclical pattern, theperson begins movingtowards what is hoped will be a better, moreworthwhile life.As the second phase begins, the person movesto make achange in his or her life. Some kind of action breaksthe individual’sroutine, takes the person outside of one’severyday existence. Nomatter what form the action takes, it represents movementout of theexisting life structure. For six of the tencases (Joseph, Lynn, Jack,Carla, Erik, & Daniel) this action includesa conscious decision theperson has reached concerning his or her situation.For instance,wanting to escape the predictable small town lifehe is living, Josephdecides to sell his business. From his standpoint,selling thebusiness psychologically frees himso he can study for a teacher’scertificate.Four of the six people in this cluster(Jack, Carla, Erik, &Daniel), not knowing what they shoulddo, took some kind of time-outbefore reaching a decision. Either by the end ofor shortly after248returning from their sabbatical periods, all four had cometo adecision. For example, by the end of the year off the school districtforced on him, Jack had decided to leave psychology to start anantique business with his new lover. By the end of his retreat, Danielhad decided to leave the priesthood and return to B. C. By the timeCarla came home from Europe she had decided to leave social work.Soon after returning from Hawaii, Erik had decided to respond to thevoice he had heard during his near death experience by going to apsychological growth centre.It is noteworthy that only three of these six cases (Jack, Carla& Joseph) had developed a plan for the future by the time they wereacting on their decision. For instance, by the time Joseph decidedtosell the business, he already knew he was going to try teaching. Incontrast, when Lynn, Erik and Daniel acted on their decisions, theyhad no idea what was in their futures. For instance, when Lynn quitnursing, she only knew that she was fed up with the miserabletreatment she felt forced to endure as a nurse,that her life wasnothing like what she had expected.For the other four cases (Joby, Rachel, Joan,& Tricia) theaction that broke the person’s existing life structure took the formofgetting involved in a new activity or being drawn inby events thatturned out to have an unexpected, often dramatic impact on thecourse of the person’s life. There is no evidencethat the new activitywas part of a conscious decision to change thecourse of one’s life.249For instance, while Joby is at the managerial developmentworkshop,he has his life-giving vision. Rachel, wishing to knowmore abouther faith, signs up for a religious studies course thatopens her up toa whole new world. Joan volunteers to work ona video project for herteachers’ association and this turns out to be herfirst step out ofteaching. Tricia, on vacation in Mexico, falls in lovewith the manshe will later leave her dream job for andmarry.Much of the transition’s middle period is spentsearching forthat which is lacking in one’s life, for a more worthwhileway of life.Erik’s immersion in the personal growth movementand Rachel’senrollment in theological school are clear examplesof how thissearch is expressed in individual lives. Thosewho already havesome concrete idea of what a more worthwhilelife would entailspend this period searching for a way to realize the dream. Forinstance, during this period Tricia desperatelysearches for a way tomarry Al without giving up her career. Similarly,Joby’s studies andhis job strategy reflect his preparations and searchfor a way to beemployed as a special kind of management consultant.For all ten cases, embarking on this searchrepresents thestart of what turns out to be an irreversible processof personalchange. The process is cyclical rather than linearin nature. It canbest be described as a series of progressions, eachstep of whichinvolves recycling an old dramatic conflict.An individual willtypically make an important change in course,only to recreate or to250become re-immersed in another version of his or her personal dramaon a new social stage. For example, the trapped feeling thatculminates Jack’s blind ambition or “ladder climbing” andhis needto control everything as a school psychologist is repeatedover andover again. It is a central part of his story in his corporatework, inhis psycho-legal work, and in his first couple of years in theantiquebusiness. At the heart of each dramatic conflict isa feeling that lifeis still not as it should be. Each repetition of the conflict remindstheperson of this and deepens the feeling.In a few cases (Joan & Jack) this repetition of the dramaticconflict took place within the context of a retreat to the first career.For instance, Joan went back to teaching after getting frustratedwiththe women’s program job. However, before long she felt moreconstrained than ever. Similarly, after decidingto go into the antiquebusiness full-time, Jack backed out at the last minute and madealateral move from school to corporate psychology.This proved to bethe first of several re-enactments of his blind “ladder climbing”.Even the less complex cases of career transition, like thatofCarla and Joseph, follow a cyclical pattern. Forexample, medicalschool immersed Carla in a world where, morethan ever, she feltlike an outsider. Compared to when she wasa social worker, sheended up living a more restrictive andisolated life than she couldhave imagined. Similarly, after havingmade the switch to school251teaching, Joseph found himself once againlacking the intellectualstimulation that had become importantto him.At some point during this phase everyonedeveloped a newsense of direction or purpose, an image of whatto do with one’s life.For some (Joby, Lynn, &Erik) it presented itself with startlingclarity, much like that of an oracle. For Jobyit was expressed inoccupational terms. He envisioned himselfas an independentconsultant working with companies that needto redefine whatbusiness they are in. For Lynn and Erik, this sense of purposewasinitially expressed in existential terms.For example, Lynn’srevelation at the foot of her adopted son’sbed instructed her that shemust be “free”. Only through a process of experimentationandfurther self-review could such an expression ofa new purpose betranslated into specific life changes.For the other career changers, this new sense ofpurpose wasconceived more slowly, often beginning as afeeling of being drawntowards an activity, occupation or idea. Thiseventually turned into adream, a wish, a desire that was as compellingas a revelation, Forexample, Rachel’s desire to know moreabout her religiontransformed into an overwhelming aspirationto enter the ministry.Sooner or later, the person’s life became pervadedwith the ideaof living the vision. As eventsunfolded and the career changer’ssearch progressed, the person showed a remarkableamount of selfdetermination. There was a growing sense ofagency, of252responsibility for what was happening in one’slife, There was astrong belief that whatever changes were needed, itwas up to theindividual to make them happen. This belief inoneself wasaccompanied by a strong will to take decisiveaction.The person eventually reached a point where he or she feltcompelled to enact the vision. The individualhad come to believe thatmaking this change was vitally important. Severalpeople referred tothe decision that was being contemplated at thetime as if it was tooimportant to be prevented by fear.The person was so determined thatthe risks involved did not seem to matter. Risk-takingwas treated assomething that simply could not be avoided,as if it was a necessarypart of the process. Most people also referredto the decision that wasbeing contemplated at the time as if the risksinvolved in not makingthe change were too great to ignore.This is what it was like for Jobywhen he mentally composed his letterof resignation as he joggedaround Stanley Park, and for Jack whenhe burned his files andwalked away from his practice.This was also Joan’s experiencewhen she turned down the full-timeposition with the government togo off on her own as an independentconsultant, and Carla’s whenshe went to the director of medicaltraining to get permission to startpsychiatry. In every case therewas a clarity, a firmness in theperson’s decision to enact the visionthat was unmistakeable.253Stage III: A New Way ofLife EmergesThe third phase of the transitionis concerned with the personrealizing the vision. Aspart of this process, the individual isrequired to respond to an unexpectedchallenge or setback of somekind. Only when this conflict isresolved does the person feelestablished in his or hernew way of life. This feeling marks thecompletion of the transition. It ischaracterized by a feeling ofexcitement, a sense of directionor confidence about one’s life.When the