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The pattern of career transition Ladd, W. Gary 1992

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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 FULFILLMENT OFTHE 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 thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives, It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department of o\ ‘v/The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, 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 each case the careertransition reflected a process that was cyclical rather than linear innature.Several theoretical implications arise from this study. First, itsupports those models that describe career transition as a three stageprocess. The common pattern bears a remarkable resemblance toU’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 change beconsidered a change in a person’s life path. Third, the accountssupport rejecting the notion of career transition having to be a crisisor traumatic event. From a practical standpoint, the pattern oftransition can serve as a guide for those who are going through acareer transition and for those who counsel them.ivTABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACT iiTABLE OF CONTENTS ivLIST OF TABLES viLIST OF FIGURES viiACKNOWLEDGEMENTS viiiCHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION 1CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW 9CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY 54CHAPTER W: CASE STUDY ONE: JOAN 74CHAPTER V: CASE STUDY TWO: CARLA 87CHAPTER VI: CASE STUDY THREE: DANIEL 102CHAPTER VII: CASE STUDY FOUR: JOSEPH 124CHAPTER VIII: CASE STUDY FWE: RACHEL 139CHAPTER IX: CASE STUDY SIX: LYNN 157CHAPTER X: CASE STUDY SEVEN: JOBY 170CHAPTER XI: CASE STUDY EIGHT: JACK 187CHAPTER XII: CASE STUDY NINE: ERIK 203CHAPTER XIII: CASE STUDY TEN: TRICIA 225CHAPTER X1V: COMMON PATTERN ANALYSIS 243CHAPTER XV: DISCUSSION 261REFERENCES 291APPENDIX A: INITIAL LETTER OF CONTACT 324APPENDiX B: STUDY PARTICIPANT CONSENT FORM 325APPENDIX 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 pattern of experience in a careertransition. The study was intended to guide future counsellingpractice and help in the development of an empirically based careertransition theory. To this end, the study produced ten rich, detailednarrative accounts of career transition. Each one is told from theperspective of the individual who went through the experience. Acommon pattern of experience of theoretical and practicalsignificance was extracted from the narrative accounts.Research ProblemThe chief task of the career-change counsellor is to help theperson through the transition (Brammer & Abrego, 1986). As tools inthis process, counsellors use models of transition to provide aframework for understanding the client’s experience, and as asource of guidance for facilitating a successful career change(Abrego & Brammer, 1986; Brammer & Abrego, 1981; Schlossberg,1986).Transition models describe what a person experiences whengoing through a major life change. While practitioners andresearchers acknowledge that transition models are applicable tocareer change (e. g., Collin, 1985, Perosa & Perosa, 1983, 1987),2several different models are used to describe the career transitionexperience. It is not clear which one is the best or most useful modelbecause very little research has investigated how well they describethe experience. Counselling theory and practice, therefore, remainsunguided by an empirically based model of career transition.BackgroundIt is widely accepted that career change is a transition.Psychologists from different specialties, such as 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 crosses when 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 changing or passing from oneform, status, role, or activity to another (George 1982). Transitionsare a normal, inevitable part of adult life that almost everyoneencounters (Schlossberg, 1981; Sokol & Louis, 1984), As well ascareer change, there are several other major 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 may berelevant 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 transition is to reestablish a sense of stability (Troll, 1981). These models are based onconcepts drawn from the coping mechanisms and stress adaptationliterature (Sloan, 1986). According to these models, there is thepotential for a person to develop, to find a 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 or even 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 the course of one’slife. Schlossberg (1981, 1984) regarded transition primarily as aprocess of appraisal and assimilation. She emphasized that the type,context and impact of a transition influences how a person respondsto and copes with it.Other models consider the purpose of a transition is to create afundamental change in how a person lives. From this perspective,4transition is the process a person must go through in order to find abetter way of life. There are also significant differences within thisposition. For instance, Van Gennep (1908/1960) considered transitionto be a process of status passage, of moving from one mode ofexistence to another. He identified three phases for “rites ofpassage”, a pattern of experience he believed was characteristic of alltransitions. Eliade (1958) focused on transition as a process ofspiritual transformation. Its purpose is to realize a more fulfillingexistence achieved through a process of spiritual death and rebirth.Bridges (1980) represents a contemporary adult development view ofthe transition process. He regards it as a means of achievingpersonal growth. He has combined Van Gennep’s description of 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 an emotionally chargeddecision making process. It is the most respected model of decisionmaking in the literature (Mitchell & Krumboltz, 1984, Orford, 1986;Sloan, 1986). The other is Nicholson’s cyclical model of worktransitions (Nicholson, 1984; Nicholson, 1987). His model focuses onthe process a person goes through when his or her work rolechanges. Role change is a distinctive feature of transitions (Allen &van de Vliert, 1984).5RationaleThere are several important reasons for investigating theexperiential pattern of people who have gone through a careertransition. First, several different models are used to describe thecareer transition process. But since the theoretical relevance of thesemodels is unconfirmed, the pattern of transition for career change isnot yet known. This study examined these transition models in aneffort to discover which were more useful for counsellors, and todevelop a more accurate description of the career transition process.Second, the high number of people who go through a careertransition makes it important for psychologists to develop a betterunderstanding of this experience. While it is difficult to determinethe prevalence of career change, it is 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 social attitudes regardingwork, rapid technological development, quickly changing marketconditions, and the globalization of the marketplace are all likely to befueling this trend (Bridges, 1988).Third, the findings of this study will have direct practicalapplication. The frequency of career transition has given rise to thedevelopment of counselling services for career changers as a majorarea of professional activity (Herr & Kramer, 1984). Practitionersuse transition models as a guide in their practice when they are6working with career changers (e. g., Greenwood, 1987; Perosa &Perosa, 1987). The concrete information provided by subjects’accounts had important implications for the development ofcounselling strategies and intervention programs.Research StrategyThe case study approachThe study was designed to intensively study individual cases ofcareer transition. This approach was chosen for several reasons.Career transition is a complex, naturally occurring life event overwhich the investigator lacks control. A case study approach is able totreat a person’s career transition experience in a holistic fashion andconsider it within the context of the person’s life, rather than tryingto isolate one or two aspects and study them under controlledconditions (Yin, 1984).Secondly, the case study approach enables an intensive,detailed analysis of an individual’s transition (Nicholson & West,1988, 1989). The study is primarily concerned with the pattern ofexperience that defines a career transition. This approachilluminated that pattern and allowed it to be compared to the relevanttransition models.Thirdly, a case study approach has the capacity to employdifferent kinds of evidence (Bromely, 1986; Yin, 1984). Theconvergence of different kinds of evidence 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 devastated by being laid offbecause work has been a source of self-definition. The job loss issignificant to the individual because it is regarded as the loss ofpurpose in life. In contrast, another person may feel relieved whenlaid off. This experience becomes intelligible only with theexplanation that prior to being laid off the person had been feelingextremely frustrated at work but had felt stuck, reluctant to make thejump to a desired new career. Once the lay off notice was servedthere was nothing holding the person back. Without the individuals’interpretations, the significance of these events would not be known,nor could these reactions be understood.Research ProductThis study produced detailed narrative accounts of careertransition. Each story was told from the perspective of the personwho went through the experience. Previous investigations havedemonstrated that narratives are an effective and fruitful means ofunderstanding career phenomenon (e. g., Chusid & Cochran, 1989;MacGregor & Cochran 1988; Wiersma, 1988). In this study, eachnarrative was based on elaborate descriptions of the experience, andincluded a charting of the transition using terms that were oftheoretical interest. These accounts were compared with each otherin a search for a common pattern of experience. The pattern thatemerged was compared to the relevant transition models forcommonalties, differences, and insights.9CHAPTER IILITERATURE REVIEWOne of the major functions of a 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 person to make a successful careertransition. Informed practice depends upon an adequateunderstanding of what is involved in a career transition, what needsto be addressed if the transition is to be fruitful or tolerable. Atpresent, there are several transition models that might guidecounselling practice. However, these models often differ in what isincluded and excluded, what is important and unimportant. Theaim of this chapter is to review career transition models andresearch that are relevant to illuminating the nature of thisexperience.Models of TransitionFor Parkes (1971), transition is a process of grieving, of lossand recovery. Grief offers a paradigm case for understanding otherkinds of transitions such as job loss and career change. At thebeginning is a loss that is so significant that it alters the nature of aperson’s life structure and requires broad and fundamental changesin the way the person construes oneself and the world. At the end, a10person has recovered a view of oneself and the world. Transition is aprocess of coming to accept a loss and going on to restore a 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 impinges upon theself.... (It) consists of those parts of the environment with which 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 far as 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. Any or all of these mayneed to change as a result of changes in the life space” (p. 103). Atransition is initiated when a person loses something (a role, astatus, a relationship) that was salient in one’s life space and pivotalin sustaining one’s assumptive world.Transition involves a characteristic pattern of experience.Initially, a person is numbed by the loss and alternates betweendenying the loss and being angered by it. Next, one often experiencesa sense of personal mutilation, accompanied by a pining for and11frustrated attempts to recover that which was lost. One is disorientedand becomes depressed and apathetic. Finally, one gives up hope forthe recovery of loss. While fearful of one’s ability to successfully livelife in a way other than how it had been before the loss, eventually,one becomes reorganized. One begins to make new plans and todevelop new assumptions about the world and oneself.Parkes’ model of transition emphasizes the progressivedisorganization of life following a loss and the 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 of existence.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 of aperson’s world which is of such significance to the individual that itchanges the way one lives one’s life. However, they describetransition in terms of a general model rather than usingbereavement as the exemplar of the transition process.The model they describe has a predictable seven phase cycle ofreactions and feelings which is triggered by this uprooting 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 shock and disbelief, In themiddle period the person feels one is between worlds. The previousstructure of one’s life has been upset and a new one is just beginningto emerge. During this period it is common for the person to feelconfused and ambivalent about what is happening. A person can feelexcited about the future while feeling sad or angry about what hashappened. In the final period a person establishes a new lifestructure which incorporates the transition. Typically, a person willfeel positive about his or her new situation as well as a new sense ofinvestment and commitment. However, like Parkes and Hopson andAdams, Schlossberg argued that a transition may be for better or forworse, therefore, the person’s resolution of the transition may alsoproduce a negative outcome.Schlossberg argued that the type, context, and impact of atransition will influence a person’s response to it. For instance, thechange could be expected or unanticipated. It could be triggered by aparticular event, by something that was expected to happen but neveroccurred, or by a “chronic hassle”. The change in assumptions canrequire an accompanying change in relationships, routines, androles. Furthermore, these changes can occur within self, work,family, health, and economic domains (Schlossberg, 1981, 1984).Likewise other characteristics of the transition itself (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 of existence 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 requires one to go through a transitionthe same pattern of experience is evident. In ceremonies this patternis referred to as the rite of passage. This recurring pattern involvesthree phases: separation, transition, and incorporation. The order ofoccurrence of these phases serves a special purpose, enabling selfrenewal or regeneration of the individual.Rites of passage exhibit a distinctive pattern of experience.During the separation phase, what Van Gennep referred to as“preliminal rites” involve activities that focus on two relatedpurposes. Initially, the individual experiences activities that areintended to prepare one for leaving one’s old life. This involveswithdrawal from everyday activities, spending time reflecting onone’s past life, and recognizing some of the sacrifices that would beinvolved in giving up one’s old life. The second aspect of this phase isthe recognition that a change has already occurred. It is analogousto experiencing the death of one’s way of life. This involvesacknowledging that one’s old life is over and even though one mightwish to return to it, it is not possible. A new way of living is needed.16In the transitional or “liminal” phase the individual is seen tobe existing outside of ordinary life. During this period one does notbelong to either one’s old world or a new one, During the transitionalphase the experiences of individuals reflect two dominant themes.The individual is in limbo, no longer living one’s old life yet notknowing what lies ahead in the future. A person will struggle andwaver, experiencing both bewilderment and excitement about one’spresent situation. There is often a longing for the past and a desirefor a new life. One will experience alternating periods 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 learning about the new life one isembarking on. There is a sense of being on probation and feelingvulnerable and apprehensive about the future. One feels that one isinvolved in a kind of pilgrimage or search for a new way of livingone’s life.The purpose of the final incorporation or “postliminal” phase isto integrate the individual into a better way of life. The individualexperiences a breakthrough in his or her struggle to change. It isanalogous to experiencing the birth of a better way of life. There is afeeling that one has gained valuable insight or wisdom and hasreally changed. One no longer wishes for the return of or regrets theloss of one’s old life. One has a sense of direction and purpose aboutone’s new life and looks forward to the future with confidence.17Accompanying these experiences are others that make the personfeel accepted. One experiences a sense of belonging and a new senseof stability in one’s life.While the same basic pattern is evident for all major lifetransitions, each of the phases are not developed to the same extent inall cases. In specific instances the three phases are not alwaysequally important or equally elaborated. Similarly, sometimes aparticular phase, often the transitional period, has a duration andcomplexity so great that it seems to constitute a 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 are the means by which thisoccurs. These two features represent the “structural commondenominator” or pattern of the transition process. Like Van Gennep,Eliade also believes that transitions are basic to human existence.Through the experience of initiatory death and resurrectionthe individual experiences a revelation in which one transcends orchanges one’s view of one’s own existence. This leads to afundamental change in how one lives one’s life. Prior to thisrevelation the individual feels like his or her life is “off course” or hasa sense that it has been a failure. One’s life becomes one of conflictand struggle, falling into a state of chaos. During the rebirth theindividual is instructed in how to live a new life 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 are basicto 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 that some 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 phase process. Initiallyan individual goes through what Bridges refers to as an ending andonce again the death analogy is used. In this phase an individualtypically experiences a disengagement from activities, relationships,19settings, or roles that have been important to him or her. One losesone’s way of defining oneself, and is disenchanted with life. He orshe 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 wishes for a return to one’sold life. One often tries to deny these feelings or is overwhelmed bythem. Eventually, the person surrenders to the emptiness andchaos, letting go of the person he or she used to 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 feel attracted 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 in it. Thetranslation of the individual’s insight into action may take the formof new commitments at home and at work or it may take the personinto new relationships or projects. “But either way, the oldconnections that were broken with the earlier disengagement arenow 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 being stages 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 is a process of problemsolving in which the person often experiences considerable turmoil.A person wants to both decide what is best and silence the agony offacing this decision. How a person deals with the decision facinghim or her is determined by one’s appraisal of oneself in thesituation. Recognizing that people often experience conflict when21faced with a major decision means that this is not a purely rationalprocess but one that is influenced by one’s emotions.When a person needs to make a decision he or she goesthrough a sequential appraisal process. How one resolves thedilemma is determined by one’s response to four key questions aboutone’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”, the individualwill stay in his or her present career without experiencing anyconflict. If the answer is “yes” then the next question is posed: “Arethe risks serious if I do change?” If the answer is “no” then theindividual will switch careers without experiencing any conflict. Ifthe answer is “yes” then the next question is posed: “Is it realistic tohope for a better solution?” If the answer is “no” then the individualwill give up considering a new career by defensively avoiding anyfuture references or reminders, procrastinating or shifting theresponsibility 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 individual becomes hypervigilant andpanics. If the answer is “yes” then the individual goes ahead andbegins a vigilant search for a new career.Vigilant decision making involves gathering informationabout alternatives, weighing the alternatives and deliberating aboutone’s commitment. The person will typically vacillate over what to doand worry about regretting the decision later. When one feels likeone has come to a decision one makes preparations to implement itand announce it. At this point the person believes more stronglythan ever that his or her decision was the correct one. In spite of theconsiderable effort, after the person.has acted on the decision oneoften finds another unexpected opportunity comes up or one’sexpectations are not met. This shakes one’s confidence, one feelsdisappointed, and wonders if the right decision was made. If theperson’s decision making was vigilant then he or she will likely stickwith the decision. In contrast, if a person experiences 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 which utilizes Janis andMann’s (1977) model of decision making and the Hopson and Adams’(1976) model of personal transitions. For them, a career transitioninvolves experiencing loss and integration as well as choosingoptions and consequences. Hopson and Adams’ seven phasesrepresent the emotional factors and Janis and Mann’s appraisalprocess represent the cognitive factors involved in career transition.Nicholson has developed a 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 process and thefinal stage of a current transition can also be the first stage of afuture transition. Secondly, Nicholson considers the phases to 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 at this stagewill depend on how prepared he or she was to encounter the change.He cites Hopson and Adams’ model as a possible description of theemotional component of the process involved in this phase. Headopted Louis’ (1980b) description of the “sense-making” process onegoes through when one finds oneself in a new situation to be aplausible account of the cognitive component. According to the24process Louis described, a newcomer inevitably experiencessurprise, that is, he or she encounters events that are discrepantfrom those which he or she anticipated. This triggers a need forexplanation and a corresponding cognitive sense-making processwhich enables meaning to be attributed to the surprise.Assimilation and accommodation govern the adjustmentphase. This can involve the individual experiencing personalchanges and changes in the work role the individual is moving into.Nicholson (1984) described four distinctive modes of adjustment:replication, absorption, determination, and exploration. In thereplication mode there is little individual change or molding of one’snew role. In the absorption mode there is significant personalchange but not much shaping of the new role. In the determinationmode the new role undergoes extensive modification and theindividual experiences only minor personal changes. In theexploration mode both the new role and the individual undergoextensive change.Relating and performing are preeminent in the stabilizationphase. During this phase changes are consolidated and theindividual’s activities settle into a routine. Nicholson postulated thatsome people never experience this stage. Rather, they move directlyinto preparation for the next transition.25Career Transition: Relevant ResearchOsherson (1980) used a case study approach to explore men’smidilife career change experiences. Twenty white males who had allmade a voluntary, dramatic career change took part in a series of fiveinterviews that were designed to elicit their experiences. He found anatural order and consistency emerged from the participants’descriptions of their career change. He characterized the pattern asa loss and grieving process.There is an initial period of disruption of one’s self-definitionwhich is characterized as a time of crisis and loss. A process ofreorganization of self follows. This is a period of turmoil and change.Finally, a reconstituted self emerges where one’s roles andreorganized life situation are stable. Osherson’s data indicated thatthe resolution of one’s loss took one of two courses. An individual’sresolution was either “sculpted” or “foreclosed”.A foreclosed resolution represents an attempt to rigidly hold onto or let go of threatened self-perceptions. The career change is oftendescribed as an accident. There is no evidence of the change beinggiven careful consideration and the individual closes off anyquestioning of motive or reasons. An individual following this coursedenies that they have experienced a loss. Osherson observed thatconflict is avoided and suppressed. This occurs for:“...both the conflict aroused by the discrepant experiences andthat of the underlying ambivalently held aspects of self. Aspart of this defensive process we find that the career change isaccompanied for such individuals by either a sharp- devaluation of the initial career and/or florid overidealizationof the second career” (p. 154-5).In a sctilpted resolution of the grieving process there is anopenness to information about oneself. The conflict and ambivalentfeelings being experienced are recognized. The loss is acknowledgedand confronted instead of being avoided. Previously devalued aspectsof oneself are acknowledged. Previously discrepant experiences areexternalized through the career change. Such individualsexperience a “letting go” of certain roles or images of oneself yet areable to hold on to other valued aspects of oneself Career changedecisions are given more careful consideration and there is a sense ofinvolvement in and personal responsibility for one’s career change.Osherson observed that participants whose reports reflected sculptedresolutions were more satisfied with and invested in their secondcareers.Osherson’s study is extremely valuable for its rich, detaileddescription of the process these men went through. He enhanced thecredibility of this description by having the career changers whoparticipated in the study review and comment on how well theresults captured the tone and substance of their experiences.Osherson’s detailed description of his data analysis procedures and27interview methodology further enhanced the reliability ortrustworthiness 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 from high 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 women or to other kinds ofcareer change.Lawrence (1980) challenged the notion that a career changewas the result of a midlife crisis. She interviewed ten men andwomen about their career transition experiences. She found thatonly three people experienced a crisis prior to their career change.Instead, she discovered that career change could best be understoodwhen it was viewed as an expression of an individual’s “personaltheme”. A “personal theme” refers to psychological characteristicsthat are reflected in a person’s decision-making pattern. Suchthemes become evident over time, expressing themselves throughoutone’s life, and pervade one’s work and personal domains.Furthermore, she found that people consistently described theircareer change as a three-phase process which evolved over time.Initially, there was a period of reassessment of one’s life and career,a transition period during which one prepared for and pursued thenew career, and, finally, a period of socialization into the new career.28These periods were distinct from one another for the crises cases.However, there was often considerable overlap with the noncrisis orplanned career change cases. This basic pattern was evident in all ofthe cases she reviewed.Unfortunately Lawrence did not provide enough of adescription of her research method to establish that she hadsufficient evidence in support of these conclusions. Similarly, itappears there was no check done to ensure that the accounts theconclusions are based on accurately reflected the individuals’experiences. These limitations severely hamper the extent theidentified transition pattern can be deemed credible,Perosa and Perosa (1983) investigated the applicability to careertransition of Hopson and Adams’ transition model and Janis andMann’s conflict model of decision making. Subjects were 134 menand women who had either already changed careers, were in themidst of changing careers, or were persisting in their present careeralthough they claimed they wanted to change. The “changing” and“changed” subjects had left their previous career voluntarily. Datawas gathered using a structured interview questionnaire formatwhere each person was asked questions designed to answer whetherthey had experienced the characteristic features of the Hopson andAdams and Janis and Mann models.The authors reported that, even within categories, not everyonehad the same experiences. Some people skipped stages and others29experienced an overlap of stages. Looking at the experiences of thosewho had completed their career change, nobody reported they had feltshocked or immobilized. Ninety-six percent admitted they hadexperienced minimisation and denial while eighty-five percent hadfelt depressed and a sense of self-doubt or meaninglessness.Everyone said they went through periods where they experiencedthemselves “letting go” of the past or their old job, testing theiroptions, and embarked on some kind of search for meaning. Ninety-six percent or all but one of the “changed career” sample describedthemselves as having internalized the change and experienced asense of renewal. Turning to the four questions of the Janis andMann model, for the “changed career” subjects seventy percentreported they had asked themselves if the risk was serious if theydidn’t change, thirty-two percent reported they had asked themselvesif the risk was serious if they did change, sixty-three percent askedthemselves if it was realistic for them to hope to find a better career,and ninety-eight percent said they asked themselves if they hadenough time to search for a better career.The study’s design prevented investigation of several aspectswhich are relevant to the question of whether either or both of thesemodels are valid when applied to career transition. While theyidentified the frequency in which elements from the Hopson-Adams’transition model and Janis and Mann’s conflict theory wereexperienced by career changers, they did not elicit the 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 feeling extreme discomfortabout their situation. Their world seemed to be in a state of disarray.31They found themselves having to make significant decisions abouttheir lives in the midst of this state of confusion and dislocation.There was a strong desire to escape these feelings and jump atwhatever opportunity presented itself. They were uncertain andignorant about their future. Old dreams and aspirations faded orwere destroyed and new ones began to replace them. Participantsfound themselves to be both extremely energetic and lethargic.Furthermore, the participants reported that they turned to others foradvice and as a means of gaining new information about themselves.Moving through the transition process, individuals eventuallyredefined their concept of themselves and their assumptive worlds.While the study is valuable for its focus on the experience ofcareer transition, its design hampers the extent the results can bedeemed relevant to other career changers. The study had only asingle contact with each participant and this occurred in the midst ofthe career change. Given that the interviews were held when themen were either just leaving or had 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’s participants followed through withtheir planned changes or subsequently returned to their originalcareers. While the sample was relatively heterogeneous in terms ofthe occupations that were being left, the sample was restricted to32men. For this reason it is unclear whether women have the sameexperiences.McQuaid (1986) used the “grounded theory” model developed byGlaser and Strauss (1967) to develop a description of a pattern ofexperience midlife career changers appear to share. Groundedtheory is a qualitative, exploratory approach which is often used togenerate theory when an area of research has not been welldeveloped. McQuaid intensively interviewed twenty men and womenwho had completed a career change and the confidants of eleven.Using this approach a descriptive theory of midlife career changewas generated from the words of the career changers themselves.The chronological phases which an individual must gothrough to complete the process include the predispositional,confrontational, action, and adjustment phases. Each phase hasparticular elements which are experienced by the career changer.For instance, having certain misgivings and the development ofcertain attitudes about one’s first career are predispositionalelements. Confrontational elements include beginning a reappraisalof one’s life, recognition that one’s values have changed, and therealization that a career change is desired or needed. Elementsinvolved in the action phase include planning, facilitating, andinhibiting the career change. Assimilation and the effects of the newcareer on life satisfaction are elements contained in the adjustmentphase. The theory describes how these elements correspond33temporally with the old career, the transitional period that was foundto exist between the two careers, and the new career.McQuaid tried to enhance the credibility of the careerchangers’ individual descriptions of their experiences by checkingthat the main events the career changers reported in their interviewswere corroborated by the testimony of their respective confidants.Unfortunately, the trustworthiness of the descriptive model of careerchange the study produced is open to question. McQuaid failed todemonstrate that the model accurately portrays the career transitionexperiences the subjects described in their interviews. One means ofaccomplishing this would have been to 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-depth interviewswith ten men and women who had voluntarily changed to successfulsecond careers.The study produced individual descriptions of career changeand a general description of the kinds of experiences the careerchangers had as they went through this process. Six major themeswere shared by all of the participants. The themes were: preliminaryconditions for change, an active changing process, decision makingand risk taking, outside-the-self assistance, commitment to oneself,and an assessment of the change. Vitalis concluded that career34change is a process of becoming free of enmeshed family values. Shefound that the career change experience was essentially the same formen and women. The results were checked by having 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 of the careertransition experience. It is not clear whether the 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 general description 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 managers responded to the firstsurvey and 1,100 of these responded again to the follow-up surveyfifteen months later. In regard to Nicholson’s