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The pattern of career transition 1992

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THE PATTERN OF CAREER TRANSITION by W. GARY LADD B. A. (Hon.) University of New Brunswick, 1977 M. Sc. (Clinical Psych.) Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1982 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Counselling Psychology) We accept this thesis as conforming to t required standard THE UNWERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 1992 ,“, T .-.-L-1 lflflfl ...r_, — Signature(s) removed to protect privacy In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives, It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. (Signature) Department of o\ ‘v / The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date v:k \99— DE-6 (2/88) Signature(s) removed to protect privacy 11 ABSTRACT A muItiple case study approach was used to investigate the pattern of experience in a career transition. The participants were five men and five women who had completed a career change. The participants were selected to represent a variety of occupations. The study produced ten rich, detailed narrative accounts of career transition. Each one is told from the perspective of the individual who went through the experience. The accounts were based on in- depth descriptions of the experience, and a charting of the transition using terms drawn from relevant transition models. Each account was reviewed and validated by the case study participant, who was the subject of the narrative, and by an independent reviewer. A comparison of the individual accounts revealed a pattern of experience that was common to all ten cases of career transition. It can be best represented as a three phase process, with each phase involving a distinctive character and each subsequent phase building on the preceding one. Furthermore, in each case the career transition reflected a process that was cyclical rather than linear in nature. Several theoretical implications arise from this study. First, it supports those models that describe career transition as a three stage process. The common pattern bears a remarkable resemblance to U’ the rites of passage process described by Van Gennep (1908/1960). Second, the accounts suggest that the meaning of one’s work can change over the course of one’s life and that a career change be considered a change in a person’s life path. Third, the accounts support rejecting the notion of career transition having to be a crisis or traumatic event. From a practical standpoint, the pattern of transition can serve as a guide for those who are going through a career transition and for those who counsel them. iv TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ii TABLE OF CONTENTS iv LIST OF TABLES vi LIST OF FIGURES vii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS viii CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW 9 CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY 54 CHAPTER W: CASE STUDY ONE: JOAN 74 CHAPTER V: CASE STUDY TWO: CARLA 87 CHAPTER VI: CASE STUDY THREE: DANIEL 102 CHAPTER VII: CASE STUDY FOUR: JOSEPH 124 CHAPTER VIII: CASE STUDY FWE: RACHEL 139 CHAPTER IX: CASE STUDY SIX: LYNN 157 CHAPTER X: CASE STUDY SEVEN: JOBY 170 CHAPTER XI: CASE STUDY EIGHT: JACK 187 CHAPTER XII: CASE STUDY NINE: ERIK 203 CHAPTER XIII: CASE STUDY TEN: TRICIA 225 CHAPTER X1V: COMMON PATTERN ANALYSIS 243 CHAPTER XV: DISCUSSION 261 REFERENCES 291 APPENDIX A: INITIAL LETTER OF CONTACT 324 APPENDiX B: STUDY PARTICIPANT CONSENT FORM 325 APPENDIX C: INDEPENDENT REVIEWER INSTRUCTIONS 326 V LIST OF TABLES Table 1, Descriptive summary of career transition case study participants 319 Table 2. Q-sort items: Career transition descriptive phrases 320 Table 3. Example of a “factor x event” matrix: Case study eight 322 Table 4. Example of rank-ordered Q-item definition of factors: Case study eight 323 vi vii LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. Overview of procedures used in the study 308 Figure 2. Case study one: Joan 309 Figure 3. Case study two: Carla 310 Figure 4. Case study three: Daniel 311 Figure 5. Case study four: Joseph 312 Figure 6. Case study five: Rachel 313 Figure 7. Case study six: Lynn 314 Figure 8. Case study seven: Joby 315 Figure 9. Case study eight: Jack 316 Figure 10. Case study nine: Erik 317 Figure 11. Case study ten: Tricia 318 viii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank Mankin, my wife and pal for life, for her encouragement, support, and patience throughout this project (Wah Eye Knee!). I also want to thank both our families and all our friends. They have been amazing. I have had their support from the very beginning. I feel privileged to be a member of such a fine family and community of friends. I would like to thank Dr. Larry Cochran, my research supervisor, and the other members of my supervisory committee, Dr. Walter Boldt and Dr. William “Bill” Borgen, for their encouragement and guidance throughout this project. I would also like to acknowledge the editorial contribution Mr. Chris Petty made to this 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 be said that the findings of this study contribute in any significant way to our understanding of career transition, it is largely due to the willingness of these people to allow their stories to be told. Thank You! W. Gary Ladd April 1992 1CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Purpose of the Study This study investigated the pattern of experience in a career transition. The study was intended to guide future counselling practice and help in the development of an empirically based career transition theory. To this end, the study produced ten rich, detailed narrative accounts of career transition. Each one is told from the perspective of the individual who went through the experience. A common pattern of experience of theoretical and practical significance was extracted from the narrative accounts. Research Problem The chief task of the career-change counsellor is to help the person through the transition (Brammer & Abrego, 1986). As tools in this process, counsellors use models of transition to provide a framework for understanding the client’s experience, and as a source of guidance for facilitating a successful career change (Abrego & Brammer, 1986; Brammer & Abrego, 1981; Schlossberg, 1986). Transition models describe what a person experiences when going through a major life change. While practitioners and researchers acknowledge that transition models are applicable to career change (e. g., Collin, 1985, Perosa & Perosa, 1983, 1987), 2several different models are used to describe the career transition experience. It is not clear which one is the best or most useful model because very little research has investigated how well they describe the experience. Counselling theory and practice, therefore, remains unguided by an empirically based model of career transition. Background It 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) and organizational 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 a boundary zone that a person crosses when going from one state of relative stability to another (Levinson, Darrow, Klein, Levinson, & McKee, 1978; Trice & Morand, 1989; Turner, 1967). To experience a transition is to go through a process of changing or passing from one form, status, role, or activity to another (George 1982). Transitions are a normal, inevitable part of adult life that almost everyone encounters (Schlossberg, 1981; Sokol & Louis, 1984), As well as career change, there are several other major transitions people commonly 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 be relevant to the process of career change, They have been derived from a combination of observations, reflections, and, in some cases, formal investigations of transition experiences. Each model describes a sometimes slightly, sometimes dramatically different process. In some models, the main purpose of a transition is to re establish a sense of stability (Troll, 1981). These models are based on concepts drawn from the coping mechanisms and stress adaptation literature (Sloan, 1986). According to these models, there is the potential for a person to develop, to find a new purpose in life through a transition (Brammer & Abrego, 1981). However, this is not considered the main purpose of the process. After the transition has been 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 and grief. Hopson and Adams (1976) described it as a similar process of reacting to and recovering from a disruption in the course of one’s life. Schlossberg (1981, 1984) regarded transition primarily as a process of appraisal and assimilation. She emphasized that the type, context and impact of a transition influences how a person responds to and copes with it. Other models consider the purpose of a transition is to create a fundamental change in how a person lives. From this perspective, 4transition is the process a person must go through in order to find a better way of life. There are also significant differences within this position. For instance, Van Gennep (1908/1960) considered transition to be a process of status passage, of moving from one mode of existence to another. He identified three phases for “rites of passage”, a pattern of experience he believed was characteristic of all transitions. Eliade (1958) focused on transition as a process of spiritual transformation. Its purpose is to realize a more fulfilling existence achieved through a process of spiritual death and rebirth. Bridges (1980) represents a contemporary adult development view of the transition process. He regards it as a means of achieving personal growth. He has combined Van Gennep’s description of the pattern of experience with Eliade’s view of the spiritual significance of the process. Two other models are relevant to the process of career transition. One is Janis and Mann’s (1977) conflict model of decision making. It treats career transition as an emotionally charged decision making process. It is the most respected model of decision making in the literature (Mitchell & Krumboltz, 1984, Orford, 1986; Sloan, 1986). The other is Nicholson’s cyclical model of work transitions (Nicholson, 1984; Nicholson, 1987). His model focuses on the process a person goes through when his or her work role changes. Role change is a distinctive feature of transitions (Allen & van de Vliert, 1984). 5Rationale There are several important reasons for investigating the experiential pattern of people who have gone through a career transition. First, several different models are used to describe the career transition process. But since the theoretical relevance of these models is unconfirmed, the pattern of transition for career change is not yet known. This study examined these transition models in an effort to discover which were more useful for counsellors, and to develop a more accurate description of the career transition process. Second, the high number of people who go through a career transition makes it important for psychologists to develop a better understanding of this experience. While it is difficult to determine the prevalence of career change, it is accepted that it is an increasingly common phenomenon (Gill, Coppard, & Lowther, 1983; Louis, 1980a; Vondracek, Lerner, & Schulenberg, 1986). A number of factors may account for this. Changing social attitudes regarding work, rapid technological development, quickly changing market conditions, and the globalization of the marketplace are all likely to be fueling this trend (Bridges, 1988). Third, the findings of this study will have direct practical application. The frequency of career transition has given rise to the development of counselling services for career changers as a major area of professional activity (Herr & Kramer, 1984). Practitioners use transition models as a guide in their practice when they are 6working with career changers (e. g., Greenwood, 1987; Perosa & Perosa, 1987). The concrete information provided by subjects’ accounts had important implications for the development of counselling strategies and intervention programs. Research Strategy The case study approach The study was designed to intensively study individual cases of career transition. This approach was chosen for several reasons. Career transition is a complex, naturally occurring life event over which the investigator lacks control. A case study approach is able to treat a person’s career transition experience in a holistic fashion and consider it within the context of the person’s life, rather than trying to isolate one or two aspects and study them under controlled conditions (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 of experience that defines a career transition. This approach illuminated that pattern and allowed it to be compared to the relevant transition models. Thirdly, a case study approach has the capacity to employ different kinds of evidence (Bromely, 1986; Yin, 1984). The convergence of different kinds of evidence concerning an individual’s 7career transition experience indicated that the case studies were sound. Finally, multiple replications of individual cases of career transition established the extent to which the pattern of experience applies to different kinds of career change (Wertz, 1985). This was done by comparing the pattern of experience for diverse kinds of career change. The individual yerspective The study was designed to investigate career transition from the perspective of the individual. It focused on the personal reports and interpretations of individuals who have changed careers. This approach, seeking the individual’s perspective on the experience, was necessary for two reasons. First, an individual’s experience is not open to direct observation (Giorgi, 1985; Valle & King, 1978). Only the individual who has gone through the career transition can adequately describe the experience. Similarly, individuals’ experiences of what appear to be identical events can be dramatically different. For one person, getting laid off may be a devastating experience, while for another, it may be a relief. The individual’s experience of an event cannot be known without the person’s description. Second, the individual’s perspective was needed because personal experience cannot be fully understood without the person’s interpretation of what happened and its significance (Kvale, 1983). 8For example, one individual may feel devastated by being laid off because work has been a source of self-definition. The job loss is significant to the individual because it is regarded as the loss of purpose in life. In contrast, another person may feel relieved when laid off. This experience becomes intelligible only with the explanation that prior to being laid off the person had been feeling extremely frustrated at work but had felt stuck, reluctant to make the jump to a desired new career. Once the lay off notice was served there 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 Product This study produced detailed narrative accounts of career transition. Each story was told from the perspective of the person who went through the experience. Previous investigations have demonstrated that narratives are an effective and fruitful means of understanding career phenomenon (e. g., Chusid & Cochran, 1989; MacGregor & Cochran 1988; Wiersma, 1988). In this study, each narrative was based on elaborate descriptions of the experience, and included a charting of the transition using terms that were of theoretical interest. These accounts were compared with each other in a search for a common pattern of experience. The pattern that emerged was compared to the relevant transition models for commonalties, differences, and insights. 9CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW One of the major functions of a counselling psychologist is to facilitate career development, to help individuals guide their lives in ways that are more productive, satisfying, and meaningful. Particularly during periods of disruption and change, it is the counsellor’s task to help a person to make a successful career transition. Informed practice depends upon an adequate understanding of what is involved in a career transition, what needs to be addressed if the transition is to be fruitful or tolerable. At present, there are several transition models that might guide counselling practice. However, these models often differ in what is included and excluded, what is important and unimportant. The aim of this chapter is to review career transition models and research that are relevant to illuminating the nature of this experience. Models of Transition For Parkes (1971), transition is a process of grieving, of loss and recovery. Grief offers a paradigm case for understanding other kinds of transitions such as job loss and career change. At the beginning is a loss that is so significant that it alters the nature of a person’s life structure and requires broad and fundamental changes in the way the person construes oneself and the world. At the end, a 10 person has recovered a view of oneself and the world. Transition is a process of coming to accept a loss and going on to restore a liveable world. The central terms for understanding transition are life space and assumptive world. Drawing from Lewin (1935), Parkes (1971) defines life space as “that part of the world which impinges upon the self.... (It) consists of those parts of the environment with which the self interacts and in relation to which behavior is organized; other persons, material possessions, the familiar world of home and place of 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 though one’s life space is constantly changing, only some of these changes will affect one’s assumptive world. “The assumptive world is the only world we know and it includes everything we know or think we know. It includes our interpretation of the past and our expectations of the future, our plans and our prejudices. Any or all of these may need to change as a result of changes in the life space” (p. 103). A transition is initiated when a person loses something (a role, a status, a relationship) that was salient in one’s life space and pivotal in sustaining one’s assumptive world. Transition involves a characteristic pattern of experience. Initially, a person is numbed by the loss and alternates between denying the loss and being angered by it. Next, one often experiences a sense of personal mutilation, accompanied by a pining for and 11 frustrated attempts to recover that which was lost. One is disoriented and becomes depressed and apathetic. Finally, one gives up hope for the recovery of loss. While fearful of one’s ability to successfully live life in a way other than how it had been before the loss, eventually, one becomes reorganized. One begins to make new plans and to develop new assumptions about the world and oneself. Parkes’ model of transition emphasizes the progressive disorganization of life following a loss and the gradual reorganization of life as one recovers from the loss. While the person becomes re-oriented, there is no sense of renewal or development. The world view which a person recovers is different from, but not necessarily better than, that which was lost. In becoming re oriented, 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 of responding to a disruption in the course of one’s life. Like Parkes’, Hopson and Adams hold that a transition is a disruption of a person’s world which is of such significance to the individual that it changes the way one lives one’s life. However, they describe transition in terms of a general model rather than using bereavement as the exemplar of the transition process. The model they describe has a predictable seven phase cycle of reactions and feelings which is triggered by this uprooting of one’s way of life. Initially, a person experiences a sense of being 12 overwhelmed or immobilized. This is particularly strong if the transition is a novel one for the person or if he or she has negative expectations. Such feelings are much less intense or not experienced at all if the person holds positive expectations about the transition. This is followed by the person minimizing, trivializing, or even denying the disruption as a means of trying to cope with feeling overwhelmed. As the impact of the change on one’s life become’s more apparent the person becomes depressed, angry, or filled with self-doubt. Also, there is often the frustration of not knowing how to meet the challenges of one’s new way of living. As one begins to accept one’s new situation as reality, one starts to let go of one’s attachment to the past. This enables the person to begin testing oneself vis-a-vis the new situation by trying things out. At this point the individual is often very energetic yet emotionally labile. Following this phase the person becomes concerned with making sense of the change and seeks to understand the meaning of the change in one’s life. Finally, this conceptualizing enables the person to internalize the discovered meaning of the change and incorporate it into one’s life. These phases are considered to represent an overall pattern of the transition experience. Any given individual might experience variations according to the uniqueness of their circumstances. Individuals would rarely, if ever, move smoothly through each of the phases. Still, regardless of the nature of the transition or the type of onset (gradual or rapid, expected or unexpected) a predictable cycle of reactions and feelings involving these seven phases would be triggered. Individual differences are regarded as superficial variations of the fundamental transition process (Hopson, 1982). Schlossberg (1981, 1984) considered transition primarily as a process of appraisal and assimilation. It involves a pattern of movement where a person shifts from total preoccupation with the transition to integration of the transition into one’s life. While agreeing with Hopson and Adams that a transition involves a process of continuing and changing reactions over time, these reactions are linked to the individual’s continuous and changing appraisal of oneself in one’s situation. Since how an individual appraises oneself within the transition is linked to how he or she will respond, Schlossberg asserts that it is necessary to assess the transition process from the individual’s point of view. Like Parkes and Hopson and Adams, she considers a transition to be a change in assumptions about oneself and the world. In taking this phenomenological position, she argues that “a transition is not so much a matter of change as of the individual’s own perception of the change” (1984, p. 44). Consistent with this position is her stipulation that “a transition is a transition only if it is so defined by the person experiencing it” (1984, p. 44). The transition process has a characteristic pattern of experience that involves three phases. Initially, a person is pervaded 14 by the transition, becoming completely preoccupied by it. This is frequently accompanied by feelings of shock and disbelief, In the middle period the person feels one is between worlds. The previous structure of one’s life has been upset and a new one is just beginning to emerge. During this period it is common for the person to feel confused and ambivalent about what is happening. A person can feel excited about the future while feeling sad or angry about what has happened. In the final period a person establishes a new life structure which incorporates the transition. Typically, a person will feel positive about his or her new situation as well as a new sense of investment and commitment. However, like Parkes and Hopson and Adams, Schlossberg argued that a transition may be for better or for worse, therefore, the person’s resolution of the transition may also produce a negative outcome. Schlossberg argued that the type, context, and impact of a transition will influence a person’s response to it. For instance, the change could be expected or unanticipated. It could be triggered by a particular event, by something that was expected to happen but never occurred, or by a “chronic hassle”. The change in assumptions can require an accompanying change in relationships, routines, and roles. 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) 15 and oneself (personal characteristics, psychological resources, coping responses) will influence the experience. For Van Gennep (1908/1960), transition is a process of status passage, of moving from one mode of existence to another. Transitions are considered to be a central feature of our very existence. According to Van Gennep’s research, each time a major life event is encountered that requires one to go through a transition the same pattern of experience is evident. In ceremonies this pattern is referred to as the rite of passage. This recurring pattern involves three phases: separation, transition, and incorporation. The order of occurrence of these phases serves a special purpose, enabling self renewal 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 related purposes. Initially, the individual experiences activities that are intended to prepare one for leaving one’s old life. This involves withdrawal from everyday activities, spending time reflecting on one’s past life, and recognizing some of the sacrifices that would be involved in giving up one’s old life. The second aspect of this phase is the recognition that a change has already occurred. It is analogous to experiencing the death of one’s way of life. This involves acknowledging that one’s old life is over and even though one might wish to return to it, it is not possible. A new way of living is needed. 16 In the transitional or “liminal” phase the individual is seen to be existing outside of ordinary life. During this period one does not belong to either one’s old world or a new one, During the transitional phase the experiences of individuals reflect two dominant themes. The individual is in limbo, no longer living one’s old life yet not knowing what lies ahead in the future. A person will struggle and waver, experiencing both bewilderment and excitement about one’s present situation. There is often a longing for the past and a desire for a new life. One will experience alternating periods of confusion and glimpses of a vision about one’s future. Preparing for one’s new life is the second feature of this phase. This involves acknowledging that one is a novice. Time is spent learning about the new life one is embarking on. There is a sense of being on probation and feeling vulnerable and apprehensive about the future. One feels that one is involved in a kind of pilgrimage or search for a new way of living one’s life. The purpose of the final incorporation or “postliminal” phase is to integrate the individual into a better way of life. The individual experiences a breakthrough in his or her struggle to change. It is analogous to experiencing the birth of a better way of life. There is a feeling that one has gained valuable insight or wisdom and has really changed. One no longer wishes for the return of or regrets the loss of one’s old life. One has a sense of direction and purpose about one’s new life and looks forward to the future with confidence. 17 Accompanying these experiences are others that make the person feel accepted. One experiences a sense of belonging and a new sense of stability in one’s life. While the same basic pattern is evident for all major life transitions, each of the phases are not developed to the same extent in all cases. In specific instances the three phases are not always equally important or equally elaborated. Similarly, sometimes a particular phase, often the transitional period, has a duration and complexity so great that it seems to constitute a whole cycle in itself. Eliade (1958) considers transition to be a process of spiritual transformation, of realization of a more fulfilled significant existence. Spiritual death and rebirth are the means by which this occurs. These two features represent the “structural common denominator” 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 resurrection the individual experiences a revelation in which one transcends or changes one’s view of one’s own existence. This leads to a fundamental change in how one lives one’s life. Prior to this revelation the individual feels like his or her life is “off course” or has a sense that it has been a failure. One’s life becomes one of conflict and struggle, falling into a state of chaos. During the rebirth the individual is instructed in how to live a new life and is often challenged to do so through a series of tests. One has the sense that 18 powerful forces are at work or that one is being guided by some higher power. The individual is described as becoming completely preoccupied or obsessed with what is presently happening. The change affects or touches virtually every aspect of one’s life. Following the transition, the individual is considered to be living, not just a different life but, a more genuine and fully realized one. For Bridges (1980), transition represents the means by which an individual realizes personal growth or development. He drew from Van Gennep for his description of the pattern of experience and from Eliade for his view of the spiritual significance of transition. For Bridges as well as Van Gennep and Eliade, transitions are basic to human existence. In contrast to Parkes, Hopson and Adams, and Schlossberg, Bridges considers transitions to be fundamentally positive rather than something that can have either a good or bad outcome. He shares Eliade’s belief that the purpose of the transition process is not only self-renewal but the realization of a more fulfilled, significant life. However, he recognized that some people avoid or retreat from the process and attempt to perpetuate their old life in some form. Like Van Gennep, Bridges described an individual’s movement through a transition as a three phase process. Initially an individual goes through what Bridges refers to as an ending and once again the death analogy is used. In this phase an individual typically experiences a disengagement from activities, relationships, 19 settings, or roles that have been important to him or her. One loses one’s way of defining oneself, and is disenchanted with life. He or she feels disoriented, vulnerable, and stuck. The middle or neutral zone is described as a time of chaos where there is a moratorium declared on the activities of on&s everyday existence. Time is spent thinking about one’s life. The person feels a pervading sense of emptiness and meaninglessness which he or she struggles to escape. One wishes for a return to one’s old life. One often tries to deny these feelings or is overwhelmed by them. Eventually, the person surrenders to the emptiness and chaos, letting go of the person he or she used to be, and stops struggling. The final phase is a period of renewal or what Bridges calls the new beginning. One feels like one has crossed a threshold and there is no returning to one’s old life. A person often gets a subtle or sometimes clear signal about one’s future in the form of an idea, image, or opportunity that he or she feel attracted to. As a person plans for and takes action he or she experiences inner resistance to the change. This often produces doubt, confusion or even depression. Following through with the change, one gradually identifies with one’s new life and become engaged in it. The translation of the individual’s insight into action may take the form of new commitments at home and at work or it may take the person into new relationships or projects. “But either way, the old connections that were broken with the earlier disengagement are now replaced” (Bridges, 1980, p. 149). Like Parkes, Hopson and Adams, and Schlossberg, Bridges holds that while every individual experiences transitions periodically in one’s life, he rejects the notion of there being stages of adulthood or particular ages when a person goes through particular transitions. Secondly, while he takes the position that personal development is achieved through transitions, Bridges recognizes that not everyone facing a personal change will complete the transition process. Some people will get stuck in the ending or middle phase. Others will have experienced an ending and begun in a new situation, however, they will have truncated the middle period, and not experienced the inner reorientation required for a new beginning. The three phases that make up the transition process need to be completed in order for an individual to experience growth through transition. Career Transition: Other Relevant Models For Janis and Mann (1977), career transition is a decision making and a conflict resolution process. It is a process of problem solving in which the person often experiences considerable turmoil. A person wants to both decide what is best and silence the agony of facing this decision. How a person deals with the decision facing him or her is determined by one’s appraisal of oneself in the situation. Recognizing that people often experience conflict when 21 faced with a major decision means that this is not a purely rational process but one that is influenced by one’s emotions. When a person needs to make a decision he or she goes through a sequential appraisal process. How one resolves the dilemma is determined by one’s response to four key questions about one’s perception of the situation. For instance, if in response to the initial question: “Are the risks serious if I don’t change?” an individual considering a career change answers “no”, the individual will stay in his or her present career without experiencing any conflict. If the answer is “yes” then the next question is posed: “Are the risks serious if I do change?” If the answer is “no” then the individual will switch careers without experiencing any conflict. If the answer is “yes” then the next question is posed: “Is it realistic to hope for a better solution?” If the answer is “no” then the individual will give up considering a new career by defensively avoiding any future references or reminders, procrastinating or shifting the responsibility to someone else. If the answer is “yes” then the next question is posed: “Is there sufficient time to search and deliberate?” If the answer is “no” then the individual becomes hypervigilant and panics. If the answer is “yes” then the individual goes ahead and begins a vigilant search for a new career. Vigilant decision making involves gathering information about alternatives, weighing the alternatives and deliberating about one’s commitment. The person will typically vacillate over what to do and worry about regretting the decision later. When one feels like one has come to a decision one makes preparations to implement it and announce it. At this point the person believes more strongly than ever that his or her decision was the correct one. In spite of the considerable effort, after the person.has acted on the decision one often finds another unexpected opportunity comes up or one’s expectations are not met. This shakes one’s confidence, one feels disappointed, and wonders if the right decision was made. If the person’s decision making was vigilant then he or she will likely stick with the decision. In contrast, if a person experiences an unconflicted change, defensive avoidance, or hypervigilant decision making then the decision is highly vulnerable. If challenged it is likely the person will begin the decision making process all over again. Perosa and Perosa (1987) have presented a conceptual framework for counselling career changers which utilizes Janis and Mann’s (1977) model of decision making and the Hopson and Adams’ (1976) model of personal transitions. For them, a career transition involves experiencing loss and integration as well as choosing options and consequences. Hopson and Adams’ seven phases represent the emotional factors and Janis and Mann’s appraisal process represent the cognitive factors involved in career transition. Nicholson has developed a cyclical model of work role transitions (Nicholson, 1984, 1987; Nicholson & West, 1988). The 23 transition cycle he describes involves four phases: preparation, encounter, adjustment, stabilization. In describing transition as cyclical Nicholson is positing that the process is recursive. From this perspective, a person is always at some point in the process and the final stage of a current transition can also be the first stage of a future transition. Secondly, Nicholson considers the phases to be interdependent, in that, what happens at one stage will have a powerful influence on what happens in the next one. Finally, he posits that different psychological processes (i. e., experiences, tasks, problems) dominate each phase. Expectations and motives dominate the preparation phase. An individual’s experience at this stage will be influenced by the feelings and motives one has about future change in one’s life, how clear or detailed one’s expectations are, how well equipped one feels in the face of known and unknown future change, and how much foreknowledge one has of a transition. Emotions and perceptions reign in the encounter phase. The amount of shock and surprise an individual experiences at this stage will depend on how prepared he or she was to encounter the change. He cites Hopson and Adams’ model as a possible description of the emotional component of the process involved in this phase. He adopted Louis’ (1980b) description of the “sense-making” process one goes through when one finds oneself in a new situation to be a plausible account of the cognitive component. According to the 24 process Louis described, a newcomer inevitably experiences surprise, that is, he or she encounters events that are discrepant from those which he or she anticipated. This triggers a need for explanation and a corresponding cognitive sense-making process which enables meaning to be attributed to the surprise. Assimilation and accommodation govern the adjustment phase. This can involve the individual experiencing personal changes 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 the replication mode there is little individual change or molding of one’s new role. In the absorption mode there is significant personal change but not much shaping of the new role. In the determination mode the new role undergoes extensive modification and the individual experiences only minor personal changes. In the exploration mode both the new role and the individual undergo extensive change. Relating and performing are preeminent in the stabilization phase. During this phase changes are consolidated and the individual’s activities settle into a routine. Nicholson postulated that some people never experience this stage. Rather, they move directly into preparation for the next transition. 25 Career Transition: Relevant Research Osherson (1980) used a case study approach to explore men’s midilife career change experiences. Twenty white males who had all made a voluntary, dramatic career change took part in a series of five interviews that were designed to elicit their experiences. He found a natural order and consistency emerged from the participants’ descriptions of their career change. He characterized the pattern as a loss and grieving process. There is an initial period of disruption of one’s self-definition which is characterized as a time of crisis and loss. A process of reorganization of self follows. This is a period of turmoil and change. Finally, a reconstituted self emerges where one’s roles and reorganized life situation are stable. Osherson’s data indicated that the resolution of one’s loss took one of two courses. An individual’s resolution was either “sculpted” or “foreclosed”. A foreclosed resolution represents an attempt to rigidly hold on to or let go of threatened self-perceptions. The career change is often described as an accident. There is no evidence of the change being given careful consideration and the individual closes off any questioning of motive or reasons. An individual following this course denies that they have experienced a loss. Osherson observed that conflict is avoided and suppressed. This occurs for: “...both the conflict aroused by the discrepant experiences and that of the underlying ambivalently held aspects of self. As part of this defensive process we find that the career change is accompanied for such individuals by either a sharp - devaluation of the initial career and/or florid overidealization of the second career” (p. 154-5). In a sctilpted resolution of the grieving process there is an openness to information about oneself. The conflict and ambivalent feelings being experienced are recognized. The loss is acknowledged and confronted instead of being avoided. Previously devalued aspects of oneself are acknowledged. Previously discrepant experiences are externalized through the career change. Such individuals experience a “letting go” of certain roles or images of oneself yet are able to hold on to other valued aspects of oneself Career change decisions are given more careful consideration and there is a sense of involvement in and personal responsibility for one’s career change. Osherson observed that participants whose reports reflected sculpted resolutions were more satisfied with and invested in their second careers. Osherson’s study is extremely valuable for its rich, detailed description of the process these men went through. He enhanced the credibility of this description by having the career changers who participated in the study review and comment on how well the results captured the tone and substance of their experiences. Osherson’s detailed description of his data analysis procedures and 27 interview methodology further enhanced the reliability or trustworthiness of the results, The chief limitation of Osherson’s study is a result of the homogeneous type of career change that was sampled. He restricted his study to men who had resigned from high status professional careers (e. g., engineer, business executive, lawyer) and established themselves in second careers as artists. It is not clear to what extent the process he described is applicable to women or to other kinds of career change. Lawrence (1980) challenged the notion that a career change was the result of a midlife crisis. She interviewed ten men and women about their career transition experiences. She found that only three people experienced a crisis prior to their career change. Instead, she discovered that career change could best be understood when it was viewed as an expression of an individual’s “personal theme”. A “personal theme” refers to psychological characteristics that are reflected in a person’s decision-making pattern. Such themes become evident over time, expressing themselves throughout one’s life, and pervade one’s work and personal domains. Furthermore, she found that people consistently described their career 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 the new career, and, finally, a period of socialization into the new career. 28 These periods were distinct from one another for the crises cases. However, there was often considerable overlap with the noncrisis or planned career change cases. This basic pattern was evident in all of the cases she reviewed. Unfortunately Lawrence did not provide enough of a description of her research method to establish that she had sufficient evidence in support of these conclusions. Similarly, it appears there was no check done to ensure that the accounts the conclusions are based on accurately reflected the individuals’ experiences. These limitations severely hamper the extent the identified transition pattern can be deemed credible, Perosa and Perosa (1983) investigated the applicability to career transition of Hopson and Adams’ transition model and Janis and Mann’s conflict model of decision making. Subjects were 134 men and women who had either already changed careers, were in the midst of changing careers, or were persisting in their present career although they claimed they wanted to change. The “changing” and “changed” subjects had left their previous career voluntarily. Data was gathered using a structured interview questionnaire format where each person was asked questions designed to answer whether they had experienced the characteristic features of the Hopson and Adams and Janis and Mann models. The authors reported that, even within categories, not everyone had the same experiences. Some people skipped stages and others 29 experienced an overlap of stages. Looking at the experiences of those who had completed their career change, nobody reported they had felt shocked or immobilized. Ninety-six percent admitted they had experienced minimisation and denial while eighty-five percent had felt depressed and a sense of self-doubt or meaninglessness. Everyone said they went through periods where they experienced themselves “letting go” of the past or their old job, testing their options, and embarked on some kind of search for meaning. Ninety- six percent or all but one of the “changed career” sample described themselves as having internalized the change and experienced a sense of renewal. Turning to the four questions of the Janis and Mann model, for the “changed career” subjects seventy percent reported they had asked themselves if the risk was serious if they didn’t change, thirty-two percent reported they had asked themselves if the risk was serious if they did change, sixty-three percent asked themselves if it was realistic for them to hope to find a better career, and ninety-eight percent said they asked themselves if they had enough time to search for a better career. The study’s design prevented investigation of several aspects which are relevant to the question of whether either or both of these models are valid when applied to career transition. While they identified the frequency in which elements from the Hopson-Adams’ transition model and Janis and Mann’s conflict theory were experienced by career changers, they did not elicit the pattern of 30 occurrence of these elements. Similarly, they did not address whether the basic tenets of each model were applicable to the career changer’s transition process. Finally, it did not address how or whether the two models are related to each other. A study by Collin (1984, 1985, 1986) focussed on the significant subjective experiences of career changers. She conducted relatively unstructured biographical or life historical interviews with thirty- two men who were in the midst of an occupational change, She left it to each individual to decide if they viewed their occupational change to be a career change. While cautioning that her study was exploratory and did not set out to nor was capable of validating any particular theory of career change, the men’s reports of their experiences lead her to conclude that career changers appear to go through a psychosocial transitional process much like the grief cycle described by Parkes and subsequently expanded on by Hopson and Adams. Collin described career change as a “broken truce” where a change in circumstances upsets or shatters one’s definition of or sense of self and one’s assumptive world. The men’s reports suggested that, regardless of whether the career change was voluntary or involuntary, expected or unexpected, the individuals felt cut off from their past. They experienced a sense of loss in their concept of themselves. The men reported feeling extreme discomfort about their situation. Their world seemed to be in a state of disarray. 