career changers took thedecisive action thatsignified the end of the transition’ssecond phase, they all knew whatthey did not want their livesto be like, had a vision of what theywanted to do, and at leasta general idea of what needed to be done inorder to achieve this. Everyone recognizedthey were moving into anew phase, that they were sayinggood-bye to a familiar way of livingand beginming a new chapterin their lives. For instance, this wasvery clear to Joseph whenhe sold the family home and headedoffwith his family to the United Statesfor graduate school. It was alsovery clear to Rachel whenshe finally left her husband and movedinto the theological college’s residence,even though, beyondbecoming a minister, she did not havea clear idea of what the futureheld for her.During this period the careerchangers tended to act verypurposefully. There was aconcerted effort to change one’s situation,a determination to achieveone’s goal. Joan’s orientation, duringthe254time following her decision to do independent consultation,wastypical. It was obvious that she was investinga tremendous amountof herself in her effort to establish the businessas a distinct entityand develop a market for her consulting services. Heractions weresteps towards realizing the kind of life she had envisioned for herself,This is a period of intense learning that isoften exciting,painful at times for most people, and always extremelychallenging.All of the career changers engaged in extensiveself-directedlearning. In addition to acquiring prerequisiteskills and knowledgethat would be needed in one’s new life, the individual’seducationfrequently involved developing greater self-knowledgeandexperimenting with different ways of living. Sixof the ten (Joan,Carla, Joseph, Rachel, Joby, &Erik) returned to a post-secondaryinstitution for a degree or certificateprogram at least once. It wasobvious that school served a dual purpose for these maturestudents.It provided them with the technicaltraining they needed, and aforum within which to challenge themselves.This almost alwaysincluded exploring and challenging old beliefsabout oneself or one’sabilities. For most of the changers, this learningstarted muchearlier, during the searching phase,but there was a newimportance, a certain urgency, that oftenaccompanied the drive torealize the vision. This was Lynn’sexperience during the time shewas increasing her involvement with the fosterchildren’s program.255This was also Daniel’s experience when he was chartinga course forthe union presidency.The duration and complexity of the period leadingup to therealization of the vision varied extensively across cases.In Tricia’scase, this period was so complex it constituted another wholetransition cycle in and of itself. It began even as she was achievingwhat had been her goal(i. e., marrying Al). She began to go throughthe experiences of the first phase. She experienced the frustration ofnot being able to find satisfying work, and laterof not being able to getpregnant, She felt like she was different or didn’t really fitin withher new family, and when she found work, had the same feelingsabout her bank job. Life was definitely not as she thought it shouldbe. The experiences that are the central features of the second phasealso appeared again. Her job switch and(albeit unnecessary)decision to adopt reflect how determined she was in her search for away to realize her new vision of being a mother. This determinationis also evident in her parallel search fora more secure and satisfyingpaid occupation. Tricia went through a process of remakinghervision of what a more worthwhile life wouldbe even as she wasbeginning what she had thought would be that life.At the other end of the spectrum is Joby’sexperience duringthis same period. The time that followed his corporateresignationwas relatively uncomplicated. He did spendeight months trying tolive his vision within the confines of a largeconsulting company256before realizing there was no alternative to doing it entirelyon hisown. But once he made the jump to operating solo, things quickly fellinto place for him. Living his dream was morea matter of puttinginto practice what he had already learned during his prolongedsearch phase.No matter what complications the individual career changerexperienced during this period, eventually they were all doingthework they had envisioned for themselves. For instance, Joanwassuccessfully marketing and producing printand video mediaproducts. Tricia was a mother, out of audit and working ininformation systems. Erik had a busy private counselling practice inVancouver. Everyone’s lives had become focused on doingthe work.Even though they were already engaged in the workthey hadenvisioned and committed themselves to, all the career changersexperienced at least one late-breaking setback or challengethatthreatened to prevent them from continuing on the new courses theyhad mapped for themselves. For some (Lynn, Joby, & Jack), thechallenge came in the form of a personal episode. For the rest(Rachel, Joseph, Joan, Carla, Daniel, Erik, & Tricia), it presenteditself within the occupational domain of the person’slife. Despite thevarious forms the challenge took, it always requiredthe person to reevaluate the importance of the changes thathad already been made,to question whether there were important aspects of oneselfor one’sapproach that still needed to be changed. In this sense,the challenge257could be construed as a test of whether theespoused values andconcrete changes that had alreadybeen made constituted a moreworthwhile life. This was thecase for Joby, who was busy in his newconsulting business when his wifeleft him. It was this event thatprompted him to question whether hestill needed to changeimportant aspects of himself.For four of the careerchangers, the challenge was in the formof a further recurrence of thedramatic conflict that had shown upduring the search phase (Daniel, Rachel,Jack, Erik), For instance,when Daniel finally became union president,he once again took onthe lone martyr role that figuredso prominently in the course ofevents both when he was a priest and duringhis early years as aunion organizer. Similarly, before her switchto the ministry, Rachelhad felt trapped in her marriage. She alsocame to feel trapped in thedying prairie community that was her firstpastoral charge.Overcoming the setback required the personto revise the wayin which the new life was beinglived or follow through on personalchanges he or she had assertedwere important. For most of thecareer changers, the challengewas to act according to the valuesthey espoused, values that thecareer change was supposed to reflect.In Rachel’s case, this involved resolvingthat she was no longergoing to allow herself to be trappedand isolated. Leaving her firstposting in that small prairietown coincided with her recognizingthat she was no longer a victim, that shewas now a survivor. In258Carla’s case, meeting the challengerequired her to create her ownfuture in forensic psychiatry. She accomplishedthis when she set upthe forensic training program forherself and resisted the director’spressure to conform to his expectationto work with women inmates.For a couple of the career changers(Joseph & Erik), resolutionincluded acknowledging previously undervaluedaspects of one’s oldlife. In taking the job in Michigan,Joseph had sacrificed his PacificNorthwest outdoors lifestyle forhis career. Taking the job at U. B. C.was recognition that even though he valuedliving in a world of ideas,it was not the only thing of importance inhis life. Similarly, Erik’snear-bankruptcy gave him new respect forhis businessachievements and previouslydevalued aspects of his character.Although he continued to strugglefor some time for a sense ofbalance in his life, after meetingthis challenge he realized therewere aspects of his former selfworth valuing.For all of the career changers, feelingestablished in the newcareer corresponded with a feelingof excitement, a sense of directionor confidence about one’s life. Forexample, even while anticipatingfuture ups and downs, Rachelwas excited about her ministry, herlife on Hornby Island. Herexperience is typical of what people feltlike at this point.While everyone believed the futurewas likely to hold furtherchallenges and important personalchanges, they knew their newlives constituted substantial progress.For instance, Carla259considered her change to be complete when she felt shewas living inaccord with the values she had come to consider important in herlife. Similarly, Daniel considered his changeto be complete when hewas confident he had finally shed the martyr self-image he had heldon to for so long and was acting like the responsible, democraticleader he wanted to be. In every case there wasa sense of beingcommitted