cyclical model of thework role transition process, the study only provides some limitedretrospective reports on aspects of the managers’ transitionexperiences. In support of the existence of the preparation stage,analysis of the survey results indicated that the managers who weremost anxious about what to expect in their new job were those whowere about to experience the most radical and demanding job35changes. A related finding was that, on average, women were moreanxious about the pending change than men. A finding relevant tothe encounter phase was that almost three quarters of the managerswho reported some kind of job change said they had been surprised bysome aspect of their new position. This was most extreme in thosecases involving an interorganizational change. The survey indicatedthat the most common adjustment mode is one in which theindividual both reshapes the work role they are taking on andexperiences significant personal change. Finally, given the high jobmobility the study demonstrated individuals experience, the authorsquestioned how often individual’s stabilize in any 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 sample enhances thereliability of the study this same feature makes it unclear as to whatextent the study’s findings generalize to work role transitions inother occupations.A study by O’Connor and Wolfe (1987) explored the experiencesof adults between thirty-five and fifty who were anticipating orundergoing a significant career or life transition. Using thecomments of sixty-four men and women who were recruited to a twoto three hour initial interview and one of a series of three dayworkshops, a set of meaningful themes and categories wasconstructed. A five phase model of the transition process was36developed as a way of describing the typical transition experience ofthe participants.The model has five steps beginning with a person moving intoa transition from a stable life structure which includes establishedroles and relationships. The second phase is a period of risingdiscontent where a critical “inner voice” emerges. The third phase ischaracterized as a time of crisis as the person’s familiar world andlifestyle collapses. During this period, deep emotions like anger,depression, alienation, and the like are evident. In the fourth phasethe person would either retreat to his or her old ways or begin topursue new directions. Re-directors were required to experimentwith and adapt to new conditions including a new sense of self. Inthe final phase the person becomes committed to a particular lifestructure, re-stabilizing with a particular identity and sense ofpurpose.The steps could be further distinguished by othercharacteristics like emotional tone, extent of emotional arousal andscope of change being experienced in one’s life. However, there weresignificant differences among individuals on such measures. Forexample, for some people the change was narrow and well-boundedwhile for others change was extensive and extended into several lifedomains. A companion report (O’Connor & Wolfe, 1991), based ondata from the same study focused on accounting for thesedifferences.37O’Connor and Wolfe (1991) found that some but not alltransitions resulted in a shift in what 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, feelings and knowledge”(O’Connor & Wolfe, 1991, p. 326). Several features distinguishedtransitions that resulted in a paradigm shift from those that did not.Transitions that resulted in a paradigm shift were typically broaderin scope and included a greater questioning of self, including thebeliefs, assumptions and philosophy one has been living by. Therewas movement towards greater inner-directedness (i. e., greaterconcern with defining a sense of purpose and meaning in one’s life)and some kind of commitment to learning and life structuralchanges in the pursuit of personal development. By the end of thetransition, paradigm shifters were typically excited and enthusiasticabout their careers and feeling positive about the future.Unfortunately, O’Connor & Wolfe did not provide enough of adescription of their research method to establish that they hadsufficient evidence to support their description of the transitionsequence. Their reporting method did not provide any indication ofthe extent the experiences used to develop the themes and steps of themodel were shared by the transitioners. Similarly, a separatethematic and category analysis was not reported for the subset oftransitions that resulted in a paradigm shift. These deficits limit the38extent to which the model and distinguishing characteristics can beconsidered credible. Finally, there was no breakdown of the types oftransitions that made up the sample. This makes it unclear whetherthe sequential model of the transition process and the characteristicsof the transitions that resulted in a paradigm shift can be consideredan accurate description of career transition.Defining Career ChangeThere have been some surprisingly diverse definitions ofcareer change offered in the literature. This has led someresearchers to avoid using any criteria or simply to allow the personto decide if an occupational shift was a career change (Collin, 1984,McQuaid, 1986). Relying on the individual’s perception does notidentify the criteria the person used and it neglects defining whatcriteria should be used. In the career change literature there are twobroad criteria that seem evident behind the various concretespecifications of career change.First, many authors have focused on changes in a person’s lifestructure. For example, Perosa and Perosa (1983, 1984) andGottfredson (1977) used Holland’s (1973, 1974) categorization ofoccupations to define career change as a switch in one’s field ofactivity. According to Holland’s (1973, 1985) theory of career,switching from bank manager to teacher involves a shift from aconventional job environment to a social one. Thus, a shift in field of39activity reflects a significant change in and concern for on&s lifespace or structure.For others, career change as a change in one’s life structure isexpressed through their use of the need for further 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 studies a person wasconsidered to have made a career change when their previoustraining for their old occupation was either unnecessary orinsufficient for their new one. For example, a university physicsprofessor would find that his training in physics did not prepare himfor life as a musician; thus his or her need for music trainingindicates an important life structural change.Second, often implicit in some authors’ and explicit in others’definitions of career change is a focus on the modification of aperson’s assumptive world. Attention to this criterion is evident inthe work of researchers who consider career change as a perceivedchange in role or change in orientation to a role already held (Hall,1987; Louis, 1980a; Nicholson,1987). To experience a change in a liferole is to alter the structure of the person’s life to such an extent thata revision of how one looks at and lives in the world is required.Other definitions clearly intimate that a career change involves anindividual changing one’s view of oneself and one’s world, For40instance, in Holland’s schema, to go from an enterprisingoccupation to a social one implies more than a change in life space.It implies a change in the individual’s orientation towards his or herlife. While this is expressed by researchers of Holland’s theory (e. g.,Gottfredson, 1977; Robbins et al., 1978) as changed values, interests,and self-perceptions, it is one’s assumptive world that has 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 is assumed to be salient intheir life or represents a salient role in the person’s life.Operationalizing this concept has meant studying only thoseindividuals who have left upper-stratum occupations (McQuaid,1986; Neopolitan,1980) as defined by a classification system whichuses 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 one goes down theoccupational hierarchy” (Krause, 1971, p. 235). From thisperspective, changing from an upper-stratum occupation likeengineering to another like antique dealer involves a significantchange in the person’s assumptive world while a labourer switchingfrom welding to pipe fitting will likely experience very little, if any, ofthis type of individual change.It is inadvisable for this kind of research to use any particulartheory’s single criterion or set of criteria or definition of career41change because doing so would represent a commitment to aparticular theoretical formulation. However, two kinds of questionscan be formed to screen participants. First, has the career changeresulted in a significant change in one’s life structure? Secondly,does the career change represent a significant change in one’sassumptive world?Intensive Study of Single CasesThe case study is a fundamental method of scientific inquiry.In general terms, it takes an idiographic approach in which theintensive study of individual cases produces a detailed descriptionand analysis of a naturally occurring real-world phenomenon orrelated set of events (Bromley, 1986). Yin (1984) has defined it as adistinctive method of empirical inquiry that “investigates acontemporary phenomenon within its real-life context; when theboundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident;and in which multiple sources of evidence are used” (p. 23).Campbell, whose work on experimental and quasi-experimentalmethodologies has become a standard reference for psychologicalresearch (e. g., Cook & Campbell, 1979), has endorsed the case studyas a valid methodology for a wide range of nonlaboratory research(Campbell, 1979, 1984). It is the preferred method when seeking anexplanation or description of a contemporary phenomenon or set ofevents which the investigator has little or no control (Yin, 1984).42The case study is an approach which allows the phenomenonor related events under investigation to be regarded as meaningfuland treated in a holistic fashion (Yin, 1984) It can be used to revealthe structure of a phenomenon, establish an account of the process,and uncover important contextual considerations not addressed bymore closely controlled investigations (Bromley, 1986).When a single case investigation is concerned with explaininghow and why a person acted the way he or she did in a particularsituation, it is referred to as a psychological case study (Bromley,1986). It is “essentially a reconstruction and interpretation of a majorepisode in a person’s life” (Bromley, 1986, p. 3) which is based on thebest evidence available. While the episode is usually a relativelyshort, self-contained segment of the person’s life it is importantbecause it is formative, critical, or culminant. From this perspective,the case study is the intensive analysis of a pivotal life event.A common research strategy in single case designs is tospecify the rival hypotheses which are likely to account for thephenomenon under investigation and then render them implausible.This is achieved through a process of pattern matching in which theresearcher compares the pattern demanded by each of the theoriesbeing investigated to his or her observations of the phenomenon(Bromley, 1986; Campbell, 1979, 1984; Mishler, 1986; Yin, 1984). Thisfeature makes the case study ideally suited for theory testing. Itenables the investigation of the adequacy of a complete model or4,3vision rather than having to limit a study to one portion or aspect of atheory.Career transition is a significant life event over which aresearcher lacks control. The objective of the proposed study is todevelop accounts of career transition and search for a commonpattern of experience. Given the type of phenomenon that will beinvestigated and the objective of the research, the case study is anappropriate and, in fact, the preferred methodology for thisparticular study.The plausibility of a case study’s findings can be threatened bya number of different sources. The most common source of problemsinvolve the study’s construct validity and reliability (Mishler, 1986;Yin, 1984). These threats can be minimized by following threeprinciples of data collection (Yin, 1984). The first principle is to usemultiple sources of evidence as a means of addressing questionsabout the construct validity of the study’s case reports. This involvesdeveloping converging lines of inquiry through a process oftriangulation (Reichardt & Cook, 1979; West, 1990). Multiple sourcesof evidence are essentially multiple measures of the phenomenonunder investigation. Therefore, a study’s research findings will bemore convincing or credible if different sources of evidence indicate acommon conclusion (Bromely, 1986; Yin, 1984).The second principle involves creating a case study data base.This means documenting and organizing the data collected in a44study so that it is in a formal retrievable format. This makes itpossible for other researchers to access and review the evidence uponwhich a study’s findings were based rather than having to simplyrely on the case reports. This increases the reliability of the study’scase reports and conclusions (Yin, 1984).The third principle involves maintaining a chain of evidenceas a means of increasing the reliability of the information in the casestudy. This is accomplished by ensuring that someone reviewing thecase study is able to follow how the findings of the study were derived.This requires establishing a clear evidenciary link between theconclusions of the study, the actual data, and the initial researchquestion. Following this principle also increases the constructvalidity of the study by establishing that the methodologicalprocedures probed the phenomenon that was the object of theinvestigation (Yin, 1984).The methodological rigour of the current study wasmaximized by following these principles. For example, each accountwas based on the convergence of evidence obtained from threedifferent lines of inquiry: a detailed personal description of the careertransition, a theoretical description produced using Q-sorts, and anelaboration on the meaning of the transition experiences. Every casereport was validated by having each person review a writtensummary of his or her own account. Furthermore, an independent45review of each case study was conducted to check that a chain ofevidence was maintained.The plausibility of a case study’s conclusions can also bethreatened by unanswered questions about the external validity of thestudy (Mishler, 1986; Yin, 1984), such as the extent to which theresearch findings are generalizable beyond the case that was thesubject of the investigation. Statistical generalization, which involvesenumerating the frequency of phenomena, is not the domain of casestudy research. “Case studies, like experiments, are generalizable totheoretical propositions and not to populations or universes” (Yin,1984, p. 21). In case study research the extent to which findingsgeneralize beyond the data to a theory is established throughreplications or multiple-case designs (Barlow, Hayes & Nelson, 1984;Hersen & Barlow, 1976; Yin, 1984). The current study conductedmultiple replications as a means of establishing the domain to whichits account of career transition can be generalized.Q MethodolorvQ methodology is a “set of statistical, philosophy-of-science,and psychological principles” (Stephenson, 1953, p. 1) developed byWilliam Stephenson for the intensive study of the individual. It is aflexible, sophisticated and powerful method which takes an ipsativequantitative approach to the study of phenomena (Kerlinger, 1972). Itprovides “a systematic way to handle a person’s retrospections, hisreflections about himself and others, his introjections 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 of Q methodology 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 over aneleven month period while Fairweather (1981) reported test-retestreliability coefficients of .90 or higher for one to two year intervals.Q methodology has certain characteristics which made it anappropriate quantitative method for the current investigation ofcareer transition. Q methodology provides a valuable focus on the47measurement and statistical analysis of the individual case(Kerlinger, 1972). This allows complex comparisons of sets ofmeasures within the data of one individual. Consequently, the datathe Q-sort yields can more accurately reflect the complexity of theindividual. Some of the applications of Q methodology have beennoted by Kerlinger (1972). Q is well suited for studying complexchanges in people over time. It is an excellent means of testingtheories. Finally, Q is particularly useful for uncoveringunanticipated relationships and opening up new areas of research.InterviewThe interview is an important source of case study information(Yin, 1984). While it is is one of the most commonly used methods inpsychology, it can take various forms and be used for differentpurposes (Kvale, 1983; Mishler, 1986). Following Mishler (1986), thecurrent study treated the interviews as a form of discourse, anextended conversation or discussion about the interviewee’s careertransition. It provided an opportunity to seek an understanding ofwhat meaning the career transition events held for the individual.Mishler defines the interview as a speech event. It is theproduct of the reciprocal interaction of the interviewer andinterviewee, encompassing what they speak about together and howthey talk with each other. Questioning and answering areconsidered forms of speech. They are structured by a complex set oflinguistic and social rules of appropriateness and relevance 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 current study usednarrative analysis as its theoretical framework for understandinginterviewee responses. This involved considering interviewees’49responses as a type of narrative or coherent story about their careertransitions (Bruner, 1986; Cochran, 1986; Mishler, 1986;Polkinghorne, 1988).Finally, the meanings of the questions and answers of theinterview are contextually grounded. The implications of this gobeyond acknowledging that meanings emerge, develop, get shaped byand in turn shape the discourse. From within a broadersociocultural and sociopolitical context, different interview methodsreflect different distributions of power in the interviewer-intervieweerelationship. This power distribution has an 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 the interview theresearcher is the sole arbitrator of the meaning of intervieweeresponses and the study’s findings. Respondents are not given theopportunity to comment upon the interpretations that have beenmade.When an interview method is used which reduces theasymmetry of power the respondent is better able to “constructcoherent and reasonable worlds of meaning and to make sense oftheir experiences” (Mishler, 1986, p. 118). Respondents take on amore participative and collaborative role in the research process.This can be expressed in any of a number of different ways. For50instance, it can take the form of the researcher yielding control of theflow and content of the interview to respondents. It can also take theform of interviewees having a voice in the interpretation of thefindings.The current study treated the interviewees as researchcollaborators. They shared in the development of 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 meaningful understanding of their experiences”(Mishler, 1986, p. 138).Narrative AccountsA narrative is a story, an account of an event or series of eventsin one’s life (Polkinghorne, 1988). “One of the significant waysthrough which individuals make sense of and give meaning to theirexperiences is to organize them in a narrative form” (Mishler, 1986,p. 118). A narrative is both a description of the phenomenon and anexplanation of it (Cochran, 1986). It is explanatory in the sense thatthe phenomenon is described in 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-depth interviews about the person’s transition,the interview about its significance or meaning, and the results of theQ-sorts to produce a narrative account of each person’s careertransition.51The research information that was gathered in the currentstudy was organized into narrative form for several reasons, First,transitions are already in narrative form. They are temporal innature. Narrative employs the units of story as structures that canbe utilized to help comprehend an experience like the careertransition. It enables the transition to be viewed as a cohesive wholerather than as a collection of elements (Cochran, 1986, Polkinghorne,1988). “One is concerned not just with isolated features that arerelatively constant but with a coherent, configuration of features”(Cochran, 1986, p. 27). The elements gain meaning through theirposition in the series of related experiences that make up thetransition (Cochran, 1986). Narrative reveals the significance thatevents have for one another (Polkinghorne, 1988).Secondly, people describe themselves and their experiences innarrative form (Bruner, 1986; Polkinghorne, 1988; Robinson, 1990).They create narrative descriptions for themselves and for othersabout their past actions and future plans. “That stories appear sooften supports the view of some theorists that narratives are one ofthe natural cognitive and linguistic forms through which individualsattempt to order, organize, and express meaning” (Mishler, 1986, p.106).Finally, narrative accounts can be analyzed in systematicways. Narrative offers a form for systematic evaluation of themeanings and functions of different features and modes of speech52(Mishler, 1986). For example, an account can be analyzed for itstextual function or linguistic structure. It can be analyzed for itscoherence or referential meaning. It can also be analyzed in terms ofthe role relationship between the speakers who generated theinformation of the narrative account.Two recent studies are exemplars of the case study approachbeing used to produce narrative accounts of career phenomena(Chusid & Cochran, 1989; MacGregor & Cochran 1988). MacGregorand Cochran (1988) found that roles in one’s family-of-origin aresomehow transformed or displaced onto occupational roles. In everyone of the ten cases investigated for this phenomenon they discoveredthat vocational roles represented re-enactments of 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 individual changes careers this reenactment in the vocational arena persists in some fashion. Thispattern was evident in each of the ten cases they examined. Careerchange was found to represent a continuation of one’s family oforigin role enactment in a new occupational setting, a shift toanother role or a synthesis of dramatic themes which produced anew role.The methodological rigour of these studies allows one to haveconfidence in the credibility of their findings. For example, in bothstudies the narrative accounts were developed based on convergent53interview and Q-sort information. Both studies had the subjectsreview the findings. Both used multiple replications to assess thedomain of or extent to which the findings apply. Chusid andCochran (1989) further demonstrated the reliability of their findingsby having the interviews and narrative accounts independentlyreviewed.54CHAPTER IIIMETHODOLOGYDesign of the StudyThe investigation constructed narrative accounts ofcareer transition and searched for a common pattern ofexperience among them. This demanded a research strategy thatcould accommodate the intensive study of individual cases andtreat a person’s experience as the phenomena that was ofprincipal interest. In contrast to traditional between- and within- group approaches, the case study was ideal for this task. Itcould focus directly on individuals’ experiences and examine eachperson’s career transition as a coherent whole.The main design issue in the investigation was whetherthe narrative accounts, which are the study’s research product,could be considered credible or plausible (Mischler, 1986).Satisfactorily addressing this concern meant showing that eachaccount was believable, that other interpretations of the study’sresults were less likely. This concern required attending to thesoundness and trustworthiness of the accounts.In studies that produce narratives as their researchproduct, ensuring the soundness of the study corresponds withaddressing internal validity concerns. Ensuring thetrustworthiness of a study corresponds with addressing reliability55concerns (Polkinghorne, 1988). These two related concernsrepresent the most common source of methodological problems incase study research (Yin, 1984).For an account to be considered sound it must be shownthat it is well-grounded, that there is sufficient evidence to supportit (Polkinghorne, 1988). In the current study, soundness wasaddressed by basing each account on the convergence of threekinds of evidence. Each kind was obtained through a differentline of inquiry. The first kind of evidence was a detaileddescription of the person’s life during the entire period of thecareer transition. This information was gathered in a series ofin-depth interviews. The second kind of evidence involved acharting of the person’s experience over the course of the careertransition using terms that are of theoretical interest. Thischarting was done by having each person do a series of Q-sorts, aspecial kind of card sorting and ranking exercise that, in thiscase, described various experiences drawn from relevanttransition models. The third kind of evidence was the person’scomments and elaborations when presented with the results ofthe charting of the career transition experiences. Discussionfocused on the significance of the content and pattern of theperson’s experience. In short, the study provided participantswith an opportunity to provide a personal description of theircareer transition, a theoretical description through the Q-sorts,56and an elaboration on the meaning of the experience. Eachperson’s narrative was based on the convergence of these threetypes of evidence.For an account to be considered trustworthy it must be shownthat it accurately portrays the evidence that was gathered about theindividual’s career transition experience. This involves ensuringthere was a free flow of information in the research interviews andthat nothing of importance was distorted or left out of the finalwritten account (Polkinghorne, 1988; Mischler, 1986).In the current study trustworthiness was checked using athree part case review procedure. First, all the evidence gathered oneach career transition was reviewed by the researcher and theresearch supervisor. They had to agree that each account was anaccurate portrayal of the evidence. Second, the accuracy waschecked by having each participant review a written summary of hisor her own narrative account. Third, each account was checked byhaving an independent reviewer decide whether it was a faithfulrepresentation of what was said in the interviews. By following theseprocedures, the narrative account of each person’s career transitionrequired agreement from four different people (i. e., the researcher,the research supervisor, an independent reviewer, and the studyparticipant) who had varying degrees of involvement and viewed thetransition from different perspectives.57Using this design ensures there is a reasonable basis forclaiming that the accounts are credible. The design requires eachaccount be checked that it is sound in the sense that different sourcesof evidence support it. The design requires each account be checkedthat it is trustworthy in the sense that it accurately reflects theevidence. Figure 1 gives an overview of the procedures that werefollowed in this study.All of the current study’s activities were conducted in one-to-one interviews. Each person’s participation in the study followed thesame sequence of events. It began with the Screening Interview, wasfollowed by the Career Transition Interview, then the Q-sortingexercise. Once each person’s Q-sortings were analyzed, the resultswere presented in the Elaboration Interview. After the convergentinformation from these sources was written up in a narrativeaccount, the study participant reviewed the account for accuracy.Study ParticipantsStudy participants were recruited through a referral networkof personal contacts. The initial letter of contact used in the currentstudy is Appendix A. The participants were selected according to thefollowing criteria. First, the people selected had the experience thatwas being investigated. They had gone through a career change(Cochran & Claspell, 1987; Colaizzi, 1978). The review of theliterature demonstrated that behind the various concrete definitionsof career change were two features that all conceptions shared.58Therefore, the study screened each potential participant to establishthat (1) the career change made a significant change in theindividual’s life structure and that (2) it resulted in a significantchange in his or her assumptive world,Second, the selected participants had to be capable of reflectingon and articulating the experience (Cochran & Claspell, 1987;Colaizzi, 1978). This required that participants have a competentcommand of English, the language of the researcher, and were ableto speak coherently about their experience. Furthermore, thisinvolved selecting participants who were no longer immersed intheir career transition so that they could review the experience withsome perspective. At the same time they did not go through theirtransition so long ago that all that remained was a hazy recollectionor flavour of the experience. Using these criteria enabled selection ofpeople who could adequately describe their transition experience.Following replication logic, each case in a multiple-case studyis a test of the external validity of the phenomenon underinvestigation. Each account represents a test case of the applicabilityof conceiving of career change as a transition process (Harre, Clark,& De Carlo, 1985; Yin, 1984). For this reason, in addition to meetingthe screening criteria, the final selection of participants was based onrepresentation of diverse kinds of career change (Chusid & Cochran,1989; MacGregor & Cochran, 1988). This enabled the research tosearch for shared experiences and patterns of experience.59Furthermore, it provided the means to account for variations(Rosenwald, 1988).Screening InterviewCandidates were individually interviewed to ascertain whetherthey met the participant criteria described in the previous section.This necessitated translating the study’s conception of career changeas a life structural and assumptive world change into common,everyday language. Each potential participant was asked to give aninitial description of their career change in their own words.Furthermore, they were asked to briefly describe themselves 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 your day?)” and “Have you experienceda significant change in how you look at yourself and your life? (i. e.,Has what you consider important in your life changed?)”Also, sufficient information was gathered from each candidateto insure that different kinds of career change were represented inthe study. This was done by obtaining the person’s first and currentcareer work histories and finding out about the circumstancessurrounding the career change. Ten cases (five men and fivewomen), representing a variety of first and second careers wereselected. Table 1 provides a descriptive summary of the careertransition case study participants. Each participant gave his or her60written consent to participate in the study. The consent form used inthe current study is Appendix B.Career Transition InterviewThis interview focused on eliciting the individual’s life-storyduring the career transition (Bromley, 1986). Each study participantwas encouraged to take on a participative and collaborative role in theinterview. This was accomplished by considering what the personsaid as a story or narrative and by treating the interview as adiscourse intended to help the person achieve a meaningfulunderstanding of the transition experience (Mishler, 1986).First, each person was asked to draw a lifeline for thetransition period and to identify all the significant or landmarkevents connected with the career transition (Hopson, 1982; Johnson,1977). The construction of the transition lifeline was intended toprovide a story outline that would help the person organize his or herthoughts and empower the person to tell his or her story.Second, each person was told, “The objective is to develop ameaningful understanding of your career transition. I aminterested in hearing the story of your life during the time of yourcareer transition, from first inclination through to feelingestablished in your second career”. Then the person was told to startat the beginning and asked to go ahead, tell the story. Care wastaken to make the person feel comfortable, free to talk, and not tounduly influence what the person said.61The total amount of time it took for a person to tell his or herstory and the number of sessions over which the story was told wasunique for each person. All interviews were tape recorded andtranscribed for examination.Q-sortTo perform a Q-sort, a set of items that are a representativesample of the phenomena being investigated is needed. For thisstudy, the items were the different experiences the transition theoriessuggested a person goes through. These are sorted by the studyparticipant according to a specified self-referent criterion. Secondly,a set of topics, concepts or, in the case of the present study, events isneeded. These are used as reference points when sorting theindividual descriptions that make up the set of items in the Q-sort.It is more common, especially in educational and politicalresearch, for the results of Q-sorts to be analyzed across subjects.However, the current study employed a Q-sort in a single subjectrepeated measures design. Therefore, in the current study, principlecomponent analysis was performed across the events of each subject.This involved having each participant sort the Q-items several times,once for each topic (i. e., once for each landmark event) andanalyzing each person’s sortings across his or her landmark events.The use of Q-sortings in a single subject repeated measuresdesign in the present study follows previous case study careerresearch (Chusid & Cochran, 1989; MacGregor & Cochran, 1988).62Furthermore, this design has been used by Brown, a prominent Qmethodology scholar (e, g., Baas & Brown, 1973), and has beenadvocated by Stephenson, the pioneer of Q-methodology, as an idealmethod for intensively analyzing individual cases (Stephenson, 1974,1980, 1985).Each study participant sorted the deck of cards that make upthe Q-sort several times, once for each landmark event he or sheexperienced over the course of his or her career transition. For eachlandmark event, the subject was required to sort the Q-itemsaccording to how well the description on each card matched his orher experience during that event.Q-sort ItemsThe study’s Q-sort was composed of a comprehensiverepresentative sample of descriptive phrases about the careertransition process. For adequate reliability and ease of handling bysubjects, a Q-sort should be no larger than sixty to ninety items(Kerlinger, 1973). Forty-five items were drawn from the eightdominant models of career transition described in the literaturereview. As such, the Q-sort items represented the universe oftransition experiences these theories postulate an individual goesthrough during a career transition. They were translated intocommon, ordinary language so the subjects could understand them.