31 They found themselves having to make significant decisions about their lives in the midst of this state of confusion and dislocation. There was a strong desire to escape these feelings and jump at whatever opportunity presented itself. They were uncertain and ignorant about their future. Old dreams and aspirations faded or were destroyed and new ones began to replace them. Participants found themselves to be both extremely energetic and lethargic. Furthermore, the participants reported that they turned to others for advice and as a means of gaining new information about themselves. Moving through the transition process, individuals eventually redefined their concept of themselves and their assumptive worlds. While the study is valuable for its focus on the experience of career transition, its design hampers the extent the results can be deemed relevant to other career changers. The study had only a single contact with each participant and this occurred in the midst of the career change. Given that the interviews were held when the men were either just leaving or had just left their old occupation but had not yet begun a new one, the study’s results do not represent a complete picture of career transition. Similarly, there is no way of knowing whether the study’s participants followed through with their planned changes or subsequently returned to their original careers. While the sample was relatively heterogeneous in terms of the occupations that were being left, the sample was restricted to 32 men. For this reason it is unclear whether women have the same experiences. McQuaid (1986) used the “grounded theory” model developed by Glaser and Strauss (1967) to develop a description of a pattern of experience midlife career changers appear to share. Grounded theory is a qualitative, exploratory approach which is often used to generate theory when an area of research has not been well developed. McQuaid intensively interviewed twenty men and women who had completed a career change and the confidants of eleven. Using this approach a descriptive theory of midlife career change was generated from the words of the career changers themselves. The chronological phases which an individual must go through to complete the process include the predispositional, confrontational, action, and adjustment phases. Each phase has particular elements which are experienced by the career changer. For instance, having certain misgivings and the development of certain attitudes about one’s first career are predispositional elements. Confrontational elements include beginning a reappraisal of one’s life, recognition that one’s values have changed, and the realization that a career change is desired or needed. Elements involved in the action phase include planning, facilitating, and inhibiting the career change. Assimilation and the effects of the new career on life satisfaction are elements contained in the adjustment phase. The theory describes how these elements correspond 33 temporally with the old career, the transitional period that was found to exist between the two careers, and the new career. McQuaid tried to enhance the credibility of the career changers’ individual descriptions of their experiences by checking that the main events the career changers reported in their interviews were corroborated by the testimony of their respective confidants. Unfortunately, the trustworthiness of the descriptive model of career change the study produced is open to question. McQuaid failed to demonstrate that the model accurately portrays the career transition experiences the subjects described in their interviews. One means of accomplishing this would have been to have the career changers review the descriptive model. Another attempt to describe the experience of midlife career change was undertaken by Vitalis (1987). She used a phenomenological methodology which included in-depth interviews with ten men and women who had voluntarily changed to successful second careers. The study produced individual descriptions of career change and a general description of the kinds of experiences the career changers had as they went through this process. Six major themes were shared by all of the participants. The themes were: preliminary conditions for change, an active changing process, decision making and risk taking, outside-the-self assistance, commitment to oneself, and an assessment of the change. Vitalis concluded that career 34 change is a process of becoming free of enmeshed family values. She found that the career change experience was essentially the same for men and women. The results were checked by having the career changers review and comment on the accuracy of the individual descriptions and the general description of the themes. This study is valuable as an initial exploration of the career transition experience. It is not clear whether the same themes would be evident for other kinds of career change (e. g., people forced out of their careers or people who were not successful in their second careers). Unfortunately the study did not compare the results of either the individual cases or the general description to any of the theoretical models of career transition. Nicholson and West (1988) used a two-phase survey ofjob change in middle to senior managers as a means of analyzing and understanding various aspects of work role transitions. Twenty- three hundred male and female managers responded to the first survey and 1,100 of these responded again to the follow-up survey fifteen months later. In regard to Nicholson’s cyclical model of the work role transition process, the study only provides some limited retrospective reports on aspects of the managers’ transition experiences. In support of the existence of the preparation stage, analysis of the survey results indicated that the managers who were most anxious about what to expect in their new job were those who were about to experience the most radical and demanding job 35 changes. A related finding was that, on average, women were more anxious about the pending change than men. A finding relevant to the encounter phase was that almost three quarters of the managers who reported some kind of job change said they had been surprised by some aspect of their new position. This was most extreme in those cases involving an interorganizational change. The survey indicated that the most common adjustment mode is one in which the individual both reshapes the work role they are taking on and experiences significant personal change. Finally, given the high job mobility the study demonstrated individuals experience, the authors questioned how often individual’s stabilize in any given position. These findings provide a thin empirical base for Nicholson and West’s cyclical model of the work role transition process. While the relative occupational homogeneity of the sample enhances the reliability of the study this same feature makes it unclear as to what extent the study’s findings generalize to work role transitions in other occupations. A study by O’Connor and Wolfe (1987) explored the experiences of adults between thirty-five and fifty who were anticipating or undergoing a significant career or life transition. Using the comments of sixty-four men and women who were recruited to a two to three hour initial interview and one of a series of three day workshops, a set of meaningful themes and categories was constructed. A five phase model of the transition process was 36 developed as a way of describing the typical transition experience of the participants. The model has five steps beginning with a person moving into a transition from a stable life structure which includes established roles and relationships. The second phase is a period of rising discontent where a critical “inner voice” emerges. The third phase is characterized as a time of crisis as the person’s familiar world and lifestyle collapses. During this period, deep emotions like anger, depression, alienation, and the like are evident. In the fourth phase the person would either retreat to his or her old ways or begin to pursue new directions. Re-directors were required to experiment with and adapt to new conditions including a new sense of self. In the final phase the person becomes committed to a particular life structure, re-stabilizing with a particular identity and sense of purpose. The steps could be further distinguished by other characteristics like emotional tone, extent of emotional arousal and scope of change being experienced in one’s life. However, there were significant differences among individuals on such measures. For example, for some people the change was narrow and well-bounded while for others change was extensive and extended into several life domains. A companion report (O’Connor & Wolfe, 1991), based on data from the same study focused on accounting for these differences. 37 O’Connor and Wolfe (1991) found that some but not all transitions resulted in a shift in what they refer to as a person’s “paradigm”. Adapting Kuhn’s (1970) concept, an individual paradigm shift “refers to fundamental, underlying changes in a person’s structure of beliefs, values, feelings and knowledge” (O’Connor & Wolfe, 1991, p. 326). Several features distinguished transitions that resulted in a paradigm shift from those that did not. Transitions that resulted in a paradigm shift were typically broader in scope and included a greater questioning of self, including the beliefs, assumptions and philosophy one has been living by. There was movement towards greater inner-directedness (i. e., greater concern with defining a sense of purpose and meaning in one’s life) and some kind of commitment to learning and life structural changes in the pursuit of personal development. By the end of the transition, paradigm shifters were typically excited and enthusiastic about their careers and feeling positive about the future. Unfortunately, O’Connor & Wolfe did not provide enough of a description of their research method to establish that they had sufficient evidence to support their description of the transition sequence. Their reporting method did not provide any indication of the extent the experiences used to develop the themes and steps of the model were shared by the transitioners. Similarly, a separate thematic and category analysis was not reported for the subset of transitions that resulted in a paradigm shift. These deficits limit the 38 extent to which the model and distinguishing characteristics can be considered credible. Finally, there was no breakdown of the types of transitions that made up the sample. This makes it unclear whether the sequential model of the transition process and the characteristics of the transitions that resulted in a paradigm shift can be considered an accurate description of career transition. Defining Career Change There have been some surprisingly diverse definitions of career change offered in the literature. This has led some researchers to avoid using any criteria or simply to allow the person to decide if an occupational shift was a career change (Collin, 1984, McQuaid, 1986). Relying on the individual’s perception does not identify the criteria the person used and it neglects defining what criteria should be used. In the career change literature there are two broad criteria that seem evident behind the various concrete specifications of career change. First, many authors have focused on changes in a person’s life structure. For example, Perosa and Perosa (1983, 1984) and Gottfredson (1977) used Holland’s (1973, 1974) categorization of occupations to define career change as a switch in one’s field of activity. According to Holland’s (1973, 1985) theory of career, switching from bank manager to teacher involves a shift from a conventional job environment to a social one. Thus, a shift in field of 39 activity reflects a significant change in and concern for on&s life space or structure. For others, career change as a change in one’s life structure is expressed through their use of the need for further training or education. Robbins (1978), Robbins, Thomas, Harvey and Kandefer (1978), Thomas (1979), and Armstrong (1981) used this as an objective measure of Heistand’s (1971) concept of career change as a discontinuity in one’s work life. In these studies a person was considered to have made a career change when their previous training for their old occupation was either unnecessary or insufficient for their new one. For example, a university physics professor would find that his training in physics did not prepare him for life as a musician; thus his or her need for music training indicates 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 a person’s assumptive world. Attention to this criterion is evident in the work of researchers who consider career change as a perceived change in role or change in orientation to a role already held (Hall, 1987; Louis, 1980a; Nicholson,1987). To experience a change in a life role is to alter the structure of the person’s life to such an extent that a revision of how one looks at and lives in the world is required. Other definitions clearly intimate that a career change involves an individual changing one’s view of oneself and one’s world, For 40 instance, in Holland’s schema, to go from an enterprising occupation to a social one implies more than a change in life space. It implies a change in the individual’s orientation towards his or her life. 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 assumptive world in a definition of career change involves limiting their investigation to people for whom work is assumed to be salient in their life or represents a salient role in the person’s life. Operationalizing this concept has meant studying only those individuals who have left upper-stratum occupations (McQuaid, 1986; Neopolitan,1980) as defined by a classification system which uses relative prestige and similarity of subculture as its two main criteria (Turner, 1964). These researchers argue this is done because “the concept of career loses its meaning as one goes down the occupational hierarchy” (Krause, 1971, p. 235). From this perspective, changing from an upper-stratum occupation like engineering to another like antique dealer involves a significant change in the person’s assumptive world while a labourer switching from welding to pipe fitting will likely experience very little, if any, of this type of individual change. It is inadvisable for this kind of research to use any particular theory’s single criterion or set of criteria or definition of career 41 change because doing so would represent a commitment to a particular theoretical formulation. However, two kinds of questions can be formed to screen participants. First, has the career change resulted in a significant change in one’s life structure? Secondly, does the career change represent a significant change in one’s assumptive world? Intensive Study of Single Cases The case study is a fundamental method of scientific inquiry. In general terms, it takes an idiographic approach in which the intensive study of individual cases produces a detailed description and analysis of a naturally occurring real-world phenomenon or related set of events (Bromley, 1986). Yin (1984) has defined it as a distinctive method of empirical inquiry that “investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context; when the boundaries 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-experimental methodologies has become a standard reference for psychological research (e. g., Cook & Campbell, 1979), has endorsed the case study as a valid methodology for a wide range of nonlaboratory research (Campbell, 1979, 1984). It is the preferred method when seeking an explanation or description of a contemporary phenomenon or set of events which the investigator has little or no control (Yin, 1984). 42 The case study is an approach which allows the phenomenon or related events under investigation to be regarded as meaningful and treated in a holistic fashion (Yin, 1984) It can be used to reveal the structure of a phenomenon, establish an account of the process, and uncover important contextual considerations not addressed by more closely controlled investigations (Bromley, 1986). When a single case investigation is concerned with explaining how and why a person acted the way he or she did in a particular situation, it is referred to as a psychological case study (Bromley, 1986). It is “essentially a reconstruction and interpretation of a major episode in a person’s life” (Bromley, 1986, p. 3) which is based on the best evidence available. While the episode is usually a relatively short, self-contained segment of the person’s life it is important because 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 to specify the rival hypotheses which are likely to account for the phenomenon under investigation and then render them implausible. This is achieved through a process of pattern matching in which the researcher compares the pattern demanded by each of the theories being investigated to his or her observations of the phenomenon (Bromley, 1986; Campbell, 1979, 1984; Mishler, 1986; Yin, 1984). This feature makes the case study ideally suited for theory testing. It enables the investigation of the adequacy of a complete model or 4,3 vision rather than having to limit a study to one portion or aspect of a theory. Career transition is a significant life event over which a researcher lacks control. The objective of the proposed study is to develop accounts of career transition and search for a common pattern of experience. Given the type of phenomenon that will be investigated and the objective of the research, the case study is an appropriate and, in fact, the preferred methodology for this particular study. The plausibility of a case study’s findings can be threatened by a number of different sources. The most common source of problems involve the study’s construct validity and reliability (Mishler, 1986; Yin, 1984). These threats can be minimized by following three principles of data collection (Yin, 1984). The first principle is to use multiple sources of evidence as a means of addressing questions about the construct validity of the study’s case reports. This involves developing converging lines of inquiry through a process of triangulation (Reichardt & Cook, 1979; West, 1990). Multiple sources of evidence are essentially multiple measures of the phenomenon under investigation. Therefore, a study’s research findings will be more convincing or credible if different sources of evidence indicate a common conclusion (Bromely, 1986; Yin, 1984). The second principle involves creating a case study data base. This means documenting and organizing the data collected in a 44 study so that it is in a formal retrievable format. This makes it possible for other researchers to access and review the evidence upon which a study’s findings were based rather than having to simply rely on the case reports. This increases the reliability of the study’s case reports and conclusions (Yin, 1984). The third principle involves maintaining a chain of evidence as a means of increasing the reliability of the information in the case study. This is accomplished by ensuring that someone reviewing the case study is able to follow how the findings of the study were derived. This requires establishing a clear evidenciary link between the conclusions of the study, the actual data, and the initial research question. Following this principle also increases the construct validity of the study by establishing that the methodological procedures probed the phenomenon that was the object of the investigation (Yin, 1984). The methodological rigour of the current study was maximized by following these principles. For example, each account was based on the convergence of evidence obtained from three different lines of inquiry: a detailed personal description of the career transition, a theoretical description produced using Q-sorts, and an elaboration on the meaning of the transition experiences. Every case report was validated by having each person review a written summary of his or her own account. Furthermore, an independent 45 review of each case study was conducted to check that a chain of evidence was maintained. The plausibility of a case study’s conclusions can also be threatened by unanswered questions about the external validity of the study (Mishler, 1986; Yin, 1984), such as the extent to which the research findings are generalizable beyond the case that was the subject of the investigation. Statistical generalization, which involves enumerating the frequency of phenomena, is not the domain of case study research. “Case studies, like experiments, are generalizable to theoretical propositions and not to populations or universes” (Yin, 1984, p. 21). In case study research the extent to which findings generalize beyond the data to a theory is established through replications or multiple-case designs (Barlow, Hayes & Nelson, 1984; Hersen & Barlow, 1976; Yin, 1984). The current study conducted multiple replications as a means of establishing the domain to which its account of career transition can be generalized. Q Methodolorv Q methodology is a “set of statistical, philosophy-of-science, and psychological principles” (Stephenson, 1953, p. 1) developed by William Stephenson for the intensive study of the individual. It is a flexible, sophisticated and powerful method which takes an ipsative quantitative approach to the study of phenomena (Kerlinger, 1972). It provides “a systematic way to handle a person’s retrospections, his reflections about himself and others, his introjections and 46 projections, and much else of an apparent subjective nature” (Stephenson, 1953, p. 86). Its most distinctive feature is its ability to consider 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 an object, concept, or experience according to some self-referent criterion. Statistical analysis of an individual’s Q-sorts yields data which can indicate intercorrelations of the individual’s experiences and whether an underlying factor structure exists for the phenomena being studied (Kerlinger, 1972, 1973). These factor structures represent the subjective meanings of the psychological event or phenomenon under investigation (Stephenson, 1985). The reliability of the results produced by Q-sorts has been confirmed by several studies. It is the test-retest reliability which has most often been at issue. Retest correlations between .93 and .97 were reported by Frank (1956). Reliabilities over .95 were found by Kahie and Lee (1974). Kerlinger (1973) reported a correlation of .81 over an eleven month period while Fairweather (1981) reported test-retest reliability coefficients of .90 or higher for one to two year intervals. Q methodology has certain characteristics which made it an appropriate quantitative method for the current investigation of career transition. Q methodology provides a valuable focus on the 47 measurement and statistical analysis of the individual case (Kerlinger, 1972). This allows complex comparisons of sets of measures within the data of one individual. Consequently, the data the Q-sort yields can more accurately reflect the complexity of the individual. Some of the applications of Q methodology have been noted by Kerlinger (1972). Q is well suited for studying complex changes in people over time. It is an excellent means of testing theories. Finally, Q is particularly useful for uncovering unanticipated relationships and opening up new areas of research. Interview The interview is an important source of case study information (Yin, 1984). While it is is one of the most commonly used methods in psychology, it can take various forms and be used for different purposes (Kvale, 1983; Mishler, 1986). Following Mishler (1986), the current study treated the interviews as a form of discourse, an extended conversation or discussion about the interviewee’s career transition. It provided an opportunity to seek an understanding of what meaning the career transition events held for the individual. Mishler defines the interview as a speech event. It is the product of the reciprocal interaction of the interviewer and interviewee, encompassing what they speak about together and how they talk with each other. Questioning and answering are considered forms of speech. They are structured by a complex set of linguistic and social rules of appropriateness and relevance that 48 each speaker brings to the discourse. In contrast, the standard behavioural approach views the interview as a series of decontextualized questions and answers analogous to the elicitation of a response to a stimulus. Defining the interview as a speech event requires the implications of three related issues be addressed. First, the discourse of the interview is constructed jointly by interviewer and respondent. The interviewer and respondent, “through repeated reformulations of questions and responses, strive to arrive together at meanings that both can understand. The relevance and appropriateness of questions and responses emerges through the discourse itself’ (Mishler, 1986, p. 65). This implies that interpretation of meaning will require an analysis of the interview process. Secondly, interview analysis and interpretation are based on a theory of discourse and meaning. “Interpretation of the organization and patterning of speech depends on a theoretical framework that entails specifying the presuppositions and rules that people use in speaking to each other” (Mishler, 1986, p. 66). Since implicit assumptions about discourse and meaning enter into the analysis and interpretation of the interview, the task is to make explicit the theoretical basis of the interpretation. The current study used narrative analysis as its theoretical framework for understanding interviewee responses. This involved considering interviewees’ 49 responses as a type of narrative or coherent story about their career transitions (Bruner, 1986; Cochran, 1986; Mishler, 1986; Polkinghorne, 1988). Finally, the meanings of the questions and answers of the interview are contextually grounded. The implications of this go beyond acknowledging that meanings emerge, develop, get shaped by and in turn shape the discourse. From within a broader sociocultural and sociopolitical context, different interview methods reflect different distributions of power in the interviewer-interviewee relationship. This power distribution has an impact on the respondent. Certain forms of interviewing may function to hinder respondents efforts to construct meaning from their experiences. When an asymmetric power relationship exists in the interview the researcher is the sole arbitrator of the meaning of interviewee responses and the study’s findings. Respondents are not given the opportunity to comment upon the interpretations that have been made. When an interview method is used which reduces the asymmetry of power the respondent is better able to “construct coherent and reasonable worlds of meaning and to make sense of their experiences” (Mishler, 1986, p. 118). Respondents take on a more participative and collaborative role in the research process. This can be expressed in any of a number of different ways. For 50 instance, it can take the form of the researcher yielding control of the flow and content of the interview to respondents. It can also take the form of interviewees having a voice in the interpretation of the findings. The current study treated the interviewees as research collaborators. They shared in the development of the study and in the analysis and interpretation of the data. The study’s interview method was “intended to empower respondents, to facilitate their efforts to achieve a meaningful understanding of their experiences” (Mishler, 1986, p. 138). Narrative Accounts A narrative is a story, an account of an event or series of events in one’s life (Polkinghorne, 1988). “One of the significant ways through which individuals make sense of and give meaning to their experiences is to organize them in a narrative form” (Mishler, 1986, p. 118). A narrative is both a description of the phenomenon and an explanation of it (Cochran, 1986). It is explanatory in the sense that the 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 information obtained from the in-depth interviews about the person’s transition, the interview about its significance or meaning, and the results of the Q-sorts to produce a narrative account of each person’s career transition. 51 The research information that was gathered in the current study was organized into narrative form for several reasons, First, transitions are already in narrative form. They are temporal in nature. Narrative employs the units of story as structures that can be utilized to help comprehend an experience like the career transition. It enables the transition to be viewed as a cohesive whole rather than as a collection of elements (Cochran, 1986, Polkinghorne, 1988). “One is concerned not just with isolated features that are relatively constant but with a coherent, configuration of features” (Cochran, 1986, p. 27). The elements gain meaning through their position in the series of related experiences that make up the transition (Cochran, 1986). Narrative reveals the significance that events have for one another (Polkinghorne, 1988). Secondly, people describe themselves and their experiences in narrative form (Bruner, 1986; Polkinghorne, 1988; Robinson, 1990). They create narrative descriptions for themselves and for others about their past actions and future plans. “That stories appear so often supports the view of some theorists that narratives are one of the natural cognitive and linguistic forms through which individuals attempt to order, organize, and express meaning” (Mishler, 1986, p. 106). Finally, narrative accounts can be analyzed in systematic ways. Narrative offers a form for systematic evaluation of the meanings and functions of different features and modes of speech 52 (Mishler, 1986). For example, an account can be analyzed for its textual function or linguistic structure. It can be analyzed for its coherence or referential meaning. It can also be analyzed in terms of the role relationship between the speakers who generated the information of the narrative account. Two recent studies are exemplars of the case study approach being used to produce narrative accounts of career phenomena (Chusid & Cochran, 1989; MacGregor & Cochran 1988). MacGregor and Cochran (1988) found that roles in one’s family-of-origin are somehow transformed or displaced onto occupational roles. In every one of the ten cases investigated for this phenomenon they discovered that vocational roles represented re-enactments of family drama. Chusid and Cochran (1989) extended this research and found that individuals re-enact family-of-origin roles in their work. Further, they demonstrated that when an individual changes careers this re enactment in the vocational arena persists in some fashion. This pattern was evident in each of the ten cases they examined. Career change was found to represent a continuation of one’s family of origin role enactment in a new occupational setting, a shift to another role or a synthesis of dramatic themes which produced a new role. The methodological rigour of these studies allows one to have confidence in the credibility of their findings. For example, in both studies the narrative accounts were developed based on convergent 53 interview and Q-sort information. Both studies had the subjects review the findings. Both used multiple replications to assess the domain of or extent to which the findings apply. Chusid and Cochran (1989) further demonstrated the reliability of their findings by having the interviews and narrative accounts independently reviewed. 54 CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY Design of the Study The investigation constructed narrative accounts of career transition and searched for a common pattern of experience among them. This demanded a research strategy that could accommodate the intensive study of individual cases and treat a person’s experience as the phenomena that was of principal interest. In contrast to traditional between - and within - group approaches, the case study was ideal for this task. It could focus directly on individuals’ experiences and examine each person’s career transition as a coherent whole. The main design issue in the investigation was whether the narrative accounts, which are the study’s research product, could be considered credible or plausible (Mischler, 1986). Satisfactorily addressing this concern meant showing that each account was believable, that other interpretations of the study’s results were less likely. This concern required attending to the soundness and trustworthiness of the accounts. In studies that produce narratives as their research product, ensuring the soundness of the study corresponds with addressing internal validity concerns. Ensuring the trustworthiness of a study corresponds with addressing reliability 55 concerns (Polkinghorne, 1988). These two related concerns represent the most common source of methodological problems in case study research (Yin, 1984). For an account to be considered sound it must be shown that it is well-grounded, that there is sufficient evidence to support it (Polkinghorne, 1988). In the current study, soundness was addressed by basing each account on the convergence of three kinds of evidence. Each kind was obtained through a different line of inquiry. The first kind of evidence was a detailed description of the person’s life during the entire period of the career transition. This information was gathered in a series of in-depth interviews. The second kind of evidence involved a charting of the person’s experience over the course of the career transition using terms that are of theoretical interest. This charting was done by having each person do a series of Q-sorts, a special kind of card sorting and ranking exercise that, in this case, described various experiences drawn from relevant transition models. The third kind of evidence was the person’s comments and elaborations when presented with the results of the charting of the career transition experiences. Discussion focused on the significance of the content and pattern of the person’s experience. In short, the study provided participants with an opportunity to provide a personal description of their career transition, a theoretical description through the Q-sorts, 56 and an elaboration on the meaning of the experience. Each person’s narrative was based on the convergence of these three types of evidence. For an account to be considered trustworthy it must be shown that it accurately portrays the evidence that was gathered about the individual’s career transition experience. This involves ensuring there was a free flow of information in the research interviews and that nothing of importance was distorted or left out of the final written account (Polkinghorne, 1988; Mischler, 1986). In the current study trustworthiness was checked using a three part case review procedure. First, all the evidence gathered on each career transition was reviewed by the researcher and the research supervisor. They had to agree that each account was an accurate portrayal of the evidence. Second, the accuracy was checked by having each participant review a written summary of his or her own narrative account. Third, each account was checked by having an independent reviewer decide whether it was a faithful representation of what was said in the interviews. By following these procedures, the narrative account of each person’s career transition required agreement from four different people (i. e., the researcher, the research supervisor, an independent reviewer, and the study participant) who had varying degrees of involvement and viewed the transition from different perspectives. 57 Using this design ensures there is a reasonable basis for claiming that the accounts are credible. The design requires each account be checked that it is sound in the sense that different sources of evidence support it. The design requires each account be checked that it is trustworthy in the sense that it accurately reflects the evidence. Figure 1 gives an overview of the procedures that were followed 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 the same sequence of events. It began with the Screening Interview, was followed by the Career Transition Interview, then the Q-sorting exercise. Once each person’s Q-sortings were analyzed, the results were presented in the Elaboration Interview. After the convergent information from these sources was written up in a narrative account, the study participant reviewed the account for accuracy. Study Participants Study participants were recruited through a referral network of personal contacts. The initial letter of contact used in the current study is Appendix A. The participants were selected according to the following criteria. First, the people selected had the experience that was being investigated. They had gone through a career change (Cochran & Claspell, 1987; Colaizzi, 1978). The review of the literature demonstrated that behind the various concrete definitions of career change were two features that all conceptions shared. 58 Therefore, the study screened each potential participant to establish that (1) the career change made a significant change in the individual’s life structure and that (2) it resulted in a significant change in his or her assumptive world, Second, the selected participants had to be capable of reflecting on and articulating the experience (Cochran & Claspell, 1987; Colaizzi, 1978). This required that participants have a competent command of English, the language of the researcher, and were able to speak coherently about their experience. Furthermore, this involved selecting participants who were no longer immersed in their career transition so that they could review the experience with some perspective. At the same time they did not go through their transition so long ago that all that remained was a hazy recollection or flavour of the experience. Using these criteria enabled selection of people who could adequately describe their transition experience. Following replication logic, each case in a multiple-case study is a test of the external validity of the phenomenon under investigation. Each account represents a test case of the applicability of conceiving of career change as a transition process (Harre, Clark, & De Carlo, 1985; Yin, 1984). For this reason, in addition to meeting the screening criteria, the final selection of participants was based on representation of diverse kinds of career change (Chusid & Cochran, 1989; MacGregor & Cochran, 1988). This enabled the research to search for shared experiences and patterns of experience. 59 Furthermore, it provided the means to account for variations (Rosenwald, 1988). Screening Interview Candidates were individually interviewed to ascertain whether they met the participant criteria described in the previous section. This necessitated translating the study’s conception of career change as a life structural and assumptive world change into common, everyday language. Each potential participant was asked to give an initial description of their career change in their own words. Furthermore, they were asked to briefly describe themselves and what 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 experienced a 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 candidate to insure that different kinds of career change were represented in the study. This was done by obtaining the person’s first and current career work histories and finding out about the circumstances surrounding the career change. Ten cases (five men and five women), representing a variety of first and second careers were selected. Table 1 provides a descriptive summary of the career transition case study participants. Each participant gave his or her 60 written consent to participate in the study. The consent form used in the current study is Appendix B. Career Transition Interview This interview focused on eliciting the individual’s life-story during the career transition (Bromley, 1986). Each study participant was encouraged to take on a participative and collaborative role in the interview. This was accomplished by considering what the person said as a story or narrative and by treating the interview as a discourse intended to help the person achieve a meaningful understanding of the transition experience (Mishler, 1986). First, each person was asked to draw a lifeline for the transition period and to identify all the significant or landmark events connected with the career transition (Hopson, 1982; Johnson, 1977). The construction of the transition lifeline was intended to provide a story outline that would help the person organize his or her thoughts and empower the person to tell his or her story. Second, each person was told, “The objective is to develop a meaningful understanding of your career transition. I am interested in hearing the story of your life during the time of your career transition, from first inclination through to feeling established in your second career”. Then the person was told to start at the beginning and asked to go ahead, tell the story. Care was taken to make the person feel comfortable, free to talk, and not to unduly influence what the person said. 61 The total amount of time it took for a person to tell his or her story and the number of sessions over which the story was told was unique for each person. All interviews were tape recorded and transcribed for examination. Q-sort To perform a Q-sort, a set of items that are a representative sample of the phenomena being investigated is needed. For this study, the items were the different experiences the transition theories suggested a person goes through. These are sorted by the study participant according to a specified self-referent criterion. Secondly, a set of topics, concepts or, in the case of the present study, events is needed. These are used as reference points when sorting the individual descriptions that make up the set of items in the Q-sort. It is more common, especially in educational and political research, for the results of Q-sorts to be analyzed across subjects. However, the current study employed a Q-sort in a single subject repeated measures design. Therefore, in the current study, principle component 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) and analyzing each person’s sortings across his or her landmark events. The use of Q-sortings in a single subject repeated measures design in the present study follows previous case study career research (Chusid & Cochran, 1989; MacGregor & Cochran, 1988). 62 Furthermore, this design has been used by Brown, a prominent Q methodology scholar (e, g., Baas & Brown, 1973), and has been advocated by Stephenson, the pioneer of Q-methodology, as an ideal method for intensively analyzing individual cases (Stephenson, 1974, 1980, 1985). Each study participant sorted the deck of cards that make up the Q-sort several times, once for each landmark event he or she experienced over the course of his or her career transition. For each landmark event, the subject was required to sort the Q-items according to how well the description on each card matched his or her experience during that event. Q-sort Items The study’s Q-sort was composed of a comprehensive representative sample of descriptive phrases about the career transition process. For adequate reliability and ease of handling by subjects, a Q-sort should be no larger than sixty to ninety items (Kerlinger, 1973). Forty-five items were drawn from the eight dominant models of career transition described in the literature review. As such, the Q-sort items represented the universe of transition experiences these theories postulate an individual goes through during a career transition. They were translated into common, ordinary language so the subjects could understand them. (33 0-sort Topics The topics of the study’s Q-sort were the significant or landmark events of an individual’s career transition. These events were identified in the career transition interview. The number of events and the events themselves were unique for each subject. The number of events ranged from a minimum of nine to a maximum of fourteen. Each person performed a sort for each landmark event he or she identified. Individual’s tend to recall significant personal events very clearly. For this reason, using the landmark events of a person’s career transition as the Q-sort topics significantly improved the likelihood of reliable recollections. Most importantly, these key events represent the career transition from the perspective of the individual who has gone through it. This is consistent with Stephenson’s intention that Q be used to investigate that which makes up the individual’s world (Stephenson, 1974, 1980). 0-sort Item Development The Q-sort that was used in this study was constructed over a period of seven months. The development process is summarized below: 1. For each theory identified in the literature review, an exhaustive list of key descriptive phrases was drawn up. 2. Each descriptive phrase was translated into the form of an item for the Q-sort. In collaboration with the supervisor, this involved writing each item (i) in clear, ordinary or everyday language that can be understood by subjects, (ii) in the past tense since the subjects were reflecting retrospectively on their experiences, (iii) in the active voice, and (iv) to reflect one main idea. This produced a total of 157 items. 3. In collaboration with the supervisor, the mass of items were organized into coherent groups. This involved clustering the items according to commonalty of the postulated career transition experiences. Through a process of distillation, refinement, and revision a description that accurately reflected each item within each group or cluster was developed. This process reduced the number of items to forty-five. 4. Each theory was rechecked to ensure that all the key descriptive phrases were adequately represented in the items. As part of this review process the wording and focus of the items was sharpened. 