to, being invested in this new wayof living one’s life.Career Transition’s Dynamic Cycleof ChangeThe career transition of the ten individuals followed a cyclicalpattern of change. Over the course of the transition,the salientexperiences that served to define the change forthe individual wouldcome to dominate a period of time or set of events, fade for a time,then re-emerge. Individuals cycled from beingstuck to being free,from being trapped to being self-directed, and thelike. No transitionfollowed a straight-forward linear path.This cycling was present in all cases, regardless of differencesin the emotional tone of the transition. Forexample, Erik’sexperience was frequently negative; hewas often terrified andoverwhelmed during his search for a betterlife. In contrast,Joseph’s experience was relatively positive; healways felt incommand, even as he searched for a betterlife. However, in all tencases, the course of the transition followedan up and down, cyclicalpattern. While Joseph never reached the samedepths of despair asErik, even he was not alwaysclear about what to do or what thefuture would hold, In the process ofshaping a new kind of life forhimself, he went through his own trials.260261CHAPTER XVDISCUSSIONThe product of this study was ten narrative accountsof careertransition. From the perspective of each individual’s life,thesignificance of landmark events and themeaning of a career changecould be more fully understood. Career transition involvednot only achange in the meaning of work, but in the course ofone’s life. Fromcomparing accounts emphasizing an individual’sperspective, acommon pattern of transition was identified.First, an individualbegins with growing discontent over one’s courseof life, reflecting anerosion or loss of purpose in work. Second,the person steps out of hisor her own familiar life structure to search fora more worthwhilelife. Third, in striving to realize hisor her vision of a better life, theperson emerges with a new sense ofpurpose in a different course oflife. The common pattern is a narrative summary of thebeginning,middle, and end.The dynamic process that guidesa person through thecommon pattern appears tobe a repeated cycle of experience. Aperson would make an important change,only to become reimmersed in an old dramatic conflict. Theperson strove for changeand ended up with a variant of the old conflictin a new setting.However, neither the change nor the conflictwere exactly the same,but more like variations of a theme. Caughtin the old conflict, a262person would try to reconstrue what was happening and ventureforth anew, striving for change. As reflected in the quantitativeresults, these ventures varied considerably in the extentto which aperson approached a better life or fell back into the old snare. Overthe course of the transition, a person swung up anddown until he orshe eventually broke through to a more stable actualization of ameaningful course of life.LimitationsIn this study, each of the ten cases was a test of how well themodels of transition accounted for the individual’s career changeexperience. The case study method relies on replication of aninvestigation’s results to establish the domain to which its findingscan be generalized. From a methodological standpoint the studyconstituted ten investigations of the same phenomena, with each oneproducing common results. Each replication made it more plausiblethat career transition reflects a distinctive patternof experience.However, the limitations of the study make it premature to concludethat the same pattern is evident in the experiences of all careerchangers.The five men and five women who collectively madeup thesample were all white and from English speaking westernindustrialized countries(Canada, England, & United States). Thislimits the study by race and the dominantcultural norm withinwhich the career transition takes place.263While the first and second careers of the ten individualsrepresent a relatively heterogeneous or diverse sample ofoccupations, the study ended up focusing on upper-stratum “whitecollar” occupational changes. This was not the original intent.Unfortunately, I was unable to locate anyone who had switched from,to, or within lower stratum “blue- or pink-collar” occupationsmet the study’s definition of career change. In order to meet thescreening criteria, the occupational change had to reflect both achange in life structure and a change in assumptive world. Duringthe time I was recruiting participants, I was not able to locate lower-stratum workers who believed their occupational shift reflected achange in assumptive world. Therefore, the findings are limited tothose career transitions that involve upper-stratum occupations.The study is also limited to career changes that involve beingengaged in paid work as part of both the first and the second career.Moving from paid to an unpaid work and vice versa is particularlycommon for women(e. g., Gerson, 1985). However, it was beyond thescope of this study to focus on this type of transition or to explorewhether it reflects the same distinctive pattern of experience.Many different types of major life events accompanied thecareer transitions that made up this study(i. e., marriage, divorce,major illness and death of a parent, moving and emigration,childbirth and adoption, near-death experience, realization of sexualorientation) and in every case the same distinctive pattern of career264transition was evident. However, the findings are limitedby thekinds of major events that accompanieda career transition. Forexample, being forced to leave one’sjob, considered to be a relativelycommonplace experience, was part of the story in only one case(Jack). Similarly, nobody in the study embarkedon a new careerbecause there were no longer any jobs available in the originalcareer, Finally, none of the study’s participants embarked onasecond career after mandatory or voluntary early retirement.The individual accounts that are the main product of thisinvestigation are based on each career changer’stelling of whathappened. While exhaustive steps were taken to ensure thecredibility of the accounts, they are limited to theevents andexperiences the participants were aware of andwilling to talk about.Even with all the checks and measures that wereused in thisinvestigation (i. e., triangulation through multiple lines of inquiry,ensuring the free flow of information in the interviews, subject andindependent review of accounts), it remains possible that certainevents or experiences took place but were forgottenor, consciously orunconsciously, systematically distorted or denied(e. g., Sloan, 1986;Wiersma, 1988). It is beyond the scope of this studyto includeexperiences that were part of the transition butnot remembered ordescribed by the subject.265Theoretical ImplicationsThe results are theoreticallyrelevant to models of transitionthat are currently used to describethe career change process. Thestudy provides a means of assessing the relevance of thesetheoreticalmodels by comparing them to thestudy’s individual accounts andgeneral pattern analysis.The accounts provide support for a threephase model of careertransition. Such a structure was proposedby three of the prominentmodels of transition (Bridges, 1980; Van Gennep,1908/1960;Schlossberg, 1984) and was considered thebest description of theprocess by three earlier studies of career change(Lawrence, 1980;McQuaid, 1986; Osherson,1980).The career transition phasesstrongly resemble Van Gennep’s(1908/1960) description of the rites of passageprocess. The similarityof the experiences shared by the career changersand those producedby the ritual process described by Van Gennepis remarkable. Forexample, in Van Gennep’s model the separationphase is devoted tomaking the person recognize hisor her old life is over. Preparationfor this departure always includedhaving the person withdraw fromhis or her everyday activitiesand reflect on one’s past. Thiscorresponds with the disengagement stagethat all the careerchangers went through.The feelings of frustration, discontent, andof being an outsider reflect a withdrawalfrom what had been one’snormal existence. Similarly, duringthis period the person is often266spending time reflecting on thepast, reviewing what is important inone’s life.The second and third phases of thecareer transition alsocorrespond closely to those of the rites ofpassage. For the careerchangers the second phase is defined bythe search for a moreworthwhile way of life. Their experiencesparallel the middletransitional phase in a ritual passage. Theperson is in limbo, nolonger living the old existence but not yetestablished in a new one.Both career changers and those going througha ritualized passageare on a kind ofjourney, with much of theirtime taken up withpreparations