(330-sort TopicsThe topics of the study’s Q-sort were the significant orlandmark events of an individual’s career transition. These eventswere identified in the career transition interview. The number ofevents and the events themselves were unique for each subject. Thenumber of events ranged from a minimum of nine to a maximum offourteen. Each person performed a sort for each landmark event heor she identified.Individual’s tend to recall significant personal events veryclearly. For this reason, using the landmark events of a person’scareer transition as the Q-sort topics significantly improved thelikelihood of reliable recollections. Most importantly, these keyevents represent the career transition from the perspective of theindividual who has gone through it. This is consistent withStephenson’s intention that Q be used to investigate that whichmakes up the individual’s world (Stephenson, 1974, 1980).0-sort Item DevelopmentThe Q-sort that was used in this study was constructed over aperiod of seven months. The development process is summarizedbelow:1. For each theory identified in the literature review, anexhaustive list of key descriptive phrases was drawn up.2. Each descriptive phrase was translated 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 understood by subjects, (ii) in the pasttense since the subjects were reflecting retrospectively on theirexperiences, (iii) in the active voice, and (iv) to reflect one mainidea. This produced a total of 157 items.3. In collaboration with the supervisor, the mass of items wereorganized into coherent groups. This involved clustering theitems according to commonalty of the postulated careertransition experiences. Through a process of distillation,refinement, and revision a description that accurately reflectedeach item within each group or cluster was developed. Thisprocess reduced the number of items to forty-five.4. Each theory was rechecked to ensure that all the keydescriptive phrases were adequately represented in the items.As part of this review process the wording and focus of theitems was sharpened.5. The Q-sort was field tested with subjects who met the study’sselection criteria. This resulted in altering the wording ofsome items.656. Finally, a theoretical validation of the Q-sort was conducted.This involved consulting two experts on career transition andhaving them check that the Q-sort accurately represented thekey descriptive phrases of each transition theory.Q-sortingEach of the forty-five descriptions was typed on a small card.Table 2 lists the Q-sort’s forty-five items. Each subject sorted the deckof cards for each landmark event connected to his or her careertransition. The instructions for sorting were as follows:1. Take the deck of cards, read each card separately and put itdown on the table in front of you. Spread out the cards and tryto form a general impression of the attributes stated on thecards.2. Now pick up the cards, make a deck and shuffle the cards inthe deck.3. Now, (for example) sort these cards to describe significantevent number one, retrospectively, according to your recall ofthe event, ranging from those that are most characteristic ofyour experience to those that are least characteristic of yourexperience.4. Place the cards into roughly three equal piles as follows:most characteristic, doubtfully characteristic; 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.0 Repeat with pile three (i. e., those least characteristic of yourexperience) and follow the same process, going from yourfar 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 will be introduced. Thenumber of sessions required for a person to complete the sortingsdepended upon the number of events there were to sort.67Analysis of the Q-sortsEach item in the Q-sort was scored according to the pile it wasplaced in. The structure of the Q-sort used in this study (N = 45) isillustrated below:Evaluative CriteriaMost Doubtfully LeastCharacteristic Characteristic Characteristicof or ofLandmark Undecided LandmarkEvent Event* *Frequency 1 2 4 8 15 8 4 2 1Q-score: 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0Each subject performed a Q-sort for each of his or herlandmark events. Each sorting provided a score for each item. Thescores represented the match of each descriptive phrase with thelandmark event. For each event there were items that wereconsidered to be a very good match and those that were not a goodmatch at all.A Q-matrix of “items x events” was set up for each person.From this a correlation matrix of the intercorrelation of “event x68event” was developed for each person. This showed how much eachevent has in common with each other event as represented by the Qitems.Principal component analysis demonstrated that the careertransition experiences could be clustered into factors or types. Twofactor unrotated solutions were obtained for each of the ten cases.The total variance accounted for by 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 prominence of his or her twotypes of experience and their patterns of occurrence across eventswere defined quantitatively and graphically represented. This wasachieved by calculating a “factor (types of experience) x event(landmark event)” factor loading matrix. Using case study eight asan example, on the first factor or type of transition experience theloading was -.71 for his first landmark event, .61 for the second event,.56 for the third, on through to .55 for the twelfth and final event. Onthe second factor the loading was .47 for the first event, .18 for thesecond, on through to .44 on the twelfth and final event. (See Table 3,Example of a “factor x event” matrix: Case study eight.) Plotting thefactor loading of each type of experience at each event showed thepattern in which the types of experiences occurred. For an example,see Figure 9. Case study eight: Jack. This identification of the typesof events involved in the career transition and the pattern in which69they occurred was done for each person. (See Figures 2 11. Casestudies one - ten.)Finally, Q-item standard or z-scores were calculated for eachfactor or type of experience. For each factor, the Q-items that had zscores exceeding ± 1.5 were extracted and rank ordered. This servedto provide a Q-item definition of each factor. (See Table 4, Example ofrank-ordered Q-item definition of factors: Case study eight.) Thisprovided a means of distinguishing each event using the theoreticalterms of the Q-sort. (i. e., Q-item describes the event very well Qitem not at all like the event). For instance, with case study eight’sfirst factor’s loading being -.71 during the first landmark event, theQ-item experiences that best describe the event are feeling angry andoverwhelmed. Feeling happy, excited, or having a 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 only an indication of how thecareer transition was made and that a personal elaboration would beneeded to achieve a filler understanding of the experience.Agreement with the Q-sort data was not sought. Rather, the resultswere presented as a means of stimulating discussion and furtherexploration of the individual’s career transition.70The Q-analysis produced results about the content of theindividual’s prominent transition experiences and showed thepattern of occurrence of each type of experience. Each person wasasked to respond to and elaborate on a series of content probes andpattern probes.Recalling that each factor is a prominent type of experiencethat is made up of a cluster of related Q-items, content probes weredesigned to elicit information about each prominent experience. Forexample, if being disoriented and confused was identified as aprominent experience for an individual then a content probe wasframed around this factor. The interviewer would offer: “It seemsthat your experience was, to a great extent, defined for you by yoursense of confusion and disorientation.” Typically, the person wasasked to respond by elaborating on this experience. They wereencouraged to confirm, qualifr or deny it, whatever they considered tobe the most accurate representation of the experience. If theindividual considered the description to be relevant he or she wasencouraged to describe the experience in greater depth and detail sothe interviewer could make sense of it from within the context of theindividual’s life. This procedure was repeated for every prominentexperience identified in the Q-analysis.Next, a pattern probe was offered for each prominent type ofexperience. Recalling that the results of the Q-analysis alsodemonstrate how relevant each factor is to each landmark event,71each prominent type of experience (i. e., principal component)exhibits its own pattern. Pattern probes were used to elicitinformation about the pattern of occurrence of each type ofexperience. For example, if the person’s experience of confusion anddisorientation gradually became stronger over the first several eventsand then was dominant, then not apparent, in a cyclical patternduring the middle and later events a pattern probe was framedaround this. The interviewer might have said: “It seems thatgradually you became more and more confused and disorientedduring the beginning of your transition. Then it seems there was ashift, in that, there were times when you felt extremely confused anddisorganized. Yet this would alternate with other times when itwasn’t part of your experience at all.” Again the 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 and elaborate on anyexperiences or pattern of experiences they felt were important buthad not been brought out through the discussion of the Q-sort results.The interviewer encouraged the subjects to elaborate on themeaning of the experiences and patterns through the use ofreflection, summarization, clarification, questioning, empathicresponses, and open-ended probes. All interviews were tape recordedand transcribed for examination.72Narrative AccountA narrative account of each subjects’ career transition wasconstructed. This involved synthesizing the information from theinterviews, the Q-analysis, and the individual’s comments andelaborations on the Q-results. Convergence of these sources ofevidence provided the basis for the development of 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 account was organized into narrative formso that it was a coherent story told from the perspective of the personwho went through the transition (Cochran & Claspell, 1987).Narrative Account ReviewStudy Participant ReviewConfidence in the credibility of the study’s findings wasenhanced by having each participant review his or her narrativeaccount. The main objective of this review was to ensure that eachstudy participant considered the description to be true to his or herexperience. Each participant was given a copy of his or her narrativeaccount. He or she was asked to review it and assess whether itaccurately portrayed what he or she intended to communicate andwhether anything of importance was left out or distorted.Independent ReviewConfidence in the credibility of the study’s findings was alsoenhanced by having the interviews and narrative accounts73independently reviewed. This review helped ensure that the subjectwas able to tell his or her story. For each case, an independentreviewer who has had graduate training in counselling and at leastten years of counselling experience listened to the audiotape of thesubject’s interviews, then read the narrative account. The completeinstructions for the independent reviewers are in Appendix C. Likethe study participants, he or she was asked to comment on whetherthe researcher committed any acts of omission or coimnission.Comparative Pattern AnalysisFinally, the narrative accounts of the individual cases werecompared as a means of exploring the existence of a larger pattern orgeneral psychological structure common to all ten cases (Wertz, 1985;MacGregor & Cochran, 1988; Chusid & Cochran, 1989). This couldhave taken the form of shared experiences during the transition. Itcould also have meant finding these experiences share a particularpattern of occurrence. Conducting a comparative pattern analysisalso allowed variations on any shared patterns that did emerge to beaccounted for (Cochran & Claspell, 1987; Rosenwald, 1988).74CHAPTER IVCASE STUDY ONE: JOANELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERTOCOMMUNICATIONS ENTREPRENEURPrincipal Component AnalysisThe first principal component accounted for 44% of thevariance in the Q-sorts. Since the factor loadings of events show aclear change from beginning (-£4) to end (.86), this componentportrays the meaning of the transition to Joan, 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 is the opposite of each 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 for 15% of the variance in theQ-sorts. Since it did not show a clear change in event loadings frombeginning (.08) to end (-.18), this component does not define the75transition. However, it reflects potentially important items 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 component manifestedextreme 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. On the secondcomponent, changes tended to be more moderate with an extremeswing coming near the end, reflecting a dramatic rise in confidenceand happiness.Personal NarrativeIn the first few years, teaching elementary school wasenjoyable and challenging. It was certainly better than the routineclerical jobs Joan had held. But it was also not like her dream toproduce documentary videos for the 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 began to 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 request to 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 once aweek. 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 in the women’s rightscommittee. After serving on this committee for three years, she wasnamed as a delegate to a large annual meeting. She spoke to anaudience of 1200 people in a big hotel and received publicacknowledgement. It was exhilarating, so much more adult-likeand self-directing. When the provincial manager position for thewomen’s rights program became vacant, Joan was encouraged toapply. She overcame her fears and applied. After an intimidatinginterview with ten members of the executive committee, she wasoffered the job for a three year term.Immediately, she packed up her classroom and went to workas the provincial manager, with an office, a secretary, and supportstaff It was liberating just to be able to have lunch in a restaurant.As a symbolic gesture, she threw away the tupperware container inwhich she had toted her lunches to school for so many years. Itseemed to capture her release from entrapment. She never wanted toreturn to teaching.Coordination involved holding meetings with teachers,making presentations, developing committees throughout theprovince, organizing conferences, and initiating programs. Therewas a great deal of travel, but her programs 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 immersed in political battles. Women’s78programs were still new and contentious, and there were opponentswithin the teachers’ association who did not want money spent onstatus-of-women projects. The politics were stressful and by the thirdyear, she regarded her position as a hotbed. She was becomingrestless, stressed, and fed up. She decided not to apply for anotherterm.During the final year at the teachers’ association, Joan’smother’s health declined dramatically. Throughout the transition,her mother was ill with a neurological disease that strikes in middleage and involves progressive physical and mental deterioration. Thedisease is hereditary and Joan knows she is at risk. Watching hermother deteriorate was very painful, serving as a constant reminderto do what she really wanted with her life while she could. Joan’smother had always encouraged independence. To slowly die thisway, so contrary to the self-directed living she valued, left Joan with akind of legacy to strive for independence, most likely through somekind of self-employment if she could only figure out a way to do it.Yet after her third year at the teachers’ association, Joan was facedwith taking up elementary school teaching once more.Joan reluctantly returned to the classroom, not knowing whatelse to do. She had naively expected that she would be able to getanother job doing women’s work in government or for an agency.Afterall, she had good experience now. She had done her jobsuccessfully. She had spoken at national meetings and at the steps of79the provincial legislature, and had appeared on television. But partlydue to economic restraint, there were no jobs for a women’sorganizer, or advocate, or specialist. It was a rude shock to find thatshe did not seem to have a future in women’s work after the progressshe had made.The school was fine, the principal and children were nice, butit was like trying to put on a shoe that was too small. She could notstand it. The confinement was intolerable after the challenges shehad faced, after having the freedom to move, manage her own time,and generally be self-directed. As Joan chafed through this year ofconfinement, she consulted a career counsellor. The counsellingconfirmed her initial career direction as a video producer, atelevision executive, or a publisher. The counsellor advised her thatshe needed more education to gain more career options. Acting onthis advice, Joan entered a graduate program in Adult Education, achoice she considered to be as far from elementary teaching as shecould get. Partly, she wanted to distance herself from elementaryschool. Partly, she knew from her experience at the teachers’association she liked training and teaching adults.Pursuing an M. Ed. was enjoyable and challenging. It tookher out of her routine, stretched her intellectually, provided adultcompany, and gave her time to think about things. Graduate schoolwas a good break. Even teaching one day a week to support herselfseemed fine. Without anticipating constant confinement, the one day80was rather enjoyable. Overall, the career counselling helped herestablish a general direction and graduate school restored her faiththat there were other routes to follow, She was not stuck.Upon graduation, Joan found a job in a community collegeorganizing community programs. She organized a conference forsingle mothers and worked to develop programs and 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 community college 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 in downtown Toronto, sofar removed from suburban elementary schools, very adult. In thefirst year, most of her time was spent developing a curriculum forschools. It was not very challenging and Joan yearned to work withvideo and media, using the career test results as a reminder of heroptimal career direction. With this in mind, she persuaded atransportation ministry manager to create a new position that wouldmanage special video and media projects. As manager of specialprojects, Joan developed a rock and roll video on alcohol and driving,produced brochures, and became involved in a number of other funprojects. However, the setting became more bureaucratic, with81plenty of forms to fill out and reports to give. Now housed in a newbuilding, the ministry became a big, boring system whose constantpaper control of employees through forms and reports seemedinsulting. Reporting to her hot-tempered boss made Joan feel likeshe was back in elementary school, compromising and putting on afalse front to avoid wrath. In her third year at the ministry, Joanwas becoming fed up, and when she was offered permanentemployment as a traffic safety manager, it served to crystallize herthinking about what she really wanted to do.For all of her adult life, Joan had been blocked because she didnot know how to reach her goals. Initially, she had tried to work intelevision for the CBC, but did not know how to qualify for a positionor gain entrance to the field. Now, she wanted to become acommunications consultant, helping clients use various media in aneffective way. She knew how to do the job, or could learn what shedidn’t already know, but did not know how to become set up as anindependent consultant, While this direction was rich andmeaningful, even holding out the possibility of eventual televisionproduction, it was very uncertain. There were no clear and definitesteps. One could fail miserably. In contrast, taking a permanentposition with the government would be secure, but little else. Itwould mean adapting to and being encaged within a big, boringsystem, not all that different from teaching grade one. In both, shewould feel confined, forced to take on a child-like role. Besides, there82were tax-benefits to self-employment that were not available onsalary. 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 would be successful.During this period, Joan dwelled on a name and descriptionfor her emerging company. She went through lists of businessnames. It was much like naming a child. There was about a ninemonth gestation period that culminated in the official birth of hercompany. She had found the perfect name that seemed to 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. Now she 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 services as a trafficsafety consultant. From this trip, despite attempts from a ministrymanager to discredit her, she gained a contract with New York to setup a high school program. After an assistant deputy ministerlearned that Joan had contacts in the United States, she wasapproached and hired by the ministry’s public relations firm as aconsultant to market their traffic safety material. She went toconferences in the U. S. and even Europe, and was 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 trying to market traffic safetyprograms her father was very sick with cancer, During the last sixmonths of his life she pursued the odd contract but spent most of hertime looking after her dad. His death was very difficult for Joan. Shebecame depressed and found herself searching for meaning in herown life. Throughout Joan’s life, her father had modelled anentrepreneurial spirit. His death added resolve to live her lifewhatever way she wanted, to keep going in her search for a way to besuccessfully self-employed.Traffic safety seemed too narrow to market effectively. She hadexpected to successfully market her services internationally. Shewas humbled when her efforts to expand her New York contractfailed. She had a couple of other small projects but was growing tiredof the content. She sought to diversify her services. Due to a videoshe had produced earlier, the Canadian Coast Guard contracted todevelop a video on alcohol and boating. It was her first realindependent production project and it resulted in two videos. Joanthen took these videos to the Ministry of the Environment and otheragencies as samples of her work. She began to receive calls to submitbids, resulting in more video projects. One thing was leading toanother, moving her into increasingly diverse productions.Meanwhile, a friend from Joan’s community college daysneeded help writing fund-raising letters. Joan decided to try it. Itworked out so well she became interested in fund-raising as a84communications specialty. It had inherent diversity. It was usuallyfor a good cause such as education or medicine, making fund-raisingvery satisfying, a way to make good things happen and get paid for it.One of her first major clients was a university. Once again, she waseventually offered a salaried permanent position but turned it down.At present she attempts to maintain three major projects at anygiven time. To manage the increased revenue, she incorporated thecompany. Although the work can be exhausting, seven days a weekduring some periods, it is satisfying and she feels secure enough tolimit clients.Joan finds there is a dignity in self-employment, She does 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 confidence to live thisway but Joan had been developing confidence gradually since leavingelementary school teaching. It had grown through challenges suchas speaking to a group of 1200, being responsible for projects, andventuring out on her own. Yet to successfully make the transitionshe did, rejecting the security of permanent employment, Joan had toact when she was neither confident nor secure, but quite vulnerable.Joan does not see her transition from teacher to self-employedcommunications entrepreneur as courageous, Rather it issomething she feels she just had to 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 narrative gives 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 factor loadings of events show aclear change from beginning (.52) to end (-.70), this componentportrays the meaning of the transition to Carla, 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.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 for 21% of the variance in theQ-sorts. Since it did not show a clear change in event loadings frombeginning (.5 1) to end (.14), this component does not define thetransition. However, it reflects potentially important items. Some ofthese accompanied and perhaps contributed to 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 with life off course to feelinghappy, confident, and excited with a sense of direction and purpose.(See Figure 3, Case study two: Carla). Change across the transitiondid not appear to be gradual but cyclical. Carla briefly felt confidentand happy, endured a period where she felt drained and her life wasoff course, then felt excited with a sense of direction and purposeagain during the latter part of the change. The second componentindicates much of the change was spent searching and wonderingabout the future.Personal NarrativeWhen Carla finished her general arts degree at DaihousieUniversity in Halifax, Nova Scotia she still didn’t have any clear ideaof what she wanted to do. She wanted to somehow work with peoplebut nothing grabbed her in a direct way. A one year follow-up degreein social work seemed to be a practical way to finish off school and get89out into the work force, The course work seemed manageable, andsort of interesting so she went ahead and did a one year B. S. W. Aftera miserable year working as a case worker in a small Cape Bretonfishing village that was worse than the one she had grown up in andhad gone to uxiiversity to escape, Carla managed to badger the headof social work at the provincial mental hospital in Halifax into givingher a job as a psychiatric social worker. The next couple of yearswere pleasant, being back in the city, working with interestingpatients. She found the mental hospital to be so intriguing that noother work setting held any appeal for her, However, it becameapparent that, other than administrative positions, there were noother jobs she could move to in the hospital. She enjoyed her day today work with the mental patients but after a time it all seemed prettyautomatic. She felt limited in what she could do. Her involvementwith a patient was always directed by the attending psychiatrist, notthe social work department. Carla wanted the excitement of beingresponsible for the case management of a patient. She realized thatas a social worker she was never going to be 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 mental hospital, Carla wondered what todo next. She had saved some money and had applied to McGill forgraduate school in social work. This seemed to 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 think to 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 to see thedifferent ways people lived, an opportunity to expand beyond the CapeBreton culture she had grown up in. By the time she returned fromher trip she had pretty much decided to forget about the M. S. W.idea. She realized that looking for a future within social work wastoo confining. An M. S. W. would just be a ticket to more of what shealready wanted out of. Studying more social work wouldn’t changethe kind of secondary role the medical system forced social workers toassume. And she knew from the professional journal reading shedid that, compared to medicine or psychology, she wouldn’t find91social work research to be very exciting or provocative. But she didn’tknow what to do instead.Shortly after her return from Europe, Carla was discussingher dilemma with someone at a party who was preparing to go tomedical school. Medical school sounded interesting, maybesomething she should consider. At the same time she heard herselfsaying, “No, I can’t do that!” The course work scared her; it would betoo hard. But after reviewing Daihousie University’s medical schoolprogram, the idea didn’t seem all that outrageous. She decided totake a couple of the prerequisite courses she would need to see 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 up to. The final course she neededwas only offered in the day-time, making it necessary to tell hersupervisor what she was doing. She found her to be quiteaccommodating, allowing her to rearrange her work schedulearound the course, When Carla applied for medical school shealready knew she wanted to go into psychiatry and outlined her planin her application. She was astonished when she was accepted sinceshe had heard how selective medical schools were.Her first year of medical school was horrible. That first yearwas her first life crisis, her most memorable blubbering moment.Still lacking much of the expected math and 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 supposed tobe 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 order tosurvive there could be nothing else.She was surprised to find she made it through that first year.The following two years were pretty much smooth sailing. Finishingmedical school was a triumph, something she had worked hard at toachieve. It felt like an important turning point. She had not botheredto attend the graduation ceremonies for her previous two degrees but93this one was something worth celebrating. At the ceremony, hermother’s presence and uncharacteristic but obvious high spiritsheightened the sense of happiness and confidence she felt.Carla was still planning to go into psychiatry but she had beenadvised by most people to do a one year general medicine internshipfirst. This would qualify her as a general practitioner, giving hersomething to fall back on just in case she should ever decide to leavepsychiatry. Following this advice, her internship took her toSaskatoon for the next year. Toronto had been her first choice but itwas 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 tired all the time. There werealso other things that were troubling her. Carla found she wasn’treally interested in the work. It wasn’t intellectually stimulating.She was frustrated by the orientation of the supervisory staff and thepace at which she was required to work. She found herself beingexpected to learn how to get in and get out with a minimum ofinteraction with a patient. She was discouraged from listening to apatient’s concerns, something she had been geared to do all of herlife. She resisted, yet every occasion she 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 appealed to her. The same girlfriendshe had travelled through Europe with had lived in Toronto whileCarla was in medical school and Carla had visited her a couple oftimes. Getting accepted at the University of Toronto was 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 the day to day work wasgood. For the first time in a long time she was able to talk to patientsand their families again. She was finally getting a chance to havethe kind of contact she had wanted with a patient. For the first timein six years, people looking at what she was doing were saying, “Youaren’t so bad at that” and even, “you’re pretty good”. She feltcompetent even while she was learning. She was accomplishingsomething that was worthy of someone’s notice, it was rewarding.Things were fitting together, she belonged there, Even the peoplerunning the psychiatry residency program were ‘people’ people.They were fairly attuned to interpersonal needs. They didn’t feel theyhad to beat her to death in order to make her perform. It was a reliefto be out of that kind of system.She went through the program with a small group of about tenothers. They did all their courses together and they became a kind ofsocial network, working and partying together. They were peoplefrom different places, with different points of view, 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 her abroader world view.As Carla worked through her rotations she gradually becameaware that she was always particularly interested in the legalaspects of her patients’ cases. Back in the provincial mental hospitalin Nova Scotia, she had done about a year as the social worker on aforensic ward and had found it very interesting. She decided she97wanted to do her elective rotation in forensic psychiatry. She wasaware of a small group of people who practiced in this area butneither the Clark Institute’s Forensic Department nor theMetropolitan Toronto Forensic Clinic was affiliated with theuniversity. She approached the forensic service, told them what shewanted, and after meeting her, they approved a residency. It was aroaring success for her and for the service. Resisting an attempt toplace her in a women’s forensic ward, she got to do a mix of work,She got to work on some of the old chronic cases 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 psychiatry was what shewas going to do after she finished, And sure enough the forensicservice asked her to come on staff as soon as 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 could do the work.Carla has found her niche in forensic psychiatry. She isaware that most other psychiatrists run away at the very mention oflegal or forensic work. She finds the patients intriguing and iscomfortable with her role in the legal system. Most of the work iscourt ordered which means she reports to a judge and doesn’t have toreport to anyone in the medical system. For financial and personal98reasons, her self-employed status is important to her, It gives her asense of independence when it comes to her work. It is important toher that nobody can tell her what to do, Carla has avoided privatepractice. She thinks she would find it very limiting and boring. Shefinds it hard to believe that anyone in private practice could have justone perspective that fits all their patients. She would miss thenetwork, the stimulation, the mix of ideas on what is going on andhow to approach a particular problem that she values so much in herpractice of forensic psychiatry.As a social worker in Nova Scotia, Carla had been livingwithin narrow and externally imposed boundaries of what she 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 required to live her life a particular way.She now feels free to live in accord with what is important to her. Shevalues the freedom of choice and self-direction she experiences in herwork and personal life. But to achieve this required her to go throughseveral years of medical training that was more restrictive than shecould have imagined. Until she reached her psychiatric residencyprogram, she was often unhappy, felt out of 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 matter whathappened, especially on those occasions when she lacked self-’confidence,99ConvergenceThe event loadings of both principal components converge withthe flow of the narrative account. The narrative portrays a changefrom limitations and confinement to self-direction and authenticity.The first principal component describes a change from a life offcourse to one with a sense of direction and purpose. Generally, theloading of an event matches its description in the story. For example,when Carla was accepted into the psychiatry residency program atUniversity of Toronto, the event loadings shifted from .64 to -.61.Similarly, her narrative description moves from anger andfrustration to enthusiasm and enjoyment.The second component indicated much of the change wasspent searching and wondering about the future. The loading of anevent on the second component also matches its description in thestory. For example, when Carla comes back from Europe, the eventloading was .73. Similarly the narrative describes her not knowingwhat to do now that she has written-off the M. S. W. idea. The Qsorts provide an abstract description of Carla’s transition. Thenarrative gives it a richness of detail and meaning.Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative AccountI think its pretty accurate ... I think its a pretty goodsummary of the whole thing. It captures the essence of thewhole thing. I think you did a good job on it. 