5. The Q-sort was field tested with subjects who met the study’s selection criteria. This resulted in altering the wording of some items. 65 6. Finally, a theoretical validation of the Q-sort was conducted. This involved consulting two experts on career transition and having them check that the Q-sort accurately represented the key descriptive phrases of each transition theory. Q-sorting Each 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 deck of cards for each landmark event connected to his or her career transition. The instructions for sorting were as follows: 1. Take the deck of cards, read each card separately and put it down on the table in front of you. Spread out the cards and try to form a general impression of the attributes stated on the cards. 2. Now pick up the cards, make a deck and shuffle the cards in the deck. 3. Now, (for example) sort these cards to describe significant event number one, retrospectively, according to your recall of the event, ranging from those that are most characteristic of your experience to those that are least characteristic of your experience. 4. Place the cards into roughly three equal piles as follows: most characteristic, doubtfully characteristic; least characteristic. 66 5. Sort the cards as follows: 1 2 4 8 15 8 4 2 1 6. a). Start with pile one (those most characteristic of your experience). 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 your experience) and follow the same process, going from your far right toward the centre. h) Place the “doubtfully characteristic” cards (15) in the middle. (Note: If necessary, it is possible to draw cards from the middle pile.) 7. Check the sorting and make any changes you wish but retain the required number in each category. When the first sorting is completed and recorded, cards will be shuffled and the next event for sorting will be introduced. The number of sessions required for a person to complete the sortings depended upon the number of events there were to sort. 67 Analysis of the Q-sorts Each item in the Q-sort was scored according to the pile it was placed in. The structure of the Q-sort used in this study (N = 45) is illustrated below: Evaluative Criteria Most Doubtfully Least Characteristic Characteristic Characteristic of or of Landmark Undecided Landmark Event Event * * Frequency 1 2 4 8 15 8 4 2 1 Q-score: 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Each subject performed a Q-sort for each of his or her landmark events. Each sorting provided a score for each item. The scores represented the match of each descriptive phrase with the landmark event. For each event there were items that were considered to be a very good match and those that were not a good match 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 x 68 event” was developed for each person. This showed how much each event has in common with each other event as represented by the Q items. Principal component analysis demonstrated that the career transition experiences could be clustered into factors or types. Two factor unrotated solutions were obtained for each of the ten cases. The total variance accounted for by the two types of experiences averaged 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 two types of experience and their patterns of occurrence across events were defined quantitatively and graphically represented. This was achieved by calculating a “factor (types of experience) x event (landmark event)” factor loading matrix. Using case study eight as an example, on the first factor or type of transition experience the loading 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. On the second factor the loading was .47 for the first event, .18 for the second, on through to .44 on the twelfth and final event. (See Table 3, Example of a “factor x event” matrix: Case study eight.) Plotting the factor loading of each type of experience at each event showed the pattern in which the types of experiences occurred. For an example, see Figure 9. Case study eight: Jack. This identification of the types of events involved in the career transition and the pattern in which 69 they occurred was done for each person. (See Figures 2 11. Case studies one - ten.) Finally, Q-item standard or z-scores were calculated for each factor or type of experience. For each factor, the Q-items that had z scores exceeding ± 1.5 were extracted and rank ordered. This served to provide a Q-item definition of each factor. (See Table 4, Example of rank-ordered Q-item definition of factors: Case study eight.) This provided a means of distinguishing each event using the theoretical terms of the Q-sort. (i. e., Q-item describes the event very well Q item not at all like the event). For instance, with case study eight’s first factor’s loading being -.71 during the first landmark event, the Q-item experiences that best describe the event are feeling angry and overwhelmed. Feeling happy, excited, or having a sense of being guided by a higher power are experiences that were definitely not part of the first event. Elaboration Interview After each person’s Q-sort data was analyzed, the results were discussed in an individual interview. Each person was informed that the quantitative results provided only an indication of how the career transition was made and that a personal elaboration would be needed to achieve a filler understanding of the experience. Agreement with the Q-sort data was not sought. Rather, the results were presented as a means of stimulating discussion and further exploration of the individual’s career transition. 70 The Q-analysis produced results about the content of the individual’s prominent transition experiences and showed the pattern of occurrence of each type of experience. Each person was asked to respond to and elaborate on a series of content probes and pattern probes. Recalling that each factor is a prominent type of experience that is made up of a cluster of related Q-items, content probes were designed to elicit information about each prominent experience. For example, if being disoriented and confused was identified as a prominent experience for an individual then a content probe was framed around this factor. The interviewer would offer: “It seems that your experience was, to a great extent, defined for you by your sense of confusion and disorientation.” Typically, the person was asked to respond by elaborating on this experience. They were encouraged to confirm, qualifr or deny it, whatever they considered to be the most accurate representation of the experience. If the individual considered the description to be relevant he or she was encouraged to describe the experience in greater depth and detail so the interviewer could make sense of it from within the context of the individual’s life. This procedure was repeated for every prominent experience identified in the Q-analysis. Next, a pattern probe was offered for each prominent type of experience. Recalling that the results of the Q-analysis also demonstrate how relevant each factor is to each landmark event, 71 each prominent type of experience (i. e., principal component) exhibits its own pattern. Pattern probes were used to elicit information about the pattern of occurrence of each type of experience. For example, if the person’s experience of confusion and disorientation gradually became stronger over the first several events and then was dominant, then not apparent, in a cyclical pattern during the middle and later events a pattern probe was framed around this. The interviewer might have said: “It seems that gradually you became more and more confused and disoriented during the beginning of your transition. Then it seems there was a shift, in that, there were times when you felt extremely confused and disorganized. Yet this would alternate with other times when it wasn’t part of your experience at all.” Again the person was encouraged to confirm, qualify or deny the observation and elaborate on what they considered the pattern to be. Finally, the person was asked to describe and elaborate on any experiences or pattern of experiences they felt were important but had not been brought out through the discussion of the Q-sort results. The interviewer encouraged the subjects to elaborate on the meaning of the experiences and patterns through the use of reflection, summarization, clarification, questioning, empathic responses, and open-ended probes. All interviews were tape recorded and transcribed for examination. 72 Narrative Account A narrative account of each subjects’ career transition was constructed. This involved synthesizing the information from the interviews, the Q-analysis, and the individual’s comments and elaborations on the Q-results. Convergence of these sources of evidence provided the basis for the development of each person’s account (Reichardt & Cook, 1979; Yin, 1984). They were written from the participant’s observational standpoint, using his or her words as much as possible. Each account was organized into narrative form so that it was a coherent story told from the perspective of the person who went through the transition (Cochran & Claspell, 1987). Narrative Account Review Study Participant Review Confidence in the credibility of the study’s findings was enhanced by having each participant review his or her narrative account. The main objective of this review was to ensure that each study participant considered the description to be true to his or her experience. Each participant was given a copy of his or her narrative account. He or she was asked to review it and assess whether it accurately portrayed what he or she intended to communicate and whether anything of importance was left out or distorted. Independent Review Confidence in the credibility of the study’s findings was also enhanced by having the interviews and narrative accounts 73 independently reviewed. This review helped ensure that the subject was able to tell his or her story. For each case, an independent reviewer who has had graduate training in counselling and at least ten years of counselling experience listened to the audiotape of the subject’s interviews, then read the narrative account. The complete instructions for the independent reviewers are in Appendix C. Like the study participants, he or she was asked to comment on whether the researcher committed any acts of omission or coimnission. Comparative Pattern Analysis Finally, the narrative accounts of the individual cases were compared as a means of exploring the existence of a larger pattern or general psychological structure common to all ten cases (Wertz, 1985; MacGregor & Cochran, 1988; Chusid & Cochran, 1989). This could have taken the form of shared experiences during the transition. It could also have meant finding these experiences share a particular pattern of occurrence. Conducting a comparative pattern analysis also allowed variations on any shared patterns that did emerge to be accounted for (Cochran & Claspell, 1987; Rosenwald, 1988). 74 CHAPTER IV CASE STUDY ONE: JOAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER TO COMMUNICATIONS ENTREPRENEUR Principal Component Analysis The first principal component accounted for 44% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since the factor loadings of events show a clear change from beginning (-£4) to end (.86), this component portrays the meaning of the transition to Joan, using the theoretical terms. To define this component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below, and phrased to characterize the beginning of the transition. 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 the Q-sorts. Since it did not show a clear change in event loadings from beginning (.08) to end (-.18), this component does not define the 75 transition. However, it reflects potentially important items that accompanied and perhaps contributed to the transition. These items are 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 manifested extreme swings from bored entrapment to exciting self-direction. (See Figure 2, Case study one: Joan). Change across the transition did not appear to be gradual, but cyclic. Joan achieved some degree of challenge, endured a setback, and struggled again. On the second component, changes tended to be more moderate with an extreme swing coming near the end, reflecting a dramatic rise in confidence and happiness. Personal Narrative In the first few years, teaching elementary school was enjoyable and challenging. It was certainly better than the routine clerical jobs Joan had held. But it was also not like her dream to produce documentary videos for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation or the Public Broadcasting System. Teaching was a 76 practical compromise worked out with her mother. Discouraged from pursuing her dream, teaching seemed satisfactory. However, as the novelty dwindled into routine and she began to contend with disturbing children, who distracted energy from teaching to behavior management, frustration grew. She felt typecast, locked into a role as a Grade 1 teacher, unable to change. Her request to teach Grade 4 was turned down. At work now, Joan felt like she was being kept in a box, locked into a child’s world with little capacity for self-direction and no opportunity to deal with adult issues. It began to seem like a stressful trap, life lived in anticipation of the bell ringing, all guided by external forces. She yearned for control of her life and challenge, to grow through taking on as much responsibility as she wanted. Yet the reality was confinement and stagnation, an isolation that she was coming to hate. Frustrated at work, Joan began volunteer work with the local teachers’ association, where she handled public relations and became responsible for a half hour television program, shown once a week. She was often able to fill the half hour with existing films but also 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 others still had high regard for her teaching. She increased her involvement in the teachers’ association, serving on committees where she overcame her discomfort to speak 77 in public. She was particularly interested in the women’s rights committee. After serving on this committee for three years, she was named as a delegate to a large annual meeting. She spoke to an audience of 1200 people in a big hotel and received public acknowledgement. It was exhilarating, so much more adult-like and self-directing. When the provincial manager position for the women’s rights program became vacant, Joan was encouraged to apply. She overcame her fears and applied. After an intimidating interview with ten members of the executive committee, she was offered the job for a three year term. Immediately, she packed up her classroom and went to work as the provincial manager, with an office, a secretary, and support staff It was liberating just to be able to have lunch in a restaurant. As a symbolic gesture, she threw away the tupperware container in which she had toted her lunches to school for so many years. It seemed to capture her release from entrapment. She never wanted to return to teaching. Coordination involved holding meetings with teachers, making presentations, developing committees throughout the province, organizing conferences, and initiating programs. There was a great deal of travel, but her programs went well and she found the change exciting and enjoyable. By the second year, she felt stabilized, adequate for the job. It was not quite as exciting, Further, she was becoming more immersed in political battles. Women’s 78 programs were still new and contentious, and there were opponents within the teachers’ association who did not want money spent on status-of-women projects. The politics were stressful and by the third year, she regarded her position as a hotbed. She was becoming restless, stressed, and fed up. She decided not to apply for another term. During the final year at the teachers’ association, Joan’s mother’s health declined dramatically. Throughout the transition, her mother was ill with a neurological disease that strikes in middle age and involves progressive physical and mental deterioration. The disease is hereditary and Joan knows she is at risk. Watching her mother deteriorate was very painful, serving as a constant reminder to do what she really wanted with her life while she could. Joan’s mother had always encouraged independence. To slowly die this way, so contrary to the self-directed living she valued, left Joan with a kind of legacy to strive for independence, most likely through some kind 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 faced with taking up elementary school teaching once more. Joan reluctantly returned to the classroom, not knowing what else to do. She had naively expected that she would be able to get another job doing women’s work in government or for an agency. Afterall, she had good experience now. She had done her job successfully. She had spoken at national meetings and at the steps of 79 the provincial legislature, and had appeared on television. But partly due to economic restraint, there were no jobs for a women’s organizer, or advocate, or specialist. It was a rude shock to find that she did not seem to have a future in women’s work after the progress she had made. The school was fine, the principal and children were nice, but it was like trying to put on a shoe that was too small. She could not stand it. The confinement was intolerable after the challenges she had faced, after having the freedom to move, manage her own time, and generally be self-directed. As Joan chafed through this year of confinement, she consulted a career counsellor. The counselling confirmed her initial career direction as a video producer, a television executive, or a publisher. The counsellor advised her that she needed more education to gain more career options. Acting on this advice, Joan entered a graduate program in Adult Education, a choice she considered to be as far from elementary teaching as she could get. Partly, she wanted to distance herself from elementary school. 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 took her out of her routine, stretched her intellectually, provided adult company, and gave her time to think about things. Graduate school was a good break. Even teaching one day a week to support herself seemed fine. Without anticipating constant confinement, the one day 80 was rather enjoyable. Overall, the career counselling helped her establish a general direction and graduate school restored her faith that there were other routes to follow, She was not stuck. Upon graduation, Joan found a job in a community college organizing community programs. She organized a conference for single mothers and worked to develop programs and courses. She determined programs, located instructors, and promoted courses. The job was comfortable and free-wheeling. She liked it, but did not consider her tasks challenging. When cutbacks threatened her position, an acquaintance at the community college referred her to a job she knew about at the Ministry of Transportation. The ministry needed educators to develop a traffic safety program. She interviewed for a position and was offered a consulting contract. It was nice dressing up and working in downtown Toronto, so far removed from suburban elementary schools, very adult. In the first year, most of her time was spent developing a curriculum for schools. It was not very challenging and Joan yearned to work with video and media, using the career test results as a reminder of her optimal career direction. With this in mind, she persuaded a transportation ministry manager to create a new position that would manage special video and media projects. As manager of special projects, Joan developed a rock and roll video on alcohol and driving, produced brochures, and became involved in a number of other fun projects. However, the setting became more bureaucratic, with 81 plenty of forms to fill out and reports to give. Now housed in a new building, the ministry became a big, boring system whose constant paper control of employees through forms and reports seemed insulting. Reporting to her hot-tempered boss made Joan feel like she was back in elementary school, compromising and putting on a false front to avoid wrath. In her third year at the ministry, Joan was becoming fed up, and when she was offered permanent employment as a traffic safety manager, it served to crystallize her thinking about what she really wanted to do. For all of her adult life, Joan had been blocked because she did not know how to reach her goals. Initially, she had tried to work in television for the CBC, but did not know how to qualify for a position or gain entrance to the field. Now, she wanted to become a communications consultant, helping clients use various media in an effective way. She knew how to do the job, or could learn what she didn’t already know, but did not know how to become set up as an independent consultant, While this direction was rich and meaningful, even holding out the possibility of eventual television production, it was very uncertain. There were no clear and definite steps. One could fail miserably. In contrast, taking a permanent position with the government would be secure, but little else. It would mean adapting to and being encaged within a big, boring system, not all that different from teaching grade one. In both, she would feel confined, forced to take on a child-like role. Besides, there 82 were tax-benefits to self-employment that were not available on salary. For many reasons, some quite practical and others buried deeply in themes of her life, Joan resolved to become an independent consultant with little assurance that she would be successful. During this period, Joan dwelled on a name and description for her emerging company. She went through lists of business names. It was much like naming a child. There was about a nine month gestation period that culminated in the official birth of her company. She had found the perfect name that seemed to integrate significant meanings of her life, her feminist leaning, her love of beauty and communication, her femininity. She had the name registered and it became an entity, something real. Now she had to figure out what to do with it. In her first venture, she attended a national conference in the United States, handing out brochures to offer her services as a traffic safety consultant. From this trip, despite attempts from a ministry manager to discredit her, she gained a contract with New York to set up a high school program. After an assistant deputy minister learned that Joan had contacts in the United States, she was approached and hired by the ministry’s public relations firm as a consultant to market their traffic safety material. She went to conferences in the U. S. and even Europe, and was able to land a few big deals, but not enough to justify expenses. After a year and a half, the ministry closed down its marketing operation. 83 During the period Joan was trying to market traffic safety programs her father was very sick with cancer, During the last six months of his life she pursued the odd contract but spent most of her time looking after her dad. His death was very difficult for Joan. She became depressed and found herself searching for meaning in her own life. Throughout Joan’s life, her father had modelled an entrepreneurial spirit. His death added resolve to live her life whatever way she wanted, to keep going in her search for a way to be successfully self-employed. Traffic safety seemed too narrow to market effectively. She had expected to successfully market her services internationally. She was humbled when her efforts to expand her New York contract failed. She had a couple of other small projects but was growing tired of the content. She sought to diversify her services. Due to a video she had produced earlier, the Canadian Coast Guard contracted to develop a video on alcohol and boating. It was her first real independent production project and it resulted in two videos. Joan then took these videos to the Ministry of the Environment and other agencies as samples of her work. She began to receive calls to submit bids, resulting in more video projects. One thing was leading to another, moving her into increasingly diverse productions. Meanwhile, a friend from Joan’s community college days needed help writing fund-raising letters. Joan decided to try it. It worked out so well she became interested in fund-raising as a 84 communications specialty. It had inherent diversity. It was usually for a good cause such as education or medicine, making fund-raising very 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 was eventually offered a salaried permanent position but turned it down. At present she attempts to maintain three major projects at any given time. To manage the increased revenue, she incorporated the company. Although the work can be exhausting, seven days a week during some periods, it is satisfying and she feels secure enough to limit clients. Joan finds there is a dignity in self-employment, She does not feel anyone owns her. For Joan, to be employed is to be enslaved. But to be self-employed in the right way is to live the self-directed life of an adult, unbounded and meaningful. It requires confidence to live this way but Joan had been developing confidence gradually since leaving elementary school teaching. It had grown through challenges such as speaking to a group of 1200, being responsible for projects, and venturing out on her own. Yet to successfully make the transition she did, rejecting the security of permanent employment, Joan had to act when she was neither confident nor secure, but quite vulnerable. Joan does not see her transition from teacher to self-employed communications entrepreneur as courageous, Rather it is something she feels she just had to do. 85 Convergence The event loadings of both principal components converge with the flow of the narrative account. The narrative portrays a change from entrapment to self-direction, from a child-like role to an adult role. The first principal component describes a change from being stuck to being unstuck. Generally, the loading of an event matches its description in the story. For example, when she returned to teaching after working at the teachers’ association, the event loadings shifted from .74 to -.73. Similarly, her narrative description moves from excitement and challenge to confinement. The second component describes Joan as a vulnerable novice during the early part of the change and as a confident purposeful person in the latter part. Once again, the event loadings match their descriptions in the story. For example, when Joan goes for her interview for the teacher’s federation provincial manager position, the event factor loading was .46. Similarly, the narrative description portrays her as being intimidated. The Q-sorts provide an abstract description of Joan’s transition. The narrative gives it a richness of detail and meaning. Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative Account This is really well written ... Its very accurate. I think its all true. Its very interesting, helps me see myself ... Very 86 concise, very interesting to me Good for you. I’m very impressed. Independent Reviewer Report I found the interviews facilitative. I did not find bias. Joan had the room and the trust to elaborate. While events were summarized, you made an effort to put them in proportion. Nothing of importance seemed to have been left out. There was no distortion - just an effort to condense things in a manageable way. 87 CHAPTER V CASE STUDY TWO: CARLA SOCIAL WORKER TO FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST Princinal Component Analysis The first principal component accounted for 37% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since the factor loadings of events show a clear change from beginning (.52) to end (-.70), this component portrays the meaning of the transition to Carla, using the theoretical terms. To define this component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus 1,5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below, and phrased to characterize the beginning of the transition. 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 the Q-sorts. Since it did not show a clear change in event loadings from beginning (.5 1) to end (.14), this component does not define the transition. However, it reflects potentially important items. Some of these accompanied and perhaps contributed to the transition. Others 88 were definitely not part of the transition. These items are listed below. 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 manifested extreme swings from being drained with life off course to feeling happy, confident, and excited with a sense of direction and purpose. (See Figure 3, Case study two: Carla). Change across the transition did not appear to be gradual but cyclical. Carla briefly felt confident and happy, endured a period where she felt drained and her life was off course, then felt excited with a sense of direction and purpose again during the latter part of the change. The second component indicates much of the change was spent searching and wondering about the future. Personal Narrative When Carla finished her general arts degree at Daihousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia she still didn’t have any clear idea of what she wanted to do. She wanted to somehow work with people but nothing grabbed her in a direct way. A one year follow-up degree in social work seemed to be a practical way to finish off school and get 89 out into the work force, The course work seemed manageable, and sort of interesting so she went ahead and did a one year B. S. W. After a miserable year working as a case worker in a small Cape Breton fishing village that was worse than the one she had grown up in and had gone to uxiiversity to escape, Carla managed to badger the head of social work at the provincial mental hospital in Halifax into giving her a job as a psychiatric social worker. The next couple of years were pleasant, being back in the city, working with interesting patients. She found the mental hospital to be so intriguing that no other work setting held any appeal for her, However, it became apparent that, other than administrative positions, there were no other jobs she could move to in the hospital. She enjoyed her day to day work with the mental patients but after a time it all seemed pretty automatic. She felt limited in what she could do. Her involvement with a patient was always directed by the attending psychiatrist, not the social work department. Carla wanted the excitement of being responsible for the case management of a patient. She realized that as 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 really irritated and frustrated her. After two years at the mental hospital, Carla wondered what to do next. She had saved some money and had applied to McGill for graduate school in social work. This seemed to be the next step in her career but it didn’t feel right. She was restless, ready for a 90 change, and needed to sort out what to do with her life, She decided to take four months off and go bum around Europe with a girlfriend. Carla was more than just bored with her job. She felt like an outsider 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 the traditional Anglo-Saxon Irish-Catholic values and beliefs she had been brought up to hold, values most of the people around her shared with each other but apparently did not even think to question. She found the watchful presence of the church in her life and the strong push for conformity that she felt, even living in Halifax, to be oppressive, confining. There were narrow boundaries within which a single woman was expected to live and she found it necessary to conform. Carla hoped the trip to Europe would be a way to slow down and give some thought to what to do. Europe was a chance to see the different ways people lived, an opportunity to expand beyond the Cape Breton culture she had grown up in. By the time she returned from her trip she had pretty much decided to forget about the M. S. W. idea. She realized that looking for a future within social work was too confining. An M. S. W. would just be a ticket to more of what she already wanted out of. Studying more social work wouldn’t change the kind of secondary role the medical system forced social workers to assume. And she knew from the professional journal reading she did that, compared to medicine or psychology, she wouldn’t find 91 social work research to be very exciting or provocative. But she didn’t know what to do instead. Shortly after her return from Europe, Carla was discussing her dilemma with someone at a party who was preparing to go to medical school. Medical school sounded interesting, maybe something she should consider. At the same time she heard herself saying, “No, I can’t do that!” The course work scared her; it would be too hard. But after reviewing Daihousie University’s medical school program, the idea didn’t seem all that outrageous. She decided to take a couple of the prerequisite courses she would need to see if she could survive them. She returned to her job at the mental hospital and over the next several semesters took a series of night courses, not telling anyone she worked with what she was up to. The final course she needed was only offered in the day-time, making it necessary to tell her supervisor what she was doing. She found her to be quite accommodating, allowing her to rearrange her work schedule around the course, When Carla applied for medical school she already knew she wanted to go into psychiatry and outlined her plan in her application. She was astonished when she was accepted since she had heard how selective medical schools were. Her first year of medical school was horrible. That first year was her first life crisis, her most memorable blubbering moment. Still lacking much of the expected math and science background, 92 Carla struggled with the heavy workload and difficult course content. For instance, she would sit in biophysics class, feeling a sensation of disassociation, thinking “What in the name of God are they talking about?” She had always thought of herself as being bright. For the first time in her life, she felt inadequate, like she was in way over her head. She was certain she wasn’t going to make it, that she had made a mistake. This sense of inadequacy was aggravated by how alien she felt to many of her young classmates who had been groomed for medical school since high school, While it was all she could do just to keep up, they would be upset because they had made 93% instead of 95%. She found it was a waste of time to seek help from the school’s student advisors, the people who were supposed to be there to provide assistance. They offered no support. Knowing she was headed for psychiatry made it even harder, since many of the courses she was struggling with weren’t relevant. She reached a point where she decided that all she could do is study as much as she can while waiting for the day they discover how stupid she is and throw her out. Her whole life became devoted to school. In order to survive 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. Finishing medical school was a triumph, something she had worked hard at to achieve. It felt like an important turning point. She had not bothered to attend the graduation ceremonies for her previous two degrees but 93 this one was something worth celebrating. At the ceremony, her mother’s presence and uncharacteristic but obvious high spirits heightened the sense of happiness and confidence she felt. Carla was still planning to go into psychiatry but she had been advised by most people to do a one year general medicine internship first. This would qualify her as a general practitioner, giving her something to fall back on just in case she should ever decide to leave psychiatry. Following this advice, her internship took her to Saskatoon for the next year. Toronto had been her first choice but it was 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 different medical areas: emergency, pediatrics, surgery, orthopedics, etc. The first six months were grueling, very tough .going. The work was physically overwhelming and she was tired all the time. There were also other things that were troubling her. Carla found she wasn’t really interested in the work. It wasn’t intellectually stimulating. She was frustrated by the orientation of the supervisory staff and the pace at which she was required to work. She found herself being expected to learn how to get in and get out with a minimum of interaction with a patient. She was discouraged from listening to a patient’s concerns, something she had been geared to do all of her life. She resisted, yet every occasion she spent time talking to a patient, she fell behind in the rest of her work. There was no sense of 94 appreciation for her efforts from the staff, As a resident she was treated as an unwelcome intruder. Her pediatrics rotation was horrible, The senior resident did nothing 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 response was “This is the way it is”, this is how the system works, Then in the middle of the rotation Carla received word that her mother was dying. Carla flew home to be with her. Her mother pulled through and, as soon as she could, Carla returned to Saskatoon, No compassion was expressed or support offered, The staff physician was angry that she hadn’t covered the service. It was during this rotation that Carla decided, “No way!” She wasn’t buying into a system that treated people this way. Somehow she would find a place where what she had to offer would be valued, some little niche that promotes values she could understand and be committed to. She went to see the director of programs and told him how she felt, He listened to what she had to say and outlined her options. This included starting on her psychiatry early, as long as she was sure this is where she wanted to go. Carla jumped at the chance. If there had ever been any doubt, she was sure now. She spent the remaining six months of her internship working psychiatry. It was very pleasant. She was offered the chance to stay on and do her residency in Saskatoon, but Carla wanted to go to 95 Toronto. It was the place that appealed to her. The same girlfriend she had travelled through Europe with had lived in Toronto while Carla was in medical school and Carla had visited her a couple of times. Getting accepted at the University of Toronto was fairly easy. She was really enthused about moving and getting started on her residency. The next four years were a joy. The six month rotations gave her a chance to be involved a little bit and the day to day work was good. For the first time in a long time she was able to talk to patients and their families again. She was finally getting a chance to have the kind of contact she had wanted with a patient. For the first time in six years, people looking at what she was doing were saying, “You aren’t so bad at that” and even, “you’re pretty good”. She felt competent even while she was learning. She was accomplishing something that was worthy of someone’s notice, it was rewarding. Things were fitting together, she belonged there, Even the people running the psychiatry residency program were ‘people’ people. They were fairly attuned to interpersonal needs. They didn’t feel they had to beat her to death in order to make her perform. It was a relief to be out of that kind of system. She went through the program with a small group of about ten others. They did all their courses together and they became a kind of social network, working and partying together. They were people from different places, with different points of view, and even from 96 different countries and cultures. Getting to know such a diverse group of people was very broadening, interesting, even enlightening. She found herself learning about all kinds of things (i. e., ancient cultures, eastern religions). She found herself thinking about things she never would have thought about before. She was experiencing the same kind of comradeship and stimulation in her work. She could pursue any question she wanted for as long as she wanted. Asking questions was valued since poking around and learning new things was rewarding for everyone. Because the residents were all pursuing their own questions and reading different material, and the staff and ward people had their own points of view, there would often be a dozen different ways of looking at a problem. Carla found this diversity to be very enriching. It was such a contrast to her experience in social work back in Nova Scotia, where everyone had been trained in the same theories and even with the same books. It was possible to look at something many different ways. As she learned to do this she found more doors opening up, there were even more skills she could learn. She found living in Toronto gave her a broader world view. As Carla worked through her rotations she gradually became aware that she was always particularly interested in the legal aspects of her patients’ cases. Back in the provincial mental hospital in Nova Scotia, she had done about a year as the social worker on a forensic ward and had found it very interesting. She decided she 97 wanted to do her elective rotation in forensic psychiatry. She was aware of a small group of people who practiced in this area but neither the Clark Institute’s Forensic Department nor the Metropolitan Toronto Forensic Clinic was affiliated with the university. She approached the forensic service, told them what she wanted, and after meeting her, they approved a residency. It was a roaring success for her and for the service. Resisting an attempt to place 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 mental hospital and some newly charged high profile cases. She loved every minute of it! It was a very fulfilling six months. Carla was determined that forensic psychiatry was what she was going to do after she finished, And sure enough the forensic service asked her to come on staff as soon as she finished. She went to work half-time for the forensic service and half-time for the university. Starting in practice came pretty easily. By the end of her residency she knew she was up to scratch; she knew what she was doing, It was clear to her that she could do the work. Carla has found her niche in forensic psychiatry. She is aware that most other psychiatrists run away at the very mention of legal or forensic work. She finds the patients intriguing and is comfortable with her role in the legal system. Most of the work is court ordered which means she reports to a judge and doesn’t have to report to anyone in the medical system. For financial and personal 98 reasons, her self-employed status is important to her, It gives her a sense of independence when it comes to her work. It is important to her that nobody can tell her what to do, Carla has avoided private practice. She thinks she would find it very limiting and boring. She finds it hard to believe that anyone in private practice could have just one perspective that fits all their patients. She would miss the network, the stimulation, the mix of ideas on what is going on and how to approach a particular problem that she values so much in her practice of forensic psychiatry. As a social worker in Nova Scotia, Carla had been living within narrow and externally imposed boundaries of what she was allowed to do in her work and how she should live her personal life, Carla’s change to forensic psychiatry reflects a shift away from conformity, from feeling required to live her life a particular way. She now feels free to live in accord with what is important to her. She values the freedom of choice and self-direction she experiences in her work and personal life. But to achieve this required her to go through several years of medical training that was more restrictive than she could have imagined. Until she reached her psychiatric residency program, she was often unhappy, felt out of place, and wondered if she was going to make it through the training. To achieve her goal of becoming a psychiatrist required her to keep going no matter what happened, especially on those occasions when she lacked self-’ confidence, 99 Convergence The event loadings of both principal components converge with the flow of the narrative account. The narrative portrays a change from limitations and confinement to self-direction and authenticity. The first principal component describes a change from a life off course to one with a sense of direction and purpose. Generally, the loading of an event matches its description in the story. For example, when Carla was accepted into the psychiatry residency program at University of Toronto, the event loadings shifted from .64 to -.61. Similarly, her narrative description moves from anger and frustration to enthusiasm and enjoyment. The second component indicated much of the change was spent searching and wondering about the future. The loading of an event on the second component also matches its description in the story. For example, when Carla comes back from Europe, the event loading was .73. Similarly the narrative describes her not knowing what to do now that she has written-off the M. S. W. idea. The Q sorts provide an abstract description of Carla’s transition. The narrative gives it a richness of detail and meaning. Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative Account I think its pretty accurate ... I think its a pretty good summary of the whole thing. It captures the essence of the whole thing. I think you did a good job on it. Its amazing 100 actually that somebody can put it all down (on paper) ... Its pretty dead on! Independent Reviewer Report You left her a lot of space to speak. You didn’t butt in in any way. When she paused to think you just left her the space to continue elaborating. When you did speak it was to help her expand her comments. One example that I thought was really good ... was a clarification when she talked about the residency being so easy for her. You said “Because it was easy, does it mean that it was insignificant for you?” And she responded “No, it was indeed significant . . .