for one’s new life, In the thirdphase, for both thecareer changers and those going througha ritualized passage, a newway of life emerges. In both cases, the chieftask of this period is tointegrate into one’s life the changein life structure and assumptiveworld.There is an important difference between theritual passageprocess Van Gennep documented and thatof a contemporary careertransition. As part of the rites of passage process,these experiencesare the product of formal procedures administeredby elders. In thesocieties that were the subject ofVan Gennep’s investigations, theprocedures used to produce these experiences werepart of a set ofpredefined ceremonies that the person was movedthrough. Incareer transition, the experiences reflect apersonal process that theindividual has gone through. From thisperspective, the ritual267passage process is a powerful and usefulanalogy. In careertransition it operates at a purely psychologicallevel. There is nosocially defined set of experiences that a personis required to gothrough. It is this absence of any externally mandatedor sanctionedsocial process that makes the similarityof the career transitionprocess and the ritual passage process allthe more remarkable,Bridges’ (1980) description of transitionas a three stageprocess is also supported by this study. This is not surprising sincehe relied on Van Gennep for his depiction of the transitionstructure.This study confirms and extends other important aspectsof Bridges’model. First, the experience of the careerchangers during the firstphase of their transitions closely matched Bridges description of thegradual growth of discontent and the like that signifies the endingofthe old way of life and the beginning of the transition.O’Connor andWolfe’s (1987, 1991) finding that rising discontent is thebeginning ofa transition provides additional support for the accuracyof thisdescription.However, Bridges characterizes the middle periodor “neutralzone” as a time of chaos, of emptiness that the person desperatelywants to escape. O’Connor and Wolfe(1987, 1991) description of themiddle period was similar to that of Bridges, characterizing itas atime of crisis. This was an accurate description for somebut not allof the study’s participants. Each person’s worldwas changing but itwas not necessarily .in chaos or crisis. Therewas much more variety268in the career changers’ experience duringthe middle period than isreflected in Bridges model. Most peopleexperienced a mix of positiveand emotionally disturbing events duringthis period. Manyresearchers have previously rejected thenotion of a career changehaving to be a crisis(Gill, Coppard & Lowther, 1983; Lawrence,1980;Vondracek et aL, 1986) but others have persistedin characterizing itas such (e. g., Perosa & Perosa,1983). The transition accountssupport the position that a career transitionmay be viewed as apersonal crisis by some changers but thisexperience is by no meansuniversal.Bridges’ depiction of the contemporaryexperience of transitionwas largely drawn from his observationsof people attending hisworkshops on how to cope with their owntransitions. Similarly,O’Connor and Wolfe’s conclusions werebased on themes thatemerged from the comments of men andwomen who were in themidst of a major life change and hadvolunteered to attend acombination of individual interviews anda three day workshop, Inboth of these cases, it seems plausible thatpeople who were stuck orstruggling more with their changewould be more likely to attendsuch programs than those less troubled bytheir change. Given thepossibility of what can be construed asa sampling bias, the negativetone of Bridge’s and O’Connorand Wolfe’s middlle periods is,perhaps, understandable.269The study supports Bridge’s positionthat a person mustexperience an “inner reorientation”before a transition can beconsidered complete. In the study,resolution of the recurrentdramatic conflict correspondedwith the person’s completion of thechange in assumptive world. Thisis essentially the same as whatBridges refers to as one’s “innerorientation”.Many of the experiences describedin Van Gennep’s rites ofpassage are also in Eliade’s descriptionof initiation rites,(e. g., thenecessity of a separation fromone’s regular life). However, theaccounts suggest that applyinga death and rebirth analogy to careertransition is not completely accurate.The kinds of changes Eliadestudied always involved the initiatorydeath of a person’s profaneexistence and the birth of a sacredlife. A career change definitelyinvolves a loss. There is a loss ofand emergence of a new purpose forthe work in one’s life. The use ofanalogies to describe psychologicalphenomena is common and oftenuseful in social science (White &Epston, 1990). But, in mostcases, describing the processas one ofdying and being reborn is too strong.A career transition involvessignificant, often dramatic personalchanges, but the individualaccounts make it apparent it doesnot always demand a completeremaking of the person or spiritualtransformation.There are three aspects ofEliade’s model that are particularlyrelevant to the career transitionexperience found in the currentstudy. First, the emergence of a visionof that which is important,a270new sense of direction and purpose, wasa feature of career changeshared by all of the study’s participants. This parallels Eliade’sfinding that an essential feature of the initiatory birthingprocess isthe revelation of that which is sacred. Second,Eliade held that aspart of the initiatory process, the individual must undergoa numberof ordeals or tests of one’s worth. Everyone inthe study had to meet achallenge or test of their commitment to a newway of life. Third,Eliade concluded that initiatory rites are designed to be dramatic inorder to make the experience of initiatorydeath more intense. Thisreflects the cycling found in the accounts, indicating thatrepetition ofa person’s dramatic conflict served to intensifr the importanceofmaking a change.The accounts uphold the position taken by Bridges, VanGennep and Eliade that a transition is defined not only by the phasesor types of experience but also by the order of the experiences.Similarly, the study supports the position heldby all three that aperson must go through all phases in order forthe transition to becomplete.The shared pattern of experience found inthis study does notagree with Hopson and Adams’(1976) description of the transitionprocess. According to their model,a transition involves sevenpredictable reactions and feelings, beginningwith being shocked andimmobilized and ending with internalizingthe change. But none ofthe accounts started with a shock,Only two people (Jack & Erik) had271such an experience early in their transition. Many of theexperiences Hopson and Adams describe were part of the transitionfor some of the study’s participants, though not necessarily intheorder depicted in the model. For instance, for those who experiencedanger, it was more common during the initial period than in themiddle of the transition.Other experiences described in the Hopson and Adams’ modelwere common to all the career changers but they also did not followthe temporal flow conveyed in the model. Thiswas the case forexperiences like letting go of the past and trying new activities.Similarly, a search for meaning was part of everybody’s experiencebut it did not just occur near the end of the transition. It was oftenrecurrent, experienced periodically from beginning to end anddominant during the middle period.Parkes (1971) believed that when the experience of bereavementor grieving was applied to most other psychosocial transitionsitwould likely produce an accurate picture of the process.The studysupported Parkes’ position thata transition is initiated when aperson loses whatever is sustaining one’s assumptive world.Previous studies have come toa similar conclusion. Both Osherson(1980) and Collin(1984, 1985) found that a career change could beaccurately depicted as a loss of one’s self-definition,upsetting one’sassumptive world. All of thestudy’s participants had lost oroutgrown the purpose their first careers served.272The transition accounts did not support Parkes’description ofa transition’s characteristic pattern of experience.For example, theloss of purpose was not typicallyaccompanied by shock, denial andanger. In some cases there wasan attempt to stay in or go back tothe first occupation, parallelingParkes’ description of wanting torecover that which was lost. And the fear andvulnerability that,according to Parkes’ description,a person typically felt as he or shewas acting to create a new kind of lifewas evident in several counts.But these experiences were not sharedby all of the participants. Themodel could not accommodate the participants’diversity ofexperience and the differencesin