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 the spaceto continue elaborating. When you did speak it was to help herexpand her comments. One example that I thought was reallygood ... was a clarification when she talked about the residencybeing so easy for her. You said “Because it was 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 mirrored orparaphrased. That brought out and confirmed a lot of whatshe said. Your voice was very soft. I could often hear in thedistance (on the tapes) the good “Um Hmm”, following kinds ofthings. The other thing I was very impressed with was ... howvery capable you were about staying on track with her. I foundyour write-up of the case study to be very thorough andincluded a lot of her own words. I think that was reallyimportant. What an interesting person! You did a reallythorough job.101102CHAPTER VICASE STUDY THREE: DANIELPRIEST TO LABOUR UNIONISTPrincipal Component AnalysisThe first principal component accounted for 33% of thevariance in the Q-sorts. Since the 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 of these accompanied and perhapscontributed to the transition. Others were definitely not part of thetransition. To define this component, all item factor scores exceedingplus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In order 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 for 17% of the variance in theQ-sorts. Since it shows a clear change in event loadings frombeginning (.4 1) to end (-.45), this component portrays the meaning of103the 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 and happiness andangry periods, where he struggled with conflict and felt he was beingtested.Personal NarrativeWhen Daniel took up his first assignment as a 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 Catholic reformthinkers who were setting out to implement changes of the Vatican104Council, under the leadership of Pope John XXIII. In many waysDaniel had been preparing for this work since he had been ateenager. Daniel’s high school teachers had been Jesuit priests. Hissense of social conscience was heavily influenced by one teacher inparticular, who later became a prominent. U. S. antiwar leader.Prior to ordination Daniel had been a student in WashingtonD. C. for six years with the Paulist Fathers, an American basedactivist order that did religious education work in nontradtionalsettings: publishing, broadcasting, street and university work. Whilein training he found himself leading different social action projects.For instance, while finishing his Master’s degree in theology, he wasan organizer for the Washington civil rights demonstrations. Danielfound organizing, mobilizing people around 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 had been invited to open an adultreligious education centre downtown and to place chaplains at SimonFraser University. The first year was a ball, he really enjoyedhimself. He ran education programs for the public, spoke at publicforums, did a weekly interfaith radio show. Daniel attracted a lot ofpeople, he was an inspiring teacher. People were excited aboutmoving beyond literal interpretations of Christian teachings andunderstanding spirituality at an adult level. Others were disturbedby his demythologizing of their childhood religious training. He105realized he was upsetting people but didn’t see anything wrong withthat. “To create change you have to create ferment. That was part ofthe job.”In his second year, a new more conservative archbishop wasappointed to Vancouver. About the same time, Daniel started takingthe Vatican Council’s renewed understanding of Catholicismdirectly to the parishes. He found he was not speaking the samelanguage as the parish priests. Their training had been completelydifferent. He felt like an outsider, like he didn’t fit in, nor did hewant to. He didn’t identify with the parish priests, their values, theirlife, what they saw as their mission. The local church leadershipwas increasingly troubled by Daniel’s message. They began toconsider him dangerous. While he felt absolutely right about whathe was doing, he felt persecuted, like they were trying to drive himout of town. In the midst of this growing furor, the archbishopcontacted New York, where the Paulist Fathers’ headquarters islocated. A short time later, Daniel received word he was being movedto Austin, Texas. He was angry with his order for pulling him. Hefought it but ended up heading reluctantly for Texas.In Austin, there was a reenactment of the same cycle ofexcitement, growth of support, and conflict that had taken place inVancouver. Daniel was to do adult education work at a parishchurch across the street from the University of Texas. Initially, hekept his head down, doing religious education groups. He was trying106to approach his work more gently, trying to treat it as a longer termbuilding process. Once again, the number of people who reached anew 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 its authority.Leaving the priesthood became a phenomenon. It struck Daniel thata 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, it was not going tochange its policy on birth control. Daniel told people they havefreedom of conscience despite the church policy. He felt he had tostand up for people in the face of what he saw as a kind of abuse ofauthority.Daniel continued to push for reform within the parish,encountering more and more resistance. He was admonished for notbacking down on his reform stance. When the parish split over theissue of focusing religious education efforts on parents instead of107their children, the pastor in charge of the parish ordered Daniel tocancel his adult education program and reassigned him as ahospital chaplain. Daniel refused to cancel the program and wasordered to face a tribunal made up 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 leadership hadtaken a turn, abandoning the course of action to which Daniel hadcommitted himself. He knew he coukln’t continue but stoppingmeant abandoning the people in the parish who were committed toreform. While he was in Long Island, the reform group set up acontinuing education centre and wanted him to come back to be theirchaplain. Breaking from the order would make him a religiousoutlaw. It was a dilemma; he didn’t know what to do.He went to see the leaders of his order back in New York. Theywere very nonjudgemental, supportive in a number of ways, but theydidn’t think there was any position he could hold without getting intocontroversy. He visited a number of the parishes 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 still being very idealistic whilemost of the clergy leading these groups were quite cynical. Daniel108saw this way of being as a logical outcome for himself if he followedthis path. He decided he was not going to continue to be an activeminister. The church was silencing its own leaders, it had betrayeditself. “So what the hell!”, he decided to leave the order. Daniel neverwent to the church to say he was resigning. He just left.Daniel never applied to return to laity status. One of theconditions of doing so required an admission that 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 decision to leavethe active ministry was not a decision not to be a priest. It didn’tmean who he was had changed. It was a realization that he couldnot function within the church.Leaving the ministry made it possible to look at a woman hehad been working with in a different way. He and Laura had beenvery, very good friends and close partners in a lot of their work sincethey had first met in Vancouver. She had been a lay catholic workerdoing group work. Daniel had introduced her to the parish in Austinand they had hired her to coordinate their adult education 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 created at 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 internal shift that wastaking place, the closing of one door and the opening of another. He109went back to Austin and asked her to marry him and come with himto British Columbia. She agreed and they received the blessing of thereform group.Driving from Texas to B. C., Daniel felt a deep sense of loss,like he had gone into mourning. It felt like the church had rejectedhim. Perhaps it was a mutual rejection. Whatever the case, it wasvery, very painful. At the same time the trip was exciting, providingan opportunity to speculate about what was in front of them. Theorder had looked after him for the last fifteen years. He didn’t have asocial security number, had never received a paycheck, had neverdone a resume. The last job he had held was in a garage in highschool. It all seemed like foreign territory. “What does a thirty-twoyear old theologian teacher do for a living?” He was filled withtrepidations about starting a new life and stepping into the practicalworld of going to work. Thinking about it was unnerving andbewildering. He felt completely unprepared for what was facinghim.Staying with friends on Vancouver Island, Daniel worked as alabourer in temporary jobs while he tried to figure out what it was hewas equipped to do for a living. He and Laura had agreed they wouldnot get married until he found work. He felt a real sense of urgencyto get going, to find something quickly. He applied for a job as aschool teacher but was turned down because he didn’t have ateaching certificate. After telling his story to an old friend of the110people they were staying with, this man arranged an interview for asocial worker job with an agency in Victoria he was on the board of.Daniel had done some counselling as part of his work in Vancouver.The agency offered him a job on condition that he could get registeredas a social worker. The registration act had just been passed theprevious year and there was a year’s period of grace for people whodid not have a social work degree but had relevant work experience.A social worker friend with whom he had worked with vouched forhim and, after a review of his academic record, he was able to getregistered.He was relieved to have a job and started work for the VictoriaFamily and Children Services as soon as the registration wasconfirmed. Two weeks later, he and Laura were married at a privateceremony by a Catholic priest friend who was also a bit of a rebel.Being married in the church by his friend instead 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 who werepregnant and in the dilemma of keeping, aborting, or putting thechild up for adoption. There was a sense of continuity that camefrom doing this work. While the setting was different, he was able tocontinue 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 employment issues.Daniel felt very fortunate that everything had worked out so well forhim. Feeling compelled to give something back to his peers, heaccepted. Less than a month later, the Capitol Regional Districtthreatened to take over the agency. The employees felt vulnerable,afraid their service would be broken up or done away with. Aftermeeting with representatives of several existing unions, Daniel andhis coworkers opted to form their own union, tailoring it to suit theirown needs.What he had expected to be a peer relationship that everyonewould be involved in became almost fatherly. Daniel found he 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 the growth ofthe social service union. His workload snowballed into almost twofull time sets of responsibilities. He felt a tremendous weight,struggling to keep up both his agency and union responsibilities.112During the period the union was rapidly expanding, Daniel had avision that crystalized how he felt about his situation. While layingin a hospital bed recovering from back surgery he had a flash of aninverted pyramid pressing down on, breaking his back. The pyramidwas made up of faces of all the people for whom he felt responsible.He was aware of himself feeling this heavy load throughout thisperiod but whenever he tried to lessen his involvement with the unionhe would be drawn back in.Daniel was just out of hospital when he received word hisfather was dying. It was a very important moment in Daniel’s lifewhen his father told him how much he loved him just before he died.His father had never been an expressive person and Daniel hadyearned to know of his love. In the aftermath of his father’s death,Daniel found himself questioning who he was in the face of hisfather. Daniel had never dared challenge his father’s authority,anger, or dominance. He had always run away from it. Forinstance, this had been a large part of why he had gone away toWashington D. C. to complete high school in the seminary. Danielgot involved with a team of therapists and over the course of the nextseveral years found he was able to release much of the anger he felt.He became more expressive, and more confident about himself in theface of authority. He began to understand the rebel in himself,understand his need to be both anti-authoritarian and the niceresponsible child.113Around the same time of Daniel’s father’s death, the NewDemocratic 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 over the 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 formed a 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 continued to 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 finished a period of intensetherapy and had decided to take better care of himself. His socialservice job had become much more demanding, making it harder to114be away on union business. And not long before this, he had rejectedan offer to be an employee of the union. It seemed to be the logicalthing to do. He had expended as much energy as he could give at thatpoint.For the next three years Daniel limited his involvement tositting on the provincial executive council as an advisor. He missedbeing at the centre of the action but it was good to not be away fromwork so much. At least his council seat let him continue to have aninfluence on the union’s direction. He was relatively satisfied withthis set up until certain developments within the union drew himback into a more active role. There were a number of things in thelife of the union that called out to him to intervene. The union wasgoing off course. The head of the union and his staff, all nonelectedemployees of the union, were becoming increasingly dictatorial,Daniel had invested the last ten years into the union’s growth anddevelopment. He couldn’t stand by and watch this happen, he wasangry, compelled to wade back in, determined to reform the union.During this period Daniel reemerged as an active politicalforce within the union. He set out on a course to democratize theunion, but found even the way he became first vice-president of theunion to be representative of the problem he felt compelled to fight.When the first vice-president of the union resigned and Daniel stoodbefore the executive council for the position, it turned out his electionwas manipulated. He was angry and ashamed by this and several115other subsequent events, making him even more determined toreform the union. He began by seeking ratification of his position asfirst vice-president directly from the union membership and thenleading a campaign that had the union shift from having its head apaid hired employee to an elected full-time presidential position.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 establishment sawhim as a threat, as further reform would mean a 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 government towithdraw or modify much of its legislative package. It was duringthis campaign that Daniel decided he was going to run for presidentof the union on a platform of reform. He had found the government’saction to be so abhorrent, it galvanized in his mind the 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 out to beDaniel’s most significant personal crisis. In the midst of contractnegotiations with the BCGEU, the government announced they weregoing to do away with the government service by privatizing it. In themiddle of this struggle, Daniel found himself taking on 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, they justcouldn’t believe what was happening. Although he had been the onepushing hard for democratic membership involvement, as the fightwith the government wore on, he moved to a position in his own mindwhere he could not rely on the executive. In the process ofnegotiating an acceptable collective agreement, Daniel isolatedhimself from the executive and the membership. The executive hadbeen left out of the process and Daniel had forced his bargainingcommittee to obey his command on all the major decisions.Even though he had been preaching democratization, Danielhad become a solo act, ignoring his executive and using “strong arm”tactics on his own bargaining committee. He had been afraid thiswould happen. Despite his intentions, he was now acting much likethe leadership he had felt compelled to replace. But he was soenmeshed with carrying the responsibility that he wasn’t able to seethis.118Daniel’s loss of trust in the people he was supposed to beworking with was a major point of contention at the next convention.He retained the presidency with a very slim majority but it was amoral defeat. After all he had done for the union, particularly in thislast battle, the membership was rejecting him. Daniel was reallyhurt, really in a tailspin. He was blind to what had gone wrong untiltwo things happened, teaching him two important lessons abouthimself.After the convention he and his wife went on a trip to Spain.One afternoon they got lost while out on a walking tour of Madrid.Daniel had a mental picture of where they needed to go but Lauraeventually refused to follow him anymore. They ended up in a ragingargument over which direction to go in. Daniel felt like Laura wasundermining his authority by not following him. It was hisresponsibility to be the guide and she was preventing him from doingwhat he needed to do. When they later talked over what happenedshe told him she had refused to go any further because he wastreating her like an appendage. They were supposed to be walkingtogether but he had left her behind somewhere. He had gotten sofixed on finding the metro, she felt he had forgotten she was therewith him. It clicked for him that how he had reacted in this incidentwas symbolic of the way he responds to responsibility. He wouldbecome so focused on the importance of carrying the responsibility fora project that he would forget about his relationship with whoever119else was involved, even when it was his most intimate partner.Realizing this, Daniel decided he couldn’t afford to do this anylonger.The second lesson occurred a few months later. He had beenreading Joseph Campbell’s writing on mythology and had becomeintrigued by the notion that the structure of a person’s mind createshis or her reality. He began to wonder what his own mythology was,how did he structure things? As he mulled this over, he began to payattention to his dreams as they came up. He and Laura had taken aweek off and were spending it at their cabin on Hornby Island. Onenight he woke up from a dream. In the dream his grandmother wastelling him it had been his grandfather’s wish that Daniel be the firstAmerican pope. And in the dream he saw an image of himself asthe lone ranger. He came to see himself acting like the lone hero thatwould come to the rescue and then ride off. The dream hadcrystalized a personal mythology that was 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 expected this would happen to him. Ifsomebody else didn’t do it, he would end up killing himself. He hadalways pushed a fairly uncompromising line, regardless of thepersonal consequences. He told himself he could let go of this, hedidn’t need to live this way. Over the next couple of days he talkedwith Laura, unraveling the myth, reflecting on 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 the job being aburden. This had some important consequences at work. Instead ofnot having any energy for his job, he found he could be much moreresponsive and have many more choices available when consideringwhat to do in a situation.The shift has allowed new possibilities to open up 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 to have to be the leader.He still sees the value in social action, but he is 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 when he took on theRoman Catholic Church and ended up leaving the priesthood. Buthis internal struggle continued through his discovery andimmersion in the labour union movement. His change to labourunionist was not complete until he had finally broken free of the lonecrusader role he had been living. This breakthrough didn’t occuruntil, after becoming union chief, he realized he was acting muchlike the authoritarian figures he had spent his life fighting against.Letting go of the martyr image has brought him an innerpeacefulness, a quiet assurance that is evident in his daily affairsand leadership style. He is now much more like the responsible,democratic leader he has always strived to be.ConvergenceThe event loadings of both principal components converge withthe flow of the narrative account. The narrative describes a changefrom compulsion to liberation. Joseph went from being a lonecrusader, full of fury and driven to challenge authority to being aresponsible leader, free to choose his battles and how to fight them.The first principal component describes all but a single periodof the transition spent full of determination and wanting support.Generally, the loading of an event matches its description in thestory. For example, when Daniel reacted to the dictatorial style theunion leadership demonstrated, the event loading was .62.122Similarly, the narrative describes Daniel being compelled to wadeback in, determined to democratize the union.The second component describes a change from being angry toa sense of well being. Once again, the event loadings 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 it a 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 essence of the experience.The redescribing of the harmonizing of the lines - it felt good toread 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 of the 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 content of thesubject except to occasionally ask for clarification oramplification of a point. Daniel seemed eager to talk and was123not made uncomfortable or reluctant by the interviewer’soccasional interruptions.This was a most interesting story. The write-up of thecase is accurate and interesting, leaving nothing major out -except to say that the subject is of Irish descent!124CHAPTER VIICASE STUDY FOUR: JOSEPHINDEPENDENT PETROLEUM AGENTTOUNIVERSITY PROFESSORPrincipal Component AnalysisThe first principal component accounted for 66% 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, these itemsare 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 for 8% of the variance in theQ-sorts. Since it shows a clear change in event loadings frombeginning (.61) to end (-.15), this component portrays the meaning ofthe transition to Joseph, using the theoretical terms. In order of125magnitude, these items are listed below 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 that throughout the transitionJoseph had a strong sense of direction and purpose, felt in charge ofhis life, and challenged (See Figure 5, Case study four: Joseph). Thepattern of change on the second component manifested moderateswings. Joseph went from wondering about his future andconsidering his options to taking charge and having a breakthrough.Change across the transition did not appear to be gradual butcyclical. Joseph alternated between periods spent wondering abouthis future and considering his options, and times when heexperienced a breakthrough by taking charge of the situation he wasfacing.Personal NarrativeJoseph had never really planned to be in the petroleumtrucking business. It was simply something he had ended up in, anaccident of circumstances. He had been working a variety of jobs (e.g., driving truck, operating heavy equipment) when the opportunityto become an independent wholesale petroleum agent for ESSO had126been offered to him by someone he had met. ESSO needed arepresentative in northwestern B. C. He was in his early twenties,recently married, didn’t have any money, and was expecting to havechildren soon. The company offered to finance him and it was achance to do better, to earn a little more, maybe build a house. Hestarted with one truck and had soon built it up to three. Fifteen yearslater he had built his house, was raising his four daughters, and hadsettled into a comfortable small town lifestyle that included skiing,hiking, and playing in a dance band with his wife on weekends.Financially the business was doing fine, it had become thenumber one company in the area. But over the last two or threeyears, it had become very routine and the challenge had gone out ofit. It had become too predictable, the same thing over and over again.He knew exactly what was coming. This was true for both runningthe business and the kind of life he had in Fort St. John. When helooked ahead there was presumably a good enough living for the restof his life, but it wasn’t really what he wanted to do.Joseph had never felt he was like many of the other businesspeople in town. They were far too conservative, far too set in theirways. Everything was measured by the dollar sign, a chamber ofcommerce mentality which he couldn’t abide. He felt many of thepeople around him had atrophied or gotten caught up in the pettypomposity of their businesses. For Joseph ideas were important,more important than the material measuring devices everyone127around him was using. And a lot of people didn’t want to hear that.In a small town it was noticeable if you were different or tended tobuck the establishment. He wanted to escape this kind of life.Joseph wondered what to do. Over a period of time he startedto feel that maybe there was something else. His wife played aninstrumental role in this. Carol encouraged him to considerteaching. She thought it was something he would be good at. Carolhad been a teacher before coming to Fort St. John and she had gottenback into it as a substitute. Joseph had always done a lot of reading,even while running the business. Reading and studying had alwaysbeen easy for him. He considered a number of other occupations, butthere were several reasons why teaching seemed like the naturalthing to do. It was something he felt capable of doing. Joseph’sbrother, Carol’s sister and a number of their friends were teachers.There was a comradeship among teachers that he admired and hethought he had a pretty good idea what it would be like. It wassomething he could train for relatively quickly and get back into theworkforce pretty easily without a big investment. Given his familyresponsibilities, this was a critical feature.Once he had made his decision to go into teaching he put thebusiness up for sale, quickly selling it to his employees. Selling thebusiness felt good, like it was a load off his back. He had beenanxious to sell it and was glad to be rid of it. It represented an128important psychological break. He was done with it; it was gone.There was no turning back now.Joseph had intended to qualify for a temporary teachingcertificate at U. B. C.’s summer school session and then take a job.Leaving his family in Fort St. John, he came down to Vancouver tostart his courses. He hadn’t taken a course in seventeen or eighteenyears. Not knowing what would be expected of him, he pushedhimself to study hard. The hard work paid off with Joseph makinghigh marks. He decided to stay and do the winter session. To hissurprise, he found he really thrived on being in university. Thecourse load was heavy and somewhat bewildering but he readextensively, worked hard, and enjoyed himself. As part of histeacher training program, he was required to 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 took another full course load atsummer school before returning to Fort St. John to teach high school.He found teaching to be very challenging, not what he had expected.He thought he would be teaching English or social studies. He had toteach a whole range of subjects such as art, music, and physicaleducation. And he had been handed an occupational class of slowlearners no one else wanted, given to him because he was the newestteacher on staff. He found it very tough, at times wondering what itwas he was doing there. But it was 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 how wellhe 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 excellent historyprograms. He accepted an offer from the University of Oregon inEugene, Oregon. In the summer, Joseph was 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 his wife had been theretwenty. They had raised their four daughters there. Joseph’sparents, many relatives, all their friends were there. It was going tobe a big change but there was no question he and his wife were bothready to leave. They sold the house, packed up, and headed forEugene in their ‘56 Chevy station wagon.Joseph quickly settled into student life at the University ofOregon. Everyone was very receptive, helping them get set up in theuniversity community. He felt right at home that first week. Theylived in student housing, surviving on Carol’s earnings from a job atthe university library and his teaching assistantships,Joseph found the pace to be much faster than what he hadgrown used to at U. B. C. He was in with a high powered group ofpeople, the cream of the crop. He thrived on it. His first graduatecourse was historiography, his baptism at the University of Oregon.How well a person did in this course was considered the acid test ofhow well he or she was going to handle the challenge of graduateschool. The students saw their first seminar presentation as a trialby fire. Joseph refused to be intimidated. He was determined to132make a good first impression on his professor and did an outstandingjob. Everything else fell into place after that. When Joseph wasapplying for graduate school, one of his mentors at U. 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 cramming to 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 in immigration history. Itseemed like a natural topic for him. The field was wide open.Scandinavians were a major local immigrant group 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 four months to get thecompleted copy of the dissertation done. It was a real race, workingat breakneck speed around the clock. It was push, push, push, buthe managed to finish in time and headed to Michigan.Michigan did not turn out to be anything like he had expected.Being a graduate student had been a breeze compared to having to getdown to the routine of teaching full time at the University ofMichigan. He had to immediately face up to fact that he didn’t like134teaching nearly as much as he enjoyed being in graduate school, 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 compounded by 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 reception but 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 months as a visitingprofessor to teach summer school. He accepted immediately. Twomonths after that he received another phone call from U. B. C., thistime offering him a temporary one year appointment in addition tothe summer position. At the same time the University ofSaskatchewan called to offer a tenure track position. When he toldthe University of Michigan, they offered to promote him immediately.He talked things over with Carol and they decided as a familyto take a chance on U. B. C. Before leaving Eugene Joseph and Carolhad promised themselves they would try to eventually get back to thewest coast. Carol’s parents lived in Vancouver and she wanted to be135closer to them. Joseph missed the outdoors, the active mountainlifestyle he had given up in his pursuit of an academic career.There was no way Joseph could be sure there would be a futurefor him at U. B. C. However, they had done so many things that wereout of the ordinary that gambling a sure position at the University ofMichigan for a temporary one at U. B. C. just didn’t seem riskyanymore. While Michigan offered great intellectual stimulation,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 enough to know he couldmaintain his scholarly interests without it, After reaching hisdecision, it was just a matter of waiting out the winter, packing upand heading for Vancouver.Driving across the border south of Calgary, back into Canadawas a very high point, marking the completion of Joseph’stransition. When Joseph’s transition began, the petroleumwholesaling business had long since lost its challenge and he hadbeen craving some kind of work that would excite him intellectually.While he had been very attached to many aspects of his life in Fort St.John, neither his job or the community had ever given him theintellectual stimulation he craved.Joseph had successfully left the mindless routine of his smallbusiness to live in a world of ideas. But in the pursuit of this dream,he had sacrificed his love of the 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 for abetter 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 and refusing to be intimidated.The second principal component describes a cyclical changefrom wondering about the future and considering options to havingbreakthroughs by taking charge. The loading of an event on thesecond component also matches its description in the story. Forexample, when Joseph decides to sell the business and go back toschool, the event loadings shifted from .36 to -.30. Similarly, hisnarrative description moves from reflection and 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 show aclear 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 phrased to 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 items thataccompanied and perhaps contributed to the 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 trapped to being excited about life. (SeeFigure 6, Case study five: Rachel). Change across the transition didnot appear to be gradual, but cyclic. Rachel alternated betweenperiods of excitement and times when she felt angry, bored, stuck,and an emptiness about her life. On the second component, duringthe first half of Rachel’s change, there was a growing feeling ofvulnerability and of being challenged as Rachel struggled 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 and was working as a postdoctoral research fellow in the physics department at Simon FraserUniversity (S. F. U.) in Vancouver, B. C. She was supposedly set forlife. But she felt terrible, just awful about the direction her life washeaded in. She found herself having doubts about the career trackshe was on. She wondered if she could handle being a professor orfull time researcher, whether she had the commitment to do the141academic rat race. She was questioning more than her ownadequacy as a physicist. She found herself wondering why she hadbeen attracted to physics in the first place.As a child, school had always been a kind of safe haven. Herschool performance had been her sole source of recognition from herparents that she was of any worth. Physics had always beensomething she had enjoyed in school and it was easy for her to dowell in it. As an adolescent, she had seen school as a way to escapethe unexplainable oppression and fear she felt at home. She hadgone off to Oxford, done well academically, and had married Kevan,also a physics student, the year she had completed her bachelor’sdegree.She was doing a post-doc at S. F. U. because her husband haddemanded that she come with him to Vancouver. She felt like shehad been dragged from England to Canada. Kevan hadn’t done wellenough to do graduate work at Oxford. After working on a master’sdegree for a year at another British school, he announced they weremoving to Canada so he could do his doctorate at S. F. U. For Rachel,being married meant she was supposed to stick with her husband nomatter what. Feeling obliged to 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, so foreign. There was so much to adjustto. She was living in a city in a part of the world where the gigantic142scale of everything was overwhelming. She was working in an areaof physics she could function in but 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 herself trapped in a badmarriage with a man who dominated and controlled her with hisanger.Prior to moving to Canada, Rachel had been a member of theChurch of England and, since leaving home, had attended regularly.Shortly after arriving in Canada she began looking around for achurch. Kevan’s grandfather was a Methodist minister so they haddecided to check out the United Church of Canada. They chose onewith a good Methodist name, found the congregation 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 research associate but the work wasmuch the same, She continued at the physics lab, doing research,teaching the odd course, and publishing. She continued to havedoubts about what she was doing in physics, questioning therelevance of her research in some cases and the ethical implicationsof other work. However, she stayed with it, recognizing she wasdependent on it for their bread and butter. Without landedimmigrant status there was no prospect of doing anything else.143During this same period, Rachel became increasingly involvedwith the church, teaching Sunday school and sitting on the board. Itbecame the centre of her life. Everything else she did was withKevan, doing whatever activities he wanted them to do. She feltobligated to take part in his world. She was required to have hisfriends as her friends. She continued to feel controlled by him, evenat work. He was in another division of the physics department butalmost every day he would get her to help him with his research orcome to her lab for sympathy or advice.Rachel knew she was moving away from physics but had noidea what she would do instead. Her life with Kevan continued to be“the pits”. At the same time, she was becoming dissatisfied withchurch. She was experiencing a growing desire to know more abouther faith, to understand the context within which it had developed.She was frustrated with the level of information and understandingthat could be reached as a lay person relying on the resources withinher congregation. She wasn’t sure why she had such a strongdesire, only that she did and there was something she couldn’taccess that was important. As a way to explore this, Rachel signedup for a summer course in religious studies.The religious studies course helped Rachel feel moreconnected to the church, and with Christianity as a faith. What shegot out of it was more than just knowledge. 