“ But just by putting this question in allowed her to say “Hey! What was significant about it being easy?” I found that really good. Similarly, when she said the residency was pleasant you asked “What was pleasant about it?” Just allowing her to elaborate, pause and think.... I was very aware of occasions when you mirrored or paraphrased. That brought out and confirmed a lot of what she said. Your voice was very soft. I could often hear in the distance (on the tapes) the good “Um Hmm”, following kinds of things. The other thing I was very impressed with was ... how very capable you were about staying on track with her. I found your write-up of the case study to be very thorough and included a lot of her own words. I think that was really important. What an interesting person! You did a really thorough job. 101 102 CHAPTER VI CASE STUDY THREE: DANIEL PRIEST TO LABOUR UNIONIST Principal Component Analysis The first principal component accounted for 33% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since the factor loadings of events did not show a clear change from beginnings (.54) to end (.58), this component does not define the transition. However, it reflects potentially important items. Some of these accompanied and perhaps contributed to the transition. Others were definitely not part of the transition. To define this component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, these items are 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 the Q-sorts. Since it shows a clear change in event loadings from beginning (.4 1) to end (-.45), this component portrays the meaning of 103 the transition to Daniel, using the theoretical terms. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below and phrased to characterize the beginning of the transition. The end of the transition is the opposite 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 period towards the end, the change was spent seeking support and feeling determined (See Figure 4, Case study three: Daniel). The pattern of change on the second component manifested extreme swings. Daniel went from being angry, struggling with conflict, and feeling like he was being tested to being happy and confident. Change across the transition did not appear to be gradual but cyclical. Daniel alternated between between periods of confidence and happiness and angry periods, where he struggled with conflict and felt he was being tested. Personal Narrative When Daniel took up his first assignment as a Roman Catholic priest, he had a kind of missionary zeal about the social action work he was taking on. He was part of the new wave of Catholic reform thinkers who were setting out to implement changes of the Vatican 104 Council, under the leadership of Pope John XXIII. In many ways Daniel had been preparing for this work since he had been a teenager. Daniel’s high school teachers had been Jesuit priests. His sense of social conscience was heavily influenced by one teacher in particular, who later became a prominent. U. S. antiwar leader. Prior to ordination Daniel had been a student in Washington D. C. for six years with the Paulist Fathers, an American based activist order that did religious education work in nontradtional settings: publishing, broadcasting, street and university work. While in training he found himself leading different social action projects. For instance, while finishing his Master’s degree in theology, he was an organizer for the Washington civil rights demonstrations. Daniel found organizing, mobilizing people around social goals or ideals to be very closely wedded to being a priest. Daniel’s first assignment was to Vancouver, to teach adults about Catholicism. The order had been invited to open an adult religious education centre downtown and to place chaplains at Simon Fraser University. The first year was a ball, he really enjoyed himself. He ran education programs for the public, spoke at public forums, did a weekly interfaith radio show. Daniel attracted a lot of people, he was an inspiring teacher. People were excited about moving beyond literal interpretations of Christian teachings and understanding spirituality at an adult level. Others were disturbed by his demythologizing of their childhood religious training. He 105 realized he was upsetting people but didn’t see anything wrong with that. “To create change you have to create ferment. That was part of the job.” In his second year, a new more conservative archbishop was appointed to Vancouver. About the same time, Daniel started taking the Vatican Council’s renewed understanding of Catholicism directly to the parishes. He found he was not speaking the same language as the parish priests. Their training had been completely different. He felt like an outsider, like he didn’t fit in, nor did he want to. He didn’t identify with the parish priests, their values, their life, what they saw as their mission. The local church leadership was increasingly troubled by Daniel’s message. They began to consider him dangerous. While he felt absolutely right about what he was doing, he felt persecuted, like they were trying to drive him out of town. In the midst of this growing furor, the archbishop contacted New York, where the Paulist Fathers’ headquarters is located. A short time later, Daniel received word he was being moved to Austin, Texas. He was angry with his order for pulling him. He fought it but ended up heading reluctantly for Texas. In Austin, there was a reenactment of the same cycle of excitement, growth of support, and conflict that had taken place in Vancouver. Daniel was to do adult education work at a parish church across the street from the University of Texas. Initially, he kept his head down, doing religious education groups. He was trying 106 to approach his work more gently, trying to treat it as a longer term building process. Once again, the number of people who reached a new understanding of their faith grew quickly. Once again, as this support grew, the church establishment and many influential conservative parishioners became alarmed about some of the changes they witnessed. Once again, Daniel came to be considered dangerous by those not committed to reform. During this period a new more conservative Pope was appointed, reversing the course of action the Vatican council had advocated. The church leadership silenced many of Daniel’s friends and former teachers, sanctioning those who challenged its authority. Leaving the priesthood became a phenomenon. It struck Daniel that a person may not be a priest forever, that people do leave the priesthood. Emblematic of this reversal of position on church reform, the church announced that, contrary to expectations, it was not going to change its policy on birth control. Daniel told people they have freedom of conscience despite the church policy. He felt he had to stand up for people in the face of what he saw as a kind of abuse of authority. Daniel continued to push for reform within the parish, encountering more and more resistance. He was admonished for not backing down on his reform stance. When the parish split over the issue of focusing religious education efforts on parents instead of 107 their children, the pastor in charge of the parish ordered Daniel to cancel his adult education program and reassigned him as a hospital chaplain. Daniel refused to cancel the program and was ordered to face a tribunal made up of the rest of the priests in the parish. Rather than submit himself to the tribunal, he left the parish staff. Daniel spent the next couple of weeks in isolation, off by himself at his parent’s summer place in Long Island. He was disillusioned, angry, feeling rejected. The church leadership had taken a turn, abandoning the course of action to which Daniel had committed himself. He knew he coukln’t continue but stopping meant abandoning the people in the parish who were committed to reform. While he was in Long Island, the reform group set up a continuing education centre and wanted him to come back to be their chaplain. Breaking from the order would make him a religious outlaw. It was a dilemma; he didn’t know what to do. He went to see the leaders of his order back in New York. They were very nonjudgemental, supportive in a number of ways, but they didn’t think there was any position he could hold without getting into controversy. He visited a number of the parishes that were part of a new “underground church” movement, religious groups set up by clergy who had left the ministry. While Daniel was disillusioned with the church, he saw himself as still being very idealistic while most of the clergy leading these groups were quite cynical. Daniel 108 saw this way of being as a logical outcome for himself if he followed this path. He decided he was not going to continue to be an active minister. The church was silencing its own leaders, it had betrayed itself. “So what the hell!”, he decided to leave the order. Daniel never went to the church to say he was resigning. He just left. Daniel never applied to return to laity status. One of the conditions of doing so required an admission that he had made a mistake in getting ordained in the first place. He couldn’t say he had made a mistake, that he shouldn’t be a priest. The decision to leave the active ministry was not a decision not to be a priest. It didn’t mean who he was had changed. It was a realization that he could not function within the church. Leaving the ministry made it possible to look at a woman he had been working with in a different way. He and Laura had been very, very good friends and close partners in a lot of their work since they had first met in Vancouver. She had been a lay catholic worker doing group work. Daniel had introduced her to the parish in Austin and they had hired her to coordinate their adult education programs. When the reform group split off from the parish, they had hired Laura to run their education centre. Daniel suddenly realized he loved her, Leaving the ministry created at least the possibility that he didn’t have to leave this relationship behind. He may be able to nurture or deepen it. This was part of an internal shift that was taking place, the closing of one door and the opening of another. He 109 went back to Austin and asked her to marry him and come with him to British Columbia. She agreed and they received the blessing of the reform 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 rejected him. Perhaps it was a mutual rejection. Whatever the case, it was very, very painful. At the same time the trip was exciting, providing an opportunity to speculate about what was in front of them. The order had looked after him for the last fifteen years. He didn’t have a social security number, had never received a paycheck, had never done a resume. The last job he had held was in a garage in high school. It all seemed like foreign territory. “What does a thirty-two year old theologian teacher do for a living?” He was filled with trepidations about starting a new life and stepping into the practical world of going to work. Thinking about it was unnerving and bewildering. He felt completely unprepared for what was facing him. Staying with friends on Vancouver Island, Daniel worked as a labourer in temporary jobs while he tried to figure out what it was he was equipped to do for a living. He and Laura had agreed they would not get married until he found work. He felt a real sense of urgency to get going, to find something quickly. He applied for a job as a school teacher but was turned down because he didn’t have a teaching certificate. After telling his story to an old friend of the 110 people they were staying with, this man arranged an interview for a social 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 registered as a social worker. The registration act had just been passed the previous year and there was a year’s period of grace for people who did not have a social work degree but had relevant work experience. A social worker friend with whom he had worked with vouched for him and, after a review of his academic record, he was able to get registered. He was relieved to have a job and started work for the Victoria Family and Children Services as soon as the registration was confirmed. Two weeks later, he and Laura were married at a private ceremony 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 the peace was important, It was affirming, a recognition that somebody he respected understood what he was doing. His first assignment involved counselling women who were pregnant and in the dilemma of keeping, aborting, or putting the child up for adoption. There was a sense of continuity that came from doing this work. While the setting was different, he was able to continue to be a touchstone. Within that first year of joining the agency, Daniel was asked by his peers to be president of the stall society that acted as 111 intermediary with the agency’s director over employment issues. Daniel felt very fortunate that everything had worked out so well for him. Feeling compelled to give something back to his peers, he accepted. Less than a month later, the Capitol Regional District threatened to take over the agency. The employees felt vulnerable, afraid their service would be broken up or done away with. After meeting with representatives of several existing unions, Daniel and his coworkers opted to form their own union, tailoring it to suit their own needs. What he had expected to be a peer relationship that everyone would be involved in became almost fatherly. Daniel found he was acting as a guide for people, directing them on what to do and how to proceed. When the union was certified, Daniel had a sense of having created something important. Looking around, he realized the significance of work in people’s lives, the impact of their working conditions. The union was the first in the province for social service workers. Other agencies’ staff heard about it and asked to join. The union hired an organizer and went through a three year period of rapid 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 of the social service union. His workload snowballed into almost two full time sets of responsibilities. He felt a tremendous weight, struggling to keep up both his agency and union responsibilities. 112 During the period the union was rapidly expanding, Daniel had a vision that crystalized how he felt about his situation. While laying in a hospital bed recovering from back surgery he had a flash of an inverted pyramid pressing down on, breaking his back. The pyramid was made up of faces of all the people for whom he felt responsible. He was aware of himself feeling this heavy load throughout this period but whenever he tried to lessen his involvement with the union he would be drawn back in. Daniel was just out of hospital when he received word his father was dying. It was a very important moment in Daniel’s life when his father told him how much he loved him just before he died. His father had never been an expressive person and Daniel had yearned to know of his love. In the aftermath of his father’s death, Daniel found himself questioning who he was in the face of his father. Daniel had never dared challenge his father’s authority, anger, or dominance. He had always run away from it. For instance, this had been a large part of why he had gone away to Washington D. C. to complete high school in the seminary. Daniel got involved with a team of therapists and over the course of the next several years found he was able to release much of the anger he felt. He became more expressive, and more confident about himself in the face of authority. He began to understand the rebel in himself, understand his need to be both anti-authoritarian and the nice responsible child. 113 Around the same time of Daniel’s father’s death, the New Democratic Party was elected as the government of the province of British Columbia. They quickly restructured the entire provincial social service, using one model for the Lower Mainland and another for the rest of the province. The government took over the private agencies, making everyone government employees. As a result of these changes Daniel’s social service union was required to split. Its Lower Mainland members became part of the Community Resources Board and its Vancouver Island members went with the BCGEU. When Daniel’s local joined the BCGEU, the BCGEU formed a social service component and Daniel became first vice president of the component. Also as a result of the restructuring, Daniel became a district supervisor of social services for the government. Over the next several years Daniel continued to walk on two sides of the line, holding down his social worker job while continuing to hold down a series of progressively more responsible jobs with the union. After catching the chair of the social services component trying to sabotage the union’s collective agreement, Daniel replaced him. He served in this position for several years but continued to find it challenging to meet both his social work and union obligations. Eventually he stepped down, tired of splitting himself between two very responsible roles. He had just finished a period of intense therapy and had decided to take better care of himself. His social service job had become much more demanding, making it harder to 114 be away on union business. And not long before this, he had rejected an offer to be an employee of the union. It seemed to be the logical thing to do. He had expended as much energy as he could give at that point. For the next three years Daniel limited his involvement to sitting on the provincial executive council as an advisor. He missed being at the centre of the action but it was good to not be away from work so much. At least his council seat let him continue to have an influence on the union’s direction. He was relatively satisfied with this set up until certain developments within the union drew him back into a more active role. There were a number of things in the life of the union that called out to him to intervene. The union was going off course. The head of the union and his staff, all nonelected employees of the union, were becoming increasingly dictatorial, Daniel had invested the last ten years into the union’s growth and development. He couldn’t stand by and watch this happen, he was angry, compelled to wade back in, determined to reform the union. During this period Daniel reemerged as an active political force within the union. He set out on a course to democratize the union, but found even the way he became first vice-president of the union to be representative of the problem he felt compelled to fight. When the first vice-president of the union resigned and Daniel stood before the executive council for the position, it turned out his election was manipulated. He was angry and ashamed by this and several 115 other subsequent events, making him even more determined to reform the union. He began by seeking ratification of his position as first vice-president directly from the union membership and then leading a campaign that had the union shift from having its head a paid hired employee to an elected full-time presidential position. This constitutional change set off a war within the union. Daniel was leading a movement that was changing the structure of power and decision making in the union. The union establishment saw him as a threat, as further reform would mean a loss of their power. During this period the provincial government, as part of a controversial package of labour legislation that includes giving it the abffity to fire its employees without cause, fired a long list of employees who just happened to be union activists. Lead by the BCGEU, mass opposition to the government’s action took to the streets, The campaign succeeded in forcing the government to withdraw or modify much of its legislative package. It was during this campaign that Daniel decided he was going to run for president of the union on a platform of reform. He had found the government’s action to be so abhorrent, it galvanized in his mind the necessity of the union. It really was a genuine instrument of social change that people have available to them if only they can access it. Personally, Daniel felt the die had been cast. The government’s anti-labour move had put Daniel’s reform plans on hold, but until then he had been leading a growing reform movement 116 within the union. People had been looking to him to do more than talk about democratic control of the union and the ability of the membership to control events through control of the union. The experience they had just come through demonstrated the power of grass roots involvement. Daniel had played a key role in this movement. It was very clear that it was up to him to give control of the union to the membership. If it was going to happen he was the one who was going to do it. He was very comfortable with the idea of taking on the administration. He had the support of most of the executive council and felt the membership expected it of him. Daniel was elected president of the union at the next convention. He knew he had a very big job on his hands but wasn’t quite sure how he was going to accomplish it without resorting to the same kind of tactics that had convinced him of the need for reform. He made several advances, starting with working on the union’s way of operating and style of negotiating, trying to get rid of its bully image and replace it with a more intelligent, sophisticated one. Later he and the executive council developed a blueprint to restore power to stewards and generate more activity at the rank and file membership level. However, it seemed each time Daniel started to reform the internal structure of the union, the process would get delayed. The government kept dropping some unexpected bombshell that required the union leadership’s attention. 117 The government’s next attack on the union turned out to be Daniel’s most significant personal crisis. In the midst of contract negotiations with the BCGEU, the government announced they were going to do away with the government service by privatizing it. In the middle of this struggle, Daniel found himself taking on this issue as his own personal battle. He was head of the union, he was responsible. Once again, he felt it was all up to him. He did not want to preside over the destruction of the union or the government service. Everyone around him seemed to be immobilized, they just couldn’t believe what was happening. Although he had been the one pushing hard for democratic membership involvement, as the fight with the government wore on, he moved to a position in his own mind where he could not rely on the executive. In the process of negotiating an acceptable collective agreement, Daniel isolated himself from the executive and the membership. The executive had been left out of the process and Daniel had forced his bargaining committee to obey his command on all the major decisions. Even though he had been preaching democratization, Daniel had become a solo act, ignoring his executive and using “strong arm” tactics on his own bargaining committee. He had been afraid this would happen. Despite his intentions, he was now acting much like the leadership he had felt compelled to replace. But he was so enmeshed with carrying the responsibility that he wasn’t able to see this. 118 Daniel’s loss of trust in the people he was supposed to be working with was a major point of contention at the next convention. He retained the presidency with a very slim majority but it was a moral defeat. After all he had done for the union, particularly in this last battle, the membership was rejecting him. Daniel was really hurt, really in a tailspin. He was blind to what had gone wrong until two things happened, teaching him two important lessons about himself. 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 Laura eventually refused to follow him anymore. They ended up in a raging argument over which direction to go in. Daniel felt like Laura was undermining his authority by not following him. It was his responsibility to be the guide and she was preventing him from doing what he needed to do. When they later talked over what happened she told him she had refused to go any further because he was treating her like an appendage. They were supposed to be walking together but he had left her behind somewhere. He had gotten so fixed on finding the metro, she felt he had forgotten she was there with him. It clicked for him that how he had reacted in this incident was symbolic of the way he responds to responsibility. He would become so focused on the importance of carrying the responsibility for a project that he would forget about his relationship with whoever 119 else was involved, even when it was his most intimate partner. Realizing this, Daniel decided he couldn’t afford to do this any longer. The second lesson occurred a few months later. He had been reading Joseph Campbell’s writing on mythology and had become intrigued by the notion that the structure of a person’s mind creates his 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 pay attention to his dreams as they came up. He and Laura had taken a week off and were spending it at their cabin on Hornby Island. One night he woke up from a dream. In the dream his grandmother was telling him it had been his grandfather’s wish that Daniel be the first American pope. And in the dream he saw an image of himself as the lone ranger. He came to see himself acting like the lone hero that would come to the rescue and then ride off. The dream had crystalized a personal mythology that was not working. This was a selfimage, a projection of himself as hero, that was not useful to him anymore. All his heros were martyrs, people who had been killed. He realized that he had also expected this would happen to him. If somebody else didn’t do it, he would end up killing himself. He had always pushed a fairly uncompromising line, regardless of the personal consequences. He told himself he could let go of this, he didn’t need to live this way. Over the next couple of days he talked with Laura, unraveling the myth, reflecting on the role he was in 120 and wondering how it would be if he was not doing it to carry out some personal myth structure. He wondered if the presidency would lose all of its juice for him. Going back to work without the mind structure of martyr, the one that had to carry responsibility for the union all alone, was enormously freeing. He had shed the feeling of the job being a burden. This had some important consequences at work. Instead of not having any energy for his job, he found he could be much more responsive and have many more choices available when considering what to do in a situation. The shift has allowed new possibilities to open up concerning how Daniel can do his job and live his life. It has allowed him to be a more effective executive officer. He finds he has less of a need for recognition; he no longer pushes himself into the spotlight with the media. He has regained the support and involvement of his staff. He finds he now shares the responsibility, letting others carry their share. He has been able to recognize that the executive council really is in charge and accepts direction from them. Daniel is not finished with being president of the union but he does find it has a different place 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 about it. Daniel has spent his adult life rebelling against authority: his father, the church, the dictatorial union leadership, and the 121 government. His career transition began when he took on the Roman Catholic Church and ended up leaving the priesthood. But his internal struggle continued through his discovery and immersion in the labour union movement. His change to labour unionist was not complete until he had finally broken free of the lone crusader role he had been living. This breakthrough didn’t occur until, after becoming union chief, he realized he was acting much like the authoritarian figures he had spent his life fighting against. Letting go of the martyr image has brought him an inner peacefulness, a quiet assurance that is evident in his daily affairs and leadership style. He is now much more like the responsible, democratic leader he has always strived to be. Convergence The event loadings of both principal components converge with the flow of the narrative account. The narrative describes a change from compulsion to liberation. Joseph went from being a lone crusader, full of fury and driven to challenge authority to being a responsible leader, free to choose his battles and how to fight them. The first principal component describes all but a single period of the transition spent full of determination and wanting support. Generally, the loading of an event matches its description in the story. For example, when Daniel reacted to the dictatorial style the union leadership demonstrated, the event loading was .62. 122 Similarly, the narrative describes Daniel being compelled to wade back in, determined to democratize the union. The second component describes a change from being angry to a sense of well being. Once again, the event loadings match their descriptions in the story. For example, when Daniel’s father tells him he loves him, the event loading is .58. Similarly, the narrative describes this as a very important moment, something Daniel had yearned to hear. The Q-sorts provide an abstract description of Daniel’s transition. The narrative gives it a richness of detail and meaning. Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative Account You captured the story very accurately. It’s absolutely accurate ... I’d say you captured the essence of the experience. The redescribing of the harmonizing of the lines - it felt good to read it. Its a good biography. I mean, it captures a lot of the detail, distils it, picks up on clear lines ... As I read it, its basically as it was. You are a good listener and the openness of the listening allowed a lot of freedom for the story to come out unimpeded. I appreciated that part of it. Independent Reviewer Report The interviewer did not influence the content of the subject except to occasionally ask for clarification or amplification of a point. Daniel seemed eager to talk and was 123 not made uncomfortable or reluctant by the interviewer’s occasional interruptions. This was a most interesting story. The write-up of the case is accurate and interesting, leaving nothing major out - except to say that the subject is of Irish descent! 124 CHAPTER VII CASE STUDY FOUR: JOSEPH INDEPENDENT PETROLEUM AGENT TO UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR Principal Component Analysis The first principal component accounted for 66% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since the factor loadings of events did not show a clear change from beginnings (.61) to end (.74), this component does not define the transition. However, it reflects potentially important items. Some of these accompanied and contributed to the transition. One item was definitely not part of the transition. To define this component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, these items are 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 the Q-sorts. Since it shows a clear change in event loadings from beginning (.61) to end (-.15), this component portrays the meaning of the transition to Joseph, using the theoretical terms. In order of 125 magnitude, these items are listed below and phrased to characterize the beginning of the transition. The end of the transition is the opposite 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 transition Joseph had a strong sense of direction and purpose, felt in charge of his life, and challenged (See Figure 5, Case study four: Joseph). The pattern of change on the second component manifested moderate swings. Joseph went from wondering about his future and considering his options to taking charge and having a breakthrough. Change across the transition did not appear to be gradual but cyclical. Joseph alternated between periods spent wondering about his future and considering his options, and times when he experienced a breakthrough by taking charge of the situation he was facing. Personal Narrative Joseph had never really planned to be in the petroleum trucking business. It was simply something he had ended up in, an accident of circumstances. He had been working a variety of jobs (e. g., driving truck, operating heavy equipment) when the opportunity to become an independent wholesale petroleum agent for ESSO had 126 been offered to him by someone he had met. ESSO needed a representative in northwestern B. C. He was in his early twenties, recently married, didn’t have any money, and was expecting to have children soon. The company offered to finance him and it was a chance to do better, to earn a little more, maybe build a house. He started with one truck and had soon built it up to three. Fifteen years later he had built his house, was raising his four daughters, and had settled 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 the number one company in the area. But over the last two or three years, it had become very routine and the challenge had gone out of it. It had become too predictable, the same thing over and over again. He knew exactly what was coming. This was true for both running the business and the kind of life he had in Fort St. John. When he looked ahead there was presumably a good enough living for the rest of his life, but it wasn’t really what he wanted to do. Joseph had never felt he was like many of the other business people in town. They were far too conservative, far too set in their ways. Everything was measured by the dollar sign, a chamber of commerce mentality which he couldn’t abide. He felt many of the people around him had atrophied or gotten caught up in the petty pomposity of their businesses. For Joseph ideas were important, more important than the material measuring devices everyone 127 around 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 to buck the establishment. He wanted to escape this kind of life. Joseph wondered what to do. Over a period of time he started to feel that maybe there was something else. His wife played an instrumental role in this. Carol encouraged him to consider teaching. She thought it was something he would be good at. Carol had been a teacher before coming to Fort St. John and she had gotten back into it as a substitute. Joseph had always done a lot of reading, even while running the business. Reading and studying had always been easy for him. He considered a number of other occupations, but there were several reasons why teaching seemed like the natural thing to do. It was something he felt capable of doing. Joseph’s brother, Carol’s sister and a number of their friends were teachers. There was a comradeship among teachers that he admired and he thought he had a pretty good idea what it would be like. It was something he could train for relatively quickly and get back into the workforce pretty easily without a big investment. Given his family responsibilities, this was a critical feature. Once he had made his decision to go into teaching he put the business up for sale, quickly selling it to his employees. Selling the business felt good, like it was a load off his back. He had been anxious to sell it and was glad to be rid of it. It represented an 128 important psychological break. He was done with it; it was gone. There was no turning back now. Joseph had intended to qualify for a temporary teaching certificate 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 to start his courses. He hadn’t taken a course in seventeen or eighteen years. Not knowing what would be expected of him, he pushed himself to study hard. The hard work paid off with Joseph making high marks. He decided to stay and do the winter session. To his surprise, he found he really thrived on being in university. The course load was heavy and somewhat bewildering but he read extensively, worked hard, and enjoyed himself. As part of his teacher training program, he was required to declare two areas of interest. 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 at summer 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 to teach a whole range of subjects such as art, music, and physical education. And he had been handed an occupational class of slow learners no one else wanted, given to him because he was the newest teacher on staff. He found it very tough, at times wondering what it was he was doing there. But it was too late. He had crossed over and 129 he wasn’t going back. He was firm, determined he was going to make it as a teacher. That winter Joseph landed a major teaching scholarship from the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Education. Winning the scholarship made it possible to go back to school full time for another year. That really did it. It was both a psychological and monetary boost. He had come to consider working between school sessions to be a stopgap measure to earn money. The award strengthened his resolve to finish his degree as quickly as he could. It was an external confirmation that he was on the right path and it gave him the financial support he needed to do it without interruption. From the time he had started university, Joseph had assumed he would get his degree. It hadn’t taken him long to size up the profession, realizing that if he didn’t have his degree he would get stuck in certain teaching jobs and at a certain salary level. He was aware of the financial demands that a family placed on him. Those who got ahead and enjoyed teaching had a solid background. He knew he could get by in whatever subject he had to teach, but that wasn’t his style. He always wanted to know more, to have an in depth knowledge of his subjects. It was a matter of principle. Also, he knew his own self-esteem and confidence were related to how well he did academically. 130 He returned to the University of British Columbia (U. B. C.) the following summer, taking his family with him, and spent the next year taking as many courses as he could. During the winter session he won a scholarship to attend an international summer school in Oslo, Norway. That summer he met academics and other history students from all over North America and Europe. It was very exciting, exposing him to a whole new world of possibilities, other academic institutions, and what it was possible to study. This experience crystalized in his mind that it wasn’t enough to just do a bachelor’s degree. He was determined to continue his studies, to at least do a master’s degree. The following winter was spent back in Fort St. John teaching and sending off applications for graduate school. Applying to graduate school was a very big move, reflecting a fundamental change in Joseph’s life. Since Oslo, going to graduate school was all he thought about. It would mean the whole family leaving Fort St. John. He was full of questions: If he was accepted what would he do about it? Would he sell the house? Would there be enough money to live 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, He had expected he would attend a Canadian school but none of them would accept him, believing he was too old. Fortunately the American universities did not have the same attitude and he was 131 accepted by three or four U. S. institutions that had excellent history programs. He accepted an offer from the University of Oregon in Eugene, 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 there twenty. They had raised their four daughters there. Joseph’s parents, many relatives, all their friends were there. It was going to be a big change but there was no question he and his wife were both ready to leave. They sold the house, packed up, and headed for Eugene in their ‘56 Chevy station wagon. Joseph quickly settled into student life at the University of Oregon. Everyone was very receptive, helping them get set up in the university community. He felt right at home that first week. They lived in student housing, surviving on Carol’s earnings from a job at the university library and his teaching assistantships, Joseph found the pace to be much faster than what he had grown used to at U. B. C. He was in with a high powered group of people, the cream of the crop. He thrived on it. His first graduate course was historiography, his baptism at the University of Oregon. How well a person did in this course was considered the acid test of how well he or she was going to handle the challenge of graduate school. The students saw their first seminar presentation as a trial by fire. Joseph refused to be intimidated. He was determined to 132 make a good first impression on his professor and did an outstanding job. Everything else fell into place after that. When Joseph was applying for graduate school, one of his mentors at U. B. C. had told him not to come back until he had a Ph. D. Heeding this advice during his first year, Joseph consulted with his professors about skipping the master’s degree and proceeding directly to the Ph. D, They consented, and he spent the next two years completing his course work, language requirements, and comprehensive examinations with flying colours. He approached each of these simply as an interesting personal challenge. He saw nothing to get intimidated or upset about. He felt confident about his ability to do whatever was required of him. Besides, after the gambles he had taken, (e. g., selling the business, making the move), it wasn’t going to 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 stick around. Even at the graduate level he was cramming to get done as quickly as possible. At the end of his second year he set up his dissertation research topic. After being dissuaded from political constitutional history he struck upon doing a study in immigration history. It seemed like a natural topic for him. The field was wide open. Scandinavians were a major local immigrant group that no one else was studying, and he was a Scandinavian immigrant himself. As a young boy he had come with his parents to Canada. It was also 133 important that it seemed feasible that he could do a project in this area in less than a year. He had already decided he was going to finish his program the next year. He spent the first half of the following year looking for a job while he researched his dissertation topic. Assuming he was going to have his Ph. D. completed, he applied to a number of universities for a faculty position. After being interviewed in the spring by the University of Michigan, he was offered a tenure track position on condition he had his Ph. D. in hand by the fall. He wasn’t sure he wanted to live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but it was a Big Ten university. For each of the schools he had applied to, he had been careful 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 of Michigan he had finished his dissertation. The truth was he hadn’t even started writing at that stage. He had four months to get the completed copy of the dissertation done. It was a real race, working at breakneck speed around the clock. It was push, push, push, but he 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 get down to the routine of teaching full time at the University of Michigan. He had to immediately face up to fact that he didn’t like 134 teaching nearly as much as he enjoyed being in graduate school, He also found himself going through a kind of natural decompression from the rigourous self-imposed schedule he had been on the last three years. For instance, he couldn’t stand to look at his dissertation or do any writing. This was compounded by the bittersweet feelings he and Carol had about leaving the pacific northwest. They both felt out of place in Ann Arbor. The university community had given them a warm reception but it was a brutally different world outside of the university gates: the physical landscape, the political tensions of the 1960s, the violence, and the poverty. They felt like they were a long, long way from home. He hadn’t been in Ann Arbor for more than two or three months when a U. B. C. Faculty of Education department head phoned Joseph, asking him to come back for two months as a visiting professor to teach summer school. He accepted immediately. Two months after that he received another phone call from U. B. C., this time offering him a temporary one year appointment in addition to the summer position. At the same time the University of Saskatchewan called to offer a tenure track position. When he told the University of Michigan, they offered to promote him immediately. He talked things over with Carol and they decided as a family to take a chance on U. B. C. Before leaving Eugene Joseph and Carol had promised themselves they would try to eventually get back to the west coast. Carol’s parents lived in Vancouver and she wanted to be 135 closer to them. Joseph missed the outdoors, the active mountain lifestyle he had given up in his pursuit of an academic career. There was no way Joseph could be sure there would be a future for him at U. B. C. However, they had done so many things that were out of the ordinary that gambling a sure position at the University of Michigan for a temporary one at U. B. C. just didn’t seem risky anymore. While Michigan offered great intellectual stimulation, Joseph was not sure that U. B. C., at the time, would offer a comparable intellectual environment. However, after everything he had been through, he knew himself well enough to know he could maintain his scholarly interests without it, After reaching his decision, it was just a matter of waiting out the winter, packing up and heading for Vancouver. Driving across the border south of Calgary, back into Canada was a very high point, marking the completion of Joseph’s transition. When Joseph’s transition began, the petroleum wholesaling business had long since lost its challenge and he had been 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 the intellectual stimulation he craved. Joseph had successfully left the mindless routine of his small business 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, 136 when he wasn’t working, revolved around his mountain hiking in summer and cross country skiing in winter. His quest had taken him to Michigan, a place that from a political, cultural, and geographic perspective turned out to be substantively different than what he had known in the pacific northwest. Heading to Vancouver was like going home after the successful completion of an adventure. Having an academic position at U. B. C. meant Joseph was able to have both the way of life he loves and the world of mind he loves. It was the culmination of the big gamble he and his family had taken leaving Fort St. John. Joseph always believed that as long as he kept his eye on his goal he could make it. He had this attitude when he made the initial decision to leave his business for teaching. It was also evident after he discovered the world of ideas that existed in academia and decided to go to graduate school. It was this same goal orientation and clarity of purpose that took him to the University of Michigan and guided him home unscathed. The times he spent wondering about his future were not filled with self-doubt or feelings of emptiness. They were occasions for reviewing what was important to him and sorting out how to take on the next challenge. Joseph ended up securing a tenure track position in the Faculty of Education and eventually became department head. Now retired, he continues to conduct research and write about 137 immigration history while maintaining an active outdoor life skiing and hiking in the mountains. Converaence The event loadings of both principal components converge with the flow of the narrative account. In the narrative it is evident that throughout the change Joseph feels he is in command of his life, that he is capable of doing whatever is necessary as he searches for a better life. Within this frame, he has periods of review and contemplation before shifting into action. The first principal component describes a relatively constant and strong sense of purpose, the importance of feeling challenged and in charge. Generally, the loading of an event on the first component matches its description in the story. For example, when he describes the trial by fire that was his first historiography seminar, the event loading was .90. Similarly, his narrative description portrays him thriving on the pressure, determined to make a good first impression and refusing to be intimidated. The second principal component describes a cyclical change from wondering about the future and considering options to having breakthroughs by taking charge. The loading of an event on the second component also matches its description in the story. For example, when Joseph decides to sell the business and go back to school, the event loadings shifted from .36 to -.30. Similarly, his narrative description moves from reflection and deliberation to 138 decisive action. After sizing up the teaching profession and reviewing his family responsibilities he quickly moves to sell off the business, describing the decision as an important psychological break from the past. The Q-sorts provide an abstract description of Joseph’s transition. The narrative gives it a richness of detail and meaning. Study Particiyant’s Self-review of Narrative Account I think it is pretty accurate as far as the general story is concerned ... In terms of the broad story itself and the way you’ve itemized things, and set out - I think the narrative is true. I don’t think there is anything I can see in the way it is done that does any violence to the facts ... I think it is a pretty accurate reading. That is how things came about. Independent Reviewer Report The content and tone of Joseph’s interviews are clearly and concisely captured in the summary. Joseph was guided very effectively in recalling relevant information without unnecessary and tiresome diversions. Yet he felt free to recall his story as it came to mind. He spoke clearly and with a great deal of energy about his career transition. His consistency in describing his approach to change and his feelings of adventure, confidence and family involvement are realistically and sensitively portrayed by the summary. 