emotional tone,The cases provide qualified support for aspects of Schlossberg’s(1984) model of transition. Schlossberg’semphasis was onidentifying the wide range of variablesthat can influence the relativeease or difficulty of the individual’s transitionexperience. Anindividual’s response will be a function ofa combination of personalcharacteristics and factors unique to that person.This allows themodel to account for the diversity of experienceand difference inemotional tone that was evident in theindividual accounts. However,the model focuses less attention on thepattern of experience ortemporal dimension of a transition andthis was the main interest ofthe current study.For Schlossberg, a transition is a three phaseprocess ofassimilation that involves responding toan external event, Her273description of the transition processreflects this stance. It beginswith the person being pervadedand preoccupied with the prospect ofmaking an important personalchange after the occurrence of anexternal and, typically, unexpectedevent. In contrast, thetransitions of the individualsin the current study began withinternal changes that were only laterexpressed as rising frustrationand the like within the contextof events that somehow highlightedthe internal change that had alreadyoccurred, In the study, thepreoccupation with changingwas most prominent during the middleperiod, accompanying the person’ssearch and preparation for amore worthwhile life.Schlossberg’s description of the middleperiod as a time ofdisruption was part of the experiencefor the current study’sparticipants during their search fora new life. Old norms andrelationships were changing, newone’s were just developing. Manypeople felt “a bit at sea” (Schlossberg,1984,p.61) from time to time.Her portrayal of this aspect of themiddle period has support fromother sources, from studiesthat have focused on the temporaldimension of a career change.Based on the findings of his study ofmale career changers, Osherson(1980) characterized this period asatime of turmoil and change.McQuaid (1986) found that duringthemiddle transitional period,typically, the men and women shestudied were acutely awareof the fact that they were going throughacareer change but didn’tyet know what the future held.274According to Schlossberg, thechief task of the third and finalphase of a transition is to integratethe change into one’s life. On thispoint, she is in agreement with VanGennep and, as discussedpreviously, there is support for thisposition in the accounts. In thethird phase of an individual’s careertransition, integration of a newlife structure and assumptive worldwas part of the process. None ofthe participants felt established intheir second career until this hadbeen achieved.Nicholson’s transition cycle modelwas developed as aframework for studying work historiesand a person’s movementfrom one job to the next. It wasbeyond the scope of this study toinvestigate whether his modelwas accurate for specific job changes.What was of interest in the presentstudy was whether Nicholson’smodel was accurate when appliedto accounts of career transition.In light of this study, Nicholson’smodel has three mainshortcomings as a description of thecareer change process. First,certain work role transition experiencesdescribed in Nicholson’smodel were part of a career transition.But his four phases did notcorrespond with the three phasepattern found in the current study.Second, his model requirescareer change to be framed as aspecific external event. The person’sexperiences are treated as aseries of responses as the personprepares for, encounters, andadjusts to a single change. Thestress adaptation modelsoftransition (e. g., Hopson& Adams, 1976; Schlossberg,1984) take a275similar approach. In contrast, career transitionencompasses aseries of landmark events and internalshifts rather than a singlework change that all the other experiencesrevolve around, Theindividual accounts make it clear that careertransition is a complexprocess, involving the interplay of a series of internal changesandexternal circumstances and events.Third, Nicholson’s modeldoes not address the significance ormeaning of a career transition for the individualinvolved. He knowsthat his model does not address this dimensionand acknowledgesthe importance of gaining this knowledge whenit is a person’scareer that is the focus of study(Nicholson & West, 1989).All the dominant models of transitionshare a commonposition, that a transition ends with the establishment ofa new senseof stability, a stable life structure. For thestress adaptation theoristslike Parkes (1971), Hopson and Adams (1976)and Schlossberg (1984),re-establishing this stability is the primaryfunction of a transition.Accordingly, life after a transition may bebetter or worse than before.Osherson (1980) provided indirectsupport for this position. Based onhow a person resolved his or herinitial loss, the career change couldfollow one of two courses. Career changerswho had experienced a“sculpted” resolution were more satisfiedwith and invested in theirsecond careers than those who hadexperienced a “foreclosed”resolution.276In this study, when the participants hadcompleted theircareer transitions, there was a common feelingof having achieved abetter, more meaningful life. This is consistentwith the position oftheorists such as Van Gennep(1908/1960), Eliade (1958) and Bridges(1980), who contend that the purposeof a transition is personalgrowth. They hold that transition is theprocess a person must gothrough in order to discovera better way to live one’s life. From thisperspective, the accounts make it possible tosuggest consideringcareer transition not only as a means of simplychanging orrenewing the purpose of one’s life but alsoas a path to a moremeaningful life.A plausible explanation is neededfor this difference betweenOsherson’s study and the current one. It ispossible that whatOsherson described as a foreclosed patternof career change wasactually a group of individuals who were stillin the midst of theirtransitions at the time of his study or, more likely,had been stuck inthe middle of their change for an extendedperiod. Prior to resolvingtheir personal dramatic conflicts, at leastthree of the participants inthe current study(Jack, Erik, & Daniel) were already working intheir new careers and wouldhave fit Osherson’s description of aforeclosed resolution.The current study provided a valuableopportunity to examinea person’s movement througha career transition. This is an aspectof transitions that hasbeen largely neglected in most of the previous277research. Hopson(1981) suggested that it would be rare for a personto move smoothly through the seven phases of his transitionmodel.In his clinical experience, progress typicallywas “more of the two-steps-forward, one-step-backward variety”(Hopson, 1981,p.37). In adiscussion of the relevance of life historical studies,Lafaille andLebeer (1991) report that when their investigations examineeventsfrom the perspective of the individual whohas gone through them,progress in the person’s life follows anup and down rather than adiagonal line pattern.Prior to the current study, Osherson’s(1980) was the only studyof career change to comment on the natureof this movement. Thereconstitution of self that dominated the careertransition processfollowed a forward-and-back movement. Accordingto Osherson, thisfinding indicates there is an underlying dialectic natureto adultdevelopment that is expressed in the eventsof a person’s adult life.It is interesting to note that this cycling ofexperience has beennoted in another career-related study. Ina descriptive study of theexperience of unemployment, Borgen andAmundson (1984, 1987)found a “yo-yo” effect in the most commonpattern of experience ofunemployed people. Individuals went throughdramatic and rapidemotional shifts, alternating between feelingpositive and feelingworthless about oneself.The Q-analysis used in the current studyshowed that thecourse of the salient experiences that definedan individual’s career278transition followed an up anddown cyclical pattern. This is similarto the progressive then regressive patternof movement described byOsherson(1980) and the “yo-yo”effect described by Borgen andAmundson(1984, 1987). This same cyclical movement was evident inthe individual’s attempts to resolve thepersonal dramatic conflictsthat figured so prominently in the individualaccounts and commonpattern analysis of career transition.These findings extend supportfor those like Osherson who view adultdevelopment as a dialecticrather than a unilinear process.The study is also relevant whenconsidered from theperspective of career developmenttheory. Even though the study wasrestricted to individuals who hadswitched from one type of paid workto a second type