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. She wasstudying 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, started a 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 one day. Sheonly knew that she wanted to study theology.145School was wonderful! While it was a struggle at times, sheworked hard and enjoyed her studies. But it wasn’t just going toclasses. Rachel had joined a community. She got to know people andthey would get together to go to worship or just hang out. She wasfree to make her own friends, to have a social life that was her ownrather than one defined by Kevan. After her leave of absence, Rachelspent the next two years working half-time in the physics lab andgoing to school half-time. It was a relief just to be on campus,leaving the hassles behind. Work was a grind and at home she wasalways fighting with Kevan. Her relationship with Kevan had neverbeen good but it had disintegrated after the birth of 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 it meantto 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 home church. She impressedher classmates and a professor who had come out to cheer her on.Their support was important, representing external confirmationthat she could do it and was on the right track.Rachel knew being a minister would be possible only if she wasable to stay in Canada. In England the ministry is not a vocation thatis open to women. Unfortunately, she still didn’t have landedimmigrant status in Canada, making it impossible to officially apply146to become a ministerial candidate. At this point she didn’t know ifshe would ever be a candidate.Rachel was pregnant with her second son when she gave thatfirst sermon. Unfortunately, not long after this occasion thepregnancy became difficult and she was forced to temporarilysuspend school. This left her feeling cut off from her community,her source of strength and support. By the time she gave birth to hersecond son, Rachel was physically and emotionally exhausted. Shefelt drained by Kevan, by work, by looking after her first son, and bythe pregnancy. Immediately after her second son’s birth, Rachelquit her job at the lab and went back to school, spending whatevertime she could manage doing course work.During this period Rachel felt like she was living in anightmare, feeling threatened and intimidated by Kevan, Kevan wasrarely home and when he was they were constantly fighting. He hada series of girlfriends whom he spent his free time with and heinsisted Rachel know the most intimate details of these relationships.When he had to look after the children he would have a girlfriendbaby-sit. He would threaten to leave Rachel if she didn’t do as heinstructed or if she objected to his behavior. She was afraid shewould be forced to go back to England if they split. In her heart, shehad come to believe she couldn’t survive without him.A job offer to Kevan from a local computer company becametheir entrée to landed immigrant status. This change of status made147it possible for Rachel to go public with her intention and apply to herchurch for sponsorship as a ministerial candidate. She was acceptedas a candidate but it was clear that the support from many of thepeople in her home church was qualified. They wanted to know howshe could be a minister when she had two children and a husbandwith a career of his own to consider. As was her style at the time,she said nothing, but she was hurt and angry that people valued hermarriage and her husband’s career more than they valued her. Shewas resolved to do it in spite of what they thought. However, theirattitude made her feel even more pressure to keep her marriageintact while pressing on with her studies. This was compounded byKevan’s open resistance to her becoming a minister. Since heracceptance as a candidate, her career intention was the main subjectof their fights. Rachel felt totally trapped, having to choose betweenbecoming a minister and staying at home so her husband wouldn’thave a reason to leave.Over the course of the next year, Rachel continued at school butbecame very depressed. She sought therapy for the depression and atfirst tried to pretend it had nothing to do with her situation. But itdidn’t take too long to see the connection. After a couple of months intherapy she told Kevan she was leaving him. The next six weekswere hell, with Kevan trying to block her leaving and Rachel callingtransition homes, desperately trying to find a place she and the148children could live. Eventually, she managed to get a bed sittingroom at the theological school and moved in there with the two boys.It was such a relief to be separated from Kevan. It felt sowonderful to have a place that was her own, to be free. It was an easytransition. Going to school full time gave 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 and a one year internship asa student minister. She and the boys lived on a grant from thecollege, money Rachel made tutoring physics students part time, andoccasional child support payments. She felt a strong financialpressure to finish her program and get out to work as soon aspossible.For a number of reasons, the internship year was a time full ofconflict, both internal and with others. First, she was faced withhaving to do for the first time most of the duties that would beexpected of her as a minister. No matter how much support othersshowed, she found it next to impossible to act independently and haveany confidence in herself. Second, she discovered she responded toconflict at work the same way she had in her marriage. She wouldbe extremely passive and then lash out in anger. These old habitsonly served to complicate matters. One other ingredient proved tomake life difficult during this period.149During her last year with Kevan, Rachel had come to realizeshe was lesbian. Knowing this had made past sexual feelings thathad always puzzled her make sense but it took a long time to come toterms with this. Similarly, naming her sexual orientation posed anew dilemma. She was preparing to be a minister in a church thatwas in the midst of its own internal turmoil, struggling to decidewhether it was acceptable to have gay or lesbian ministers.Seemingly irrelevant behavior like wearing pants or not wearingmake-up aroused suspicion among some people. She felt vulnerableto anyone who had any say about her suitability as a minister, afraidher sexual orientation would bar her from her desired vocation. Shehad not come out of the closet about this with anyone but a few closefriends. She found herself having to risk disclosing her secret tosupervisors and church officials she did not want to have to trust.During this period she was seeing a therapist, trying to figureout how she was going to cope with being a lesbian in the church andhow she was going to cope with the unpredictable demands Kevankept making. Since separating, Kevan had taken her to court severaltimes, trying to revise custody, visitation rights or child supportarrangements.Shortly before the completion of the internship, it came out intherapy that she was a victim of incest. When Rachel was a little girlher father sexually abused her and her sisters for years, rightthrough until she was a teenager. No one else in the family had ever150spoken of this and Rachel had completely buried it, She wasoverwhelmed, inundated with memories and nightmares andfeelings. When it first came out she wasn’t sure how she was goingto carry on. A comment or an exercise in a seminar wouldunintentionally trigger a memory or symbolize abuse she hadsuffered. While preparing to graduate, addressing her abuse becamethe focus of her life. She began to understand the impact it washaving on her life and how her model for ministry, “compassionatesubversion”, was shaped by her experience.As part of the Master of Divinity degree requirements, Rachelsummarized her stance. It was the starting point for her ministerialwork. Rachel believed Christ to be one’s community. In herministry, compassion meant protecting and nourishing people incontrast to possessing and controlling. Subversion meantoverthrowing that which controls so that people can be free. Thiswas a statement of what had become important in her own life.Upon ordination, Rachel’s first posting as a United Churchminister was in Whitefox, Manitoba, a rural community of a fewhundred people. She was really excited with the prospect of movingto a new town and conducting her ministry. Ironically, her first dutywas to perform a funeral service the day after she arrived. Shequickly discovered the town itself was dying.Within the first few months it was apparent there was no placefor her in the community. Rachel had not been prepared for the151narrow boundaries that defined what was an acceptable way to live ina small rural town. The people of the town were not comfortable withher being a single parent. She didn’t dare admit that she waslesbian. However, given her struggle to break the isolation andsilence concerning her abuse, she found it intolerable to go back tothis way of living. Rachel knew she was in trouble, that she wasfloundering. She knew she didn’t fit in and didn’t know what shecould offer them. But she felt she just had to make it work. This washer first placement. If she left so soon she was afraid there wouldn’tbe another placement available or the placement committee wouldconclude she couldn’t hack living in a small town, Her fear wascompounded by another court battle with Kevan looming in thedistance. How would it look to the court if she was out of work anddragging the boys around the country?Rachel stuck it out in Whitefox for two years. After eighteenmonths she was completely isolated from the community and thechurch membership. During this period the United Church’sgeneral council had asked its churches to consider 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 forty to nine or ten and she knewthey were staying away because of her. They were openly hostiletowards her and she was angry with them. She found herselfactually relieved that they stopped coming.152She gave the parish six months notice and started looking foranother job. She had still not come out of the closet about her sexualorientation but privately she had decided not to accept a positionwhere the congregation objected to having a 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 claim andlook around for a job. She didn’t want to go back to physics but it wasa marketable skill she was prepared to use. It actually felt good to befacing this. Knowing she could allow herself to go 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. The prospectof having to take a break from the ministry allowed her to discoverher identity as a person was not dependent on her being a minister.Given the way she had separated from Kevan it was something shehad wondered about. Thankfully, it looked like Rachel’s world wasnot going to end if she didn’t have a job as a minister.Rachel’s break from the ministry never came. The nightbefore she left Whitefox she received a telephone call offering her aposition on Hornby Island, B. C. It was a rural island church on oneof the many small islands that sit between Vancouver Island and themainland. There was no way she could have a formal interview andthere was only enough money to guarantee a one year, half timeposition. Most of the congregation had left the church with the153previous minister over the ordination of gays and lesbianscontroversy. She accepted immediately but a half hour later she wasoffered a full time position with an Edmonton church she hadinterviewed with earlier. She turned down Edmonton but, until shegot to Hornby, woke up every morning wondering if she had made amistake.Rachel’s reception on Hornby was wonderful. At first contact,there were signs that she was going to fit in, For instance, when shefirst arrived she stayed over at the house of the family who would beresponsible for getting her settled. Rachel noticed the books layingaround their living room were the kind of books that she might haveread. The church had only one family left and four or five others thatwere interested. She was prepared to start with this number butthirty people showed up that first Sunday.The people of Hornby keep surprising Rachel. More and morepeople keep coming out to church. The congregation is enthusiasticabout her ministry. Rachel is pleased with how well her position hasturned out and how much she has become part of the community.She has broken free of the isolation and emotional terrorism sheexperienced as a child and in her adult married life. To do thisrequired her to break her silence, to act against the powers that hadtrapped her. She struggled with a sense of being powerless for years,gradually breaking free from her imprisonment.154Rachel continues to struggle with her own abuse. She keepsworking at it, gradually moving forward. The movement itself ispainful but there is no way around it, She is trying to live her lifewith integrity. She has discovered that to do this requires her to actwhen she feels her most vulnerable. Rachel has found comfort andstrength in her religious community. She recognizes the importanceof her own struggle and how much other people endure in their lives.Rachel now feels free to value her life as something worthwhile 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 narrative portrays a changefrom entrapment to self-direction. Rachel shifted from feelingpowerless and victimized to having a sense of self-worth, feeling freeto value her life.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 Rachel left herhusband and moved into the bed sitting room at the theologicalcollege, the event loadings shifted from -.56 to .80. Similarly, hernarrative description moves from isolation and depression to reliefand freedom.155The second component indicates Rachel periodically feltvulnerable and struggled with conflict during the transition. Onceagain, the event loading matches the description in the story. Forexample, when Rachel is pregnant with her second son, the factorloading is .60. Similarly, the narrative description portrays her asfeeling threatened and intimidated, wanting to object to herhusband’s behavior but afraid she won’t be able to live without him ifhe makes good on his threat to leave her. The Q-sorts provide anabstract description of Rachel’s transition. The narrative 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 really exaggerated? But Idon’t think it is. I mean, that is how it struck me. 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 conducted by GaryLadd with Rachel, a woman who had undergone a majorcareer transition. This type of interviewing aims to be noninterventionistic, except for the purpose of eliciting orclarifying the story. I saw my role as attempting to judgewhether or not Mr. Ladd was able to pace his client in tone and156affect, ask clarifying questions appropriately, and generallyassist in the development of a story that is rich in detail yet freeof outside bias or influence.The summary was accurate in every respect and deeplyempathetic. Mr. Ladd, at various times, asked specificquestions about details which conveyed to me that he wasactively interested in her story and that he felt her details wereimportant. At the same time, her story flowed tensionlesslyand unabated, pursuing its own line of action. In other places,he uses self-disclosure to promote her feeling understood andstimmary statements to express tacit themes. I wasimpressed with both his restraint and presence: it reallyseemed as though a special environment for storytelling hadbeen created.157CHAPTER IXCASE STUDY SIX: LYNNREGISTERED MJRSE TO SOCIAL WORKERPrincipal Comnonent AnalysisThe first principal component accounted for 43% of thevariance in the Q-sorts. Since it did not show a clear change in eventloadings from beginning (.77) to end (.82), this component does notappear to define the transition. However, it does reflect importantitems that accompanied and contributed to the transition. To definethe first component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, these items are listedbelow, and phrased to characterize the beginning of 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 in event loadings frombeginning (- .34) to end (-.13), this component does not appear to definethe transition. However, it does reflect potentially important items158that accompanied and contributed to the transition. These items arelisted below and phrased to characterize the 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 first component indicates therewas a strong sense of direction and purpose with intermittent periodswhere this was lost. (See Figure 7, Case study six: Lynn). Changeacross the transition did not appear to 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 bitter about what washappening in her life. On the second component, Lynn began andended the transition feeling happy about her life. In between she wassometimes surprised to find her life was off course. Knowing shecould have a better life, Lynn would be angered by what washappening during these times.Personal NarrativeWhen Lynn was trying to figure out what to do during her lastcouple of years of high school, nursing seemed like a natural. Sheknew she would like it because taking 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 was the one who would take thenew kid in class under her wing. As a young woman she was theone in the family her mother turned to for help. She had neverseriously considered going to university because it hadn’t seemedpossible. At the time, her family was poor. They had no money forher to go to school. Besides, she made decent marks at school but hadnever thought of herself as the studious type. While she was intraining at Vancouver General Hospital she became completelydevoted to nursing. This devotion was reflected in the top marks shemade and becoming president of the student nurses’ association.For the first five years, nursing was glorious. Shortly after shefinished training, Lynn married and moved to the United States sothat her husband, Harry, could go to school, Nursing in the statesreally fitted with her devotion to the profession. Americans tend tobelieve Canadian nurses are better trained and show a specialappreciation for them. Lynn enjoyed the recognition and respect shereceived from the medical professionals she worked with. There wasplenty of work and once she had established a reputation for qualitywork, was able to call her own shots. She liked pediatrics andeventually specialized in private duty nursing for extremely illchildren.160After five years in the United States, Lynn and Harry decided itwas time to go home. Even though Lynn’s work was going well,moving back to Vancouver had become an extremely attractive idea.First, if they didn’t get out of the United States, her husband mighthave to go to war. Harry had left college and found work he liked.However, not being in school meant it was likely he would be draftedinto the U. S. military and sent to Vietnam. Second, Lynn wanted tostart a family but had decided she definitely did not want to raise herchildren in the states.Lynn thought she was coming home to settle down and starther family. The prospect of working in the very hospital that hadprepared her for the profession she was so dedicated to was veryexciting. She had no idea moving home would be the beginning ofher world caving in on her.She took a job in pediatrics at Vancouver General Hospital butwas surprised and disappointed to discover she was not treated withthe respect and consideration she had expected. Instead of beingvalued for the skills and experience she had brought back, she wastreated like a rookie. It was obvious all the hospital wanted wasbodies to do the jobs. There was no flexibility in the work schedules orshift rotations, no room for considering the workers as people withindividual needs and lives. She thought nursing was about strivingfor excellence, being rewarded for merit, being appreciated for thetasks you took on. It made her angry to be treated like a cog in a161wheel. Over the next twelve to fourteen months, she becameincreasingly disenchanted. In the very hospital she had been trainedin, the ethics, the standards, the principles she had come to valueand practice were not real. She was proud of being a nurse but wasenraged by the administration’s lack of respect for her profession.When a request for time off was turned down, she quit on the spot.She wasn’t going to take their “garbage” any more.After interviewing with several physicians for an office basedposition and discovering they were unwilling to pay her for theworkload and responsibilities she would be expected to carry, shedecided to try another hospital. At Richmond General she felt somerelief when she switched from caring for children to an adultmedical ward for older people. The administration demonstrated thesame inflexibility and lack of respect she had experienced before. Atleast the adult patients were able to give clear feedback about theircare. She felt they valued and appreciated her. She knew from theirwarmth she was doing a good job taking care of them, making themas comfortable and happy as she could.When Lynn had been at Richmond General about a year, oneday she slipped on a wet floor and hurt her back. She did not know itat the time but that was the last time she would ever work as a nurse.Lynn ended up having to take three months of disability leave andgoing on workers’ compensation. With the exception of aprescription for painkillers, no care was 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 looking after people,that was now supposed to be caring for her. She felt so 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 the kind 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 had beentrying for three years to have the first of what she had expected wouldbe 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, Lynn was devastated. Itjust didn’t seem fair! Meanwhile at work, watching children diewhen she so badly wanted one of her own was getting to her. Thiswas one reason she had switched to adults when she went toRichmond General.At the same time, Lynn felt like there was no longer any roomfor her in her family. When she went to the United States, she lost163her place in the family. She used to be the person her parents turnedto when there was trouble. When she came back her younger sisterhad grown up and married a very capable young man. Now whenher mom and dad turned to anyone, they turned to her sister andhusband. They had become the family caretakers. Lynn feltdisconnected from her family.The back injury eventually healed but Lynn did not go back towork. She continued to be disenchanted with nursing and was stilltrying to get pregnant. She was angry and bitter about the cruel turnher life had taken. She stayed at home, spending hours and hoursevery day talking with close friends and her husband, sortingthrough what was going on in her life. As the months passed, thetests, the waiting, the effort, become more and more of a torture.While walking home from the doctor’s office one day, Lynn decided toadopt a baby. She and Harry had talked about it before but now it wasclear. If adopting was what it was going to take to get a baby, thatwas what she was going to do!Lynn and Harry made an application to adopt and within sixmonths were parents of a ten day old baby boy. Lynn was overjoyed.It was wonderful to finally be a mother and she loved caring for herbaby. She also found having a baby gave her a new connection withher sister.When her son was six weeks old, Lynn had a kind of mysticalexperience in the form of an edict that would have 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 same wayunless 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 became even more vocal onsubjects that were important to her like individual rights.While Lynn continued to find motherhood very fulfilling, hermarriage was breaking down, Harry was now finding life difficultand having a baby was very distressing. Lynn wasn’t exactly surewhy but there was a new tension between them. When their son wastwo, Lynn and Harry turned down the adoption agency’s offering of asecond child. Lynn wanted to have more children but was reluctantto willfully stress their marriage further with a second baby.Lynn was overflowing with love and affection for her child andsomehow wanted to extend this feeling to other children, to hercommunity. A few months after they had turned down the secondadoption, she read an ad in the local newspaper pleading for a fosterhome for a fifteen year old boy. Lynn found herself wanting to takehim in. After discussing it with Harry, she responded to the ad.Within days the boy in the ad was living with them. When a friend ofhis needed a place, they ended up taking him in too. Pretty soon theyhad three teenage boys living with them. It was heavy slugging a lotof the time, intense and tiring. Lynn enjoyed it but Harry had adifficult time taking these changes in his life in stride.When Lynn and Harry took in their first foster child, they wereinvited to attend a regular meeting at the teen placement departmentof the Children’s Aid Society. The agency ran support groups for alltheir foster parents and Lynn and Harry started attending regularly.166During the period they had the three foster boys, the agency waslooking for help running their group meetings. Lynn liked thegroups and had some free time. She signed on as a volunteer andbegan to work regularly with different groups of people in the agency.She found she really enjoyed the work. When she was doing a groupit felt “right”, like that was where she should be.After Lynn had been a volunteer for about eight months, achance to take a job as a social worker just opened up in front of her.The supervisor of the teen placement department was having troublefinding a holiday replacement for herself. None of the eight staffsocial workers wanted to take her job for the month she would begone. Lynn said she would do it and the supervisor ended up takingher up on the offer. When the supervisor returned, 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 working at the agency,establishing herself in her new profession. She primarily did groupwork with families and teenagers, training herself on the job,studying family therapy, gestalt, etc. She was amazed by hownatural it felt to be doing this kind of work.Lynn had managed to become a mother and had slipped into anew profession she could devote herself to. These parts of her lifewere going well. Unfortunately, her relationship with her husband,which had been strained, had continued to flounder. When their167marriage finally ended Lynn felt like the bottom fell out of her world.She was afraid she was going to fall apart. She needed to know shewas going to be able to raise her son on her own. It wasn’t until shediscovered this confidence in herself that she considered hertransition to be complete.Lynn’s movement out of nursing and into social work reflectsan important shift in how she lives her life. Nursing reflected theimportance she placed in caring for people. But she had come to feelbeing a caretaker, for her family and as a nurse after she came backto Canada, meant having to be oppressed and degraded. Her desireto break free of this state came out in the love she felt for her adoptedson. Trying to bring her son up free of this kind of imprisonmenteventually moved her into a career in social work. Social workreflects the importance Lynn places on being free to determine thedirection of one’s own life. She wants this freedom for her son, herclients, and herself. It requires both self-confidence and resolve tolive this kind of self-directed life. She discovered this when sheadopted her son. She rediscovered it when she was faced withraising him alone.ConvergenceThe event loadings of both principal components converge withthe flow of the narrative account. The narrative portrays a changefrom imprisonment to freedom. When Lynn returned home, almosteverything in her life that held meaning was lost (i. e., her devotion to168nursing, her place in her family of origin, the prospect of being amother). Contrary to what she had envisioned for herself, sheseemed destined to live a life filled with oppression and degradation.An adopted child gave her reason to break out of this kind of life andprovided her with an unexpected entrée into an occupation in whichshe could teach others to do the same.The first principal component describes Lynn’s loss of a senseof purpose in her life and the emergence of a new one. Generally, theloading of an event matches its description in the story. For example,when Lynn ends up on compensation for her back injury, the eventloading has shifted from .77 to -.15. Similarly, her narrativedescription portrays her as being excited and full of hope when shefirst moves home. By the time she injures her back, it describes herfeeling like the world has caved in on her.The second principal component describes Lynn’s periodicanger over how her life is off course. The loading of an event on thesecond component also matches its description in the story. Forexample, when she quit her job at V. G. H., the event factor loadingwas .56. This corresponds with the narrative which describes her asenraged and disillusioned. The Q-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 interesting to see it. Its likeseeing it at arm’s length. Its well written. It basically sayswhat 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 ended uptaking 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. Within a 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 I dowith my life?”During the workshop, Joby had a remarkable experience 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 his career change. Hesaw himself as an independent consultant working with troubled173decision makers who were struggling with the question of whatbusiness their company should be in. Joby’s vision gave him amission he would spend the next fifteen years preparing himself for.The workshop transformed Joby. He had never felt like 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 world wasfull of potential, full of ideas. It was at the workshop that he realizedhe could take charge of his life. As a result of the workshop he set outto 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. Then heenroled in an executive development program at University of BritishColumbia. He spent the next three years getting up at 4:30 in themorning, putting the coffee on and doing his homework until he hadto go to work at 8:00 a.m. He loved studying, eating up as muchknowledge as he could take in. He had always been a crummystudent, just barely scraping by. He astonished himself with thisnew attitude, particularly when he won the scholastic achievementaward at graduation. Joby had become devoted to learning,committed to learning the tools he would need to enact his vision.Over the next four years, Joby managed his career by takingdifferent jobs within the company that would make him a generalist,174someone who has experience with many different aspects of thebusiness. He continued to read extensively and take courses hereand there. Meanwhile, the company continued to 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 in addressingDrucker’s question of what business the company should be in.During this period, Joby became part of a resource team that workedon this with the president. After eighteen months of struggle, 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 working with weremature, well trained, and very committed to answering what they allagreed was a crucial question. They all knew the cost of not having afocus, a direction, a reason for doing business, Yet they had gottenstuck; they hadn’t been able to do it.Shortly after this project died, Joby was recruited to anothercompany. The man who had originally hired him as a salesman forDomtar was now the president of Crown Zellerbach, a multinationalforest products company. He hired Joby 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 recruited anumber 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 flaw in the method hehad been using. The group always wanted to loop back and reevaluate the soundness of their earlier decisions each time they wereasked to make a new set of decisions. But the model didn’t allow forthis process. When faced with making the next set of decisionswithout going back, the group would crash. A picture of a 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 Winnipeg and gone toVancouver, Toronto and Montreal with Domtar, His switch toCrown Zellerbach included a move to Calgary. Once he set up thechain of home centres, he headed up that business as a corporatevice-president and moved the head office to 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 by theboat 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 time but 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 longer valued. Forinstance, he had seven coffee makers to get rid of. On the float househe had to be very clear about what mattered and what he wanted to178have around him. Living there was a great discipline for simplicity.Moving to the float house also held a clear deeper meaning. Itsymbolized a letting go of the traditional way of life Joby had come toreject. The move was very freeing, very liberating. He valued theminimalist kind of existence he was beginning to live, It allowedhim to think of all kinds of new possibilities concerning what was inhis future.Many people were intrigued that a senior vice-president of avery conservative multinational corporation would be living whatwas commonly seen as a counterculture lifestyle. The people heworked with were astonished. However, at the time of the move to thefloat house, Joby had no intention of quitting his job. He was havinga great time creating the new business for the corporation. What hewas now doing at work were things he had dreamed of. But at thesame time he was vaguely aware of thinking that should the timeever come, he now had the means to go out on his own. Heappreciated the self-sufficiency he had created for himself bydrastically simplifying his life through this move.Around the same time Joby moved to the float house, a friendencouraged him to enrol in an executive M. B. A. program at SimonFraser University. He knew it was a good idea, aware that in an M.B. A. program he would experience a new level of formality andstructure. This would force him to confront areas he was weak in.Everything he had learned the last several years 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. gave Joby 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 for hisideas and experience. Completing the program would finally put 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 investments andhad run out of cash. Every single venture had to stop. Joby’s storeswere beginning to blossom, but they were a very cash consuming newventure. The company simply couldn’t afford to continue to invest.He had to shut them down, close them out. It was very distressingbecause it was a powerful activity. He had a great team of people andthey had done something significant. They had even won awards fortheir achievement. And he had to wrap them up anyway.The next six months were spent managing down the business.He snapped to attention when they began to talk very generouslyabout reassigning him to another challenge when the economy180improved. Suddenly he began to become very conscious of what washappening in his life. This company was a very large conservative,prestigious company in which he had risen to become a 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 regular jog aroundStanley Park, Joby wrote a letter of resignation to his boss in hishead. When he got back to the float house he could hardly wait to 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 would be 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 fulfill his dreamwas a powerful force that drove Joby to be independent. Years ago,Joby had watched his dad get emotionally destroyed when the smallcompany he had worked for all his life was taken over by a largecorporation. His dad had been completely devoted and 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 would be 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 consulting firm,presumably to work with client companies that needed to redefinetheir purpose. When he had made his decision to leave CrownZellerbach, Joby had imagined himself working independently.However, the offer to do his work from within an establishedconsulting firm sounded attractive, easy. But it turned out to be a182disaster. The company never came up with the kind of assignmentsthat had been promised and the management kept giving Joby jobs hewasn’t interested in. After eight months, he quit to pursue his visionon his own.Shortly after he left the management consulting firm, a fellowhe knew approached him for help. His fast food company was introuble and he was in the middle of trying to rethink and redirect thebusiness. His offer of a small consulting contract was the beginningof Joby enacting the vision he had fifteen years earlier.Even as he began to live his dream at work and enact hisvision, Joby’s marriage continued to unravel. Since moving to thefloat house, Joby had continued to be absorbed by his work and hisrelationship with his wife had grown more distant. Since the move,he had been on his own most of the time. His wife had been spendingever longer periods of time in Mexico. About six months after hewent out on his own, she left him for another man. Distraught bythis news, Joby went to a friend for counsel. She advised him to go ona travel adventure to some place he had always wanted to go.Instantly, he said he would go to Greece. 