139 CHAPTER VIII CASE STUDY FIVE: RACHEL PHYSICIST TO MINISTER Principal Component Analysis The first principal component accounted for 40% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since the factor loadings of events show a clear change from beginning (-.67) to end (.70), this component portrays the meaning of the transition to Rachel, using the theoretical terms. To define this component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below, and phrased to characterize the beginning 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 the Q-sorts. Since it did not show a clear change in event loadings from beginning (.10) to end (.02), this component does not define the transition. However, it reflects potentially important items that accompanied and perhaps contributed to the transition. These items are listed below. 140 Vulnerable (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 manifested extreme swings from being trapped to being excited about life. (See Figure 6, Case study five: Rachel). Change across the transition did not appear to be gradual, but cyclic. Rachel alternated between periods of excitement and times when she felt angry, bored, stuck, and an emptiness about her life. On the second component, during the first half of Rachel’s change, there was a growing feeling of vulnerability and of being challenged as Rachel struggled with conflict, During the second half of the change, Rachel had periodic relief from this. Personal Narrative By the time she was twenty-four Rachel had finished her doctorate in physics at Oxford, England and was working as a post doctoral research fellow in the physics department at Simon Fraser University (S. F. U.) in Vancouver, B. C. She was supposedly set for life. But she felt terrible, just awful about the direction her life was headed in. She found herself having doubts about the career track she was on. She wondered if she could handle being a professor or full time researcher, whether she had the commitment to do the 141 academic rat race. She was questioning more than her own adequacy as a physicist. She found herself wondering why she had been attracted to physics in the first place. As a child, school had always been a kind of safe haven. Her school performance had been her sole source of recognition from her parents that she was of any worth. Physics had always been something she had enjoyed in school and it was easy for her to do well in it. As an adolescent, she had seen school as a way to escape the unexplainable oppression and fear she felt at home. She had gone off to Oxford, done well academically, and had married Kevan, also a physics student, the year she had completed her bachelor’s degree. She was doing a post-doc at S. F. U. because her husband had demanded that she come with him to Vancouver. She felt like she had been dragged from England to Canada. Kevan hadn’t done well enough to do graduate work at Oxford. After working on a master’s degree for a year at another British school, he announced they were moving 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 no matter what. Feeling obliged to follow, she had scrounged up the post-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 adjust to. She was living in a city in a part of the world where the gigantic 142 scale of everything was overwhelming. She was working in an area of physics she could function in but didn’t feel connected to or invested in. To complicate matters, many of the people in her lab were either mean or patronizing. And she found living with her husband to be very difficult. She found herself trapped in a bad marriage with a man who dominated and controlled her with his anger. Prior to moving to Canada, Rachel had been a member of the Church of England and, since leaving home, had attended regularly. Shortly after arriving in Canada she began looking around for a church. Kevan’s grandfather was a Methodist minister so they had decided to check out the United Church of Canada. They chose one with 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 post doctoral position and became a research associate but the work was much the same, She continued at the physics lab, doing research, teaching the odd course, and publishing. She continued to have doubts about what she was doing in physics, questioning the relevance of her research in some cases and the ethical implications of other work. However, she stayed with it, recognizing she was dependent on it for their bread and butter. Without landed immigrant status there was no prospect of doing anything else. 143 During this same period, Rachel became increasingly involved with the church, teaching Sunday school and sitting on the board. It became the centre of her life. Everything else she did was with Kevan, doing whatever activities he wanted them to do. She felt obligated to take part in his world. She was required to have his friends as her friends. She continued to feel controlled by him, even at work. He was in another division of the physics department but almost every day he would get her to help him with his research or come to her lab for sympathy or advice. Rachel knew she was moving away from physics but had no idea what she would do instead. Her life with Kevan continued to be “the pits”. At the same time, she was becoming dissatisfied with church. She was experiencing a growing desire to know more about her faith, to understand the context within which it had developed. She was frustrated with the level of information and understanding that could be reached as a lay person relying on the resources within her congregation. She wasn’t sure why she had such a strong desire, only that she did and there was something she couldn’t access that was important. As a way to explore this, Rachel signed up for a summer course in religious studies. The religious studies course helped Rachel feel more connected to the church, and with Christianity as a faith. What she got out of it was more than just knowledge. It gave her a new understanding of what it meant to be a Christian. It deepened and 144 changed what she believed it meant to be a Christian. It felt like she had done a kind of family tree work. The activities and topics were very different from anything she had ever done in physics. She was studying philosophy and history, exploring ideas she had never considered before. There was a certain appeal to the strangeness of it all. It opened her up to herself and to a whole new world of possibilities. She was learning to think for herself, beginning to explore who she was as an individual. It was just a few weeks after the summer course had finished that she realized she wanted to further explore her faith. Her physics supervisor had wanted to know how long she was going to stay at the lab. She heard herself tell him she would be with him at least another three or four years, at least until Kevan finished his Ph. D. but she knew she was lying. The next logical step in her physics career would have been to find an assistant professorship somewhere but she just couldn’t entertain this idea. Instead she continued at the lab and took a couple more religious studies courses. The following fall she gave birth to her first son and, while on a three month maternity leave from work, started a master’s program in theology at Vancouver School of Theology. At that point, she was still in Canada on a work visa and her research position was the only employment she was allowed to hold. When she started the master’s program, Rachel had no clear vision of being a minister one day. She only knew that she wanted to study theology. 145 School was wonderful! While it was a struggle at times, she worked hard and enjoyed her studies. But it wasn’t just going to classes. Rachel had joined a community. She got to know people and they would get together to go to worship or just hang out. She was free to make her own friends, to have a social life that was her own rather than one defined by Kevan. After her leave of absence, Rachel spent the next two years working half-time in the physics lab and going 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 was always fighting with Kevan. Her relationship with Kevan had never been 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 people who were on the road to becoming ministers clarified what it meant to be a minister. She began to think of the ministry in more concrete terms, as something she would like to do. Rachel gave her first sermon at an evening service in her home church. She impressed her classmates and a professor who had come out to cheer her on. Their support was important, representing external confirmation that she could do it and was on the right track. Rachel knew being a minister would be possible only if she was able to stay in Canada. In England the ministry is not a vocation that is open to women. Unfortunately, she still didn’t have landed immigrant status in Canada, making it impossible to officially apply 146 to become a ministerial candidate. At this point she didn’t know if she would ever be a candidate. Rachel was pregnant with her second son when she gave that first sermon. Unfortunately, not long after this occasion the pregnancy became difficult and she was forced to temporarily suspend school. This left her feeling cut off from her community, her source of strength and support. By the time she gave birth to her second son, Rachel was physically and emotionally exhausted. She felt drained by Kevan, by work, by looking after her first son, and by the pregnancy. Immediately after her second son’s birth, Rachel quit her job at the lab and went back to school, spending whatever time she could manage doing course work. During this period Rachel felt like she was living in a nightmare, feeling threatened and intimidated by Kevan, Kevan was rarely home and when he was they were constantly fighting. He had a series of girlfriends whom he spent his free time with and he insisted Rachel know the most intimate details of these relationships. When he had to look after the children he would have a girlfriend baby-sit. He would threaten to leave Rachel if she didn’t do as he instructed or if she objected to his behavior. She was afraid she would be forced to go back to England if they split. In her heart, she had come to believe she couldn’t survive without him. A job offer to Kevan from a local computer company became their entrée to landed immigrant status. This change of status made 147 it possible for Rachel to go public with her intention and apply to her church for sponsorship as a ministerial candidate. She was accepted as a candidate but it was clear that the support from many of the people in her home church was qualified. They wanted to know how she could be a minister when she had two children and a husband with 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 her marriage and her husband’s career more than they valued her. She was resolved to do it in spite of what they thought. However, their attitude made her feel even more pressure to keep her marriage intact while pressing on with her studies. This was compounded by Kevan’s open resistance to her becoming a minister. Since her acceptance as a candidate, her career intention was the main subject of their fights. Rachel felt totally trapped, having to choose between becoming a minister and staying at home so her husband wouldn’t have a reason to leave. Over the course of the next year, Rachel continued at school but became very depressed. She sought therapy for the depression and at first tried to pretend it had nothing to do with her situation. But it didn’t take too long to see the connection. After a couple of months in therapy she told Kevan she was leaving him. The next six weeks were hell, with Kevan trying to block her leaving and Rachel calling transition homes, desperately trying to find a place she and the 148 children could live. Eventually, she managed to get a bed sitting room at the theological school and moved in there with the two boys. It was such a relief to be separated from Kevan. It felt so wonderful to have a place that was her own, to be free. It was an easy transition. Going to school full time gave her a sense of purpose. She had moved into her community, a place where she had friends. She had felt so alone and isolated in her marriage. These people made her feel welcome, looked out for her, comforted her. Rachel spent the next two and a half years doing courses and a one year internship as a student minister. She and the boys lived on a grant from the college, money Rachel made tutoring physics students part time, and occasional child support payments. She felt a strong financial pressure to finish her program and get out to work as soon as possible. For a number of reasons, the internship year was a time full of conflict, both internal and with others. First, she was faced with having to do for the first time most of the duties that would be expected of her as a minister. No matter how much support others showed, she found it next to impossible to act independently and have any confidence in herself. Second, she discovered she responded to conflict at work the same way she had in her marriage. She would be extremely passive and then lash out in anger. These old habits only served to complicate matters. One other ingredient proved to make life difficult during this period. 149 During her last year with Kevan, Rachel had come to realize she was lesbian. Knowing this had made past sexual feelings that had always puzzled her make sense but it took a long time to come to terms with this. Similarly, naming her sexual orientation posed a new dilemma. She was preparing to be a minister in a church that was in the midst of its own internal turmoil, struggling to decide whether it was acceptable to have gay or lesbian ministers. Seemingly irrelevant behavior like wearing pants or not wearing make-up aroused suspicion among some people. She felt vulnerable to anyone who had any say about her suitability as a minister, afraid her sexual orientation would bar her from her desired vocation. She had not come out of the closet about this with anyone but a few close friends. She found herself having to risk disclosing her secret to supervisors and church officials she did not want to have to trust. During this period she was seeing a therapist, trying to figure out how she was going to cope with being a lesbian in the church and how she was going to cope with the unpredictable demands Kevan kept making. Since separating, Kevan had taken her to court several times, trying to revise custody, visitation rights or child support arrangements. Shortly before the completion of the internship, it came out in therapy that she was a victim of incest. When Rachel was a little girl her father sexually abused her and her sisters for years, right through until she was a teenager. No one else in the family had ever 150 spoken of this and Rachel had completely buried it, She was overwhelmed, inundated with memories and nightmares and feelings. When it first came out she wasn’t sure how she was going to carry on. A comment or an exercise in a seminar would unintentionally trigger a memory or symbolize abuse she had suffered. While preparing to graduate, addressing her abuse became the focus of her life. She began to understand the impact it was having on her life and how her model for ministry, “compassionate subversion”, was shaped by her experience. As part of the Master of Divinity degree requirements, Rachel summarized her stance. It was the starting point for her ministerial work. Rachel believed Christ to be one’s community. In her ministry, compassion meant protecting and nourishing people in contrast to possessing and controlling. Subversion meant overthrowing that which controls so that people can be free. This was a statement of what had become important in her own life. Upon ordination, Rachel’s first posting as a United Church minister was in Whitefox, Manitoba, a rural community of a few hundred people. She was really excited with the prospect of moving to a new town and conducting her ministry. Ironically, her first duty was to perform a funeral service the day after she arrived. She quickly discovered the town itself was dying. Within the first few months it was apparent there was no place for her in the community. Rachel had not been prepared for the 151 narrow boundaries that defined what was an acceptable way to live in a small rural town. The people of the town were not comfortable with her being a single parent. She didn’t dare admit that she was lesbian. However, given her struggle to break the isolation and silence concerning her abuse, she found it intolerable to go back to this way of living. Rachel knew she was in trouble, that she was floundering. She knew she didn’t fit in and didn’t know what she could offer them. But she felt she just had to make it work. This was her first placement. If she left so soon she was afraid there wouldn’t be another placement available or the placement committee would conclude she couldn’t hack living in a small town, Her fear was compounded by another court battle with Kevan looming in the distance. How would it look to the court if she was out of work and dragging the boys around the country? Rachel stuck it out in Whitefox for two years. After eighteen months she was completely isolated from the community and the church membership. During this period the United Church’s general council had asked its churches to consider several reforms including the ordination of gays and lesbians. Rachel’s position was always opposite that of most of her congregation. Attendance at church had dropped from about forty to nine or ten and she knew they were staying away because of her. They were openly hostile towards her and she was angry with them. She found herself actually relieved that they stopped coming. 152 She gave the parish six months notice and started looking for another job. She had still not come out of the closet about her sexual orientation but privately she had decided not to accept a position where the congregation objected to having a gay or lesbian minister. This made it difficult to find a new position. When she was packing to leave Whitefox she still didn’t have a new church. She had decided to move to Winnipeg, file her unemployment insurance claim and look around for a job. She didn’t want to go back to physics but it was a marketable skill she was prepared to use. It actually felt good to be facing this. Knowing she could allow herself to go back to physics if she had to meant she was a survivor, that she was going to be able to care for herself and her kids no matter what happened. The prospect of having to take a break from the ministry allowed her to discover her identity as a person was not dependent on her being a minister. Given the way she had separated from Kevan it was something she had wondered about. Thankfully, it looked like Rachel’s world was not going to end if she didn’t have a job as a minister. Rachel’s break from the ministry never came. The night before she left Whitefox she received a telephone call offering her a position on Hornby Island, B. C. It was a rural island church on one of the many small islands that sit between Vancouver Island and the mainland. There was no way she could have a formal interview and there was only enough money to guarantee a one year, half time position. Most of the congregation had left the church with the 153 previous minister over the ordination of gays and lesbians controversy. She accepted immediately but a half hour later she was offered a full time position with an Edmonton church she had interviewed with earlier. She turned down Edmonton but, until she got to Hornby, woke up every morning wondering if she had made a mistake. Rachel’s reception on Hornby was wonderful. At first contact, there were signs that she was going to fit in, For instance, when she first arrived she stayed over at the house of the family who would be responsible for getting her settled. Rachel noticed the books laying around their living room were the kind of books that she might have read. The church had only one family left and four or five others that were interested. She was prepared to start with this number but thirty people showed up that first Sunday. The people of Hornby keep surprising Rachel. More and more people keep coming out to church. The congregation is enthusiastic about her ministry. Rachel is pleased with how well her position has turned out and how much she has become part of the community. She has broken free of the isolation and emotional terrorism she experienced as a child and in her adult married life. To do this required her to break her silence, to act against the powers that had trapped her. She struggled with a sense of being powerless for years, gradually breaking free from her imprisonment. 154 Rachel continues to struggle with her own abuse. She keeps working at it, gradually moving forward. The movement itself is painful but there is no way around it, She is trying to live her life with integrity. She has discovered that to do this requires her to act when she feels her most vulnerable. Rachel has found comfort and strength in her religious community. She recognizes the importance of her own struggle and how much other people endure in their lives. Rachel now feels free to value her life as something worthwhile for its own sake. Her ministry is a means of nourishing and encouraging others to do the same. Convergence The event loadings of both principal components converge with the flow of the narrative account. The narrative portrays a change from entrapment to self-direction. Rachel shifted from feeling powerless and victimized to having a sense of self-worth, feeling free to value her life. The first principal component describes a change from being stuck to being unstuck. Generally, the loading of an event matches its description in the story. For example, when Rachel left her husband and moved into the bed sitting room at the theological college, the event loadings shifted from -.56 to .80. Similarly, her narrative description moves from isolation and depression to relief and freedom. 155 The second component indicates Rachel periodically felt vulnerable and struggled with conflict during the transition. Once again, the event loading matches the description in the story. For example, when Rachel is pregnant with her second son, the factor loading is .60. Similarly, the narrative description portrays her as feeling threatened and intimidated, wanting to object to her husband’s behavior but afraid she won’t be able to live without him if he makes good on his threat to leave her. The Q-sorts provide an abstract description of Rachel’s transition. The narrative gives it a richness of detail and meaning. Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative Account The whole thing, its - it is my life. It struck me that the way you have written (the story), it is really exaggerated? But I don’t think it is. I mean, that is how it struck me. But when I think about it ‘No, that really happened!’ That is how bizarre it was ... It seems more weird than fiction. But (the story). is true. Independent Reviewer Report This is a brief review of interviews conducted by Gary Ladd with Rachel, a woman who had undergone a major career transition. This type of interviewing aims to be non interventionistic, except for the purpose of eliciting or clarifying the story. I saw my role as attempting to judge whether or not Mr. Ladd was able to pace his client in tone and 156 affect, ask clarifying questions appropriately, and generally assist in the development of a story that is rich in detail yet free of outside bias or influence. The summary was accurate in every respect and deeply empathetic. Mr. Ladd, at various times, asked specific questions about details which conveyed to me that he was actively interested in her story and that he felt her details were important. At the same time, her story flowed tensionlessly and unabated, pursuing its own line of action. In other places, he uses self-disclosure to promote her feeling understood and stimmary statements to express tacit themes. I was impressed with both his restraint and presence: it really seemed as though a special environment for storytelling had been created. 157 CHAPTER IX CASE STUDY SIX: LYNN REGISTERED MJRSE TO SOCIAL WORKER Principal Comnonent Analysis The first principal component accounted for 43% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since it did not show a clear change in event loadings from beginning (.77) to end (.82), this component does not appear to define the transition. However, it does reflect important items that accompanied and contributed to the transition. To define the first component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below, 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 the Q-.sorts. Since it did not show a clear change in event loadings from beginning (- .34) to end (-.13), this component does not appear to define the transition. However, it does reflect potentially important items 158 that accompanied and contributed to the transition. These items are listed below and phrased to characterize the beginning of the transition. 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 there was a strong sense of direction and purpose with intermittent periods where this was lost. (See Figure 7, Case study six: Lynn). Change across the transition did not appear to be gradual, but cyclic. Lynn began and ended with a sense of direction and purpose, feeling happy, excited, and confident about her life. In between were periods where she felt overwhelmed, numbed, or bitter about what was happening in her life. On the second component, Lynn began and ended the transition feeling happy about her life. In between she was sometimes surprised to find her life was off course. Knowing she could have a better life, Lynn would be angered by what was happening during these times. Personal Narrative When Lynn was trying to figure out what to do during her last couple of years of high school, nursing seemed like a natural. She knew she would like it because taking care of people was something 159 she had always done and enjoyed. Even as a little girl she had a family reputation as a caretaker, At home she was always watching out for her brother. At school she was the one who would take the new kid in class under her wing. As a young woman she was the one in the family her mother turned to for help. She had never seriously considered going to university because it hadn’t seemed possible. At the time, her family was poor. They had no money for her to go to school. Besides, she made decent marks at school but had never thought of herself as the studious type. While she was in training at Vancouver General Hospital she became completely devoted to nursing. This devotion was reflected in the top marks she made and becoming president of the student nurses’ association. For the first five years, nursing was glorious. Shortly after she finished training, Lynn married and moved to the United States so that her husband, Harry, could go to school, Nursing in the states really fitted with her devotion to the profession. Americans tend to believe Canadian nurses are better trained and show a special appreciation for them. Lynn enjoyed the recognition and respect she received from the medical professionals she worked with. There was plenty of work and once she had established a reputation for quality work, was able to call her own shots. She liked pediatrics and eventually specialized in private duty nursing for extremely ill children. 160 After five years in the United States, Lynn and Harry decided it was 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 might have 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 drafted into the U. S. military and sent to Vietnam. Second, Lynn wanted to start a family but had decided she definitely did not want to raise her children in the states. Lynn thought she was coming home to settle down and start her family. The prospect of working in the very hospital that had prepared her for the profession she was so dedicated to was very exciting. She had no idea moving home would be the beginning of her world caving in on her. She took a job in pediatrics at Vancouver General Hospital but was surprised and disappointed to discover she was not treated with the respect and consideration she had expected. Instead of being valued for the skills and experience she had brought back, she was treated like a rookie. It was obvious all the hospital wanted was bodies to do the jobs. There was no flexibility in the work schedules or shift rotations, no room for considering the workers as people with individual needs and lives. She thought nursing was about striving for excellence, being rewarded for merit, being appreciated for the tasks you took on. It made her angry to be treated like a cog in a 161 wheel. Over the next twelve to fourteen months, she became increasingly disenchanted. In the very hospital she had been trained in, the ethics, the standards, the principles she had come to value and practice were not real. She was proud of being a nurse but was enraged 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 based position and discovering they were unwilling to pay her for the workload and responsibilities she would be expected to carry, she decided to try another hospital. At Richmond General she felt some relief when she switched from caring for children to an adult medical ward for older people. The administration demonstrated the same inflexibility and lack of respect she had experienced before. At least the adult patients were able to give clear feedback about their care. She felt they valued and appreciated her. She knew from their warmth she was doing a good job taking care of them, making them as comfortable and happy as she could. When Lynn had been at Richmond General about a year, one day she slipped on a wet floor and hurt her back. She did not know it at 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 and going on workers’ compensation. With the exception of a prescription for painkillers, no care was offered for her injury. 162 When she did not recover and the Workers’ Compensation Board questioned whether she was really hurt, she was incensed. She felt let 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 treated she ended up turning her back on the whole system and walking away from it. At the time, she never said to herself she was leaving nursing forever. However, she would never again feel strongly enough about nursing to go back into it under the kind of conditions she felt forced to work in. Lynn’s whole world had crumbled around her. Since coming home, nothing had worked out the way she had expected. The degradation at work was only one of several disappointing blows she suffered during this period. When she hurt her back, Lynn had been trying for three years to have the first of what she had expected would be a family of five or six kids. Why she wasn’t pregnant was a mystery. She had all the tests and there was no reason for it. She had figured all you had to do was decide and it would happen. When her younger sister accidently got pregnant, Lynn was devastated. It just didn’t seem fair! Meanwhile at work, watching children die when she so badly wanted one of her own was getting to her. This was one reason she had switched to adults when she went to Richmond General. At the same time, Lynn felt like there was no longer any room for her in her family. When she went to the United States, she lost 163 her place in the family. She used to be the person her parents turned to when there was trouble. When she came back her younger sister had grown up and married a very capable young man. Now when her mom and dad turned to anyone, they turned to her sister and husband. They had become the family caretakers. Lynn felt disconnected from her family. The back injury eventually healed but Lynn did not go back to work. She continued to be disenchanted with nursing and was still trying to get pregnant. She was angry and bitter about the cruel turn her life had taken. She stayed at home, spending hours and hours every day talking with close friends and her husband, sorting through what was going on in her life. As the months passed, the tests, the waiting, the effort, become more and more of a torture. While walking home from the doctor’s office one day, Lynn decided to adopt a baby. She and Harry had talked about it before but now it was clear. If adopting was what it was going to take to get a baby, that was what she was going to do! Lynn and Harry made an application to adopt and within six months 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 her baby. She also found having a baby gave her a new connection with her sister. When her son was six weeks old, Lynn had a kind of mystical experience in the form of an edict that would have a profound impact 164 on her future. Standing at the foot of his bed, she looked at him and heard herself ask, “What do I want for this child?” And the answer was, “I want him to be free to be who he is.” And the next statement was, “If he is going to be free, then you have to be free.” This vision became her set of running orders. For Lynn, freedom meant not being imprisoned in the kind of life she saw her mother living. She saw her mother as a martyr, a victim who had spent her life passively accepting the emotional brutality and chaos her alcoholic father dealt out. In Lynn’s eyes, her mothers life was a series of household rituals held together by ensuring certain family taboos were not broken, Any attempt to address her father’s alcoholism was scuttled. Any attempt to speak honestly about one’s feelings or personal problems was diverted. She had begun to recognize this after she moved back from the United States. She saw her sister, now married and with her own family, patterning herself after their mother. When Lynn had her own child, she realized she was destined to live her life the same way unless she did something to change it. Lynn was resolved not to become her image of her mother. More positively, she was determined to have options in her life. Lynn began her rebellion by loosening her housekeeping standards, giving up things like ironing which she didn’t want to be doing. She began to press for greater honesty in her relationships, questioning the basis of certain friendships and letting some go. She 165 had always been outspoken, but now she became even more vocal on subjects that were important to her like individual rights. While Lynn continued to find motherhood very fulfilling, her marriage was breaking down, Harry was now finding life difficult and having a baby was very distressing. Lynn wasn’t exactly sure why but there was a new tension between them. When their son was two, Lynn and Harry turned down the adoption agency’s offering of a second child. Lynn wanted to have more children but was reluctant to willfully stress their marriage further with a second baby. Lynn was overflowing with love and affection for her child and somehow wanted to extend this feeling to other children, to her community. A few months after they had turned down the second adoption, she read an ad in the local newspaper pleading for a foster home for a fifteen year old boy. Lynn found herself wanting to take him 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 of his needed a place, they ended up taking him in too. Pretty soon they had three teenage boys living with them. It was heavy slugging a lot of the time, intense and tiring. Lynn enjoyed it but Harry had a difficult time taking these changes in his life in stride. When Lynn and Harry took in their first foster child, they were invited to attend a regular meeting at the teen placement department of the Children’s Aid Society. The agency ran support groups for all their foster parents and Lynn and Harry started attending regularly. 166 During the period they had the three foster boys, the agency was looking for help running their group meetings. Lynn liked the groups and had some free time. She signed on as a volunteer and began to work regularly with different groups of people in the agency. She found she really enjoyed the work. When she was doing a group it felt “right”, like that was where she should be. After Lynn had been a volunteer for about eight months, a chance to take a job as a social worker just opened up in front of her. The supervisor of the teen placement department was having trouble finding a holiday replacement for herself. None of the eight staff social workers wanted to take her job for the month she would be gone. Lynn said she would do it and the supervisor ended up taking her up on the offer. When the supervisor returned, she hired Lynn on as a full time social worker for the department, paying her a salary 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 group work with families and teenagers, training herself on the job, studying family therapy, gestalt, etc. She was amazed by how natural it felt to be doing this kind of work. Lynn had managed to become a mother and had slipped into a new profession she could devote herself to. These parts of her life were going well. Unfortunately, her relationship with her husband, which had been strained, had continued to flounder. When their 167 marriage 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 she was going to be able to raise her son on her own. It wasn’t until she discovered this confidence in herself that she considered her transition to be complete. Lynn’s movement out of nursing and into social work reflects an important shift in how she lives her life. Nursing reflected the importance she placed in caring for people. But she had come to feel being a caretaker, for her family and as a nurse after she came back to Canada, meant having to be oppressed and degraded. Her desire to break free of this state came out in the love she felt for her adopted son. Trying to bring her son up free of this kind of imprisonment eventually moved her into a career in social work. Social work reflects the importance Lynn places on being free to determine the direction of one’s own life. She wants this freedom for her son, her clients, and herself. It requires both self-confidence and resolve to live this kind of self-directed life. She discovered this when she adopted her son. She rediscovered it when she was faced with raising him alone. Convergence The event loadings of both principal components converge with the flow of the narrative account. The narrative portrays a change from imprisonment to freedom. When Lynn returned home, almost everything in her life that held meaning was lost (i. e., her devotion to 168 nursing, her place in her family of origin, the prospect of being a mother). Contrary to what she had envisioned for herself, she seemed destined to live a life filled with oppression and degradation. An adopted child gave her reason to break out of this kind of life and provided her with an unexpected entrée into an occupation in which she could teach others to do the same. The first principal component describes Lynn’s loss of a sense of purpose in her life and the emergence of a new one. Generally, the loading of an event matches its description in the story. For example, when Lynn ends up on compensation for her back injury, the event loading has shifted from .77 to -.15. Similarly, her narrative description portrays her as being excited and full of hope when she first moves home. By the time she injures her back, it describes her feeling like the world has caved in on her. The second principal component describes Lynn’s periodic anger over how her life is off course. The loading of an event on the second component also matches its description in the story. For example, when she quit her job at V. G. H., the event factor loading was .56. This corresponds with the narrative which describes her as enraged and disillusioned. The Q-sorts provide an abstract description of Lynn’s transition. The narrative gives it a richness of detail and meaning. 169 Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative Account Its well done ... Its kind of interesting to see it. Its like seeing it at arm’s length. Its well written. It basically says what I said and what I experienced ... Sounds fine, Independent Reviewer Report I have listened to the tapes, read the transcripts and summary case description and attest that: a) the interview conducted by Mr. Ladd was without apparent intent or bias. b) the written case summary is an accurate condensation of the subject’s narration re: her career changes. 170 CHAPTER X CASE STUDY SEVEN: JOBY CORPORATE EXECUTWE TO MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT Principal Component Analysis The first principal component accounted for 55% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since it did not show a clear change in event loadings from beginning (.82) to end (.72), this component does not appear to define the transition. However, it does reflect important items that accompanied and contributed to the transition. To define this component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus 1.5 were 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 the Q-sorts. Since it showed a clear change in event loadings from beginning (.11) to end (.72), this component portrays the meaning of the transition to Joby, using the theoretical terms. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below and phrased to characterize the beginning of the transition. The end of the transition is the opposite of each item. 171 Took charge (2.1) Confident (2.1) Did not realize I had to change (1.9) The pattern of change on the first component indicates a strong sense of direction and purpose with intermittent periods where this was lost. (See Figure 8, Case study seven: Joby). Change across the transition did not appear to be gradual, but cyclic. Joby began and ended excited, filled with a sense of direction and purpose, and feeling in charge of his life. In between were periods where he felt stuck and wavered in uncertainty. On the second component, Joby periodically realized he had to make some kind of change in his life. Such a realization defined the completion of his transition. Personal Narrative By the time he was twenty-six Joby already had an excellent job as a product manager with a large construction materials corporation. He had a wife, three children, a mortgage, a car and a wallet full of credit cards. By any social measure of the day, he was a winner. 