of paid work, itis clear from the individual accountsthat a change in career was a change inthe course of a person’s life.A person’s shift in assumptive worldwas not contained within thework domain. In everycase it was evident that the career changereflected far more than a change inwhat was important in one’swork. There was a shift in whatwas important in one’s life as awhole. This is consistent with thosetheorists who define career asalife journey, course or path(e. g., Nicholson & West, 1989;Tiedemann & Miller-Tiedemann,1985). From this perspective, thestudy’s individual accounts of careertransition are examples ofchanging the course of anindividual’s life path. As such, they offer279an opportunity to extend the career pathconcept to include a changein life course.The study demonstrates the importanceof considering themeaning of work within the contextof the individual life, Previousstudies have suggested that gainingan understanding of careerchange involves understanding themeaning of the change(e. g.,Chusid & Cochran, 1989; Lawrence,1980; Osherson, 1980; Thomas,1980). In the current study it wasclear that each career had apurpose, was imbued with meaningfor the individual. The study isanother example of howtaking the individual’s perspective enablesthe meaning of one’s work to emerge. Furthermore,the studysupports suggestions that the meaning ofwork within a person’s lifecan change and that a career change beginswith the loss or breakupof the meaning of one’s work (Peavy, 1988;Perosa & Perosa, 1984;Young, 1984).Since the inception of career developmentas an area of study,the meaning of work has also beenlinked to a person’s identity(e. g.,Blustein, Devenis, & Kidney, 1989;HaIl, 1976; Hughes,1958). Careerchange studies have extended the relevanceof the idea of work as animportant part of one’s identitydevelopment beyond the adolescentand early adulthood periods. Forinstance, in Perosa and Perosa’s(1984) study, career changers had higher identityachievement thanpeople who were considering or inthe process of changing careers.Other studies have found thata person redefines important aspects of280one’s self-concept. Questions about “whoam I?” are answeredthrough a career change (Chusid& Cochran, 1989; Collin, 1986;Osherson, 1980). The currentstudy complements investigations thatfocus on career change as an identity developmentprocess. Itprovides an opportimity to gain an understanding of howa persongoes about making a change that involves a central part ofone’sidentity. As such, the study’sindividual accounts are a source ofsupport for Sarbin’s (1984) idea that dramatic conflictsoccur when atransition involves a challenge to one’s identity.The case studies are also relevant in termsof career decision-making theory. Decision theory has beendominated by rational orlogical models despite a paucityof evidence that such models applywell to real-life decisions of consequence. Thisstudy shows thatpeople make significant career decisions throughouttheir adult livesand underscores the importance of examiningcareer decisions fromthe individual’s standpoint. The study complementsinvestigations ofdecision making that have focusedon understanding a major lifedecision by examining the person’s lifestructure, assumptive world,life history, and the context within whichthe decision was beingmade (Cochran, 1991; Sloan,1986).The accuracy of Janis and Mann’s(1977) conflict theory as amodel of career-decision makingwas of particular interest in thecurrent study because of its dominance inthe literature and incounselling practice as a descriptive theoryof how people actually281make major life decisions(e. g., Janis, 1982; Peavy, 1984). Theindividual accounts of how a person arrivedat a decision during thetransition period did not match the sequential appraisal processdescribed in Janis and Mann’s model of decision making. Therewasa variety in the way, and in some cases the sheer speed, in whichindividuals arrived at specific decisions thatwas beyond the scope ofJanis and Mann’s description of the process.In most of the cases, it was clear that major policy decisionswere made in the midst of significant conflictand uncertainty. Thisis consistent with Janis and Mann’s positionand has also been foundin other studies that addressed the context withinwhich careerdecisions are made(e. g., Collin, 1986; Perosa & Perosa, 1983). Butthe current study does not support Janis andMann’s idea thatquelling the turmoil the person experienceswhen faced with a majordecision is the guiding purpose of the process. Tosubscribe to thisnotion would be to minimize or overlook the significance of thedecisions that were being made. Concerns aboutthe pros and consinvolved in making a change (or not makinga change) reflected aquestioning of what was of value, of importancein one’s life. Inevery case, the person was sometimes knowingly,sometimesimplicitly searching for a more worthwhileway of life, a new sense ofpurpose. This is consistent with Cochran’s(1987) suggestion thatcareer decisions mirror a concern with howbest to live one’s life.282Practical ImplicationsThe study has several practical implications.The commonpattern of experience that emerged from the individualaccounts canbe considered a map of the psychological territory thata careerchanger goes through. It canserve as a guide for those goingthrough a career transition and for thosewho counsel them. Theindividual accounts can serve as examplesof the variations that canbe expressed within the basic pattern.For someone considering or in the midst ofa career transition,the pattern can be an important source ofinformation and validation.It allows the person to appreciate and, ingeneral terms, understandwhat it is he or she is going through. Theaccounts enhance thisunderstanding by expressing the experienceas stories of individuallives. As concrete examples of individual lives,they possess acommunicative power that the description ofthe general patternlacks. The narratives bring the general experiencealive with theirrichness of detail and meaning.The participants of this study reported thatpeople who wereconsidering or already making a career changetypically express atremendous amount of interest in hearingabout their experiences.But it is rare for career changersto have the chance to talk in detailwith people who have completed a career transitioneven if they knowsomeone who has gone through one. For example,none of theparticipants had ever told their entire storyto any one person before.283Sharing the stories and common pattern directly with careerchangers is one way of giving them a more accurate pictureof whatis involved in a career transition and a means ofunderstanding theirown stories.From a career counselling perspective, the accountscan serveas a guide for practice. Counsellors frequently workwith people whoare in the midst of a career transition, When career changersseekcounselling, they are often stuck, seeking directionon how toproceed. They are often trying to make sense of what they aregoingthrough. The accounts make the career transitionexperienceintelligible for the counsellor. The general patternallows thecounsellor to follow a person’s career transitionstory. It can be usedto help the counsellor understand what the career changer is goingthrough and is likely to experience. Brammer and Abrego(1981)have used Hopson and Adams’ transition model forthis purpose.They describe the issues a counsellor is likelyto encounter with aclient at each stage of the transition process.Similarly, the common pattern of experience thatemergedfrom the individual accounts canbe used as a framework forassessing the needs of individuals who seek assistanceduring acareer transition. In the currentstudy, a different set of experiencesdominated each of the three phases of the process.Therefore, thedescription of the common pattern ofexperience provides a basis forassessing at what point the person is at in termsof his or her career284transition and what might be the most fruitful areato focus on in thecounselling. For instance, when someone is feeling frustratedandhas begun to consider changing occupations it maybe beneficial tofocus on reviewing the story of the current careeras a means ofdiscovering its original purpose. It would likelybe worthwhile toexamine whether this purpose has been outgrown, whether itscurrent purpose is of any significance for the person. During themiddle period, the person is more likely to be searching forsome kindof change that they often cannot yet define forthemselves. In thisinstance, encouragement to delve into activities or experiencesoutside of those that are part of the person’s routine may be helpful.Following the example of a formal rite of passage,the object of thisapproach is to encourage the person to engage inexperiences