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 someone at a friend’s dinnerparty who was from Crete, a small Greek island, and now lived inVancouver. Joby agreed to deliver a 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 clarified what itwas that was missing in himself. His experience on Crete gave himlicense to be passionate about things that were important in his life.It opened channels to his feelings, his emotions. He began to allowhimself to feel excited, to cry, to get angry. He began 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 first attemptto work through the corporate renewal process and later when hewas managing down the “Home Town” venture. These periodsrequired him to address recurring questions about what kind of lifedid he want to live and reaffirm the importance of living his vision.Ultimately, unifying his life and his work required Joby 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 accounted for 28% of thevariance in the Q-sorts. Since it showed a clear change in eventloadings from beginning (- .71.) to end (.55), this component portraysthe meaning of the transition to Jack, using the theoretical terms. Todefine this component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, these items are listedbelow and phrased to characterize the beginning of the transition.The end of the transition is the opposite of each item.Not happy (2.6)Not excited (2.2)Angry (2.1)Did not have sense of being guided by some higher power (1.6)Overwhelmed (1.5)Bitter (1.5)The second component accounted for 19% of the variance in theQ-sorts. Since it did not show a clear change in event loadings frombeginning (.47) to end (.44), this component does not appear to definethe transition. However, it does reflects potentially important items.One item accompanied and contributed to the 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 guided by somehigher power. Change across the transition did not appear to 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 psychologist in thepublic school system was exciting and rewarding. Jack had alwaysbelieved there was no greater profession than to 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 in the region) and Jackquickly climbed the administrative ladder. He was always very goodat pushing others and pushing himself to achieve more than seemed189possible. After university he started out working as a teacher andadministrator in a special school for retarded children in the EasternTownships of Quebec, jumped to a school psychologist position at theschool district head office, then became Director of Special Servicesfor the district. He was a “fast-tracker”, having skipped all 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 was as 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 as he racked up moreachievements, Jack lived in fear. He was afraid others knew morethan him, afraid someone else could do a better job, afraid otherswere working against him behind his back. He felt he had to knowand have “hands on” control of everything that happened in hisdepartment. He came to believe he was a misfit, confiding in 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 superintendent told him to take anextended leave of absence or face a 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 paid sabbatical leave. Hemight have liked going back to working directly with the childrenand their parents but he didn’t see 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 happening in 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 was forced toleave the school system.Jack spent the next year traveling, wandering aroundAmerica. The travelling was both a time of adventure andexcitement as he pushed to discover more about 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 interest by giving him money tobuy antiques for them while he travelled around. This gave him apurpose when he was travelling.Second, it was during this period Jack confirmed for himselfthat he was gay and met Russ, now his business partner andcohabitant. Meeting Russ brought Jack’s life back together for him.Jack found he could talk to and trust him. Russ was a very gentle,very loving soul. And they shared a common bond in their love forfiner things. Prior to meeting Russ, Jack had been developing an191idea of what he could do in the business world. When Jack talked toRuss about his ideas, Russ thought they were real, that Jack wasalready doing what he was describing. Russ would find out later thathe was to become a major part of Jack’s vision.By the end of Jack’s sabbatical year he was forming acompany. As he had planned before meeting Jack, Russ started lawschool at McGill. Jack was ifiled with fear and uncertainty about 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 getting the antique businessstarted, he was approached by a Montreal psychology firm. When hehad first left his job at the school district he had briefly looked intoworking 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. Having soldhimself so well, he felt trapped. He looked at their offer from afatalistic perspective, thinking that taking the job was meant tohappen. He told himself he and Russ could use the cashflow sincethe antique business was just getting going. He told himself he hadnothing to loose. He would just do it for a bit and 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. This wasfollowed 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 anxious to 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 how to make money forhimself. There was a new burden, knowing that if he didn’t performhe didn’t get paid but he was confident the sky was the limit. Moneysaid you were doing airight and the new company started makingmoney immediately.Getting the business going was fun and exciting but, over thenext four years, Jack became increasingly frustrated anddissatisfied. He was having serious problems with his partners. Thebusiness was growing but he found himself working 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. Jack was 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 ended up going to court overwho could have the company name and phone number. It seemed tobe 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 corporate clients stayed withhim. Jack told himself he wanted to keep the operation small butwithin three months it was flourishing and he found himself hiringadditional staff. He continued doing the same type of psychological194work as he had been doing previously for his corporate clients. Inaddition, expert witnessing became a large part of his practice. Hispsycho-legal practice was very lucrative and business was booming.Jack was tired from trying to keep up but the work kept coming. Thebusier he got, the more he raised his fees. It didn’t seem to matterwhat he charged. He had a winning reputation among lawyers andthey kept coming at him with more business.Although Jack was extremely good at the psycho-legal workand it had become his main source of billings, he did not fit into thelegal world. At first he enjoyed the challenge and the demands of thecases. But as time wore on, he became increasingly frustrated. Themore he dealt with lawyers the more he came to dislike them and thework he was doing. He was proud of how good an advocate he couldbe for a client, how through the words of a report he was able to makea judge or lawyer feel the pain the injured person was living in (e. g.,what it is like to no longer have your legs functioning for you). But hecame to feel he was working in a world that didn’t care aboutmorality or justice or consider the worth of a human life. It was aworld that was only concerned with winning.Jack came to believe lawyers had no soul. One episode thatepitomized the value system he was immersed in involved a medicalmalpractice suit. Jack’s findings indicated the victim, a five year oldboy, needed immediate treatment or the damage would beirreversible. Counsel for the physician, whom Jack was working for,195decided to suppress Jack’s report since it would be admitting liability.When Jack expressed his moral outrage, counsel told him hemisunderstood what the justice system was all about. Jack wasstunned and angry to hear counsel actually say to him that winningthe case was more important than the little boy’s future.This episode stuck in Jack’s mind. Ever since his early days inthe schools, it was important for him to be the advocate, to feel hiswork was enabling people to get some justice from the world. He wasconstantly challenged to be true to what he perceived his ethics to be.Too often, he was torn between giving the clearest picture possibleand writing a favourable report. When he looked around at thelawyers he worked with, it seemed the games they 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 from thepsycho-legal work. He was afraid he would be trapped into staying inthis kind of work. He was afraid of being consumed by 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 from psychology for good.He no longer wanted to be part of the legal world but his attempts toreduce his involvement had failed. He realized the work was going tokeep coming until he simply stopped accepting it. He was exhausted196and angry with himself. It was his business to help others look aftertheir affairs. He was so busy doing their jobs, he wasn’t taking careof himself. Jack destroyed all his office files and threw everythingelse out, making sure he couldn’t go back easily. He didn’t want to betempted to sneak back in later. It was a part of his life he wanted toput behind him.Leaving the psychology business meant Jack was free to joinRuss in the antique business and help it grow. All the time Jack hadbeen pursuing his psychology business, he and Russ had maintainedtheir antique business. Russ had felt stifled practicing law and hadleft his practice for the antique business two years before Jack finallymade his break. The day Jack destroyed the files he went home andsat down with Russ at the kitchen table to plan the future of theirbusiness.Coming off of the psychology, Jack hit the pavement runningwith no rest period. He started to work the same week he leftpsychology and it was go, go, go! His ideas about how to expand theantique business poured out. Until Jack joined the business fulltime, the company was very small, operating out of their house. Intheir early years, they were limited to dealing in French Canadianpine furniture and distributing for a North Carolina company. Jacktook over responsibility for creating the company’s goals and settingup relationships with collectors and private auction houses whileRuss focused on sales. Shortly after joining, Jack had moved them197into the European market. As planned, before Jack’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. He was always facing abarrage of questions from the staff. He would go into the store in themorning and work straight through, doing twelve hour days again.He hadn’t left psychology to end up buried under a mass ofadministrative “garbage” but he didn’t know how to 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 left to chance. Jack triedto control and oversee everything. He had his hand in everythingthat was happening: trade shows, manufacturing contracts,catalogue publication. He oversaw the movement of every piece offurniture that went through the shop. As their business continued togrow they developed a proud international name for themselves as“the good guys from Canada”. But the cost to Jack was constantworry about whether he was doing a good enough job. There was toomuch for one person to do, too much for one person to be responsiblefor.198Jack had left psychology to break free of the sense ofentrapment he kept feeling. He felt more trapped now than he hadwhen he was in psychology. By joining Russ in the business he hadexpected to have the freedom to be more flexible with his time, tomake money in a way that did not conflict with his values, to be doingthe business kinds of things he enjoyed. Somehow the idea of lookingafter himself got lost, replaced by the familiar refrain “bigger isbetter”. His concept of doing something important, something hewanted for himself, had turned into another push to go up, up, up.Jack had spent his first two years in the antique business blindlydedicated to this ambition.Towards the end of his second full year in the antiquebusiness, Jack began to experience some physical discomfort. Over athree month period he went for various tests but nobody was able todiagnose the problem. It wasn’t until he passed blood while on a tripto Germany that he discovered he had colon cancer. Lying in ahospital bed in Munich, he felt relieved. Someone else was going tohave to deal with all the tasks that were sitting on his desk inVancouver waiting for him.The cancer was removed as soon as it was discovered. It wasall very quick. But the cancer’s legacy was a special gift. The cancerwas a sign, a warning that he was going to have to change how helived his life. It caused Jack to stop and review everything he was199involved in. When he came down with the cancer, he had once againbeen telling himself “it’s all too much”, that he wanted out.Jack realized he did not really take care of himself when he leftpsychology. The cancer told him he had better start doing the thingsthat are important to him and learn how to eliminate the burdens. Itgave him the opportunity to regroup, to start nurturing himself.Having cancer made him feel justified in not worrying about andhaving to control everything that has to do with the business.When Jack returned to work he began restructuring hisinvolvement in the business so that he could have more time forhimself, He wanted time to focus on the aspects of the business heenjoyed, (e. g., the marketing and planning) and time to exercise,relax, reflect. This meant giving more responsibility to hisemployees. When he got cancer his staff took over in his absence.When he returned to work he noticed how much they wanted to showhim how well they could do. In spite of his obsession to achieve, toalways push for more, Jack had fostered a strong loyalty in his staff.When he saw this he realized he could trust them to do a good job, ifhe would only give them the opportunity.Leaving psychology for the antique business was an attempt torestructure the kind of world Jack lived in, He had come to seehimself as a victim of his own abilities, continually climbing ladders,and ending up trapped doing work he didn’t value. The antiquebusiness looked like a way to break free of this. The switch did allow200him the freedom to make the kind of living he aspired to in a settingwhere he could surround himself with people of integrity. Workingin the world of antiques, he felt free to limit himself to dealing withpeople he considered to be honourable. The switch also allowed himto be more closely involved in his partner’s life.But Jack’s cancer brought into focus how his life hadcontinued to be ruled by his blind obsession with achievement. Thecancer served as the catalyst for confronting how he still needed tochange how much this force directed his life. It wasn’t until Jackbegan to feel he was making significant progress changing this thathe considered his career transition to be complete.Tempering the power of this force has involved many things.It has meant having to address his fears concerning success andsecurity. It has meant acknowledging the sexual, physical andemotional abuse he suffered as a child has had an impact on his life.It has meant admitting that in the shift to the antique business hehas lost and misses the advocate role and the intimacy, the specialcloseness that was so often there when he was working with apsychology client. It has meant trying to be gentler with himself, tolet up the pressure he puts on himself to make more and more moneyor to expand the business. It has meant trying to be clearer aboutwhat he expects from others and not pushing them so hard. Placingmore trust in others has meant allowing himself to be vulnerable. Inall these ways, Jack has continued to struggle with taking care of201himself. He continues to work at it, with the memory of cancergiving him a reason to regularly check his progress.ConvergenceThe event loadings of both principal components converge withthe flow of the narrative account. The narrative portrays a changefrom entrapment to freedom. Jack shifted from feeling like a victimof his own ambition to feeling free to live his life with integrity. Thefirst principal component describes a change from feeling trappedand angry to being excited about his life. Generally, the loading of anevent matches its description in the story. For example, when Jackwalked away from his psycho-legal practice and joined Russ in theantique business, the event loadings shifted from -.34 to .74.Similarly, his narrative description moves from anger andfrustration to excitement and enjoyment.The second component indicates Jack is struggling withconflict throughout the transition and this is also evident in thenarrative. Once again, the event loadings match their descriptionsin the story. For example, when the psycho-legal work is Jack’smain source of billings, the event factor loading is .72. Similarly, inthe narrative description Jack is frustrated, feeling like he is out ofplace in the legal world. The Q-sorts provide an abstract descriptionof Jack’s transition. The narrative gives it a richness of detail andmeaning.202Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative AccountIt was fine. (The experience) was accurately and “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. There were nodiscrepancies. The subject sounded at ease and was able to shareother confidential areas of his life in the context of the interview.Given the impact of other life events on his career path, it wasnecessary to discuss these. Gary’s open style combined with periodicsnmmaries and clarifications enabled him to reflect in depth on hiscareer transition and its relationship to the rest of 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 below and phrased to204characterize the beginning of the transition. The end of thetransition 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, overwhelmed or 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 about his life andexperiencing a breakthrough involving an insight, new knowledge,or wisdom. Change across the transition did not appear to begradual but cyclical. In varying degrees throughout the transition,Erik experienced a pervading feeling of vulnerability.Personal NarrativeErik grew up in the real estate business. His parents wererealtors and he spent his summers working in their real estate andinsurance business. When Erik was 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 for a talk he had justgiven at a convention he noticed himself feeling disenchanted withwhat he was doing, like something wasn’t quite right. The feelingstarted gradually and kept building. It came and went, but hecouldn’t shake it. For the last couple of months of that year hecouldn’t ignore it. He tried to form some new goals for himself. He206thought about building some apartment buildings 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’t yet 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 have aprofound impact on his life occurred, Although he was a very weakswimmer, Erik had tried to swim to shore after getting trapped on asandbar because of an incoming tide. Struggling and thrashing inthe water, he had exhausted himself and finally gave up trying tosave himself. As he was going under, everything went quiet. Then avoice suddenly spoke to him saying, “You waited too long to find outwho you really are. Now it’s too late and you’ll never get anotherchance.” After that everything went black, then white like in themiddle of a snowstorm. In the next instant it felt like he was beingshot from a cannon as he broke through the surface of the water.Someone on a surfboard yelled at him to hold on to her board.Moments later a lifeguard had put him safely back on shore.It was all very quick but that voice had impact. Being thatclose to dying, the bizarreness of the episode, it struck him that hislife was not the way he wanted it to be. His father’s dictum had been“you can only do what you want if you have enough money.” Foryears, Erik had been telling himself that 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 he wastaking 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. He felthe 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 of the groupsessions. But then, for the first time in his life, he took LSD and hadan experience that would challenge a fundamental belief he heldabout himself. Erik had always believed there was a darkness insideof him that he had to control or restrain. Instead of seeing this while“tripping” on the acid, he experienced a profound state of grace, ofbeing connected with the universe. It felt like the universe wasairight and so was he, This was an important insight, 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 wanted to let go of all theconstraints he felt. He spent his time going back and forth between212Vancouver and California, attending workshops, trying differenttherapies, juggling different lovers, and taking short jaunts todifferent parts of the world (e. g., Japan, Thailand, Africa, Scotland,England).Erik’s focus became the world of psychotherapy and exploringEastern approaches to spirituality. During this period, he explored avariety of approaches at private institutes and training centres. AtEsalen he had been trained in body massage. However, he graduallybecame more and more interested in somatic approaches topsychotherapy, including rolling as an approach to body mindintegration. When a broken arm wouldn’t heal with traditionalmedical methods, he used rolfing to complete the healing.Impressed with the results, he took his four year old son, who wasdepressed and having problems talking, to a renowned rolfer andsomatic psychotherapist in California. After seeing this man workwith his son, Erik started seeing him himself. This would turn out tobe a ten year association involving therapy and training in somaticpsychotherapy.Being a therapist felt like something Erik 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 it as a way of helping people by being himselfwith them. It was the resurrection of a vocational desire he hadgiven up for the family real estate business. A lover in Portland,213Oregon, who was a counsellor, was instrumental in assisting him todevelop a somatic psychotherapy practice. Overnight he had all thework he wanted, working one week in three in Portland.Erik started a small part-time practice in Vancouver butcontinued to jump between Oregon, California, and Vancouver. Itfelt right to be in practice but Vancouver didn’t give him any of the“collegial hanging out” that was important to him. He didn’t reallyfeel 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 either theSan Francisco Bay area of California or Portland. Esalen hadbecome like home to him. He had been tempted to emigrate to theUnited States, always feeling more comfortable, more sane therethan he ever did in Vancouver. However, Erik had two ties toVancouver that kept him based there. First, his son lived there withErik’s ex-wife. Erik had become devoted to his son, making a point ofregularly spending time with him. Second, although he haddistanced himself from the real estate business, he still owned thecompany and it was based in Vancouver.Still pushing hard to let go of his old life, Erik ended up gettingsick in the fourth year of his work 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. After about fouryears of working mainly in Vancouver, Erik had established what heconsidered to be a successful practice of at least twenty 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 addition to maintaining hisfull-time counselling practice was appealing for several reasons.Even though he had a successful, satisfying practice, he continued tofeel lonely. He was disappointed he had never connected with the215local therapeutic community. As a way of combating his loneliness,he had taken to importing people from the states for workshops orshared work. But it wasn’t the same as 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 in real 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. He had counselledErik on the intricacies of business and finance. Erik felt like awandering, lost soul, yearning to reconnect with his old businessbuddies.When he started getting together for lunch with his oldfriends, lots of memories and questions about what he was doingwith his life got stirred up. For instance, for the last six years, Erikhad been living off the interest of the money he had made in realestate. In the meantime, his two closest friends had continued to“burn up the road” in the real estate market. One was now worthfour million and the other six million dollars. They had started outin business around the same time 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, starting with 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 financially but felt he should beable to do better. He decided he lacked guts and needed to challengehimself to take more risks. Over the next two years he entered into aseries of business ventures and relationships that 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 and U. S.218economies were moving into a recession. It was all too much tojuggle at once. He had always been living off of the profits of his lifein real estate. He had never before seriously considered 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 would be to takeover the operation of the family business. However, doing so wouldmean giving up what had become his life’s work for the 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 trusted wereguilty 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 management of the family businessinto buying him out. This gave him enough money to bail out of hisU. S. property troubles.In the struggle to keep from going bankrupt, Erik had severalrevelations. First, he realized the real estate business had been hisdad’s dream, not his. Erik had fallen into it through a combinationof family tradition and circumstances. He only went into thebusiness because he flunked university and his 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 completion of a Ph.D. in humanscience.Erik was also sure he wanted to maintain some kind of contactwith the business world but he wasn’t clear about the amount ornature of involvement he wanted. Friends made plenty ofsuggestions and offered a variety of opportunities. Over the 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 his dailylife, reflect this.Since then Erik has spent most of his work time in hiscounselling practice. He maintains one major investment propertyup the coast from Vancouver. He is in partnership with a friend heknows from experience he can trust to manage the day to dayoperation. At the same time, Erik makes sure his partner knows he221is interested in what happens in the business, He makes a point ofspending several days “on site” every couple of months.As Erik achieved a sense of balance in his work, he began toregain his physical health. Around the same time he also metBrenda, who is now his wife. Through this relationship he began torecognize how much he wanted to feel part of a real family. For along time he knew how important it was in his work to feel part of acommunity, to have close relationships. This desire for contact hadbeen an important part of what had drawn him into the world ofpsychotherapy 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. He andhis 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 lost to him for fortyfiveyears, that Erik considered his career transition to be complete. Thisevent symbolized a breakthrough in his effort to put his family oforigin back together.Erik’s change from real estate to counselling reflects anattempt to let go of a life of ambition and responsibility that no longerheld meaning. He felt compelled to search for a different way to live.In the process he turned his back on his old life and devaluedhimself. Only when he was about to 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 describes a way oflife that no longer holds meaning, that is no longer of value, and thesearch for a new more meaningful way to live. It portrays a changethat involved collapse and reconstruction.The first principal component describes a series ofbreakthroughs. Generally, the loading of an event matches itsdescription in the story. For example, when Erik decides he is going223to be a therapist, the event loading was .83. Similarly, his narrativedescribes this decision as the fulfillment of a dream.The second component describes a cyclical change from beingworried 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 collapse ofhis 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 and purpose is -.30. Thiscorresponds with the narrative which describes the event as theculmination of a yearning to rediscover his family of origin.Finally, both principal components indicate Erik experiencedvulnerability during the transition. This was also evident in thenarrative. The Q-sorts provide an abstract description of Erik’stransition. The narrative gives it a richness of detail and meaning.Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative AccountThis is great! Its great to read this ... I think it is overallreally accurate of the flavour of the transition. Bothchronologically and the emotions and components 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 show a clear change in eventloadings from beginning (.83) to end (.82), 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,and phrased to characterize the beginning of the transition.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 show a clear change in event loadings frombeginning (-.36) to end (.08), this component does not appear to definethe transition. However, it does reflect potentially important itemsthat accompanied and contributed to the transition. In order ofmagnitude, these items are listed below and 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 decision to be an auditor. It“just kind of happened” to her. All through university she had beeninterested in doing graduate work in psychology. But when she wasexposed to the business of doing research in the last year of herbachelor’s degree she found it slow moving and really boring.Believing her B. A. wasn’t worth much in the job market, Tricia wasafraid she would end up typing for a living unless she had a graduatedegree in something. Thinking she would like the business worldmore than academic research, she enroled in an M. B. A. instead ofa psychology program. When she completed her degree she wasworking in a bank as a teller, one of several jobs 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 loved it! 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 for avacation 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 in Los Angeles ifthey were both going to be unemployed. It became a choice betweenhim coming to Dallas or her going to Calgary. However, Tricia couldnot reconcile with her conscience dragging Al to Dallas, a place shehated, just to abandon him three quarters of the time to go on herassignments.The following six months was a time full of turmoil andconfusion, with Tricia not knowing what to do. 