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 had dreamed of or planned to do. It was more the outcome of a series of events, something he had ended up doing. He had worked as a carpenter while in high school and his father had been a manager with a construction materials company. Joby wanted to be an architect but his father wanted him to be an engineer. Joby had no 172 interest in engineering but enroled in an engineering program anyway. He flunked out during the first year of studies and ended up taking a drafting and design program at a trade school. He was working in a lumberyard when he was recruited to Domtar, a construction materials company, as a salesman. Within a couple of years he had become a sales manager for Domtar. Because he was such a promising young executive, Joby was invited to take part in a two week company sponsored workshop. The company had recently consulted with Peter Drucker, an organizational guru, and had decided to gather a number of its managers so they could address the issues he had raised. The workshop used an intensive experiential learning approach. It was all new to Joby and he was intrigued about the process. The central theme of Drucker’s work was the importance of being able to answer the question “What business should your company be in?” This is a question companies need to ask themselves so they can be clear about their focus, their purpose, their future direction. Joby saw that the parallel question he needed to ask himself was “What should I do with my life?” During the workshop, Joby had a remarkable experience that was destined to direct the rest of his life. In a meditation exercise in which participants were asked to envision their future, Joby had a powerful vision that would be the beginning of his career change. He saw himself as an independent consultant working with troubled 173 decision makers who were struggling with the question of what business their company should be in. Joby’s vision gave him a mission he would spend the next fifteen years preparing himself for. The workshop transformed Joby. He had never felt like a victim but he had never before felt fully in charge, fully capable. He had begun to feel he had some potential when he started succeeding at his job but it was at the workshop that he realized the world was full of potential, full of ideas. It was at the workshop that he realized he could take charge of his life. As a result of the workshop he set out to acquire the skills he would need to achieve his vision. Joby was hungry for knowledge. He began to go down to the public library, eventually consuming everything they had available on psychology, sociology, group dynamics, anthropology. Then he enroled in an executive development program at University of British Columbia. He spent the next three years getting up at 4:30 in the morning, putting the coffee on and doing his homework until he had to go to work at 8:00 a.m. He loved studying, eating up as much knowledge as he could take in. He had always been a crummy student, just barely scraping by. He astonished himself with this new attitude, particularly when he won the scholastic achievement award 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 taking different jobs within the company that would make him a generalist, 174 someone who has experience with many different aspects of the business. He continued to read extensively and take courses here and there. Meanwhile, the company continued to invest in organizational and management development. Joby was recruited to be an internal consultant, spending a couple of years doing nothing but training and consulting with the company’s managers. Domtar’s president had continued to be interested in addressing Drucker’s question of what business the company should be in. During this period, Joby became part of a resource team that worked on this with the president. After eighteen months of struggle, of spinning their wheels and getting nowhere in monthly meetings, they gave up. Joby was distraught, not knowing what had gone wrong. He had spent the last seven years preparing himself to help people answer this question. The men he had been working with were mature, well trained, and very committed to answering what they all agreed was a crucial question. They all knew the cost of not having a focus, a direction, a reason for doing business, Yet they had gotten stuck; they hadn’t been able to do it. Shortly after this project died, Joby was recruited to another company. The man who had originally hired him as a salesman for Domtar was now the president of Crown Zellerbach, a multinational forest products company. He hired Joby one more time, this time to 175 head a collection of two hundred lumberyards, many of which were in financial trouble. Joby’s task was to redefine the business the company’s lumberyards were in. He spent the first three months visiting all the operations and listening to the people who worked in them. Sensing the will, vitality, and capability of these people, he recruited a number of them to work as a development team. He knew from his painful experience at Domtar that knowing what questions to ask and having the will to answer them was important but not enough. In the absence of some method, he would never succeed. He chose to apply a structured linear model of strategy making he had studied. It seemed to promise at least the beginnings of a way to approach the question. He tried to practice the model but after two or three sessions of repeatedly making some progress then crashing, he could sense they were replaying what had gone on at Domtar. At the end of one of these sessions he stayed behind at the retreat they were working at to try and figure out why the process kept unravelling. While mulling over what was going wrong, he experienced a breakthrough. He realized there was a fatal flaw in the method he had been using. The group always wanted to loop back and re evaluate the soundness of their earlier decisions each time they were asked to make a new set of decisions. But the model didn’t allow for this process. When faced with making the next set of decisions without going back, the group would crash. A picture of a wheel 176 came to mind. The idea was to use a wheel instead of a line as the basis of a conceptual model for decision and strategy making. Joby was relieved, confident he finally had the beginnings of a functioning tool he would be able to use. He tested the concept with his team and they were able to work successfully with it. They eventually redefined the business, setting up one corporate unit to run the old lumberyards and another to create and operate a chain of home building products centres that would come to be known as the “Home Town” stores. Joby’s life was driven by his business career. Pursuing the vision had become central in his life. He had become so absorbed by the excitement and challenge of learning how to fulfill his dream, he wasn’t paying much attention to his wife or his children. His wife had always been a full time housewife and mother and Joby had reinforced this, wanting a traditional life outside of work. However, his wife had some talent as an artist she had never tapped and over the years she grew restless, increasingly frustrated with her life. Joby’s work had required him to move his family several times. For instance, he had started in Winnipeg and gone to Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal with Domtar, His switch to Crown Zellerbach included a move to Calgary. Once he set up the chain of home centres, he headed up that business as a corporate vice-president and moved the head office to Vancouver, 177 When Joby and his wife came to Vancouver their marriage was deteriorating and they were both anxious to somehow change how they were living their lives. Joby wanted to be free to devote himself to pursuing his vision in whatever form it expressed itself. At the same time, his wife wanted to respond to the increasing drive she felt to be an artist. They both felt burdened, distracted by the conventional upper middle class lifestyle they were maintaining. Joby was conscious of no longer wanting to be encumbered by owning a large traditional house. Their was no longer any practical need; their two daughters and eldest son were grown and their other son was in boarding school. He and his wife decided to live in a downtown apartment and bought a sailboat that they moored nearby. A short time later, while coming and going on the sailboat, Joby discovered and fell in love with a little float house anchored at Coal Harbour. When the man who owned the float house stopped by the boat one day, Joby ended up buying the float house from him. Joby was very conscious of how established he had become. He disparaged all of the trappings and possessions that surrounded him. This feeling had been building for some time but had crystalized around the float house. From a very practical standpoint, moving onto a tiny one room float house necessitated selling off all the inventory he had accumulated and no longer valued. For instance, he had seven coffee makers to get rid of. On the float house he had to be very clear about what mattered and what he wanted to 178 have around him. Living there was a great discipline for simplicity. Moving to the float house also held a clear deeper meaning. It symbolized a letting go of the traditional way of life Joby had come to reject. The move was very freeing, very liberating. He valued the minimalist kind of existence he was beginning to live, It allowed him to think of all kinds of new possibilities concerning what was in his future. Many people were intrigued that a senior vice-president of a very conservative multinational corporation would be living what was commonly seen as a counterculture lifestyle. The people he worked with were astonished. However, at the time of the move to the float house, Joby had no intention of quitting his job. He was having a great time creating the new business for the corporation. What he was now doing at work were things he had dreamed of. But at the same time he was vaguely aware of thinking that should the time ever come, he now had the means to go out on his own. He appreciated the self-sufficiency he had created for himself by drastically simplifying his life through this move. Around the same time Joby moved to the float house, a friend encouraged him to enrol in an executive M. B. A. program at Simon Fraser University. He knew it was a good idea, aware that in an M. B. A. program he would experience a new level of formality and structure. This would force him to confront areas he was weak in. Everything he had learned the last several years was self taught, 179 done within a self directed study program. However, he had never seen himself as smart enough, capable of doing an M. B. A. He joined the program and worked at it on a part time basis over the next four years. It was a wonderful feeling to temporarily be part of a focused learning community. The M. B. A. gave Joby new confidence in himself, in his abilities. He found he already held the kind of corporate post that many of the people in the program aspired to. He found he was valued by the professors and other students for his ideas and experience. Completing the program would finally put to rest the remnants of the old image he had held of himself as a dummy. 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 and had run out of cash. Every single venture had to stop. Joby’s stores were beginning to blossom, but they were a very cash consuming new venture. The company simply couldn’t afford to continue to invest. He had to shut them down, close them out. It was very distressing because it was a powerful activity. He had a great team of people and they had done something significant. They had even won awards for their 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 generously about reassigning him to another challenge when the economy 180 improved. Suddenly he began to become very conscious of what was happening in his life. This company was a very large conservative, prestigious company in which he had risen to become a senior executive. They were promising to look after him. He was being treated so wonderfully he could feel the “golden handcuffs” closing on him, One Saturday morning, while doing his regular jog around Stanley Park, Joby wrote a letter of resignation to his boss in his head. When he got back to the float house he could hardly wait to put it into hard copy. On Monday morning, he gave it to the president, There was an urgency in Joby’s action. He believed that if he didn’t quit now he would never see his vision come to life. He had begun to realize that if he waited out this economic downturn another challenge would consume another five to seven years of his life. It was clear if he didn’t write that letter and get it to his boss on Monday morning he might never do it. He felt it would be a tragedy if he let himself drift through this time without acting. He was afraid he would lose his courage and the company would possess him. Beneath the fear of losing his opportunity to fulfill his dream was a powerful force that drove Joby to be independent. Years ago, Joby had watched his dad get emotionally destroyed when the small company he had worked for all his life was taken over by a large corporation. His dad had been completely devoted and committed to his job but this made no difference. They treated him harshly, 181 demoting him from his senior position and forcing him into a trivial job. When he died, he had still not recovered. Watching this happen and 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 from being 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 which comes from having confidence in his own competence. Joby was very, very clear about what he was doing. The decision to resign was anything but a rational or scholarly kind of process. He had no place to go and no work to do. Yet there was no uncertainty about resigning. He had developed a hardened sense of confidence about himself. He knew he could go and make differences in organizations. That was what really mattered and he had no question about that in his mind. Quitting was scary, but he knew from his experience that if he could leave he would be freeing himself to see the world clean and clear and full of opportunity. Shortly after Joby decided to leave Crown Zellerbach, he was recruited by a friend to a major management consulting firm, presumably to work with client companies that needed to redefine their purpose. When he had made his decision to leave Crown Zellerbach, Joby had imagined himself working independently. However, the offer to do his work from within an established consulting firm sounded attractive, easy. But it turned out to be a 182 disaster. The company never came up with the kind of assignments that had been promised and the management kept giving Joby jobs he wasn’t interested in. After eight months, he quit to pursue his vision on his own. Shortly after he left the management consulting firm, a fellow he knew approached him for help. His fast food company was in trouble and he was in the middle of trying to rethink and redirect the business. His offer of a small consulting contract was the beginning of Joby enacting the vision he had fifteen years earlier. Even as he began to live his dream at work and enact his vision, Joby’s marriage continued to unravel. Since moving to the float house, Joby had continued to be absorbed by his work and his relationship with his wife had grown more distant. Since the move, he had been on his own most of the time. His wife had been spending ever longer periods of time in Mexico. About six months after he went out on his own, she left him for another man. Distraught by this news, Joby went to a friend for counsel. She advised him to go on a travel adventure to some place he had always wanted to go. Instantly, he said he would go to Greece. He had no rational explanation for why he said Greece, but it was very clear that he should go. He prepared to leave immediately. The day before he left he met someone at a friend’s dinner party who was from Crete, a small Greek island, and now lived in Vancouver. Joby agreed to deliver a package of Christmas presents 183 to this man’s family. As the result of this remarkable coincidence, he ended up staying with the man’s family while on Crete. During his stay with them, certain experiences showed him that he needed to make yet another change in how he was living his life. Joby discovered his own inability to accept love. He had been taken in by the family of a stranger and they treated him like a son. But Joby had trouble accepting their love and generosity. In his studies, Joby had learned of Carl Rogers and had come to value Roger’s concept of the fully functioning human being. But the discomfort Joby felt in the face of the overwhelming warmth these strangers bestowed upon him made him feel he was not able to be genuine with others when it mattered the most. He felt like he was not fully alive. He realized there were pieces of being alive he had never had any contact with before. For instance, he had always believed in the importance of control, that it was a sign of weakness to have strong feelings. On Crete he realized it wasn’t true. He had been moving away from this kind of attitude for some time but the emotion and vitality of the people that were looking after him had clarified what it was that was missing in himself. His experience on Crete gave him license to be passionate about things that were important in his life. It opened channels to his feelings, his emotions. He began to allow himself to feel excited, to cry, to get angry. He began to allow himself to express these emotions. 184 Joby considers his life and his work to be one. Over the years he has continued to refine his strategy wheel model and work exclusively with companies only when they need to address their own renewal. It has become his life’s work, his mission, and he is passionate about it. Joby feels he has fulfilled his vision. First, the consulting work he dreamed about doing for so many years has been more successful than he could have imagined. Second, he is in a powerful synergistic relationship with a woman who has become both his life and business partner. He believes the transformation he went through (i. e., becoming more loving, more accepting, more open) is what made it possible for him to have this kind of relationship and is largely responsible for the success the business has experienced. Changing from corporate executive to this special kind of management consultant was the fulfillment of a dream Joby spent fifteen years preparing for. It began with a vision that inspired him to take charge of his life and create a future. This required him to be courageous and have confidence in himself, especially when stuck or facing uncertainty. This was true when he failed in his first attempt to work through the corporate renewal process and later when he was managing down the “Home Town” venture. These periods required him to address recurring questions about what kind of life did he want to live and reaffirm the importance of living his vision. Ultimately, unifying his life and his work required Joby to let his old 185 way of life and his old images of himself die. Joby did this gradually, starting with his image of himself as a student and, eventually, the image he had of himself as a person, as a human being. He found each time he let go of a part of his old life, new possibilities would open up. Convergence The event loadings of both principal components converge with the flow of the narrative account. The event Q-sortings begin with Joby having the vision that gives him his mission and end with him living it. The narrative describes Joby changing from feeling dead or hollow inside to feeling fully alive. It describes him discovering his life’s work and the translation of dream into reality. The first principal component describes Joby spending most of the transition feeling in charge and enthusiastically working to fulfill his mission, what has become his purpose in life. But there are recurring periods where he gets stuck and flounders for a time before bouncing back. Generally, the loading of an event matches its description in the story. For example, when Joby has to wind down the “Home Town” venture the event factor loading shifts from .76 to -.69. Similarly, the narrative description portrays Joby’s sorrow over the project’s demise and the anguish he experiences while trying to decide whether to stay with the company or be independent. The second component describes Joby periodically realizing he has to change. Once again, the event loadings match their 186 descriptions in the story. For example, when Joby goes to Crete the event loadings shifted from -.19 to .72. Similarly, the narrative describes Joby admitting that until now, emotionally, he has never been “fully alive” and that this has to change. The Q-sorts provide an abstract description of Joby’s transition. The narrative gives it a richness of detail and meaning. Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative Account Its quite revealing, exciting to read (the account). There is a completeness to the story. Its accurate, detailed ... Its fun to read it in one piece like this. Independent Reviewer Report I have listened to the tapes of Gary Ladd’s interview with his research subject (Joby) and I have read Gary’s narrative report of the interview. They are congruent. I found no examples of the subject being lead by the interviewer’s questions and the subject sounded very comfortable in relating his story. The write-up is a complete and accurate rendering of the interview and I found nothing omitted or distorted. An interesting fringe benefit of the interview is that the subject said he gained many insights into the structure of his life story from having the opportunity to relate it to a sensitive listener. 187 CHAPTER XI CASE STUDY EIGHT: JACK PSYCHOLOGIST TO ANTIQUE DEALER Principal Component Analysis The first principal component accounted for 28% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since it showed a clear change in event loadings from beginning (- .71.) to end (.55), this component portrays the meaning of the transition to Jack, using the theoretical terms. To define this component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below 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 the Q-sorts. Since it did not show a clear change in event loadings from beginning (.47) to end (.44), this component does not appear to define the transition. However, it does reflects potentially important items. One item accompanied and contributed to the transition while others 188 did 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 manifested extreme swings from entrapment to excitement. (See Figure 9, Case study eight: Jack), Jack went from feeling angry, overwhelmed and bitter to feeling happy, excited, and a sense of being guided by some higher power. Change across the transition did not appear to be gradual but cyclical. The second component indicates Jack spent the change struggling with conflict. This struggle was especially prominent in the middle of the transition. Personal Narrative For the first several years, working as a psychologist in the public school system was exciting and rewarding. Jack had always believed there was no greater profession than to be a teacher of some kind, These years were full of achievements, full of firsts (e. g., first integrated school in the province for ‘normal’ and ‘disabled’ children, first infant stimulation program in the region) and Jack quickly climbed the administrative ladder. He was always very good at pushing others and pushing himself to achieve more than seemed 189 possible. After university he started out working as a teacher and administrator in a special school for retarded children in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, jumped to a school psychologist position at the school district head office, then became Director of Special Services for the district. He was a “fast-tracker”, having skipped all the in between administrative positions on his way to the big time. As Director of Special Services Jack’s relentless, fast-paced push for change got him in trouble. His strength was as an advocate for children not as a departmental politician. He was frustrated with all the political “garbage” he had to deal with and lacked confidence in himself as an administrator. Even as he racked up more achievements, Jack lived in fear. He was afraid others knew more than him, afraid someone else could do a better job, afraid others were working against him behind his back. He felt he had to know and have “hands on” control of everything that happened in his department. He came to believe he was a misfit, confiding in a friend that he didn’t belong in the education system. Jack had gotten so enmeshed in his departmental battles, he was taken by surprise when the superintendent told him to take an extended leave of absence or face a demotion. Jack was surprised and angry but knew he wasn’t happy at work. He worked out a deal with the school district, taking a forced but paid sabbatical leave. He might have liked going back to working directly with the children and their parents but he didn’t see how he could possibly do that, It 190 would be too much of a loss of face. Instead he decided to wash this part of his past out of his life. Jack felt like he had no control over what was happening in his life. During the period Jack’s work life was falling apart, his spousal relationship was also breaking dowr. He was devastated when his partner, whom he had been with for over eight years, left him for someone else. When that relationship broke up, all hell broke loose. He was still reeling from the impact of this when he was forced to leave the school system. Jack spent the next year traveling, wandering around America. The travelling was both a time of adventure and excitement as he pushed to discover more about himself and a time spent wondering about his future. Two significant developments occurred during this period. First, Jack began to think about following his avocational interest, antique collecting. Fortunately, a couple of good friends supported his interest by giving him money to buy antiques for them while he travelled around. This gave him a purpose when he was travelling. Second, it was during this period Jack confirmed for himself that he was gay and met Russ, now his business partner and cohabitant. 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 for finer things. Prior to meeting Russ, Jack had been developing an 191 idea of what he could do in the business world. When Jack talked to Russ about his ideas, Russ thought they were real, that Jack was already doing what he was describing. Russ would find out later that he was to become a major part of Jack’s vision. By the end of Jack’s sabbatical year he was forming a company. As he had planned before meeting Jack, Russ started law school at McGill. Jack was ifiled with fear and uncertainty about the business. He and Russ were going to work together in the business but Jack was particularly concerned that not succeeding in the antique business would ruin his relationship with Russ. Around the same time Jack was getting the antique business started, he was approached by a Montreal psychology firm. When he had first left his job at the school district he had briefly looked into working in business as a psychologist. It was an area he had been curious about since his college days. When he was approached, he decided to go to an interview. Several interviews later, they still wanted to hire him. They found the combination of his experience and his business orientation to be very attractive. Having sold himself so well, he felt trapped. He looked at their offer from a fatalistic perspective, thinking that taking the job was meant to happen. He told himself he and Russ could use the cashflow since the antique business was just getting going. He told himself he had nothing to loose. He would just do it for a bit and see what happens. 192 Jack took the job and within six months racked up the first of what would be a series of new personal achievements. His monthly billings were greater than any other associate in the firm. This was followed up by matching, then exceeding, the partner’s billings. Soon after, Jack created a new division in the company. The new service he was offering was untested at the time but within six months it was making money for the company. Jack wanted to become a partner in the firm but it wasn’t going to happen. It would have caused a major shake up between the firm’s two original partners who were longtime friends. Instead he formed a partnership with one of his first clients and a consultant who had recently joined the firm but was anxious to leave. Within a week of approaching them, the decision was made and a month later they were up and running. Jack felt like operating independently was something he had been destined to do. In the process of working for the psychology firm he had learned how to make money for himself. There was a new burden, knowing that if he didn’t perform he didn’t get paid but he was confident the sky was the limit. Money said you were doing airight and the new company started making money immediately. Getting the business going was fun and exciting but, over the next four years, Jack became increasingly frustrated and dissatisfied. He was having serious problems with his partners. The business was growing but he found himself working harder and 193 longer hours to support his colleagues. Jack was doing the majority of the billings and generating the new accounts. One of his partners had set up a series of new ventures that weren’t making any money. When Jack announced he was no longer prepared to finance his projects, that partner left the firm. Meanwhile, he had been finding it increasingly difficult to work with his other partner. There were many things about him he didn’t approve of. He wasn’t a company person, always looking out for himself. He seemed jealous of Jack’s psychologist status. As their relationship deteriorated Jack found his trust betrayed. When Jack finally told him he had decided to dissolve the partnership a battle ensued. Jack was so angry with his partner and the underhanded tactics he used, what could have been a simple and amicable divestment turned into a legal battle. Jack became preoccupied with being right and not letting his partner win. He got so caught up in this fight, they ended up going to court over who could have the company name and phone number. It seemed to be the only way he could save face. He didn’t know exactly who he was saving face with, but he felt it was something he just had to do. Jack eventually won the right to keep the company’s phone number and set up business as a sole practitioner. It was a source of pride and affirmation that all his old corporate clients stayed with him. Jack told himself he wanted to keep the operation small but within three months it was flourishing and he found himself hiring additional staff. He continued doing the same type of psychological 194 work as he had been doing previously for his corporate clients. In addition, expert witnessing became a large part of his practice. His psycho-legal practice was very lucrative and business was booming. Jack was tired from trying to keep up but the work kept coming. The busier he got, the more he raised his fees. It didn’t seem to matter what he charged. He had a winning reputation among lawyers and they kept coming at him with more business. Although Jack was extremely good at the psycho-legal work and it had become his main source of billings, he did not fit into the legal world. At first he enjoyed the challenge and the demands of the cases. But as time wore on, he became increasingly frustrated. The more he dealt with lawyers the more he came to dislike them and the work he was doing. He was proud of how good an advocate he could be for a client, how through the words of a report he was able to make a 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 he came to feel he was working in a world that didn’t care about morality or justice or consider the worth of a human life. It was a world that was only concerned with winning. Jack came to believe lawyers had no soul. One episode that epitomized the value system he was immersed in involved a medical malpractice suit. Jack’s findings indicated the victim, a five year old boy, needed immediate treatment or the damage would be irreversible. Counsel for the physician, whom Jack was working for, 195 decided to suppress Jack’s report since it would be admitting liability. When Jack expressed his moral outrage, counsel told him he misunderstood what the justice system was all about. Jack was stunned and angry to hear counsel actually say to him that winning the case was more important than the little boy’s future. This episode stuck in Jack’s mind. Ever since his early days in the schools, it was important for him to be the advocate, to feel his work was enabling people to get some justice from the world. He was constantly challenged to be true to what he perceived his ethics to be. Too often, he was torn between giving the clearest picture possible and writing a favourable report. When he looked around at the lawyers he worked with, it seemed the games they played, that were so much a part of the justice system, had warped their values. Staying in psychology seemed too risky. Jack was afraid he was becoming dependent on the income he was making from the psycho-legal work. He was afraid he would be trapped into staying in this kind of work. He was afraid of being consumed by his anger and frustration. He was afraid of his own soul disappearing, of becoming the kind of person he loathed. Two years after setting up the sole practitionership, Jack was resolved 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 to reduce his involvement had failed. He realized the work was going to keep coming until he simply stopped accepting it. He was exhausted 196 and angry with himself. It was his business to help others look after their affairs. He was so busy doing their jobs, he wasn’t taking care of himself. Jack destroyed all his office files and threw everything else out, making sure he couldn’t go back easily. He didn’t want to be tempted to sneak back in later. It was a part of his life he wanted to put behind him. Leaving the psychology business meant Jack was free to join Russ in the antique business and help it grow. All the time Jack had been pursuing his psychology business, he and Russ had maintained their antique business. Russ had felt stifled practicing law and had left his practice for the antique business two years before Jack finally made his break. The day Jack destroyed the files he went home and sat down with Russ at the kitchen table to plan the future of their business. Coming off of the psychology, Jack hit the pavement running with no rest period. He started to work the same week he left psychology and it was go, go, go! His ideas about how to expand the antique business poured out. Until Jack joined the business full time, the company was very small, operating out of their house. In their early years, they were limited to dealing in French Canadian pine furniture and distributing for a North Carolina company. Jack took over responsibility for creating the company’s goals and setting up relationships with collectors and private auction houses while Russ focused on sales. Shortly after joining, Jack had moved them 197 into the European market. As planned, before Jack’s first year was up, they had started to move into manufacturing reproductions and had opened a prestigious uptown storefront shop. Jack found it exciting to woo suppliers and dealers and break into a system dominated by established firms. He enjoyed the time spent developing the store. But he quickly fell into doing all the company’s administrative tasks. He spent 90% of his time dealing with the endless paperwork and phone calls. He was always facing a barrage of questions from the staff. He would go into the store in the morning and work straight through, doing twelve hour days again. He hadn’t left psychology to end up buried under a mass of administrative “garbage” but he didn’t know how to break out of it. Jack was terrified of failing. His fear showed as a commitment to perfection and it built the company an impressive reputation. Nothing was done casually or left to chance. Jack tried to control and oversee everything. He had his hand in everything that was happening: trade shows, manufacturing contracts, catalogue publication. He oversaw the movement of every piece of furniture that went through the shop. As their business continued to grow they developed a proud international name for themselves as “the good guys from Canada”. But the cost to Jack was constant worry about whether he was doing a good enough job. There was too much for one person to do, too much for one person to be responsible for. 198 Jack had left psychology to break free of the sense of entrapment he kept feeling. He felt more trapped now than he had when he was in psychology. By joining Russ in the business he had expected to have the freedom to be more flexible with his time, to make money in a way that did not conflict with his values, to be doing the business kinds of things he enjoyed. Somehow the idea of looking after himself got lost, replaced by the familiar refrain “bigger is better”. His concept of doing something important, something he wanted for himself, had turned into another push to go up, up, up. Jack had spent his first two years in the antique business blindly dedicated to this ambition. Towards the end of his second full year in the antique business, Jack began to experience some physical discomfort. Over a three month period he went for various tests but nobody was able to diagnose the problem. It wasn’t until he passed blood while on a trip to Germany that he discovered he had colon cancer. Lying in a hospital bed in Munich, he felt relieved. Someone else was going to have to deal with all the tasks that were sitting on his desk in Vancouver waiting for him. The cancer was removed as soon as it was discovered. It was all very quick. But the cancer’s legacy was a special gift. The cancer was a sign, a warning that he was going to have to change how he lived his life. It caused Jack to stop and review everything he was 199 involved in. When he came down with the cancer, he had once again been telling himself “it’s all too much”, that he wanted out. Jack realized he did not really take care of himself when he left psychology. The cancer told him he had better start doing the things that are important to him and learn how to eliminate the burdens. It gave him the opportunity to regroup, to start nurturing himself. Having cancer made him feel justified in not worrying about and having to control everything that has to do with the business. When Jack returned to work he began restructuring his involvement in the business so that he could have more time for himself, He wanted time to focus on the aspects of the business he enjoyed, (e. g., the marketing and planning) and time to exercise, relax, reflect. This meant giving more responsibility to his employees. When he got cancer his staff took over in his absence. When he returned to work he noticed how much they wanted to show him how well they could do. In spite of his obsession to achieve, to always 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, if he would only give them the opportunity. Leaving psychology for the antique business was an attempt to restructure the kind of world Jack lived in, He had come to see himself as a victim of his own abilities, continually climbing ladders, and ending up trapped doing work he didn’t value. The antique business looked like a way to break free of this. The switch did allow 200 him the freedom to make the kind of living he aspired to in a setting where he could surround himself with people of integrity. Working in the world of antiques, he felt free to limit himself to dealing with people he considered to be honourable. The switch also allowed him to be more closely involved in his partner’s life. But Jack’s cancer brought into focus how his life had continued to be ruled by his blind obsession with achievement. The cancer served as the catalyst for confronting how he still needed to change how much this force directed his life. It wasn’t until Jack began to feel he was making significant progress changing this that he 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 and security. It has meant acknowledging the sexual, physical and emotional 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 he has lost and misses the advocate role and the intimacy, the special closeness that was so often there when he was working with a psychology client. It has meant trying to be gentler with himself, to let up the pressure he puts on himself to make more and more money or to expand the business. It has meant trying to be clearer about what he expects from others and not pushing them so hard. Placing more trust in others has meant allowing himself to be vulnerable. In all these ways, Jack has continued to struggle with taking care of 201 himself. He continues to work at it, with the memory of cancer giving him a reason to regularly check his progress. Convergence The event loadings of both principal components converge with the flow of the narrative account. The narrative portrays a change from entrapment to freedom. Jack shifted from feeling like a victim of his own ambition to feeling free to live his life with integrity. The first principal component describes a change from feeling trapped and angry to being excited about his life. Generally, the loading of an event matches its description in the story. For example, when Jack walked away from his psycho-legal practice and joined Russ in the antique business, the event loadings shifted from -.34 to .74. Similarly, his narrative description moves from anger and frustration to excitement and enjoyment. The second component indicates Jack is struggling with conflict throughout the transition and this is also evident in the narrative. Once again, the event loadings match their descriptions in the story. For example, when the psycho-legal work is Jack’s main source of billings, the event factor loading is .72. Similarly, in the narrative description Jack is frustrated, feeling like he is out of place in the legal world. The Q-sorts provide an abstract description of Jack’s transition. The narrative gives it a richness of detail and meaning. 202 Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative Account It was fine. (The experience) was accurately and “softly” (a.k.a. with compassion) represented. It was nice. Independent Reviewer Report I found the summary to be an excellent description of this man’s journey from one career to another. There were no discrepancies. The subject sounded at ease and was able to share other confidential areas of his life in the context of the interview. Given the impact of other life events on his career path, it was necessary to discuss these. Gary’s open style combined with periodic snmmaries and clarifications enabled him to reflect in depth on his career transition and its relationship to the rest of his life, 203 CHAPTER XII CASE STUDY NINE: ERIK REALTOR TO CLINICAL COUNSELLOR Principal Component Analysis The first principal component accounted for 33% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since it showed a clear change in event loadings from beginning (-.03.) to end (.77), this component portrays part of the meaning of the transition to Erik, using the theoretical terms. To define this component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below and phrased to characterize the beginning of the transition. 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 the Q-sorts. Since it showed a clear change in event loadings from beginning (.67) to end (.-.30), this component also portrays part of the meaning of the transition to Erik, using the theoretical terms. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below and phrased to 204 characterize the beginning of the transition. The end of the transition 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 Erik periodically experienced a series of breakthroughs. (See Figure 10, Case study nine: Erik). Particularly during the middle period, the transition was complicated by feeling empty, overwhelmed or numb. The pattern of change on the second component manifested moderate swings. Erik went from being worried to being happy, confident, possessing a strong sense of direction and purpose about his life and experiencing a breakthrough involving an insight, new knowledge, or wisdom. Change across the transition did not appear to be gradual but cyclical. In varying degrees throughout the transition, Erik experienced a pervading feeling of vulnerability. Personal Narrative Erik grew up in the real estate business. His parents were realtors and he spent his summers working in their real estate and insurance business. When Erik was twenty his father died, forcing 205 him to co-manage the family business. As a teenager, he had wanted to be a psychiatrist but after failing first year university twice he had given up on the idea and settled into selling real estate. Real estate became his life. He worked seven days a week and lived above the office. Ever since he was a little boy, Erik’s father had fostered and encouraged him to be a millionaire. At age twenty-five Erik had bought the business from his mother and the realization of this dream, of having a million dollars, had become totally compelling. Erik was having a stellar career in real estate. He had already made his million by the time he was twenty-nine years old. He was the youngest person ever to be president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board and head of the provincial realtor’s association. He was considered to be the millionaire boy wonder; anything he touched was gold. At twenty-nine, having achieved a sense of economic security, Erik’s world began to unravel. On his way to the top, he had always enjoyed 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 just given at a convention he noticed himself feeling disenchanted with what he was doing, like something wasn’t quite right. The feeling started gradually and kept building. It came and went, but he couldn’t shake it. For the last couple of months of that year he couldn’t ignore it. He tried to form some new goals for himself. He 206 thought about building some apartment buildings or moving downtown. The things he came up with held no meaning for him. He knew there was something more he wanted but didn’t know what it was. He felt a yearning for something he couldn’t yet define and at the same time a sense of foreboding about things yet to come. Not knowing what else to do, he took a vacation to Hawaii. While on vacation, a near drowning episode that would have a profound impact on his life occurred, Although he was a very weak swimmer, Erik had tried to swim to shore after getting trapped on a sandbar because of an incoming tide. Struggling and thrashing in the water, he had exhausted himself and finally gave up trying to save himself. As he was going under, everything went quiet. Then a voice suddenly spoke to him saying, “You waited too long to find out who you really are. Now it’s too late and you’ll never get another chance.” After that everything went black, then white like in the middle of a snowstorm. In the next instant it felt like he was being shot 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 that close to dying, the bizarreness of the episode, it struck him that his life 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.” For years, Erik had been telling himself that when he made enough 207 money he could do what he wanted. In business he had been driven by a desire to survive, to feel safe from the world. He had decided he needed at least a million dollars to feel safe and had gone out and made it. Having escaped death’s grasp, he felt compelled to search for something more in his life. Something not yet definable had to change. He spent the next three or four days lying around reading spiritual books and crying. He was scared but, at the same time, felt there was a quest he had to follow. He didn’t know where it would lead, only that he had to do it. He had a strong sense it would be death to stop. When he returned to Vancouver he felt disconnected and alienated from his friends and coworkers. There was nobody he could talk to in his ordinary world about what was going on. It was a very lonely time. He was already distant from his wife. His strange talk scared and overwhelmed her, His closest business friend didn’t understand what had happened to him, The only person he felt close to was a salesman some people thought was crazy. When Erik told him about his near drowning experience he wanted to hear about it and made some mystic comment like, “So its started....” Erik didn’t know what he was talking about but it was better than the terror and distance he felt from everyone else. Erik was compelled to take on this quest. He became as driven in this as he had been to succeed in business. Back when he was taking over the business, he had started seeing a counsellor. At the 208 time, he thought he was going to have a nervous breakdown over conflicts with his mother. He went back to see his old counsellor, told him 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 growth programs. Two months after the near drowning incident, Erik was interviewing for a residency at Esalen, a famous growth centre in California. He was turned down for the program he applied to but decided he would go back later for a self-directed program at the same centre. In preparation for this, he spent a month at Fritz Perl’s Gestalt Institute in Cowichan. It was a wild time, full of strange experiences like dance and movement exercises, group encounter sessions. He mostly watched and listened, choosing not to participate. What he saw there terrified him. He was a very conservative, successful businessman with his red and white Thunderbird convertible and car phone in the middle of a whole community of counterculture types. He was very conscious of how inadequate and out of place he felt. Here were these people with very little money, driving old broken down vehicles, who seemed so much more easy and secure about their lives than he was. It felt like everything he had done meant nothing, absolutely nothing. He felt he had wasted his life. 209 After his experience at Cowichan, Erik was more convinced than ever he had to go to Esalen. However, the people he used to rely on for support weren’t giving him any. For instance, whenever he spoke to his wife about what he was going through, she would just stare at him. Afraid his marriage couldn’t handle the gap he expected Esalen would create between him and his wife, he had tried to no avail to convince her to come with him or at least stay nearby. Similarly, he was surprised and disappointed to discover his old counsellor had tried to get Erik’s physician to convince him not to go. On his way to Esalen, he was filled with terror, feeling very vulnerable, afraid he was going crazy. He still couldn’t make sense out of the near drowning incident. He had begun to wonder if it really was an accident, if it was an attempt to destroy himself? Still not clear where all this was heading, it was evident he was going to have 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 group sessions. But then, for the first time in his life, he took LSD and had an experience that would challenge a fundamental belief he held about himself. Erik had always believed there was a darkness inside of him that he had to control or restrain. Instead of seeing this while “tripping” on the acid, he experienced a profound state of grace, of being connected with the universe. It felt like the universe was airight and so was he, This was an important insight, a tremendous 210 breakthrough. It made him feel it was airight to connect with the people around him. He began to feel comfortable, at home at Esalen. Wonderful things began to happen without having to try (e. g., he would make a new friend, a relevant book would fall into his lap). At the end of his third month at Esalen, Erik had reached a point where he felt he wouldn’t be able to leave if he stayed much longer. It was either leave now or stay on for at least a couple of years. He had noticed in visits to the nearby town that it was becoming difficult to be in the outside world. He had talked to people at 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 from it. 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 himself of the symbols of his old way of life. For instance, he sold his Thunderbird to buy a Jeep 4 x 4. About a year after Esalen, Erik left his wife. He had been after her to go to therapy with him but she had refused over and over again. He felt like he had spent the better part of 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 hair grow long, had a beard, and had taken to wearing velvet pants. Only the mystic salesman who had been interested in his near drowning 211 episode could fathom what he was going through. Everyone else was polite to him but there were rumours in his business circles that he was schizophrenic or had gotten hooked on drugs. During this period Erik was upset about having to tend to his real estate business. Unless somebody wanted something specific, he tried to stay away from the office. He found it very hard to put on a suit and go into the office. He would come home and his jacket would be soaked with perspiration. Erik let go of the various professional association and board positions he held and managed to work himself out of the day to day chores involved in running the business. His role was now pretty much limited to looking after the financial monitoring and planning of the business and putting together partnerships for major land developments. Erik knew he was drifting, still searching. He wanted to distance himself as much as he could from his old way of life. At the same time, he was afraid if he changed too much, too fast, he would go over the edge. He already felt unstable enough. The most common, everyday experiences (e. g., eating in a new restaurant, seeing his reflection in a store window) often held an intensity that was bewildering, sometimes scary. A number of people he knew from Esalen tried to counsel him on what to do. He felt reluctant to commit himself to any specific course of study or philosophy for living. More than anything, he simply wanted to let go of all the constraints he felt. He spent his time going back and forth between 212 Vancouver and California, attending workshops, trying different therapies, juggling different lovers, and taking short jaunts to different parts of the world (e. g., Japan, Thailand, Africa, Scotland, England). Erik’s focus became the world of psychotherapy and exploring Eastern approaches to spirituality. During this period, he explored a variety of approaches at private institutes and training centres. At Esalen he had been trained in body massage. However, he gradually became more and more interested in somatic approaches to psychotherapy, including rolling as an approach to body mind integration. When a broken arm wouldn’t heal with traditional medical methods, he used rolfing to complete the healing. Impressed with the results, he took his four year old son, who was depressed and having problems talking, to a renowned rolfer and somatic psychotherapist in California. After seeing this man work with his son, Erik started seeing him himself. This would turn out to be a ten year association involving therapy and training in somatic psychotherapy. Being a therapist felt like something Erik really wanted to do, work he considered meaningful. About three years after Esalen, he decided he would start counselling others. It was the fulfillment of a dream, in that, he saw it as a way of helping people by being himself with them. It was the resurrection of a vocational desire he had given up for the family real estate business. A lover in Portland, 213 Oregon, who was a counsellor, was instrumental in assisting him to develop a somatic psychotherapy practice. Overnight he had all the work he wanted, working one week in three in Portland. Erik started a small part-time practice in Vancouver but continued to jump between Oregon, California, and Vancouver. It felt 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 really feel included in the Vancouver therapeutic community. Because he hadn’t trained in Vancouver, he was considered an outsider, Compared to California, local therapists were more conservative, not as willing to explore or embrace a new person’s ideas. All his professional friends, his community, lived in either the San Francisco Bay area of California or Portland. Esalen had become like home to him. He had been tempted to emigrate to the United States, always feeling more comfortable, more sane there than he ever did in Vancouver. However, Erik had two ties to Vancouver that kept him based there. First, his son lived there with Erik’s ex-wife. Erik had become devoted to his son, making a point of regularly spending time with him. Second, although he had distanced himself from the real estate business, he still owned the company and it was based in Vancouver. Still pushing hard to let go of his old life, Erik ended up getting sick in the fourth year of his work with his somatic psychotherapist. In the middle of a therapy session, while doing a shallow breathing 214 exercise, Erik felt a startling rush of energy throughout his entire body. At that moment “I felt God go out of my life.” He felt very, very lost and couldn’t shake the feeling. In the next eight days he lost approximately fifteen pounds. He wasn’t able to digest any kind of food. His digestive system would be a chronic problem for the next twelve years. Without realizing it, Erik had become very depressed and withdrawn, often seeming to others to barely be connected with what was happening in the world around him. Several people who were close to him at the time were afraid he was dying. As the distress and pain of his sickness wore on, it filled him with anger. He was upset and disgruntled a lot of the time. Erik had been gripped by something he couldn’t let himself yield to. At the same time, he wasn’t able to outmanoeuvre it. In spite of his sickness, Erik began to focus on developing his Vancouver practice. After a couple of years, he split up with his lover in Portland and let go of the practice there. After about four years of working mainly in Vancouver, Erik had established what he considered to be a successful practice of at least twenty clients a week. However, he did not feel content with this. He was thinking about going back into real estate again. Moving back into real estate in addition to maintaining his full-time counselling practice was appealing for several reasons. Even though he had a successful, satisfying practice, he continued to feel lonely. He was disappointed he had never connected with the 215 local therapeutic community. As a way of combating his loneliness, he had taken to importing people from the states for workshops or shared work. But it wasn’t the same as having a local network of colleagues. For a long time he had devalued his real estate career. Looking back, he realized the very thing he longed for in his counselling career had been a central feature of his life in real estate. He had been part of a wonderful, rich business community. Over the years, the people he did business with in real estate had really become a kind of family to him. However, after Esalen Erik had cut himself off from these people, even though they had been very close. For instance, one person Erik rarely saw any more was the man who had been his mentor when Erik’s father died. He had counselled Erik on the intricacies of business and finance. Erik felt like a wandering, lost soul, yearning to reconnect with his old business buddies. When he started getting together for lunch with his old friends, lots of memories and questions about what he was doing with his life got stirred up. For instance, for the last six years, Erik had been living off the interest of the money he had made in real estate. In the meantime, his two closest friends had continued to “burn up the road” in the real estate market. One was now worth four million and the other six million dollars. They had started out in business around the same time he did; they used to do land and 216 development deals together. Hearing them talk about what they were doing, Erik began to think he should have been able to challenge himself to do more than have a full counselling practice. Beneath all of this, Erik was afraid doing therapy was the only thing he could do anymore. The idea of going back to real estate terrified 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 as he didn’t push himself to produce, to take on a new challenge, to do anything else that counted for anything. He was still afraid if he pushed himself he would have a nervous breakdown. From time to time, people would ask him to get involved in a project or inquire about him coming back to manage the family business. He would always respond he wasn’t interested or was too busy with his practice. But the truth was he had lost confidence in himself as a businessman. He wanted back in but didn’t know if he could still operate in the real estate world. Erik dropped himself back into real estate, starting with a few investments with his old buddies. After a couple of years, he became dissatisfied again. He was disturbed by his cautious, conservative investment style. He was doing fine financially but felt he should be able to do better. He decided he lacked guts and needed to challenge himself to take more risks. Over the next two years he entered into a series of business ventures and relationships that turned out to be 217 disasters. In his zeal to achieve more, Erik stopped following his own rules of sound financial management. For instance, he started doing deals in U. S. markets he didn’t know. Similarly, he made investments largely on faith, taking the word of someone he wanted to trust without personally checking the fiscal health of a project. Before long he had a negative cash flow, losing large amounts of money every month. Around the same time Erik’s investments were unravelling, he discovered the family real estate and insurance business was in serious financial trouble. He hadn’t paid attention to it in years. Ever since Esalen, Erik had distanced himself from the day to day operation. Around the time he started his counselling practice he reduced his involvement to signing documents at the lawyer’s office. He had given signing authority to the manager and stopped preparing the company’s financial forecasts. He had even stopped reviewing the monthly financial statements. Because of poor management, the company was in dire straits. Revenue was down, costs weren’t being controlled, and the company was tied into some bad partnerships. Erik realized his business world was out of control. He was in danger of going bankrupt. While trying to keep his counselling practice commitments, he tried to find a way out of the mess his real estate investments were in and sort out what was going on at the family business. To complicate matters, the Canadian and U. S. 218 economies were moving into a recession. It was all too much to juggle at once. He had always been living off of the profits of his life in real estate. He had never before seriously considered having to live on the relatively small income from his counselling practice. With his financial security collapsing, it felt like his life was being destroyed. He knew he should step out of his counselling practice and turn his complete attention to straightening out his finances. From a financial standpoint, the most sensible move would be to take over the operation of the family business. However, doing so would mean giving up what had become his life’s work for the sake of safety. He was not willing to do that. Erik discovered that in both his U. S. real estate investment and the management of the company, certain people he trusted were guilty of misrepresentation and, when it came right down to it, lying to him in some cases. He had always been the “nice guy”, but as events unfolded he got more and more upset. He got very tough, eventually deciding to force the management of the family business into buying him out. This gave him enough money to bail out of his U. S. property troubles. In the struggle to keep from going bankrupt, Erik had several revelations. First, he realized the real estate business had been his dad’s dream, not his. Erik had fallen into it through a combination of family tradition and circumstances. He only went into the business because he flunked university and his dad died. In 219 contrast, counselling was a career he had clearly chosen for himself. Second, if he was going to stay involved in real estate he would have to be clear about what purpose it served in his life. Erik realized that while he wanted the main focus of his life to be counselling, he didn’t want to live the kind of life a therapist’s income would provide. He valued the kind of life he was living and wanted to continue to live the same way. His financial crisis made him very aware that it was his real estate career that provided him with this life. Finally, surviving the threat of bankruptcy gave him new confidence in himself, a new appreciation of himself. Since the beginning of his transition Erik had devalued the drive, the ambition he displayed while pushing himself to become a millionaire. He had come to be afraid of pushing himself, of challenging himself, He recognized the toughness, the resilience from before. He began to consider his incredible capacity to endure (e. g., fatigue, sickness, pressure) as a strength rather than an aspect of himself he should fear. The period following Erik’s brush with financial disaster was a time spent striving to regain a sense of balance in his life. He was clear about his desire to counsel. Whatever else happened, he intended on keeping his practice going. As a way of feeding and focusing his interest in psychology he enroled in a part-time program through the Saybrook Institute, an accredited nonresidential psychology school in California. This would turn out to be a ten year 220 involvement, culminating with the completion of a Ph.D. in human science. Erik was also sure he wanted to maintain some kind of contact with the business world but he wasn’t clear about the amount or nature of involvement he wanted. Friends made plenty of suggestions and offered a variety of opportunities. Over the next several years he tried several things including management consulting, and teaching a marketing program for British Columbia Institute of Technology, and teaching organizational management in the M. B. A. program at Simon Fraser University. Each project would turn into a huge investment of time and energy. Each time Erik ended up juggling the equivalent of two full-time jobs: teaching, consulting, etc. and the counselling practice. He noticed that whatever else he was involved in, no matter how successful or financially rewarding his other projects were, he kept getting drawn back to the counselling practice. It was his main focus and he decided he was going to make his schedule, the structure of his daily life, reflect this. Since then Erik has spent most of his work time in his counselling practice. He maintains one major investment property up the coast from Vancouver. He is in partnership with a friend he knows from experience he can trust to manage the day to day operation. At the same time, Erik makes sure his partner knows he 221 is interested in what happens in the business, He makes a point of spending several days “on site” every couple of months. As Erik achieved a sense of balance in his work, he began to regain his physical health. Around the same time he also met Brenda, who is now his wife. Through this relationship he began to recognize how much he wanted to feel part of a real family. For a long time he knew how important it was in his work to feel part of a community, to have close relationships. This desire for contact had been an important part of what had drawn him into the world of psychotherapy and later, in his loneliness, back into business, But he had never realized how cut off he was from his own family of origin or how much he yearned to feel connected with them. He and his wife went for family counselling and Erik set out to rediscover his family of origin. Outside of his son and a stormy relationship with his mother, he had lost contact with the rest of his family. It wasn’t until he found his sister Mary, who had been lost to him for fortyfive years, that Erik considered his career transition to be complete. This event symbolized a breakthrough in his effort to put his family of origin back together. Erik’s change from real estate to counselling reflects an attempt to let go of a life of ambition and responsibility that no longer held meaning. He felt compelled to search for a different way to live. In the process he turned his back on his old life and devalued himself. Only when he was about to lose his wealth, something that 222 was important to him for practical reasons and because of a deeply rooted belief he inherited from his father, did he realize there were aspects of his former self and life that were worthwhile. Erik’s journey into the world of psychotherapy, initially as a client and later as a therapist, often required him to examine himself closely. This took courage and Erik felt scared and vulnerable, often terrified, throughout the transition. Knowing he had endured many challenges in his life gave him the strength to push on anyway. Erik feels he has found a balance in his work life between the pragmatic and the soulful parts of himself. Erik comes from five generations of real estate businessmen. Trying to cut himself off from the business world was like trying to deny his family’s history. In his view, to live authentically is to stay focused on his counselling practice while staying active, to some degree, in business. C onverence The event loadings of both principal components converge with the flow of the narrative account. The narrative describes a way of life that no longer holds meaning, that is no longer of value, and the search for a new more meaningful way to live. It portrays a change that involved collapse and reconstruction. The first principal component describes a series of breakthroughs. Generally, the loading of an event matches its description in the story. For example, when Erik decides he is going 223 to be a therapist, the event loading was .83. Similarly, his narrative describes this decision as the fulfillment of a dream. The second component describes a cyclical change from being worried to being happy and confident with a new sense of direction and purpose. Once again, the event loadings match their descriptions in the story. For example, when Erik realizes his finances are out of control, the event loading on being worried is .62. This corresponds with the narrative which describes the collapse of his financial security as being like his life being destroyed. Similarly, when Erik finds his lost sister, the event factor loading on being happy with a sense of direction and purpose is -.30. This corresponds with the narrative which describes the event as the culmination of a yearning to rediscover his family of origin. Finally, both principal components indicate Erik experienced vulnerability during the transition. This was also evident in the narrative. The Q-sorts provide an abstract description of Erik’s transition. The narrative gives it a richness of detail and meaning. Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative Account This is great! Its great to read this ... I think it is overall really accurate of the flavour of the transition. Both chronologically and the emotions and components or different configurations - you know, passages - I went through. 224 Independent Reviewer Report I have read the complete transcript and listened to portions of the tapes of interviews with ‘Erik’, a participant in Gary’s dissertation research. The interviews were conducted in an open and unbiased manner such that Erik appeared comfortable and unconstrained in his responses. Gary’s summary of the wide-ranging content appears to be true to the intent of the interviewee and I believe it to be a reliable account of the information provided by Erik. 225 CHAPTER XIII CASE STUDY TEN: TRICIA AUDITOR TO DATA ANALYST Principal Component Analysis The first principal component accounted for 37% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since it did not show a clear change in event loadings from beginning (.83) to end (.82), this component does not appear to define the transition. However, it does reflect important items that accompanied and contributed to the transition. To define this component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus 1.5 were 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 the Q.sorts Since it did not show a clear change in event loadings from beginning (-.36) to end (.08), this component does not appear to define the transition. However, it does reflect potentially important items that accompanied and contributed to the transition. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below and phrased to characterize the beginning of the transition. 226 Not 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 manifested dramatic swings. (See Figure 11, Case Study Ten: Tricia). Tricia began and ended the transition full of a vision of a better life, feeling happy and excited about this. This experience was not constant, but cyclic. In between were periods where she felt an emptiness about her life. On the second component, Tricia wondered about her future, struggled with conflict and wavered in uncertainty. On other occasions, she sometimes felt like a novice. Personal Narrative Tricia never made a deliberate decision to be an auditor. It “just kind of happened” to her. All through university she had been interested in doing graduate work in psychology. But when she was exposed to the business of doing research in the last year of her bachelor’s degree she found it slow moving and really boring. Believing her B. A. wasn’t worth much in the job market, Tricia was afraid she would end up typing for a living unless she had a graduate degree in something. Thinking she would like the business world more than academic research, she enroled in an M. B. A. instead of a psychology program. When she completed her degree she was working in a bank as a teller, one of several jobs she did while in 227 graduate school. When the bank offered her a position in their audit department, she decided to try it. She had intended to work her way into personnel or human resource administration. However, after two years of hoping and trying to transfer into human resources she realized 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 she had experience in, she felt constrained to audit. However, for the first time in her life she made a deliberate, considered career decision. Because she had become very interested in the petroleum industry, she decided to look for a job with an oil company. When she landed an audit position with Odeco Marine, an oil drilling company, it was a job in an industry she had chosen with a company she had sought out. Tricia’s work became the centre of her life. She was based in Los 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, the travel, the people, living in Los Angeles. She loved it! In her first year, she was promoted rapidly and placed on the senior management career track. They were aware of her interest in human resources and were interested in eventually moving her into that area. 228 Shortly after starting with Odeco, Tricia went to Mexico for a vacation with some old school friends. While there she met and fell in love with Al, who was vacationing from Calgary, Alberta. Within three or four months of their meeting they were “commuting” between Calgary and Los Angeles on long weekends and Tricia was doing “stopovers” in Calgary on her way to or from overseas assignments. About a year later, they were engaged and Al, who wasn’t very happy with his job in Calgary anyway, was prepared to consider moving to Los Angeles. About a month later, Tricia’s company announced the head office was going to be moved to Dallas, Texas and she was one of a handful of people invited to go. Before the company announced its move to Dallas, Al moving to Los Angeles had seemed reasonable to her. It was an exciting place to live with plenty to offer. And if she had exercised her option to move out of audit and into human resources eventually she would have done less traveling. But there didn’t seem to be any point in considering living in Los Angeles if they were both going to be unemployed. It became a choice between him coming to Dallas or her going to Calgary. However, Tricia could not reconcile with her conscience dragging Al to Dallas, a place she hated, just to abandon him three quarters of the time to go on her assignments. The following six months was a time full of turmoil and confusion, with Tricia not knowing what to do. In terms of her 229 career aspirations, she knew going to Dallas was the right decision. At the same time she was clear about wanting to marry Al. Until shortly before she met him, being part of a couple hadn’t been important to her. But now in her late twenties, with all her friends married and having children, she often felt like an outsider. Marrying Al represented a chance to have a companion, a personal life. As a way of avoiding making a decision they decided Al would apply for a U. S. visa and she would apply for a Canadian visa. They would decide what to do based on which one came through first. Tricia’s application was approved in three months and they were told it 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, her boss tried to speed up Al’s visa application. Tricia’s life had become a very bizarre existence. It felt like she had been swept up by a tornado. The geographic split that existed between her professional life and personal life grew intolerable. She continued to globe hop on audit assignments and sometimes there were months between weekend visits with Al. After looking forward to a visit with Al for what seemed like forever, she would brace herself for the visit ending even as they were saying hello at the airport. Most of the time she was caught up in a vortex of decisions that needed to be made. Several times, while struggling to decide 230 whether she should leave her job and later during her first year in Calgary, she found herself questioning what she was doing. “Wait a minute! What do I know about this person? What do I know about Calgary?”, “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, keep her job, stay in Los Angeles. But that clearly wasn’t possible. Tricia eventually decided it made more sense for her to move to Calgary and Al basically let her make that decision. Leaving her job to come to Calgary felt like diving off a cliff. She didn’t know what to expect except, as far as work goes, it couldn’t possibly be as good. Moving to Calgary seemed like the right decision but she also knew that it was not a good career choice. She knew that in choosing to have a life with Al, she had chosen to move away from her career. At the same time, she told herself she wasn’t risking very much, that she could always 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, to complicate matters, she discovered she was chronically ill with an infection she had contracted while in Africa on a business trip. She spent the first couple of months sleeping and trying to prepare for her wedding. As the result of her illness she had to have surgery shortly after the wedding and spent another two months recovering. 231 Tricia’s new life in Calgary was very different from that which she had cultivated in Los Angeles. Within days of arriving, she realized there were many personal changes ahead. Suddenly she was living in a place she didn’t know, and, except for Al, was all alone. She was going to be part of her new husband’s family, but she realized she knew next-to-nothing about them except they seemed very different from her own family in terms of what was valued. For instance, education and having a career was always tremendously important in her family. Her father was a Ph. D. psychologist and her grandmother had completed a master’s degree back in 1914, a time when women rarely attended university. There had never been any question about whether Tricia would attend university and have a career. Her new in-laws had a “blue collar” background. Al and his brother were the only ones in the family who went to university, It was obvious Al’s mother was worried about what kind of wife Tricia would make for her son. Her new father-in-law wasn’t sure she made an honest living because he didn’t understand what it was she did. Tricia started driving Al crazy, Because she didn’t have any friends in the city and wasn’t working, she wasn’t talking to anybody all day. After dealing with people all day, when Al came home from work he wanted quiet. All Tricia wanted to do was talk to someone, For something to do and to have people to talk to, Tricia started 232 working part time in a bank as a typist while she looked around for an audit position. Jobs were scarce but after a couple of months of searching Tricia started working for Montreal Trust as an internal auditor. The people were pleasant but the audit functions she was performing were very basic. Because she was highly overqualified, the assignments were pretty boring. However, the biggest problem she had with the job was the travel. Even though she had enough of travelling, her job required her to be out of town at least sixty percent of the time. Tricia wanted to work in town. And compared to what she 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 but it seemed any opportunity for advancement was blocked, partly by differences in the nature of audit as an occupation in Canada, partly by Montreal Trust’s corporate structure, and partly by her growing reluctance to compromise her personal life for the sake of her career. Tricia was discovering that in contrast to what she had been used to in the United States, in Canada auditing was considered a subspecialty of accounting rather than a professional field of its own. This presented several unanticipated problems for Tricia. Because she wasn’t an accountant by training, the number and kinds of jobs she qualified for in Alberta was limited. Second, Tricia had no 233 interest in becoming an accountant or performing the accounting tasks typically expected of Canadian auditors. Third, there was no promotional path or lateral moves open to her at Montreal Trust unless she was willing to move to the company’s head office in Montreal, Quebec. If she stayed with Montreal Trust, she was going to be stuck doing the same job forever. About a year after Tricia and Al were married they decided to have a baby. When she moved to Calgary to marry Al, Tricia didn’t want to have children. Al, on the other hand, had always wanted to have children and was very influential. Sometime during that first year of marriage, Tricia changed her mind. While she “still didn’t like the idea of kids generically, (having) Al’s children seemed to be OK”. But what seemed so easy for most people wasn’t for them. Trying to get pregnant became a real effort. They went through every kind of undignified test imaginable to figure out what was wrong but there was no medical problem. For over a year Tricia charted her temperature, trying to track when she was ovulating. It seemed she was always in some out-of-town hotel room, away on yet another business trip when it was biologically the best time to try to conceive a child. The whole situation was very depressing. From the start, Tricia didn’t like the extensive travel her job required. However, being away was now more than an aggravation, it was a major problem. Her job was interfering with her chances of having a baby. Tricia knew she was never going to have a child if she 234 stayed with Montreal Trust. She desperately wanted a job where she could be home. When an opportunity to switch companies came up, Tricia jumped at the chance. An acquaintance she sat with on a professional association’s board of directors invited her to interview for an internal auditor position her company, Canadian National Railway (C. N. Rail), had open. There was only about two weeks per year of travel required, the office was only five blocks from where Tricia lived, and it seemed like there would be a little more variety in the work. It sounded great, and initially it was. While she was glad she didn’t have to do much travelling and the office’s location was convenient, the job itself was largely a repeat of what she had experienced at Montreal Trust. C. N. Rail also thought of her as a kind of specialized accountant. Over time, the assignments kept getting further away from what she was good at and closer to things she didn’t like or have the background for. But the most important thing was she now had a job that let her be at home most of the time. Tricia thought this would give her a better chance to have a baby. When she had been with C. N. Rail for a year she did become pregnant but had a miscarriage. Her doctors told her she should be happy, at least it was evidence that she could conceive, But as far as she was concerned it was just another depressing failure and it left her feeling bitter and empty. 235 After three years of frustration, she and Al both gave up hope. It seemed Tricia was never going to give birth to a child. By this time, they had bought a house in what they considered was a good neighbourhood to raise a family in. They wanted a baby so badly they were going to adopt one. It took a long time to come to this decision and, once again, Al’s strong desire to have children was a big influence. To their surprise, not long after deciding to adopt, Tricia became pregnant. Paranoid about having a Down’s syndrome baby because she was in her thirties, Tricia was on her best behavior for the duration of her pregnancy. She was very relieved to give birth to a healthy baby girl. When Tricia gave birth to her daughter, Crystal, she had been with C. N. Rail for two and a half years. She didn’t like the work she was doing and didn’t approve of the way her department was being managed. However, there was no question she was going back to her job after maternity leave. Her decision to return had nothing to do with the work itself. She would have preferred to stay at home with her daughter but she didn’t feel she had a choice. Tricia couldn’t afford not to work. During this period her husband was was in the midst of a career move. When Tricia met Al he was an assistant bank manager. About six months after she started with C. N. Rail he left his job for a certified accountant articling position with a public accounting firm. Since as an 236 articling student he was making far less money than before, Tricia was bound to her job. She couldn’t afford to stay home. When Tricia returned to her job, the work was the same. Her frustration with it and her manager was stronger than ever. For instance, her boss had demanded she finish an audit report before he “allowed” her to go on maternity leave. She managed to get it done and had left it for his signature so it could be issued. It was still on her desk, waiting for his signature, when she came back to work sixteen weeks later. She felt stuck in her job and the next year was really awful. She was having conflicts with her superiors and they began 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 have been gone. She could have gotten another internal auditor position with a different company. But it would be the same boring work and probably would return her to having to contend with a heavy travel schedule. Her daughter was now the focus of her life and it was Tricia’s responsibility to look after her. It would be impossible to care for her and travel for a living. She had no choice but to stick it out at C. N. Rail. Tricia figured her best chance to leave her profession was to stay in her job at C. N. Rail and draw her paycheck. If she went to another company she knew there was no way they would let her work at something she wasn’t trained for. She would try to trade into 237 another job at C. N. Rail, try to convince them to let her try something else. Tricia spent several months looking for another job within the company. 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 held the most appeal but it was the last place she looked into. It was a totally different functional area and she didn’t have any of the technical skills she imagined she would need to work there. Having audited the department three or four times, she was already acquainted with the manager there. When she told him she was looking for a job, he had one of his analysts talk with her. To her surprise and delight, they wanted her. Her knowledge of the company’s operations made her very attractive. They thought that with training she would make a good data analyst, a new specialized occupation within systems analysis that involves designing databases and drawing pictures of clients’ information requirements. It relies heavily on a person’s conceptual and problem solving abilities and doesn’t require knowledge of computer programming languages. It was exactly the kind of situation she was looking for. She could trade her knowledge of the company’s operations for new technical skills. She was relieved to be out of audit and her manager was 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 the 238 parts of auditing she enjoyed, like working with clients to find out what their functions are and what they need to do. But instead of going away and writing a report everyone basically ignores, she was now actively involved in helping build a tool people used. Several aspects of the job were new to her. For instance, the work environment was very “high tech” and she had to learn the modeling skills and computer technology used to construct the information systems. Tricia had been in systems for a year when C. N. Rail started to disintegrate. A change in the corporate leadership was followed by several mystifying personnel firings. This lead to rumours about the entire information systems department being eliminated. The last thing Tricia wanted was to be part of a mass of people all on the street looking for work at the same time. Fortunately, an excellent opportunity was unexpectedly brought to her attention. A friend who had left C. N. Rail for Prudential was telling her over lunch how hard a time they were having finding an experienced data analyst. When Tricia expressed interest, she was invited to an interview and offered the position. Tricia was willing to consider going to Prudential because the work conditions there fit the requirements she had to meet as Crystal’s caretaker. It was important that changing jobs not have any impact on Crystal’s care. There was no travelling required, their office was no further from her home than C. N. Rail’s and the 239 hours of work were the same. She had previously turned down an otherwise attractive offer from another firm because it would have meant finding a new day care centre for Crystal. Being hired by Prudential signified Tricia had really succeeded in changing her paid work occupation. Tricia considered it external validation of her new skills as an analyst. But it was her concern with job security that prompted the change. The switch to Prudential established a sense of financial security, something centrally important to her as a mother. It is partly because of her husband’s work routine and lack of parental participation that Tricia’s life revolves around Crystal. “Someone’s has to.” Her husband is now an accountant for a large firm and works long hours, When he is home he plays with Crystal but often he isn’t there. Tricia carries all the responsibilities for her care. Feeling she can’t do anything to change Al’s lack of involvement in Crystal’s care, she has come to accept her situation. She doesn’t resent all the time she spends with Crystal; she enjoys her daughter tremendously. What she resents is all the time she spends on household chores. “I need a wife, so all that stuff would be done 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 of providing her daughter with a better life now (e.g., private school) and a financially secure future. Not working would be like gambling 240 with Crystal’s future. It isn’t that Tricia doesn’t trust Al to look out for her and Crystal. She doesn’t trust life. She needs to know that she has the financial security her job provides should something happen to Al. She can only do this if she continues to work. Because of the rapid pace of information and technological change, her knowledge and technical skills would be out of date if she stopped working for an extended period. It would be very difficult to come back once she stepped out. Tricia’s life now is entirely different from what it was like in Los Angeles. Her paid work used to be the centre of her life. Now Crystal is the centre of her life. Being a mother has become centrally important to her and she has modified her career aspirations to accommodate this. She enjoys her work in systems analysis, she finds it very rewarding. But the reason she works now is to provide for her daughter. Just before her transition began Tricia had a clear vision of herself as a successful career woman making her way to the top on her corporate career track. At the end of the transition her vision is of a happy and secure family life. Choosing to marry Al and move to Calgary turned out to be the first of several decisions that gradually took Tricia into her new career as a working mother. Movement through this transition required her to overcome a powerful internal struggle over which future to pursue. 