thatcorrespond with their temporal and psychologicalposition in thecareer transition process.It is important for the counsellor to understand that to dealwith career transition is to deal with changesthat occur in cycles.This was evident in the recurrent nature ofboth the prominent typesof experiences that defined each person’schange and the personaldramatic conflicts. This suggests thatcounsellors should expect oldissues and dominant personal themes to resurfaceduring thetransition. It suggests that changing thecourse of one’s life througha career change is not likely to be straightforward.Even as progress285is being made, both the careerchanger and the counsellor shouldexpect repetitions of old patterns and imagesof oneself.It is important for the counsellor torecognize that othersignificant changes are likelyto be intertwined with the person’soccupational change. Theoccupational change is part of a largerprocess concerned with shaping a more worthwhilelife. This wasthe case for every one of the current study’sparticipants. Thisfinding provides support for thepractice of broadening the focus ofcareer counselling beyond thebounds of the work domain. It alsosupports the idea of consideringthe career change from within thecontext of the individual’s life. From thisperspective, the person’slife history and the set of circumstances withinwhich the transitionis taking place are relevant in the practiceof career counselling.One’s personal history gives special meaningto the events of thecareer transition. If the counsellor is to comprehendwhat the clientis going through, he or she mustknow the person’s story.The study also suggests that theexistential implications ofone’s work be a primary focusin the practice of career counselling.The beginning of a career transitioncorresponds with the loss ofpurpose in one’s work and endswith a new sense of purpose beingrealized. This suggests that questionsof meaning should be basicelements in career counselling(e. g., What is of value in one’s life?What purpose does work servein one’s life?).286Research ImplicationsIn terms of future research, the immediatetask is to explorethe extent to which the pattern of experiencethat emerged in thecurrent study applies to other types of career change. This requiresfurther replications with the types of casesthat were not representedin the study. For example, replications areneeded for careerchanges where both the first and second career involve a lower-stratum occupation. They are also needed forcases involving aperson moving from an upper- to a lower-stratum occupation andvice versa. Future studies need to investigate whether thesamepattern of experience applies when major life events that werenotrepresented in the current study accompany the career transition(e. g., retirement, occupational obsolescence).It would also be worthwhile to explore whether the transitionpattern applies to career changes that involve moving from ortounpaid work (e. g, full-time mother and homemaker). This wouldbeof particular interest given the support thestudy provides for theconcept of career transition as a change notjust of the paid work oneperforms but in the course of one’s life.The different methods of inquiry used in this study proved tobea vary potent combination. Each approachwas a way of entering andunderstanding the experience of career transitionfrom theperspective of individuals who had gone throughit. In combinationthese approaches made it possible to produceplausible and coherent287accounts that could be compared to each other withoutsacrificing therichness of detail and significance of each person’s transition.It would be worthwhile to consider using the same approachas a way to gain an understanding of other complex careerphenomena. For example, it could be used tostudy individuals whomake multiple job and occupational changesas a means of followingwhat they consider to be a single career or lifecourse. I encounteredthis phenomena while conducting the screening interviewsfor thecurrent study and it has been incorporated into Schein’s concepts ofthe internal career and career anchors(Schein, 1987, 1990).Similarly, this kind of approach could be usedto do a do a fine-graintemporal analysis of other employmentand vocational phenomenasuch as job change, plateauing, demotion, termination, andoccupational drift.In several respects the common pattern of experience thatemerged from the accounts of career transitionbore a remarkableresemblance to Van Gennep’s model ofa formal rite of passage. Inlight of this finding, future research should focuson investigatingthe relevance of the rites of passage concept injob and organizationalchange. Several organizational psychology practitionershavesuggested the model is applicable (Bridges, 1988;Hall, 1986; Trice &Morrand, 1989) but no rigourous investigationof this idea has beendone.288Using narrative approaches in counsellingis an idea that hasbeen gaining interest recently(e. g., Keen, 1991; White & Epston,1990). Future research could explore the impact of the current studyon the lives of the participants. While the focus of the currentstudywas research not individual development, several clients offeredcomments on the unexpected impact of focusing on a period of theirlives and having the opportunity to tell the entire story of thecareerchange to an interested and informed listener. In some respects thedemands of the study on the participants were similar to or greaterthan those made of clients in many counsellingsettings. Extensiveeffort was made to maximize the likelihood of communication beingopen and honest and this was expected of the participants. Theamount of time required turned out to be from approximately fifteento twenty-five hours over a one year period. A systematic inquiryfollowing-up the study’s participants may provide ideasand insightsconcerning using narrative approaches as a type of counsellingapproach.The accounts point to the continuing needfor research into themeaning of work to a person over a lifetime.Adult developmenttheorists have suggested that changes in thepurpose work serves is atypical and expected part of adult life(Levinson et al., 1978; Super,1980). The current study suggests that, at leastfor career changers,the purpose changes. Future researchcould take a life-span289approach, focusing specifically on this aspect, exploring theextent towhich and how this happens with others,SummaryA multiple case study approach was used to investigatethepattern of experience in a career transition. The participants werefive men and five women who had completed a career change. Theparticipants were selected to represent avariety of occupations. Thestudy produced ten rich, detailed narrative accounts of careertransition. Each one is told from the perspective of the individualwho went through the experience. The accounts were basedon in-depth descriptions of the experience, and a charting of thetransitionusing terms drawn from relevant transition models. Each accountwas reviewed and validated by the case-study participant,who wasthe subject of the narrative, andby an independent reviewer.A comparison of the individual accounts revealed apattern ofexperience that was common to all ten cases ofcareer transition. Itcan be best represented as a three phase process, with eachphaseinvolving a distinctive character and each subsequent phasebuildingon the preceding one. Furthermore, in eachcase the careertransition reflected a process that was cyclical rather thanlinear innature.Several theoretical implications arise fromthis study. 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Counseling andValues,, 169-178.308jJentification of subjects and preliminary screeninginterviewDCTansitionInterview & elicitation of landmark events)CSubject Q-sorting with 45 item sort oneach landmark event)CPrncipai component analysis ofQ-sort data)(Analysis of data & development of probesfor ElaborationlnterviewD(Elaboration Interview)(Review, transcription, and analysis of Elaboraton Interviewaudiotapes)Synthesis of Transition Interview, Q-sort results,and Elaboration lnterviedata to develop and write-up narrative accountJ1aricipantself-reviewD Clndependentreview)rinciusionof participant self-review and independentreviewLin analysis and reports of results(Comparative pattern analysisjFiure 1. Overview of proceduresused in the study.0zID0-Jci:0IC-)LLJOANy PRINCIPAL COMPONENT1PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 230910. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 1213LANDMARK EVENTSFigure 2. Case study one: Joan. The prominence(i.e., factor loading) of thetypes of experience (i.e., principal components 1 &2) that describe Joan’scareer transition across landmark events.zU0-J0I0CARLA—v—PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1PRINCIPALCOMPONENT2LANDMARK EVENTS310Fiure 3. Case study two: Carla. The prominence(i.e., factor loading) of thetypes of experience (Le., principal components 1 &2) that describe Carla’scareer transition across landmark events. 