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 hello at theairport. Most of the time she was caught up in a vortex of decisionsthat needed to be made. Several times, while struggling to decide230whether she should leave her job and later during her first year inCalgary, she found herself questioning what she was doing. “Wait aminute! What do I know about this person? What do I know aboutCalgary?”, “There’s never going to be any job that could ever compare(to Odeco).”She wished she could do everything all at once: marry Al, keepher job, stay in Los Angeles. But that clearly wasn’t possible. Triciaeventually decided it made more sense for her to move to Calgary andAl basically let her make that decision. Leaving her job to come toCalgary felt like diving off a cliff. She didn’t know what to expectexcept, as far as work goes, it couldn’t possibly be as good. Moving toCalgary seemed like the right decision but she also knew that it wasnot a good career choice. She knew that in choosing to have a lifewith Al, she had chosen to move away from her career. At the sametime, she told herself she wasn’t risking very much, that she couldalways get her job back if things didn’t work out.When Tricia arrived in Calgary she was exhausted and sick.All the travel and emotional turmoil had worn her out and, tocomplicate matters, she discovered she was chronically ill with aninfection she had contracted while in Africa on a business trip. Shespent the first couple of months sleeping and trying to prepare for herwedding. As the result of her illness she had to have surgery shortlyafter the wedding and spent another two months recovering.231Tricia’s new life in Calgary was very different from that 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 worried about what kind of wifeTricia would make for her son. Her new father-in-law wasn’t sureshe made an honest living because he didn’t understand what it wasshe did.Tricia started driving Al crazy, Because she didn’t have anyfriends in the city and wasn’t working, she wasn’t talking to anybodyall day. After dealing with people all day, when Al came home fromwork he wanted quiet. All Tricia wanted to do was talk to someone,For something to do and to have people 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 partly by her growingreluctance to compromise her personal life for the sake of her career.Tricia was discovering that in contrast to what she had been used toin the United States, in Canada auditing was considered asubspecialty of accounting rather than a professional field of its own.This presented several unanticipated problems for Tricia. Becauseshe wasn’t an accountant by training, the number and kinds of jobsshe qualified for in Alberta was limited. Second, Tricia had no233interest in becoming an accountant or performing the accountingtasks typically expected of Canadian auditors. Third, there was nopromotional path or lateral moves open to her at Montreal Trustunless she was willing to move to the company’s head office inMontreal, Quebec. If she stayed with Montreal Trust, she was goingto be stuck doing the same job forever.About a year after Tricia and Al were married they decided tohave a baby. When she moved to Calgary to marry Al, Tricia didn’twant to have children. Al, on the other hand, had always wanted tohave children and was very influential. Sometime during that firstyear of marriage, Tricia changed her mind. While she “still didn’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 figure out what was wrong butthere was no medical problem. For over a year Tricia charted hertemperature, trying to track when she was ovulating. It seemed shewas always in some out-of-town hotel room, away on yet anotherbusiness trip when it was biologically the best time to try to conceive achild. The whole situation was very depressing.From the start, Tricia didn’t like the extensive travel her jobrequired. However, being away was now more than an aggravation,it was a major problem. Her job was interfering with her chances ofhaving a baby. Tricia knew she was never going to have a child if she234stayed with Montreal Trust. She desperately wanted a job where shecould be home.When an opportunity to switch companies came up, Triciajumped at the chance. An acquaintance she sat with on aprofessional association’s board of directors invited her to interviewfor an internal auditor position her company, Canadian NationalRailway (C. N. Rail), had open. There was only about two weeks peryear of travel required, the office was only five blocks from whereTricia lived, and it seemed like there would be a little more variety inthe work. It sounded great, and initially it was.While she was glad she didn’t have to do much travelling andthe office’s location was convenient, the job itself was largely a repeatof what she had experienced at Montreal Trust. C. N. Rail alsothought of her as a kind of specialized accountant. Over time, theassignments kept getting further away from what she was good atand closer to things she didn’t like or have the background for.But the most important thing was she now had a job that lether be at home most of the time. Tricia thought this would give her abetter chance to have a baby. When she had been with C. N. Rail for ayear she did become pregnant but had a miscarriage. Her doctorstold her she should be happy, at least it was evidence that she couldconceive, But as far as she was concerned it was just anotherdepressing failure and it left her feeling bitter and empty.235After three years of frustration, she and Al both gave up hope.It seemed Tricia was never going to give birth to a child. By thistime, they had bought a house in what they considered was a goodneighbourhood to raise a family in. They wanted a baby so badly theywere going to adopt one. It took a long time to come to this decisionand, once again, Al’s strong desire to have children was a biginfluence. To their surprise, not long after deciding to adopt, Triciabecame pregnant. Paranoid about having a Down’s syndrome babybecause she was in her thirties, Tricia was on her best behavior forthe duration of her pregnancy. She was very relieved to give birth toa healthy baby girl.When Tricia gave birth to her daughter, Crystal, she had beenwith C. N. Rail for two and a half years. She didn’t like the work shewas doing and didn’t approve of the way her department was beingmanaged. However, there was no question she was going back to herjob after maternity leave. Her decision to return had nothing to dowith the work itself. She would have preferred to stay at home withher daughter but she didn’t feel she had a choice.Tricia couldn’t afford not to work. During this period herhusband was was in the midst of a career move. When Tricia met Alhe was an assistant bank manager. About six months after shestarted with C. N. Rail he left his job for a certified accountantarticling position with a public accounting 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 and theybegan 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 work andprobably would return her to having to contend with a heavy travelschedule. Her daughter was now the focus of her life and it wasTricia’s responsibility to look after her. It would be 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 her profession was tostay in her job at C. N. Rail and draw her paycheck. If she went toanother company she knew there was no way they would let her workat something she wasn’t trained for. She would try to trade into237another job at C. N. Rail, try to convince them to let her try 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. It was 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 she waslooking 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 on a person’s conceptual and problemsolving abilities and doesn’t require knowledge of computerprogramming languages.It was exactly the kind of situation she was looking for. Shecould trade her knowledge of the company’s operations for newtechnical skills. She was relieved to be out of audit and her managerwas glad to have her gone. Now he could bring in a real accountant.Systems modeling was a good choice, she really liked it. It uses the238parts of auditing she enjoyed, like working with clients to find outwhat their functions are and what they need to do. 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 to learn the modelingskills and computer technology used to construct the informationsystems.Tricia had been in systems for a year when C. N. Rail startedto disintegrate. A change in the corporate leadership was followed byseveral mystifying personnel firings. This lead to rumours about theentire information systems department being eliminated. The lastthing Tricia wanted was to be part of a mass of people 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 telling her over lunch howhard a time they were having finding an experienced data analyst.When Tricia expressed interest, she was invited to an interview andoffered the position.Tricia was willing to consider going to Prudential because thework conditions there fit the requirements she had to meet asCrystal’s caretaker. It was important that changing jobs not haveany impact on Crystal’s care. There was no travelling required,their office was no further from her 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 that stuff would bedone for me and then I could just spend time with her,”At the same time, Tricia finds it important to do paid work.Tricia works partly out of interest, but largely as a means ofproviding her daughter with a better life now (e.g., private school)and a financially secure future. Not working would be 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 her way to the top onher corporate career track. At the end of the transition her vision isof a happy and secure family life. Choosing to marry Al and move toCalgary turned out to be the first of several decisions that graduallytook Tricia into her new career as a working mother. Movementthrough this transition required her to overcome a powerful internalstruggle over which future to pursue.241ConvergenceThe event loadings of both principal components converge withthe flow of the narrative account. The narrative describes a shift inwhat gives Tricia’s life meaning, a change from aspiring executivedevoted solely to her career to working mother devoted to herdaughter.The first principal component describes Tricia’s periodicexcitement and optimism about the future. Generally, the loading ofan event matches its description in the story. For example, whenPrudential offers her the data analyst job, the event loading is .82.Similarly, the narrative describes how happy she is to find a positionthat meets her needs as a mother and recognizes her competence inher new occupation.The second principal component describes Tricia strugglingwith conflict during the first part of her transition and feeling like anovice on certain other occasions. The loading of an event on thesecond component also matches its description in the story. Forexample, when Tricia told her boss she was getting married, theevent factor loading was .83. Similarly, the narrative descriptionportrays her as deeply conflicted, in a real bind trying to figure outhow she can marry Al without messing up her career. The Q-sortsprovide an abstract description of 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 accounts of career transitionwas to compose, if possible, a more abstract account that reflects acommon pattern of experience. Is there a common structure? Canten individual stories be adequately reflected in one general story?These were were the kinds of questions that guided the comparativeanalysis. It was not an attempt to identify isolated or fragmentedthemes, but an attempt to discern a common order within the uniqueparticulars of each case.The analysis proceeded by first developing outlines of the flowof significant events for each case, attempting to phrase these eventsmore abstractly. For example, after working as the women’s rightsprogram manager, Joan returned to teaching. What is ofsignificance here is that she returned to the old condition from whichshe was seeking escape and her experience was miserable. To allowfor comparison, this event would not be phrased just as a return toteaching, but a return to the old experience of confinement. Uniquedetails were either dropped or placed in a secondary position in orderto emphasize what might be common to the other cases.Once the flow outlines were developed, comparisons of generalmovement began. As particular movements were identified, theywere checked against the other accounts, leading usually to revision244or abandonment. During comparisons, it became possible to phraseevents more generally and sharply as parts of a pattern, and thesechanges were checked against actual accounts.As particular movements were connected, a common patternbegan to emerge which, in turn, helped to describe the meaning ofthe parts. This comparative procedure of sharpening and checking,attending to parts and the whole, continued until the commonpattern crystalized in a way that did not seem to require furtherrevision. When it was compared to the ten accounts, it reflected eachwith no sense of strain. While this process 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 transition involved three phasesor stages. These stages overlap and blend together, but each isdistinctive nevertheless. That is, while the boundaries betweenstages are permeable, each stage involves a distinctive characterwith each subsequent stage building upon the preceding stage.The background for the first stage is a first career that oncehad a significant purpose, but one that the person has outgrown.For instance, the papal reform movement was the arena withinwhich Daniel had been able to express his rebellion againstauthority. Similarly, the corporate world was a place Tricia had beenable to pursue her ambition for social esteem and recognition. School245teaching was the way Joan had gotten out of being a secretary, Socialwork served a similar purpose for Carla. It was a way to stay out ofthe small town life she had escaped by going to university. Sellingpetroleum products had been a way for Joseph to support his family.Stage I: Growing DiscontentThe beginning of the career transition was marked by growingfrustration and dissatisfaction over aspects of one’s life. The focalpoint and scope of this frustration varied. Sometimes it wasexperienced primarily as a work problem as in the cases of Joan andDaniel. Sometimes it was personal as in the case of Tricia,Sometimes frustration was evident in both domains as in the cases ofJack, Lynn, and Joseph. Sometimes it was not possible for theperson to identify the source as in the cases of Joby and Erik. Thefrustration and discontent the person feels is not just dissatisfactionwith aspects of one’s work or life. It reflects and constitutes a 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 accompanied by 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 missing inone’s life. The strength of such feelings fluctuated, sometimes246pervading one’s consciousness and at other times experienced as adistant nagging in the back of one’s mind, but they wereunshakeable.By this time an important change has already taken place.Namely, one’s current way of life no longer holds the same worth.Events tend to repeatedly highlight or remind one of this internalshift. For example, in his second battle with church authorities,Daniel was now questioning whether he should remain in thechurch, whether he could continue to live this life. Certain aspects ofone’s work or personal life that were previously taken for granted,ignored, or not considered centrally important now draw increasingattention and concern. For instance, Joan and Carla had not noticedthe structural limitations their occupations imposed on them. Atthis point most people feel like they are outsiders, like they don’tbelong or fit in. Jack and Joan felt this way about work, Tricia hadcome to feel this way about her friends, all of whom were nowmarried. 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 begun to reflect on whatis important, what is valued, what is wanted from life? At this pointthe answers are fuzzy at best. The person may 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. One is simply enduring,increasingly aware of how he or she is feeling. There is a growingdesire to change the situation, but little conscious effort to changeone’s circumstances. Except for expressions of frustration,discontent, anger, or the like, the person is not taking any action.Stage II: Searching for a More Worthwhile Way of LifeDuring the second phase of the transition the person steps outof the life structure he or she is familiar with. Within a process ofchange that follows a cyclical pattern, the person begins movingtowards what is hoped will be a better, more worthwhile life.As the second phase begins, the person moves to make achange in his or her life. Some kind of action breaks the individual’sroutine, takes the person outside of one’s everyday existence. Nomatter what form the action takes, it represents movement out of theexisting life structure. For six of the ten cases (Joseph, Lynn, Jack,Carla, Erik, & Daniel) this action includes a conscious decision theperson has reached concerning his or her situation. For instance,wanting to escape the predictable small town life he is living, Josephdecides to sell his business. From his standpoint, selling thebusiness psychologically frees him so he can study for a teacher’scertificate.Four of the six people in this cluster (Jack, Carla, Erik, &Daniel), not knowing what they should do, took some kind of time-outbefore reaching a decision. Either by the end of or shortly after248returning from their sabbatical periods, all four had come to 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 decided tosell 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 form ofgetting involved in a new activity or being drawn in by events thatturned out to have an unexpected, often dramatic impact on thecourse of the person’s life. There is no evidence that the new activitywas part of a conscious decision to change the course of one’s life.249For instance, while Joby is at the managerial development workshop,he has his life-giving vision. Rachel, wishing to know more abouther faith, signs up for a religious studies course that opens her up toa whole new world. Joan volunteers to work on a video project for herteachers’ association and this turns out to be her first step out ofteaching. Tricia, on vacation in Mexico, falls in love with the manshe will later leave her dream job for and marry.Much of the transition’s middle period is spent searching forthat which is lacking in one’s life, for a more worthwhile way of life.Erik’s immersion in the personal growth movement and Rachel’senrollment in theological school are clear examples of how thissearch is expressed in individual lives. Those who already havesome concrete idea of what a more worthwhile life would entailspend this period searching for a way to realize the dream. Forinstance, during this period Tricia desperately searches for a way tomarry Al without giving up her career. Similarly, Joby’s studies andhis job strategy reflect his preparations and search for a way to beemployed as a special kind of management consultant.For all ten cases, embarking on this search represents thestart of what turns out to be an irreversible process of personalchange. The process is cyclical rather than linear in nature. It canbest be described as a series of progressions, each step 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” and his needto control everything as a school psychologist is repeated over andover again. It is a central part of his story in his corporate work, inhis psycho-legal work, and in his first couple of years in the antiquebusiness. At the heart of each dramatic conflict is a feeling that lifeis still not as it should be. Each repetition of the conflict reminds theperson 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 frustrated withthe women’s program job. However, before long she felt moreconstrained than ever. Similarly, after deciding to go into the antiquebusiness full-time, Jack backed out at the last minute and made alateral 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 that ofCarla and Joseph, follow a cyclical pattern. For example, medicalschool immersed Carla in a world where, more than ever, she feltlike an outsider. Compared to when she was a social worker, sheended up living a more restrictive and isolated life than she couldhave imagined. Similarly, after having made the switch to school251teaching, Joseph found himself once again lacking the intellectualstimulation that had become important to him.At some point during this phase everyone developed a newsense of direction or purpose, an image of what to do with one’s life.For some (Joby, Lynn, & Erik) it presented itself with startlingclarity, much like that of an oracle. For Joby it was expressed inoccupational terms. He envisioned himself as an independentconsultant working with companies that need to redefine whatbusiness they are in. For Lynn and Erik, this sense of purpose wasinitially expressed in existential terms. For example, Lynn’srevelation at the foot of her adopted son’s bed instructed her that shemust be “free”. Only through a process of experimentation andfurther self-review could such an expression of a new purpose betranslated into specific life changes.For the other career changers, this new sense of purpose wasconceived more slowly, often beginning as a feeling of being drawntowards an activity, occupation or idea. This eventually turned into adream, a wish, a desire that was as compelling as a revelation, Forexample, Rachel’s desire to know more about her religiontransformed into an overwhelming aspiration to enter the ministry.Sooner or later, the person’s life became pervaded with the ideaof living the vision. As events unfolded and the career changer’ssearch progressed, the person showed a remarkable amount of selfdetermination. There was a growing sense of agency, of252responsibility for what was happening in one’s life, There was astrong belief that whatever changes were needed, it was up to theindividual to make them happen. This belief in oneself wasaccompanied by a strong will to take decisive action.The person eventually reached a point where he or she feltcompelled to enact the vision. The individual had come to believe thatmaking this change was vitally important. Several people referred tothe decision that was being contemplated at the time as if it was tooimportant to be prevented by fear. The person was so determined thatthe risks involved did not seem to matter. Risk-taking was treated assomething that simply could not be avoided, as if it was a necessarypart of the process. Most people also referred to the decision that wasbeing contemplated at the time as if the risks involved in not makingthe change were too great to ignore. This is what it was like for Jobywhen he mentally composed his letter of resignation as he joggedaround Stanley Park, and for Jack when he burned his files andwalked away from his practice. This was also Joan’s experiencewhen she turned down the full-time position with the government togo off on her own as an independent consultant, and Carla’s whenshe went to the director of medical training to get permission to startpsychiatry. In every case there was a clarity, a firmness in theperson’s decision to enact the vision that was unmistakeable.253Stage III: A New Way of Life EmergesThe third phase of the transition is concerned with the personrealizing the vision. As part of this process, the individual isrequired to respond to an unexpected challenge or setback of somekind. Only when this conflict is resolved does the person feelestablished in his or her new way of life. This feeling marks thecompletion of the transition. It is characterized by a feeling ofexcitement, a sense of direction or confidence about one’s life.When the career changers took the decisive action thatsignified the end of the transition’s second phase, they all knew whatthey did not want their lives to be like, had a vision of what theywanted to do, and at least a general idea of what needed to be done inorder to achieve this. Everyone recognized they were moving into anew phase, that they were saying good-bye to a familiar way of livingand beginming a new chapter in their lives. For instance, this wasvery clear to Joseph when he sold the family home and headed offwith his family to the United States for graduate school. It was alsovery clear to Rachel when she finally left her husband and movedinto the theological college’s residence, even though, beyondbecoming a minister, she did not have a clear idea of what the futureheld for her.During this period the career changers tended to act verypurposefully. There was a concerted effort to change one’s situation,a determination to achieve one’s goal. Joan’s orientation, during the254time following her decision to do independent consultation, wastypical. It was obvious that she was investing a tremendous amountof herself in her effort to establish the business as a distinct entityand develop a market for her consulting services. Her actions weresteps towards realizing the kind of life she had envisioned for herself,This is a period of intense learning that is often exciting,painful at times for most people, and always extremely challenging.All of the career changers engaged in extensive self-directedlearning. In addition to acquiring prerequisite skills and knowledgethat would be needed in one’s new life, the individual’s educationfrequently involved developing greater self-knowledge andexperimenting with different ways of living. Six of the ten (Joan,Carla, Joseph, Rachel, Joby, & Erik) returned to a post-secondaryinstitution for a degree or certificate program at least once. It wasobvious that school served a dual purpose for these mature students.It provided them with the technical training they needed, and aforum within which to challenge themselves. This almost alwaysincluded exploring and challenging old beliefs about oneself or one’sabilities. For most of the changers, this learning started muchearlier, during the searching phase, but there was a newimportance, a certain urgency, that often accompanied the drive torealize the vision. This was Lynn’s experience during the time shewas increasing her involvement with the foster children’s program.255This was also Daniel’s experience when he was charting a course forthe union presidency.The duration and complexity of the period leading up 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 later of not being able to getpregnant, She felt like she was different or didn’t really fit in 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 for a more secure and satisfyingpaid occupation. Tricia went through a process of remaking hervision of what a more worthwhile life would be even as she wasbeginning what she had thought would be that life.At the other end of the spectrum is Joby’s experience duringthis same period. The time that followed his corporate resignationwas relatively uncomplicated. He did spend eight months trying tolive his vision within the confines of a large consulting company256before realizing there was no alternative to doing it entirely on hisown. But once he made the jump to operating solo, things quickly fellinto place for him. Living his dream was more a 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 doing thework they had envisioned for themselves. For instance, Joan wassuccessfully marketing and producing print and 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 doing the work.Even though they were already engaged in the work they hadenvisioned and committed themselves to, all the career changersexperienced at least one late-breaking setback or challenge thatthreatened 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’s life. Despite thevarious forms the challenge took, it always required the person to reevaluate the importance of the changes that had already been made,to question whether there were important aspects of oneself or one’sapproach that still needed to be changed. In this sense, the challenge257could be construed as a test of whether the espoused values andconcrete changes that had already been made constituted a moreworthwhile life. This was the case for Joby, who was busy in his newconsulting business when his wife left him. It was this event thatprompted him to question whether he still needed to changeimportant aspects of himself.For four of the career changers, the challenge was in the formof a further recurrence of the dramatic 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 figured so prominently in the course ofevents both when he was a priest and during his early years as aunion organizer. Similarly, before her switch to the ministry, Rachelhad felt trapped in her marriage. She also came to feel trapped in thedying prairie community that was her first pastoral charge.Overcoming the setback required the person to revise the wayin which the new life was being lived or follow through on personalchanges he or she had asserted were important. For most of thecareer changers, the challenge was to act according to the valuesthey espoused, values that the career change was supposed to reflect.In Rachel’s case, this involved resolving that she was no longergoing to allow herself to be trapped and isolated. Leaving her firstposting in that small prairie town coincided with her recognizingthat she was no longer a victim, that she was now a survivor. In258Carla’s case, meeting the challenge required her to create her ownfuture in forensic psychiatry. She accomplished this when she set upthe forensic training program for herself and resisted the director’spressure to conform to his expectation to work with women inmates.For a couple of the career changers (Joseph & Erik), resolutionincluded acknowledging previously undervalued aspects of one’s oldlife. In taking the job in Michigan, Joseph had sacrificed his PacificNorthwest outdoors lifestyle for his career. Taking the job at U. B. C.was recognition that even though he valued living in a world of ideas,it was not the only thing of importance in his life. Similarly, Erik’snear-bankruptcy gave him new respect for his businessachievements and previously devalued aspects of his character.Although he continued to struggle for some time for a sense ofbalance in his life, after meeting this challenge he realized therewere aspects of his former self worth valuing.For all of the career changers, feeling established in the newcareer corresponded with a feeling of excitement, a sense of directionor confidence about one’s life. For example, even while anticipatingfuture ups and downs, Rachel was excited about her ministry, herlife on Hornby Island. Her experience is typical of what people feltlike at this point.While everyone believed the future was likely to hold furtherchallenges and important personal changes, they knew their newlives constituted substantial progress. For instance, Carla259considered her change to be complete when she felt she was living inaccord with the values she had come to consider important in herlife. Similarly, Daniel considered his change to 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 was a sense of beingcommitted to, being invested in this new way of living one’s life.Career Transition’s Dynamic Cycle of 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 for the individual wouldcome to dominate a period of time or set of events, fade for a time,then re-emerge. Individuals cycled from being stuck to being free,from being trapped to being self-directed, and the like. No transitionfollowed a straight-forward linear path.This cycling was present in all cases, regardless of differencesin the emotional tone of the transition. For example, Erik’sexperience was frequently negative; he was often terrified andoverwhelmed during his search for a better life. In contrast,Joseph’s experience was relatively positive; he always felt incommand, even as he searched for a better life. However, in all tencases, the course of the transition followed an up and down, cyclicalpattern. While Joseph never reached the same depths of despair asErik, even he was not always clear about what to do or what thefuture would hold, In the process of shaping a new kind of life forhimself, he went through his own trials.260261CHAPTER XVDISCUSSIONThe product of this study was ten narrative accounts of careertransition. From the perspective of each individual’s life, thesignificance of landmark events and the meaning of a career changecould be more fully understood. Career transition involved not only achange in the meaning of work, but in the course of one’s life. Fromcomparing accounts emphasizing an individual’s perspective, acommon pattern of transition was identified. First, an individualbegins with growing discontent over one’s course of life, reflecting anerosion or loss of purpose in work. Second, the person steps out of hisor her own familiar life structure to search for a more worthwhilelife. Third, in striving to realize his or her vision of a better life, theperson emerges with a new sense of purpose in a different course oflife. The common pattern is a narrative summary of the beginning,middle, and end.The dynamic process that guides a person through thecommon pattern appears to be a repeated cycle of experience. Aperson would make an important change, only to become reimmersed in an old dramatic conflict. The person strove for changeand ended up with a variant of the old conflict in a new setting.However, neither the change nor the conflict were exactly the same,but more like variations of a theme. Caught in 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 extent to which aperson approached a better life or fell back into the old snare. Overthe course of the transition, a person swung up and down 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 pattern of 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 made up thesample were all white and from English speaking westernindustrialized countries (Canada, England, & United States). Thislimits the study by race and the dominant cultural 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 limited by thekinds of major events that accompanied a career transition. Forexample, being forced to leave one’s job, considered to be a relativelycommonplace experience, was part of the story in only one case(Jack). Similarly, nobody in the study embarked on a new careerbecause there were no longer any jobs available in the originalcareer, Finally, none of the study’s participants embarked on asecond career after mandatory or voluntary early retirement.The individual accounts that are the main product of thisinvestigation are based on each career changer’s telling of whathappened. While exhaustive steps were taken to ensure thecredibility of the accounts, they are limited to the events andexperiences the participants were aware of and willing to talk about.Even with all the checks and measures that were used 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 forgotten or, consciously orunconsciously, systematically distorted or denied (e. g., Sloan, 1986;Wiersma, 1988). It is beyond the scope of this study to includeexperiences that were part of the transition but not remembered ordescribed by the subject.265Theoretical ImplicationsThe results are theoretically relevant to models of transitionthat are currently used to describe the career change process. Thestudy provides a means of assessing the relevance of these theoreticalmodels by comparing them to the study’s individual accounts andgeneral pattern analysis.The accounts provide support for a three phase model of careertransition. Such a structure was proposed by three of the prominentmodels of transition (Bridges, 1980; Van Gennep, 1908/1960;Schlossberg, 1984) and was considered the best description of theprocess by three earlier studies of career change (Lawrence, 1980;McQuaid, 1986; Osherson, 1980).The career transition phases strongly resemble Van Gennep’s(1908/1960) description of the rites of passage process. The similarityof the experiences shared by the career changers and those producedby the ritual process described by Van Gennep is remarkable. Forexample, in Van Gennep’s model the separation phase is devoted tomaking the person recognize his or her old life is over. Preparationfor this departure always included having the person withdraw fromhis or her everyday activities and reflect on one’s past. Thiscorresponds with the disengagement stage that all the careerchangers went through. The feelings of frustration, discontent, andof being an outsider reflect a withdrawal from what had been one’snormal existence. Similarly, during this period the person is often266spending time reflecting on the past, reviewing what is important inone’s life.The second and third phases of the career transition alsocorrespond closely to those of the rites of passage. For the careerchangers the second phase is defined by the search for a moreworthwhile way of life. Their experiences parallel the middletransitional phase in a ritual passage. The person is in limbo, nolonger living the old existence but not yet established in a new one.Both career changers and those going through a ritualized passageare on a kind ofjourney, with much of their time taken up withpreparations for one’s new life, In the third phase, for both thecareer changers and those going through a ritualized passage, a newway of life emerges. In both cases, the chief task of this period is tointegrate into one’s life the change in life structure and assumptiveworld.There is an important difference between the ritual passageprocess Van Gennep documented and that of a contemporary careertransition. As part of the rites of passage process, these experiencesare the product of formal procedures administered by elders. In thesocieties that were the subject of Van Gennep’s investigations, theprocedures used to produce these experiences were part of a set ofpredefined ceremonies that the person was moved through. Incareer transition, the experiences reflect a personal process that theindividual has gone through. From this perspective, the ritual267passage process is a powerful and useful analogy. In careertransition it operates at a purely psychological level. There is nosocially defined set of experiences that a person is required to gothrough. It is this absence of any externally mandated or sanctionedsocial process that makes the similarity of the career transitionprocess and the ritual passage process all the more remarkable,Bridges’ (1980) description of transition as a three stageprocess is also supported by this study. This is not surprising sincehe relied on Van Gennep for his depiction of the transition structure.This study confirms and extends other important aspects of Bridges’model. First, the experience of the career changers during the firstphase of their transitions closely matched Bridges description of thegradual growth of discontent and the like that signifies the ending ofthe old way of life and the beginning of the transition. O’Connor andWolfe’s (1987, 1991) finding that rising discontent is the beginning ofa transition provides additional support for the accuracy of thisdescription.However, Bridges characterizes the middle period or “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 it as atime of crisis. This was an accurate description for some but not allof the study’s participants. Each person’s world was changing but itwas not necessarily .in chaos or crisis. There was much more variety268in the career changers’ experience during the middle period than isreflected in Bridges model. Most people experienced a mix of positiveand emotionally disturbing events during this period. Manyresearchers have previously rejected the notion of a career changehaving to be a crisis (Gill, Coppard & Lowther, 1983; Lawrence,1980;Vondracek et aL, 1986) but others have persisted in characterizing itas such (e. g., Perosa & Perosa, 1983). The transition accountssupport the position that a career transition may be viewed as apersonal crisis by some changers but this experience is by no meansuniversal.Bridges’ depiction of the contemporary experience of transitionwas largely drawn from his observations of people attending hisworkshops on how to cope with their own transitions. Similarly,O’Connor and Wolfe’s conclusions were based on themes thatemerged from the comments of men and women who were in themidst of a major life change and had volunteered to attend acombination of individual interviews and a three day workshop, Inboth of these cases, it seems plausible that people who were stuck orstruggling more with their change would be more likely to attendsuch programs than those less troubled by their change. Given thepossibility of what can be construed as a sampling bias, the negativetone of Bridge’s and O’Connor and Wolfe’s middlle periods is,perhaps, understandable.269The study supports Bridge’s position that a person mustexperience an “inner reorientation” before a transition can beconsidered complete. In the study, resolution of the recurrentdramatic conflict corresponded with the person’s completion of thechange in assumptive world. This is essentially the same as whatBridges refers to as one’s “inner orientation”.Many of the experiences described in Van Gennep’s rites ofpassage are also in Eliade’s description of initiation rites, (e. g., thenecessity of a separation from one’s regular life). However, theaccounts suggest that applying a death and rebirth analogy to careertransition is not completely accurate. The kinds of changes Eliadestudied always involved the initiatory death of a person’s profaneexistence and the birth of a sacred life. A career change definitelyinvolves a loss. There is a loss of and emergence of a new purpose forthe work in one’s life. The use of analogies to describe psychologicalphenomena is common and often useful in social science (White &Epston, 1990). But, in most cases, describing the process as one ofdying and being reborn is too strong. A career transition involvessignificant, often dramatic personal changes, but the individualaccounts make it apparent it does not always demand a completeremaking of the person or spiritual transformation.There are three aspects of Eliade’s model that are particularlyrelevant to the career transition experience found in the currentstudy. First, the emergence of a vision of that which is important, a270new sense of direction and purpose, was a feature of career changeshared by all of the study’s participants. This parallels Eliade’sfinding that an essential feature of the initiatory birthing process isthe revelation of that which is sacred. Second, Eliade held that aspart of the initiatory process, the individual must undergo a numberof ordeals or tests of one’s worth. Everyone in the study had to meet achallenge or test of their commitment to a new way of life. Third,Eliade concluded that initiatory rites are designed to be dramatic inorder to make the experience of initiatory death more intense. Thisreflects the cycling found in the accounts, indicating that repetition ofa person’s dramatic conflict served to intensifr the importance ofmaking 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 held by all three that aperson must go through all phases in order for the transition to becomplete.The shared pattern of experience found in this study does notagree with Hopson and Adams’ (1976) description of the transitionprocess. According to their model, a transition involves sevenpredictable reactions and feelings, beginning with being shocked andimmobilized and ending with internalizing the 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 in theorder 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. This was 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 transitions itwould likely produce an accurate picture of the process. The studysupported Parkes’ position that a transition is initiated when aperson loses whatever is sustaining one’s assumptive world.Previous studies have come to a 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 the study’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 typically accompanied by shock, denial andanger. In some cases there was an attempt to stay in or go back tothe first occupation, paralleling Parkes’ description of wanting torecover that which was lost. And the fear and vulnerability that,according to Parkes’ description, a person typically felt as he or shewas acting to create a new kind of life was evident in several counts.But these experiences were not shared by all of the participants. Themodel could not accommodate the participants’ diversity ofexperience and the differences in emotional tone,The cases provide qualified support for aspects of Schlossberg’s(1984) model of transition. Schlossberg’s emphasis was onidentifying the wide range of variables that can influence the relativeease or difficulty of the individual’s transition experience. Anindividual’s response will be a function of a combination of personalcharacteristics and factors unique to that person. This allows themodel to account for the diversity of experience and difference inemotional tone that was evident in the individual accounts. However,the model focuses less attention on the pattern of experience ortemporal dimension of a transition and this was the main interest ofthe current study.For Schlossberg, a transition is a three phase process ofassimilation that involves responding to an external event, Her273description of the transition process reflects this stance. It beginswith the person being pervaded and preoccupied with the prospect ofmaking an important personal change after the occurrence of anexternal and, typically, unexpected event. In contrast, thetransitions of the individuals in the current study began withinternal changes that were only later expressed as rising frustrationand the like within the context of events that somehow highlightedthe internal change that had already occurred, In the study, thepreoccupation with changing was most prominent during the middleperiod, accompanying the person’s search and preparation for amore worthwhile life.Schlossberg’s description of the middle period as a time ofdisruption was part of the experience for the current study’sparticipants during their search for a new life. Old norms andrelationships were changing, new one’s were just developing. Manypeople felt “a bit at sea” (Schlossberg, 1984, p. 61) from time to time.Her portrayal of this aspect of the middle period has support fromother sources, from studies that have focused on the temporaldimension of a career change. Based on the findings of his study ofmale career changers, Osherson (1980) characterized this period as atime of turmoil and change. McQuaid (1986) found that during themiddle transitional period, typically, the men and women shestudied were acutely aware of the fact that they were going through acareer change but didn’t yet know what the future held.274According to Schlossberg, the chief task of the third and finalphase of a transition is to integrate the change into one’s life. On thispoint, she is in agreement with Van Gennep and, as discussedpreviously, there is support for this position in the accounts. In thethird phase of an individual’s career transition, integration of a newlife structure and assumptive world was part of the process. None ofthe participants felt established in their second career until this hadbeen achieved.Nicholson’s transition cycle model was developed as aframework for studying work histories and a person’s movementfrom one job to the next. It was beyond the scope of this study toinvestigate whether his model was accurate for specific job changes.What was of interest in the present study was whether Nicholson’smodel was accurate when applied to accounts of career transition.In light of this study, Nicholson’s model has three mainshortcomings as a description of the career change process. First,certain work role transition experiences described in Nicholson’smodel were part of a career transition. But his four phases did notcorrespond with the three phase pattern found in the current study.Second, his model requires career change to be framed as aspecific external event. The person’s experiences are treated as aseries of responses as the person prepares for, encounters, andadjusts to a single change. The stress adaptation models oftransition (e. g., Hopson & Adams, 1976; Schlossberg, 1984) take a275similar approach. In contrast, career transition encompasses aseries of landmark events and internal shifts rather than a singlework change that all the other experiences revolve around, Theindividual accounts make it clear that career transition is a complexprocess, involving the interplay of a series of internal changes andexternal circumstances and events.Third, Nicholson’s model does not address the significance ormeaning of a career transition for the individual involved. He knowsthat his model does not address this dimension and acknowledgesthe importance of gaining this knowledge when it is a person’scareer that is the focus of study (Nicholson & West, 1989).All the dominant models of transition share a commonposition, that a transition ends with the establishment of a new senseof stability, a stable life structure. For the stress adaptation theoristslike Parkes (1971), Hopson and Adams (1976) and Schlossberg (1984),re-establishing this stability is the primary function of a transition.Accordingly, life after a transition may be better or worse than before.Osherson (1980) provided indirect support for this position. Based onhow a person resolved his or her initial loss, the career change couldfollow one of two courses. Career changers who had experienced a“sculpted” resolution were more satisfied with and invested in theirsecond careers than those who had experienced a “foreclosed”resolution.276In this study, when the participants had completed theircareer transitions, there was a common feeling of having achieved abetter, more meaningful life. This is consistent with the position oftheorists such as Van Gennep (1908/1960), Eliade (1958) and Bridges(1980), who contend that the purpose of a transition is personalgrowth. They hold that transition is the process a person must gothrough in order to discover a better way to live one’s life. From thisperspective, the accounts make it possible to suggest consideringcareer transition not only as a means of simply changing orrenewing the purpose of one’s life but also as a path to a moremeaningful life.A plausible explanation is needed for this difference betweenOsherson’s study and the current one. It is possible that whatOsherson described as a foreclosed pattern of career change wasactually a group of individuals who were still in the midst of theirtransitions at the time of his study or, more likely, had been stuck inthe middle of their change for an extended period. Prior to resolvingtheir personal dramatic conflicts, at least three of the participants inthe current study (Jack, Erik, & Daniel) were already working intheir new careers and would have fit Osherson’s description of aforeclosed resolution.The current study provided a valuable opportunity to examinea person’s movement through a career transition. This is an aspectof transitions that has been 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 transition model.In his clinical experience, progress typically was “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 examine eventsfrom the perspective of the individual who has gone through them,progress in the person’s life follows an up 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 nature of this movement. Thereconstitution of self that dominated the career transition processfollowed a forward-and-back movement. According to Osherson, thisfinding indicates there is an underlying dialectic nature to adultdevelopment that is expressed in the events of a person’s adult life.It is interesting to note that this cycling of experience has beennoted in another career-related study. In a descriptive study of theexperience of unemployment, Borgen and Amundson (1984, 1987)found a “yo-yo” effect in the most common pattern of experience ofunemployed people. Individuals went through dramatic and rapidemotional shifts, alternating between feeling positive and feelingworthless about oneself.The Q-analysis used in the current study showed that thecourse of the salient experiences that defined an individual’s career278transition followed an up and down cyclical pattern. This is similarto the progressive then regressive pattern of 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 the personal dramatic conflictsthat figured so prominently in the individual accounts and commonpattern analysis of career transition. These findings extend supportfor those like Osherson who view adult development as a dialecticrather than a unilinear process.The study is also relevant when considered from theperspective of career development theory. Even though the study wasrestricted to individuals who had switched from one type of paid workto a second type of paid work, it is clear from the individual accountsthat a change in career was a change in the course of a person’s life.A person’s shift in assumptive world was not contained within thework domain. In every case it was evident that the career changereflected far more than a change in what was important in one’swork. There was a shift in what was important in one’s life as awhole. This is consistent with those theorists who define career as alife journey, course or path (e. g., Nicholson & West, 1989;Tiedemann & Miller-Tiedemann, 1985). From this perspective, thestudy’s individual accounts of career transition are examples ofchanging the course of an individual’s life path. As such, they offer279an opportunity to extend the career path concept to include a changein life course.The study demonstrates the importance of considering themeaning of work within the context of the individual life, Previousstudies have suggested that gaining an understanding of careerchange involves understanding the meaning of the change (e. g.,Chusid & Cochran, 1989; Lawrence, 1980; Osherson, 1980; Thomas,1980). In the current study it was clear that each career had apurpose, was imbued with meaning for the individual. The study isanother example of how taking the individual’s perspective enablesthe meaning of one’s work to emerge. Furthermore, the studysupports suggestions that the meaning of work within a person’s lifecan change and that a career change begins with the loss or breakupof the meaning of one’s work (Peavy, 1988; Perosa & Perosa, 1984;Young, 1984).Since the inception of career development as an area of study,the meaning of work has also been linked to a person’s identity (e. g.,Blustein, Devenis, & Kidney, 1989; HaIl, 1976; Hughes, 1958). Careerchange studies have extended the relevance of the idea of work as animportant part of one’s identity development beyond the adolescentand early adulthood periods. For instance, in Perosa and Perosa’s(1984) study, career changers had higher identity achievement thanpeople who were considering or in the process of changing careers.Other studies have found that a person redefines important aspects of280one’s self-concept. Questions about “who am I?” are answeredthrough a career change (Chusid & Cochran, 1989; Collin, 1986;Osherson, 1980). The current study complements investigations thatfocus on career change as an identity development process. Itprovides an opportimity to gain an understanding of how a persongoes about making a change that involves a central part of one’sidentity. As such, the study’s individual accounts are a source ofsupport for Sarbin’s (1984) idea that dramatic conflicts occur when atransition involves a challenge to one’s identity.The case studies are also relevant in terms of career decision-making theory. Decision theory has been dominated by rational orlogical models despite a paucity of evidence that such models applywell to real-life decisions of consequence. This study shows thatpeople make significant career decisions throughout their adult livesand underscores the importance of examining career decisions fromthe individual’s standpoint. The study complements investigations ofdecision making that have focused on understanding a major lifedecision by examining the person’s life structure, assumptive world,life history, and the context within which the decision was beingmade (Cochran, 1991; Sloan, 1986).The accuracy of Janis and Mann’s (1977) conflict theory as amodel of career-decision making was of particular interest in thecurrent study because of its dominance in the literature and incounselling practice as a descriptive theory of how people actually281make major life decisions (e. g., Janis, 1982; Peavy, 1984). Theindividual accounts of how a person arrived at a decision during thetransition period did not match the sequential appraisal processdescribed in Janis and Mann’s model of decision making. There wasa variety in the way, and in some cases the sheer speed, in whichindividuals arrived at specific decisions that was 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 conflict and uncertainty. Thisis consistent with Janis and Mann’s position and has also been foundin other studies that addressed the context within which careerdecisions are made (e. g., Collin, 1986; Perosa & Perosa, 1983). Butthe current study does not support Janis and Mann’s idea thatquelling the turmoil the person experiences when faced with a majordecision is the guiding purpose of the process. To subscribe to thisnotion would be to minimize or overlook the significance of thedecisions that were being made. Concerns about the pros and consinvolved in making a change (or not making a change) reflected aquestioning of what was of value, of importance in one’s life. Inevery case, the person was sometimes knowingly, sometimesimplicitly searching for a more worthwhile way of life, a new sense ofpurpose. This is consistent with Cochran’s (1987) suggestion thatcareer decisions mirror a concern with how best to live one’s life.282Practical ImplicationsThe study has several practical implications. The commonpattern of experience that emerged from the individual accounts canbe considered a map of the psychological territory that a careerchanger goes through. It can serve as a guide for those goingthrough a career transition and for those who counsel them. Theindividual accounts can serve as examples of the variations that canbe expressed within the basic pattern.For someone considering or in the midst of a career transition,the pattern can be an important source of information and validation.It allows the person to appreciate and, in general terms, understandwhat it is he or she is going through. The accounts enhance thisunderstanding by expressing the experience as stories of individuallives. As concrete examples of individual lives, they possess acommunicative power that the description of the general patternlacks. The narratives bring the general experience alive with theirrichness of detail and meaning.The participants of this study reported that people who wereconsidering or already making a career change typically express atremendous amount of interest in hearing about their experiences.But it is rare for career changers to have the chance to talk in detailwith people who have completed a career transition even if they knowsomeone who has gone through one. For example, none of theparticipants had ever told their entire story to any one person before.283Sharing the stories and common pattern directly with careerchangers is one way of giving them a more accurate picture of whatis involved in a career transition and a means of understanding theirown stories.From a career counselling perspective, the accounts can serveas a guide for practice. Counsellors frequently work with people whoare in the midst of a career transition, When career changers seekcounselling, they are often stuck, seeking direction on how toproceed. They are often trying to make sense of what they are goingthrough. The accounts make the career transition experienceintelligible for the counsellor. The general pattern allows thecounsellor to follow a person’s career transition story. 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 for this purpose.They describe the issues a counsellor is likely to encounter with aclient at each stage of the transition process.Similarly, the common pattern of experience that emergedfrom the individual accounts can be used as a framework forassessing the needs of individuals who seek assistance during acareer transition. In the current study, a different set of experiencesdominated each of the three phases of the process. Therefore, thedescription of the common pattern of experience provides a basis forassessing at what point the person is at in terms of his or her career284transition and what might be the most fruitful area to focus on in thecounselling. For instance, when someone is feeling frustrated andhas begun to consider changing occupations it may be beneficial tofocus on reviewing the story of the current career as a means ofdiscovering its original purpose. It would likely be 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 for some kindof change that they often cannot yet define for themselves. 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 in experiences thatcorrespond with their temporal and psychological position in thecareer transition process.It is important for the counsellor to understand that to dealwith career transition is to deal with changes that occur in cycles.This was evident in the recurrent nature of both the prominent typesof experiences that defined each person’s change and the personaldramatic conflicts. This suggests that counsellors should expect oldissues and dominant personal themes to resurface during thetransition. It suggests that changing the course of one’s life througha career change is not likely to be straightforward. Even as progress285is being made, both the career changer and the counsellor shouldexpect repetitions of old patterns and images of oneself.It is important for the counsellor to recognize that othersignificant changes are likely to be intertwined with the person’soccupational change. The occupational change is part of a largerprocess concerned with shaping a more worthwhile life. This wasthe case for every one of the current study’s participants. Thisfinding provides support for the practice of broadening the focus ofcareer counselling beyond the bounds of the work domain. It alsosupports the idea of considering the career change from within thecontext of the individual’s life. From this perspective, the person’slife history and the set of circumstances within which the transitionis taking place are relevant in the practice of career counselling.One’s personal history gives special meaning to the events of thecareer transition. If the counsellor is to comprehend what the clientis going through, he or she must know the person’s story.The study also suggests that the existential implications ofone’s work be a primary focus in the practice of career counselling.The beginning of a career transition corresponds with the loss ofpurpose in one’s work and ends with a new sense of purpose beingrealized. This suggests that questions of meaning should be basicelements in career counselling (e. g., What is of value in one’s life?What purpose does work serve in one’s life?).286Research ImplicationsIn terms of future research, the immediate task is to explorethe extent to which the pattern of experience that emerged in thecurrent study applies to other types of career change. This requiresfurther replications with the types of cases that were not representedin the study. For example, replications are needed for careerchanges where both the first and second career involve a lower-stratum occupation. They are also needed for cases involving aperson moving from an upper- to a lower-stratum occupation andvice versa. Future studies need to investigate whether the samepattern of experience applies when major life events that were notrepresented 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 or tounpaid work (e. g, full-time mother and homemaker). This would beof particular interest given the support the study provides for theconcept of career transition as a change not just of the paid work oneperforms but in the course of one’s life.The different methods of inquiry used in this study proved to bea vary potent combination. Each approach was a way of entering andunderstanding the experience of career transition from theperspective of individuals who had gone through it. In combinationthese approaches made it possible to produce plausible and coherent287accounts that could be compared to each other without sacrificing 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 to study individuals whomake multiple job and occupational changes as a means of followingwhat they consider to be a single career or life course. I encounteredthis phenomena while conducting the screening interviews for 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 used to do a do a fine-graintemporal analysis of other employment and vocational phenomenasuch as job change, plateauing, demotion, termination, andoccupational drift.In several respects the common pattern of experience thatemerged from the accounts of career transition bore a remarkableresemblance to Van Gennep’s model of a formal rite of passage. Inlight of this finding, future research should focus on investigatingthe relevance of the rites of passage concept in job and organizationalchange. Several organizational psychology practitioners havesuggested the model is applicable (Bridges, 1988; Hall, 1986; Trice &Morrand, 1989) but no rigourous investigation of this idea has beendone.288Using narrative approaches in counselling is 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 current studywas 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 the careerchange 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 counselling settings. 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 ideas and insightsconcerning using narrative approaches as a type of counsellingapproach.The accounts point to the continuing need for research into themeaning of work to a person over a lifetime. Adult developmenttheorists have suggested that changes in the purpose work serves is atypical and expected part of adult life (Levinson et al., 1978; Super,1980). The current study suggests that, at least for career changers,the purpose changes. Future research could take a life-span289approach, focusing specifically on this aspect, exploring the extent towhich and how this happens with others,SummaryA multiple case study approach was used to investigate thepattern of experience in a career transition. The participants werefive men and 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 each case the careertransition reflected a process that was cyclical rather than linear innature.Several theoretical implications arise from this study. 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Counseling andValues, , 169-178.308jJentification of subjects and preliminary screening interviewDCTansition Interview & elicitation of landmark events )C Subject Q-sorting with 45 item sort on each landmark event)CPrncipai component analysis of Q-sort data)(Analysis of data & development of probes for Elaboration lnterviewD(Elaboration Interview)(Review, transcription, and analysis of Elaboraton Interview audiotapes )Synthesis of Transition Interview, Q-sort results, and Elaboration lnterviedata to develop and write-up narrative account J1aricipant self-reviewD Clndependent review)rinciusion of participant self-review and independent reviewL in analysis and reports of results( Comparative pattern analysis jFiure 1. Overview of procedures used in the study.0zID0-Jci:0IC-)LLJOANy PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 230910. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13LANDMARK 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 7 8 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 12 13 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. 0.20-Jft0I—0U--0.8—11 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14(!3z0-J0C)LIRACHEL‘ PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1313PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 210.80.6-0,40.20-0.2-0.4--0.6--0.8—11 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11LANDMARK EVENTSFigure 6. Case study five: Rachel The prominence (i.e., factor loading) of thetypes of experience (i.e., principal components 1 & 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 components 1 & 2) that describe Lynn’s careertransition across landmark events.1 PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2—11 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11315(!3z0-J0I—-0.2-0.4-0.6-0.8JOBYPRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2LANDMARK EVENTSFigure 8. Case study seven: Joby. The prominence (i.e., factor loading) of thetypes of experience (i.e., principal components 1 & 2) that describe Joby’s careeitransition across landmark events.10.80.20—11 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10z0-Jcc0I—C.)LLJACKPRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2LANDMARK EVENTS31610.80.40.20-0.2-0.8—11 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12Fwure 9. Case study eight: Jack. The prominence (i.e., factor 1.oading) of thetypes of experience (i.e., principal components 1 & 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 COMPONENT 1D PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2LANDMARK EVENTSFigure 11. Case study ten: Tricia. The prominence (i.e., factor loading) of thetypes of experience (i.e., principal components 1 & 2) that describe Tricia’scareer transition across landmark events.I0.—11 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13Table1Descrivtivesummaryof careertransitioncasestudynarticinantsCaseNameSexFirstCareerSecondCareerCurrentAgeCareerAgeYearCareerYearLengthLengthAgeTransitionCareerTransitionCareerofofBeganTransitionBeganTransitionFirstSecondCompletedCompletedCareerCareer1JoanfemaleSchoolCommunications432740768988TeacherEntrepreneur2CarlafemaleSocialWorkerForensic432636728359Psychiatrist3DanielmalePriestLabourUnionist52305069891 064JosephmaleIndependentUniversity67334556681522AgentProfessor5RachelfemalePhysicistMinister3826367989756LynnfemaleNurseSocialWorker52263766778187JobymaleCorporateManagement59254358762016._____ExecutiveConsultant8JackmalePsychologistAntiqueDealer46344479891459ErikmaleRealtorClinicalCounsellor5329516889241710TriciafemaleAuditorDataAnalyst42293980901 03Table2Q-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)realizedI hadtochange(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-itemdefinitionof factors: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 dissertation research project underthe supervision of Dr. L. Cochran (228-5259) at the University ofBritish Columbia. The purpose of the study is to obtain detaileddescriptions of the experience people go through when they changecareers. For this purpose, I am interested in finding individualswho have experienced a career transition and who are willing to talkabout it in depth.Participation will require approximately 6 to 8 hours, and willinvolve interviews and a sorting of items that describe differentaspects of the career transition experience. Involvement in the studywill provide participants with an opportunity to reflect upon theirexperience, and to examine it in greater detail. We hope that beinginvolved in the study will be an interesting and useful experience.All identifying information will be deleted in order to insureconfidentiality and to protect participants’ privacy. Participation inthe study is completely voluntary and participants are to askquestions at any time, and to withdraw from the study at any timewithout jeopardy of any kind.If you have any questions about the study, please feel free tocall me at 873-8967.Thank you!Sincerely,W. Gary LaddDoctoral StudentDepartment of Counselling PsychologyUniversity 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 (phone 873-8967) 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 to 8 hours.All interviews will be audiotaped and the tapes 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 participate and withdraw from thestudy at any time without jeopardy of any kind.By signing this document you are agreeing to participate in thestudy and are acknowledging you have been given a copy of thisconsent form.Date Signature of Participant1-Approved by The University of British Columbia Behavioural Sciences ScreeningCommittee For Research and Other Studies Involving Human Subjects326APPENDIX CIndependent Reviewer Instructions1. Listen to the audiotape of the subject’s interviews.2. Listen for and make note of whether the interviewer unduly influencedwhat the subject said (e.g., Did the interviewer ask leading questions?;Does it sound like the interviewer’s style made the subject uncomfortableor reluctant to talk?).3. While listening, develop an understanding of the basic story the subjectis telling.4. After you have listened to the audiotaped interviews, assessed them forinterviewer bias, and formed an impression of 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 important tothe understanding of the subject’s career transition been leftout or distorted?Note: Please feel free to write as much or as little as you want. If you haveany questions, feel free to give me a call at 325-1773.


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