2 3 4 5 6 78 9311C!3z00-Jrr0I—0U-DANIELV PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2LANDMARK EVENTSCase study three: Daniel. The prominence(i.e., factor loading) of thetypes of experience (i.e., principal components 1 &2) that describe Daniel’scareer transition across landmark events.10.80.20—11 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 1213 14JOSEPHY PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2LANDMARK EVENTS312Figure 5, Case study four: Joseph. The prominence (i.e.. factor loading) of thetypes of experience (i.e., principal components 1 & 2) that describe Joseph’scareer transition across landmark events.—0U--0.8—11 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14(!3z0-J0C)LIRACHEL‘ PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1313PRINCIPAL COMPONENT210.80.6-0,40.20-0.2-0.4--0.6--0.8—11 2 3 4 56 7 8 9 10 11LANDMARK EVENTSFigure 6. Case studyfive: Rachel The prominence(i.e., factor loading) of thetypes of experience (i.e., principal components1 & 2) that describe Rachel’scareer transition across landmark events.zU000LLLYNNV PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1LANDMARK EVENTS314Figure 7. Case study six: Lynn. The prominence(i.e., factor loading) of the typeof experience (i.e., principal components1 & 2) that describe Lynn’s careertransition across landmark events.1PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2—11 2 3 4 5 6 7 89 10 11315(!3z0-J0I—-0.2-0.4-0.6-0.8JOBYPRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2LANDMARK EVENTSFigure 8. Case study seven: Joby. Theprominence (i.e., factor loading) of thetypes of experience (i.e., principal components 1 & 2) that describeJoby’s careeitransition across landmark events.10.80.20—11 2 3 4 56 7 8 9 10z0-Jcc0I—C.)LLJACKPRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2LANDMARK EVENTS31610.80.40.20-0.2-0.8—11 2 3 45 6 7 8 9 10 11 12Fwure 9. Case study eight: Jack. Theprominence (i.e., factor 1.oading) of thetypes of experience (i.e., principal components1 & 2) that describe Jack’s careeitransition across landmark events.3170z00-J0I—C)U-ERIKy PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 210.80.60,40.2-0.2-0.4-0.6-0.8-11 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13LANDMARK EVENTSFigure 10. Case study nine: Erik. The prominence(i.e., factor loading) of thetypes of experience (i.e., principal components 1 &2) that describe Erik’s careertransition across landmark events.318(!3zC0-Jcc0F—C)U--0.8TRICIAy PRINCIPAL COMPONENT1DPRINCIPAL COMPONENT2LANDMARK EVENTSFigure 11. Case study ten: Tricia. Theprominence (i.e., factor loading) of thetypes of experience (i.e., principal components1 & 2) that describe Tricia’scareer transition across landmark events.I0.—11 2 3 45 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13Table1DescrivtivesummaryofcareertransitioncasestudynarticinantsCaseNameSexFirstCareerSecondCareerCurrentAgeCareerAgeYearCareerYearLengthLengthAgeTransitionCareerTransitionCareerofofBeganTransitionBeganTransitionFirstSecondCompletedCompletedCareerCareer1JoanfemaleSchoolCommunications432740768988TeacherEntrepreneur2CarlafemaleSocialWorkerForensic432636728359Psychiatrist3DanielmalePriestLabourUnionist52305069891064JosephmaleIndependentUniversity67334556681522AgentProfessor5RachelfemalePhysicistMinister3826367989756LynnfemaleNurseSocialWorker52263766778187JobymaleCorporateManagement59254358762016._____ExecutiveConsultant8JackmalePsychologistAntiqueDealer46344479891459ErikmaleRealtorClinicalCounsellor5329516889241710TriciafemaleAuditorDataAnalyst4229398090103Table2Q-sortitems:Careertransitiondescriptivephrases(1)wasstrugglingwithconflict(12)novicewithmuchtolearn(2)stuck(13)regretful(3)waswaveringinuncertainty(14)surprised(4)dramaticmoodswings(15)waswonderingaboutmyfuture(5)emptinessaboutlife(16)confident(6)angry(17)hadabreakthrough(7)senseofdirectionandpurpose(18)gainedinsight,knowledge,orwisdom(8)envisionedabetterlife(19)happy(9)excited(20)feltdifferent(10)challenged(21)letgoofoldlife(11)wasbeingtested(22)soughtsupportLiTable2(cont)(23)soughtinformation(35)realizedIhadtochange(24)consideredoptions(36)wassearching(25)numbed(37)bitter(26)triednewthings(38)drained(27)tookcharge(39)worried(28)overwhelmed(40)feltrigid(29)pretendednothingwrong(41)bored(30)lifeoffcourse(42)hadsenseofbeingguidedbysomehigherpower(31)vulnerable(43)timewasdragging(32)withdrawn(44)risksnomatterwhat(33)wastakingstock(45)determined(34)resistancefromothers“.3322Table 3Example of a “factor x event” matrix: Case study eight.Factor1 2Event1 71.472 .61.193 .56 .234 .46.395 .66 .186 .18.597 -.01.748 -.34 .729 .23 .8510 .74.1511 -.65.3312 .55.44Table4Examnieofrank-ordered0-itemdefinitionoffactors:CasestudyeightFactor1Factor2Z-scoreItemZ-scoreItem2.6(19)happy2.1(1)wasstrugglingwithconflict2.2(9)excited-1.7(29)pretendednothingwrong1.6(42)senseofbeingguidedby-1.9(19)happysomehigherpower-1.5(28)overwhelmed-1.9(43)timewasdragging-2.1(6)angry-2.7(32)withdrawnrJ324APPENDIX AInitial Letter of ContactHello,I am conducting a study of career transition.The study isbeing conducted for my doctoral dissertationresearch project underthe supervision of Dr. L. Cochran (228-5259)at the University ofBritish Columbia. The purposeof the study is to obtain detaileddescriptions of the experiencepeople go through when they changecareers. For this purpose, I aminterested in finding individualswho have experienced a career transitionand who are willing to talkabout it in depth.Participation will require approximately6 to 8 hours, and willinvolve interviews and a sortingof items that describe differentaspects of the career transition experience.Involvement in the studywill provide participants with an opportunityto reflect upon theirexperience, and to examine it ingreater detail. We hope that beinginvolved in the study will be aninteresting and useful experience.All identifying informationwill be deleted in order to insureconfidentiality and to protect participants’privacy. Participation inthe study is completely voluntaryand participants are to askquestions at any time, and to withdrawfrom the study at any timewithout jeopardy of any kind.If you have any questions about thestudy, please feel free tocall me at 873-8967.Thank you!Sincerely,W. Gary LaddDoctoral StudentDepartment of CounsellingPsychologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouver, B. C.325APPENDIX BStudy Participant Consent Form1Research Project: Career TransitionThis study is being completed as a doctoral researchproject by W. Gary Ladd (phone873-8967) under the supervision of Dr.L. Cochran (phone 228-6139), UB.C. Department of CounsellingPsychology. The study is about the experience people go throughwhen they change careers. Participation will involve interviews anda sorting of items that describe different aspects of the experience.This will take a total of approximately 6 to8 hours.All interviews will be audiotaped and thetapes will be erasedat the end of the project. Interview material will be transcribed andall identifying information will be deleted to insure confidentialityand protect your privacy. You are free to ask questions concerningthe project. You may refuse to participateand withdraw from thestudy at any time without jeopardy of any kind.By signing this document you are agreeing to participate inthestudy and are acknowledging you have been given acopy of thisconsent form.Date Signature of Participant1-Approved by The University of British Columbia BehaviouralSciences ScreeningCommittee For Research and Other Studies InvolvingHuman Subjects326APPENDIX CIndependent Reviewer Instructions1. Listen to the audiotape ofthe subject’s interviews.2. Listen for and make noteof whether the interviewer unduly influencedwhat the subject said (e.g., Did the interviewerask leading questions?;Does it sound like the interviewer’s stylemade the subject uncomfortableor reluctant to talk?).3. While listening, develop an understandingof the basic story the subjectis telling.4. After you have listened to the audiotapedinterviews, assessed them forinterviewer bias, and formed an impressionof the subject’s story, readthe write-up of the case study with these questions in mind:(a) Does the write-up of the case study accurately portray what thesubject intended to communicate?(b) In the write-up of the case study, has anything importanttothe understanding of the subject’s career transitionbeen leftout or distorted?Note: Please feel free to write as much oras little as you want. If you haveany questions, feel free to give mea call at 325-1773.


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