241 Convergence The event loadings of both principal components converge with the flow of the narrative account. The narrative describes a shift in what gives Tricia’s life meaning, a change from aspiring executive devoted solely to her career to working mother devoted to her daughter. The first principal component describes Tricia’s periodic excitement and optimism about the future. Generally, the loading of an event matches its description in the story. For example, when Prudential offers her the data analyst job, the event loading is .82. Similarly, the narrative describes how happy she is to find a position that meets her needs as a mother and recognizes her competence in her new occupation. The second principal component describes Tricia struggling with conflict during the first part of her transition and feeling like a novice on certain other occasions. The loading of an event on the second component also matches its description in the story. For example, when Tricia told her boss she was getting married, the event factor loading was .83. Similarly, the narrative description portrays her as deeply conflicted, in a real bind trying to figure out how she can marry Al without messing up her career. The Q-sorts provide an abstract description of Tricia’s transition. The narrative gives it a richness of detail and meaning. 242 Study Participant’s Self-review of Narrative Account I think it is a fair representation of what I said. It is written very well. Independent Reviewer Report I think the write-up of the case study portrays what the subject intended to communicate. The information has not been distorted at all. It seems to me that this subject began to explore her career transition during these interviews. The researcher did not direct the subject away from this, so the interviews are an accurate reflection of the subjects concerns. I was so caught up in her story that I wanted to know more about her psychology! 243 CHAPTER XIV COMPARATIVE PATTERN ANALYSIS The purpose of comparing the ten accounts of career transition was to compose, if possible, a more abstract account that reflects a common pattern of experience. Is there a common structure? Can ten individual stories be adequately reflected in one general story? These were were the kinds of questions that guided the comparative analysis. It was not an attempt to identify isolated or fragmented themes, but an attempt to discern a common order within the unique particulars of each case. The analysis proceeded by first developing outlines of the flow of significant events for each case, attempting to phrase these events more abstractly. For example, after working as the women’s rights program manager, Joan returned to teaching. What is of significance here is that she returned to the old condition from which she was seeking escape and her experience was miserable. To allow for comparison, this event would not be phrased just as a return to teaching, but a return to the old experience of confinement. Unique details were either dropped or placed in a secondary position in order to emphasize what might be common to the other cases. Once the flow outlines were developed, comparisons of general movement began. As particular movements were identified, they were checked against the other accounts, leading usually to revision 244 or abandonment. During comparisons, it became possible to phrase events more generally and sharply as parts of a pattern, and these changes were checked against actual accounts. As particular movements were connected, a common pattern began to emerge which, in turn, helped to describe the meaning of the parts. This comparative procedure of sharpening and checking, attending to parts and the whole, continued until the common pattern crystalized in a way that did not seem to require further revision. When it was compared to the ten accounts, it reflected each with no sense of strain. While this process sacrifices or obscures the complexities of individual experiences, it captures the prominent experiences as parts of a general flow. Pattern of Career Transition The common pattern of career transition involved three phases or stages. These stages overlap and blend together, but each is distinctive nevertheless. That is, while the boundaries between stages are permeable, each stage involves a distinctive character with each subsequent stage building upon the preceding stage. The background for the first stage is a first career that once had a significant purpose, but one that the person has outgrown. For instance, the papal reform movement was the arena within which Daniel had been able to express his rebellion against authority. Similarly, the corporate world was a place Tricia had been able to pursue her ambition for social esteem and recognition. School 245 teaching was the way Joan had gotten out of being a secretary, Social work served a similar purpose for Carla. It was a way to stay out of the small town life she had escaped by going to university. Selling petroleum products had been a way for Joseph to support his family. Stage I: Growing Discontent The beginning of the career transition was marked by growing frustration and dissatisfaction over aspects of one’s life. The focal point and scope of this frustration varied. Sometimes it was experienced primarily as a work problem as in the cases of Joan and Daniel. Sometimes it was personal as in the case of Tricia, Sometimes frustration was evident in both domains as in the cases of Jack, Lynn, and Joseph. Sometimes it was not possible for the person to identify the source as in the cases of Joby and Erik. The frustration and discontent the person feels is not just dissatisfaction with aspects of one’s work or life. It reflects and constitutes a loss of purpose. As events unfolded during this period, one became dominated by a feeling that somehow one’s present situation, one’s life, is not what it should be like. This is accompanied by a variety of related feelings about one’s life. Several people felt confined, stuck, trapped. Others felt an emptiness in their lives, or that life was off course. For some it was a more diffused and less dramatic feeling, a vague yet indisputable yearning for something indescribable that is missing in one’s life. The strength of such feelings fluctuated, sometimes 246 pervading one’s consciousness and at other times experienced as a distant nagging in the back of one’s mind, but they were unshakeable. 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 internal shift. For example, in his second battle with church authorities, Daniel was now questioning whether he should remain in the church, whether he could continue to live this life. Certain aspects of one’s work or personal life that were previously taken for granted, ignored, or not considered centrally important now draw increasing attention and concern. For instance, Joan and Carla had not noticed the structural limitations their occupations imposed on them. At this point most people feel like they are outsiders, like they don’t belong or fit in. Jack and Joan felt this way about work, Tricia had come to feel this way about her friends, all of whom were now married. Joseph felt this way about the small town business community 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 and ponderings about the future. The person has begun to reflect on what is important, what is valued, what is wanted from life? At this point the answers are fuzzy at best. The person may have an idea of what it is they want to get away from, but usually there is no vision, no 247 image of how one’s life should be. One is simply enduring, increasingly aware of how he or she is feeling. There is a growing desire to change the situation, but little conscious effort to change one’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 Life During the second phase of the transition the person steps out of the life structure he or she is familiar with. Within a process of change that follows a cyclical pattern, the person begins moving towards what is hoped will be a better, more worthwhile life. As the second phase begins, the person moves to make a change in his or her life. Some kind of action breaks the individual’s routine, takes the person outside of one’s everyday existence. No matter what form the action takes, it represents movement out of the existing life structure. For six of the ten cases (Joseph, Lynn, Jack, Carla, Erik, & Daniel) this action includes a conscious decision the person has reached concerning his or her situation. For instance, wanting to escape the predictable small town life he is living, Joseph decides to sell his business. From his standpoint, selling the business psychologically frees him so he can study for a teacher’s certificate. Four of the six people in this cluster (Jack, Carla, Erik, & Daniel), not knowing what they should do, took some kind of time-out before reaching a decision. Either by the end of or shortly after 248 returning from their sabbatical periods, all four had come to a decision. For example, by the end of the year off the school district forced on him, Jack had decided to leave psychology to start an antique business with his new lover. By the end of his retreat, Daniel had decided to leave the priesthood and return to B. C. By the time Carla came home from Europe she had decided to leave social work. Soon after returning from Hawaii, Erik had decided to respond to the voice he had heard during his near death experience by going to a psychological 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 were acting on their decision. For instance, by the time Joseph decided to sell the business, he already knew he was going to try teaching. In contrast, when Lynn, Erik and Daniel acted on their decisions, they had no idea what was in their futures. For instance, when Lynn quit nursing, she only knew that she was fed up with the miserable treatment she felt forced to endure as a nurse, that her life was nothing like what she had expected. For the other four cases (Joby, Rachel, Joan, & Tricia) the action that broke the person’s existing life structure took the form of getting involved in a new activity or being drawn in by events that turned out to have an unexpected, often dramatic impact on the course of the person’s life. There is no evidence that the new activity was part of a conscious decision to change the course of one’s life. 249 For instance, while Joby is at the managerial development workshop, he has his life-giving vision. Rachel, wishing to know more about her faith, signs up for a religious studies course that opens her up to a whole new world. Joan volunteers to work on a video project for her teachers’ association and this turns out to be her first step out of teaching. Tricia, on vacation in Mexico, falls in love with the man she will later leave her dream job for and marry. Much of the transition’s middle period is spent searching for that which is lacking in one’s life, for a more worthwhile way of life. Erik’s immersion in the personal growth movement and Rachel’s enrollment in theological school are clear examples of how this search is expressed in individual lives. Those who already have some concrete idea of what a more worthwhile life would entail spend this period searching for a way to realize the dream. For instance, during this period Tricia desperately searches for a way to marry Al without giving up her career. Similarly, Joby’s studies and his job strategy reflect his preparations and search for a way to be employed as a special kind of management consultant. For all ten cases, embarking on this search represents the start of what turns out to be an irreversible process of personal change. The process is cyclical rather than linear in nature. It can best be described as a series of progressions, each step of which involves recycling an old dramatic conflict. An individual will typically make an important change in course, only to recreate or to 250 become re-immersed in another version of his or her personal drama on a new social stage. For example, the trapped feeling that culminates Jack’s blind ambition or “ladder climbing” and his need to control everything as a school psychologist is repeated over and over again. It is a central part of his story in his corporate work, in his psycho-legal work, and in his first couple of years in the antique business. At the heart of each dramatic conflict is a feeling that life is still not as it should be. Each repetition of the conflict reminds the person of this and deepens the feeling. In a few cases (Joan & Jack) this repetition of the dramatic conflict took place within the context of a retreat to the first career. For instance, Joan went back to teaching after getting frustrated with the women’s program job. However, before long she felt more constrained than ever. Similarly, after deciding to go into the antique business full-time, Jack backed out at the last minute and made a lateral move from school to corporate psychology. This proved to be the first of several re-enactments of his blind “ladder climbing”. Even the less complex cases of career transition, like that of Carla and Joseph, follow a cyclical pattern. For example, medical school immersed Carla in a world where, more than ever, she felt like an outsider. Compared to when she was a social worker, she ended up living a more restrictive and isolated life than she could have imagined. Similarly, after having made the switch to school 251 teaching, Joseph found himself once again lacking the intellectual stimulation that had become important to him. At some point during this phase everyone developed a new sense of direction or purpose, an image of what to do with one’s life. For some (Joby, Lynn, & Erik) it presented itself with startling clarity, much like that of an oracle. For Joby it was expressed in occupational terms. He envisioned himself as an independent consultant working with companies that need to redefine what business they are in. For Lynn and Erik, this sense of purpose was initially expressed in existential terms. For example, Lynn’s revelation at the foot of her adopted son’s bed instructed her that she must be “free”. Only through a process of experimentation and further self-review could such an expression of a new purpose be translated into specific life changes. For the other career changers, this new sense of purpose was conceived more slowly, often beginning as a feeling of being drawn towards an activity, occupation or idea. This eventually turned into a dream, a wish, a desire that was as compelling as a revelation, For example, Rachel’s desire to know more about her religion transformed into an overwhelming aspiration to enter the ministry. Sooner or later, the person’s life became pervaded with the idea of living the vision. As events unfolded and the career changer’s search progressed, the person showed a remarkable amount of self determination. There was a growing sense of agency, of 252 responsibility for what was happening in one’s life, There was a strong belief that whatever changes were needed, it was up to the individual to make them happen. This belief in oneself was accompanied by a strong will to take decisive action. The person eventually reached a point where he or she felt compelled to enact the vision. The individual had come to believe that making this change was vitally important. Several people referred to the decision that was being contemplated at the time as if it was too important to be prevented by fear. The person was so determined that the risks involved did not seem to matter. Risk-taking was treated as something that simply could not be avoided, as if it was a necessary part of the process. Most people also referred to the decision that was being contemplated at the time as if the risks involved in not making the change were too great to ignore. This is what it was like for Joby when he mentally composed his letter of resignation as he jogged around Stanley Park, and for Jack when he burned his files and walked away from his practice. This was also Joan’s experience when she turned down the full-time position with the government to go off on her own as an independent consultant, and Carla’s when she went to the director of medical training to get permission to start psychiatry. In every case there was a clarity, a firmness in the person’s decision to enact the vision that was unmistakeable. 253 Stage III: A New Way of Life Emerges The third phase of the transition is concerned with the person realizing the vision. As part of this process, the individual is required to respond to an unexpected challenge or setback of some kind. Only when this conflict is resolved does the person feel established in his or her new way of life. This feeling marks the completion of the transition. It is characterized by a feeling of excitement, a sense of direction or confidence about one’s life. When the career changers took the decisive action that signified the end of the transition’s second phase, they all knew what they did not want their lives to be like, had a vision of what they wanted to do, and at least a general idea of what needed to be done in order to achieve this. Everyone recognized they were moving into a new phase, that they were saying good-bye to a familiar way of living and beginming a new chapter in their lives. For instance, this was very clear to Joseph when he sold the family home and headed off with his family to the United States for graduate school. It was also very clear to Rachel when she finally left her husband and moved into the theological college’s residence, even though, beyond becoming a minister, she did not have a clear idea of what the future held for her. During this period the career changers tended to act very purposefully. There was a concerted effort to change one’s situation, a determination to achieve one’s goal. Joan’s orientation, during the 254 time following her decision to do independent consultation, was typical. It was obvious that she was investing a tremendous amount of herself in her effort to establish the business as a distinct entity and develop a market for her consulting services. Her actions were steps 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-directed learning. In addition to acquiring prerequisite skills and knowledge that would be needed in one’s new life, the individual’s education frequently involved developing greater self-knowledge and experimenting with different ways of living. Six of the ten (Joan, Carla, Joseph, Rachel, Joby, & Erik) returned to a post-secondary institution for a degree or certificate program at least once. It was obvious that school served a dual purpose for these mature students. It provided them with the technical training they needed, and a forum within which to challenge themselves. This almost always included exploring and challenging old beliefs about oneself or one’s abilities. For most of the changers, this learning started much earlier, during the searching phase, but there was a new importance, a certain urgency, that often accompanied the drive to realize the vision. This was Lynn’s experience during the time she was increasing her involvement with the foster children’s program. 255 This was also Daniel’s experience when he was charting a course for the union presidency. The duration and complexity of the period leading up to the realization of the vision varied extensively across cases. In Tricia’s case, this period was so complex it constituted another whole transition cycle in and of itself. It began even as she was achieving what had been her goal (i. e., marrying Al). She began to go through the experiences of the first phase. She experienced the frustration of not being able to find satisfying work, and later of not being able to get pregnant, She felt like she was different or didn’t really fit in with her new family, and when she found work, had the same feelings about her bank job. Life was definitely not as she thought it should be. The experiences that are the central features of the second phase also appeared again. Her job switch and (albeit unnecessary) decision to adopt reflect how determined she was in her search for a way to realize her new vision of being a mother. This determination is also evident in her parallel search for a more secure and satisfying paid occupation. Tricia went through a process of remaking her vision of what a more worthwhile life would be even as she was beginning what she had thought would be that life. At the other end of the spectrum is Joby’s experience during this same period. The time that followed his corporate resignation was relatively uncomplicated. He did spend eight months trying to live his vision within the confines of a large consulting company 256 before realizing there was no alternative to doing it entirely on his own. But once he made the jump to operating solo, things quickly fell into place for him. Living his dream was more a matter of putting into practice what he had already learned during his prolonged search phase. No matter what complications the individual career changer experienced during this period, eventually they were all doing the work they had envisioned for themselves. For instance, Joan was successfully marketing and producing print and video media products. Tricia was a mother, out of audit and working in information systems. Erik had a busy private counselling practice in Vancouver. Everyone’s lives had become focused on doing the work. Even though they were already engaged in the work they had envisioned and committed themselves to, all the career changers experienced at least one late-breaking setback or challenge that threatened to prevent them from continuing on the new courses they had mapped for themselves. For some (Lynn, Joby, & Jack), the challenge came in the form of a personal episode. For the rest (Rachel, Joseph, Joan, Carla, Daniel, Erik, & Tricia), it presented itself within the occupational domain of the person’s life. Despite the various forms the challenge took, it always required the person to re evaluate the importance of the changes that had already been made, to question whether there were important aspects of oneself or one’s approach that still needed to be changed. In this sense, the challenge 257 could be construed as a test of whether the espoused values and concrete changes that had already been made constituted a more worthwhile life. This was the case for Joby, who was busy in his new consulting business when his wife left him. It was this event that prompted him to question whether he still needed to change important aspects of himself. For four of the career changers, the challenge was in the form of a further recurrence of the dramatic conflict that had shown up during the search phase (Daniel, Rachel, Jack, Erik), For instance, when Daniel finally became union president, he once again took on the lone martyr role that figured so prominently in the course of events both when he was a priest and during his early years as a union organizer. Similarly, before her switch to the ministry, Rachel had felt trapped in her marriage. She also came to feel trapped in the dying prairie community that was her first pastoral charge. Overcoming the setback required the person to revise the way in which the new life was being lived or follow through on personal changes he or she had asserted were important. For most of the career changers, the challenge was to act according to the values they espoused, values that the career change was supposed to reflect. In Rachel’s case, this involved resolving that she was no longer going to allow herself to be trapped and isolated. Leaving her first posting in that small prairie town coincided with her recognizing that she was no longer a victim, that she was now a survivor. In 258 Carla’s case, meeting the challenge required her to create her own future in forensic psychiatry. She accomplished this when she set up the forensic training program for herself and resisted the director’s pressure to conform to his expectation to work with women inmates. For a couple of the career changers (Joseph & Erik), resolution included acknowledging previously undervalued aspects of one’s old life. In taking the job in Michigan, Joseph had sacrificed his Pacific Northwest 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’s near-bankruptcy gave him new respect for his business achievements and previously devalued aspects of his character. Although he continued to struggle for some time for a sense of balance in his life, after meeting this challenge he realized there were aspects of his former self worth valuing. For all of the career changers, feeling established in the new career corresponded with a feeling of excitement, a sense of direction or confidence about one’s life. For example, even while anticipating future ups and downs, Rachel was excited about her ministry, her life on Hornby Island. Her experience is typical of what people felt like at this point. While everyone believed the future was likely to hold further challenges and important personal changes, they knew their new lives constituted substantial progress. For instance, Carla 259 considered her change to be complete when she felt she was living in accord with the values she had come to consider important in her life. Similarly, Daniel considered his change to be complete when he was confident he had finally shed the martyr self-image he had held on to for so long and was acting like the responsible, democratic leader he wanted to be. In every case there was a sense of being committed to, being invested in this new way of living one’s life. Career Transition’s Dynamic Cycle of Change The career transition of the ten individuals followed a cyclical pattern of change. Over the course of the transition, the salient experiences that served to define the change for the individual would come 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 transition followed a straight-forward linear path. This cycling was present in all cases, regardless of differences in the emotional tone of the transition. For example, Erik’s experience was frequently negative; he was often terrified and overwhelmed during his search for a better life. In contrast, Joseph’s experience was relatively positive; he always felt in command, even as he searched for a better life. However, in all ten cases, the course of the transition followed an up and down, cyclical pattern. While Joseph never reached the same depths of despair as Erik, even he was not always clear about what to do or what the future would hold, In the process of shaping a new kind of life for himself, he went through his own trials. 260 261 CHAPTER XV DISCUSSION The product of this study was ten narrative accounts of career transition. From the perspective of each individual’s life, the significance of landmark events and the meaning of a career change could be more fully understood. Career transition involved not only a change in the meaning of work, but in the course of one’s life. From comparing accounts emphasizing an individual’s perspective, a common pattern of transition was identified. First, an individual begins with growing discontent over one’s course of life, reflecting an erosion or loss of purpose in work. Second, the person steps out of his or her own familiar life structure to search for a more worthwhile life. Third, in striving to realize his or her vision of a better life, the person emerges with a new sense of purpose in a different course of life. The common pattern is a narrative summary of the beginning, middle, and end. The dynamic process that guides a person through the common pattern appears to be a repeated cycle of experience. A person would make an important change, only to become re immersed in an old dramatic conflict. The person strove for change and 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, a 262 person would try to reconstrue what was happening and venture forth anew, striving for change. As reflected in the quantitative results, these ventures varied considerably in the extent to which a person approached a better life or fell back into the old snare. Over the course of the transition, a person swung up and down until he or she eventually broke through to a more stable actualization of a meaningful course of life. Limitations In this study, each of the ten cases was a test of how well the models of transition accounted for the individual’s career change experience. The case study method relies on replication of an investigation’s results to establish the domain to which its findings can be generalized. From a methodological standpoint the study constituted ten investigations of the same phenomena, with each one producing common results. Each replication made it more plausible that career transition reflects a distinctive pattern of experience. However, the limitations of the study make it premature to conclude that the same pattern is evident in the experiences of all career changers. The five men and five women who collectively made up the sample were all white and from English speaking western industrialized countries (Canada, England, & United States). This limits the study by race and the dominant cultural norm within which the career transition takes place. 263 While the first and second careers of the ten individuals represent a relatively heterogeneous or diverse sample of occupations, the study ended up focusing on upper-stratum “white collar” 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” occupations met the study’s definition of career change. In order to meet the screening criteria, the occupational change had to reflect both a change in life structure and a change in assumptive world. During the time I was recruiting participants, I was not able to locate lower- stratum workers who believed their occupational shift reflected a change in assumptive world. Therefore, the findings are limited to those career transitions that involve upper-stratum occupations. The study is also limited to career changes that involve being engaged in paid work as part of both the first and the second career. Moving from paid to an unpaid work and vice versa is particularly common for women (e. g., Gerson, 1985). However, it was beyond the scope of this study to focus on this type of transition or to explore whether it reflects the same distinctive pattern of experience. Many different types of major life events accompanied the career 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 sexual orientation) and in every case the same distinctive pattern of career 264 transition was evident. However, the findings are limited by the kinds of major events that accompanied a career transition. For example, being forced to leave one’s job, considered to be a relatively commonplace experience, was part of the story in only one case (Jack). Similarly, nobody in the study embarked on a new career because there were no longer any jobs available in the original career, Finally, none of the study’s participants embarked on a second career after mandatory or voluntary early retirement. The individual accounts that are the main product of this investigation are based on each career changer’s telling of what happened. While exhaustive steps were taken to ensure the credibility of the accounts, they are limited to the events and experiences the participants were aware of and willing to talk about. Even with all the checks and measures that were used in this investigation (i. e., triangulation through multiple lines of inquiry, ensuring the free flow of information in the interviews, subject and independent review of accounts), it remains possible that certain events or experiences took place but were forgotten or, consciously or unconsciously, systematically distorted or denied (e. g., Sloan, 1986; Wiersma, 1988). It is beyond the scope of this study to include experiences that were part of the transition but not remembered or described by the subject. 265 Theoretical Implications The results are theoretically relevant to models of transition that are currently used to describe the career change process. The study provides a means of assessing the relevance of these theoretical models by comparing them to the study’s individual accounts and general pattern analysis. The accounts provide support for a three phase model of career transition. Such a structure was proposed by three of the prominent models of transition (Bridges, 1980; Van Gennep, 1908/1960; Schlossberg, 1984) and was considered the best description of the process 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 similarity of the experiences shared by the career changers and those produced by the ritual process described by Van Gennep is remarkable. For example, in Van Gennep’s model the separation phase is devoted to making the person recognize his or her old life is over. Preparation for this departure always included having the person withdraw from his or her everyday activities and reflect on one’s past. This corresponds with the disengagement stage that all the career changers went through. The feelings of frustration, discontent, and of being an outsider reflect a withdrawal from what had been one’s normal existence. Similarly, during this period the person is often 266 spending time reflecting on the past, reviewing what is important in one’s life. The second and third phases of the career transition also correspond closely to those of the rites of passage. For the career changers the second phase is defined by the search for a more worthwhile way of life. Their experiences parallel the middle transitional phase in a ritual passage. The person is in limbo, no longer living the old existence but not yet established in a new one. Both career changers and those going through a ritualized passage are on a kind ofjourney, with much of their time taken up with preparations for one’s new life, In the third phase, for both the career changers and those going through a ritualized passage, a new way of life emerges. In both cases, the chief task of this period is to integrate into one’s life the change in life structure and assumptive world. There is an important difference between the ritual passage process Van Gennep documented and that of a contemporary career transition. As part of the rites of passage process, these experiences are the product of formal procedures administered by elders. In the societies that were the subject of Van Gennep’s investigations, the procedures used to produce these experiences were part of a set of predefined ceremonies that the person was moved through. In career transition, the experiences reflect a personal process that the individual has gone through. From this perspective, the ritual 267 passage process is a powerful and useful analogy. In career transition it operates at a purely psychological level. There is no socially defined set of experiences that a person is required to go through. It is this absence of any externally mandated or sanctioned social process that makes the similarity of the career transition process and the ritual passage process all the more remarkable, Bridges’ (1980) description of transition as a three stage process is also supported by this study. This is not surprising since he 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 first phase of their transitions closely matched Bridges description of the gradual growth of discontent and the like that signifies the ending of the old way of life and the beginning of the transition. O’Connor and Wolfe’s (1987, 1991) finding that rising discontent is the beginning of a transition provides additional support for the accuracy of this description. However, Bridges characterizes the middle period or “neutral zone” as a time of chaos, of emptiness that the person desperately wants to escape. O’Connor and Wolfe (1987, 1991) description of the middle period was similar to that of Bridges, characterizing it as a time of crisis. This was an accurate description for some but not all of the study’s participants. Each person’s world was changing but it was not necessarily .in chaos or crisis. There was much more variety 268 in the career changers’ experience during the middle period than is reflected in Bridges model. Most people experienced a mix of positive and emotionally disturbing events during this period. Many researchers have previously rejected the notion of a career change having to be a crisis (Gill, Coppard & Lowther, 1983; Lawrence,1980; Vondracek et aL, 1986) but others have persisted in characterizing it as such (e. g., Perosa & Perosa, 1983). The transition accounts support the position that a career transition may be viewed as a personal crisis by some changers but this experience is by no means universal. Bridges’ depiction of the contemporary experience of transition was largely drawn from his observations of people attending his workshops on how to cope with their own transitions. Similarly, O’Connor and Wolfe’s conclusions were based on themes that emerged from the comments of men and women who were in the midst of a major life change and had volunteered to attend a combination of individual interviews and a three day workshop, In both of these cases, it seems plausible that people who were stuck or struggling more with their change would be more likely to attend such programs than those less troubled by their change. Given the possibility of what can be construed as a sampling bias, the negative tone of Bridge’s and O’Connor and Wolfe’s middlle periods is, perhaps, understandable. 269 The study supports Bridge’s position that a person must experience an “inner reorientation” before a transition can be considered complete. In the study, resolution of the recurrent dramatic conflict corresponded with the person’s completion of the change in assumptive world. This is essentially the same as what Bridges refers to as one’s “inner orientation”. Many of the experiences described in Van Gennep’s rites of passage are also in Eliade’s description of initiation rites, (e. g., the necessity of a separation from one’s regular life). However, the accounts suggest that applying a death and rebirth analogy to career transition is not completely accurate. The kinds of changes Eliade studied always involved the initiatory death of a person’s profane existence and the birth of a sacred life. A career change definitely involves a loss. There is a loss of and emergence of a new purpose for the work in one’s life. The use of analogies to describe psychological phenomena is common and often useful in social science (White & Epston, 1990). But, in most cases, describing the process as one of dying and being reborn is too strong. A career transition involves significant, often dramatic personal changes, but the individual accounts make it apparent it does not always demand a complete remaking of the person or spiritual transformation. There are three aspects of Eliade’s model that are particularly relevant to the career transition experience found in the current study. First, the emergence of a vision of that which is important, a 270 new sense of direction and purpose, was a feature of career change shared by all of the study’s participants. This parallels Eliade’s finding that an essential feature of the initiatory birthing process is the revelation of that which is sacred. Second, Eliade held that as part of the initiatory process, the individual must undergo a number of ordeals or tests of one’s worth. Everyone in the study had to meet a challenge or test of their commitment to a new way of life. Third, Eliade concluded that initiatory rites are designed to be dramatic in order to make the experience of initiatory death more intense. This reflects the cycling found in the accounts, indicating that repetition of a person’s dramatic conflict served to intensifr the importance of making a change. The accounts uphold the position taken by Bridges, Van Gennep and Eliade that a transition is defined not only by the phases or types of experience but also by the order of the experiences. Similarly, the study supports the position held by all three that a person must go through all phases in order for the transition to be complete. The shared pattern of experience found in this study does not agree with Hopson and Adams’ (1976) description of the transition process. According to their model, a transition involves seven predictable reactions and feelings, beginning with being shocked and immobilized and ending with internalizing the change. But none of the accounts started with a shock, Only two people (Jack & Erik) had 271 such an experience early in their transition. Many of the experiences Hopson and Adams describe were part of the transition for some of the study’s participants, though not necessarily in the order depicted in the model. For instance, for those who experienced anger, it was more common during the initial period than in the middle of the transition. Other experiences described in the Hopson and Adams’ model were common to all the career changers but they also did not follow the temporal flow conveyed in the model. This was the case for experiences like letting go of the past and trying new activities. Similarly, a search for meaning was part of everybody’s experience but it did not just occur near the end of the transition. It was often recurrent, experienced periodically from beginning to end and dominant during the middle period. Parkes (1971) believed that when the experience of bereavement or grieving was applied to most other psychosocial transitions it would likely produce an accurate picture of the process. The study supported Parkes’ position that a transition is initiated when a person 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 be accurately depicted as a loss of one’s self-definition, upsetting one’s assumptive world. All of the study’s participants had lost or outgrown the purpose their first careers served. 272 The transition accounts did not support Parkes’ description of a transition’s characteristic pattern of experience. For example, the loss of purpose was not typically accompanied by shock, denial and anger. In some cases there was an attempt to stay in or go back to the first occupation, paralleling Parkes’ description of wanting to recover that which was lost. And the fear and vulnerability that, according to Parkes’ description, a person typically felt as he or she was acting to create a new kind of life was evident in several counts. But these experiences were not shared by all of the participants. The model could not accommodate the participants’ diversity of experience and the differences in emotional tone, The cases provide qualified support for aspects of Schlossberg’s (1984) model of transition. Schlossberg’s emphasis was on identifying the wide range of variables that can influence the relative ease or difficulty of the individual’s transition experience. An individual’s response will be a function of a combination of personal characteristics and factors unique to that person. This allows the model to account for the diversity of experience and difference in emotional tone that was evident in the individual accounts. However, the model focuses less attention on the pattern of experience or temporal dimension of a transition and this was the main interest of the current study. For Schlossberg, a transition is a three phase process of assimilation that involves responding to an external event, Her 273 description of the transition process reflects this stance. It begins with the person being pervaded and preoccupied with the prospect of making an important personal change after the occurrence of an external and, typically, unexpected event. In contrast, the transitions of the individuals in the current study began with internal changes that were only later expressed as rising frustration and the like within the context of events that somehow highlighted the internal change that had already occurred, In the study, the preoccupation with changing was most prominent during the middle period, accompanying the person’s search and preparation for a more worthwhile life. Schlossberg’s description of the middle period as a time of disruption was part of the experience for the current study’s participants during their search for a new life. Old norms and relationships were changing, new one’s were just developing. Many people felt “a bit at sea” (Schlossberg, 1984, p. 61) from time to time. Her portrayal of this aspect of the middle period has support from other sources, from studies that have focused on the temporal dimension of a career change. Based on the findings of his study of male career changers, Osherson (1980) characterized this period as a time of turmoil and change. McQuaid (1986) found that during the middle transitional period, typically, the men and women she studied were acutely aware of the fact that they were going through a career change but didn’t yet know what the future held. 274 According to Schlossberg, the chief task of the third and final phase of a transition is to integrate the change into one’s life. On this point, she is in agreement with Van Gennep and, as discussed previously, there is support for this position in the accounts. In the third phase of an individual’s career transition, integration of a new life structure and assumptive world was part of the process. None of the participants felt established in their second career until this had been achieved. Nicholson’s transition cycle model was developed as a framework for studying work histories and a person’s movement from one job to the next. It was beyond the scope of this study to investigate whether his model was accurate for specific job changes. What was of interest in the present study was whether Nicholson’s model was accurate when applied to accounts of career transition. In light of this study, Nicholson’s model has three main shortcomings as a description of the career change process. First, certain work role transition experiences described in Nicholson’s model were part of a career transition. But his four phases did not correspond with the three phase pattern found in the current study. Second, his model requires career change to be framed as a specific external event. The person’s experiences are treated as a series of responses as the person prepares for, encounters, and adjusts to a single change. The stress adaptation models of transition (e. g., Hopson & Adams, 1976; Schlossberg, 1984) take a 275 similar approach. In contrast, career transition encompasses a series of landmark events and internal shifts rather than a single work change that all the other experiences revolve around, The individual accounts make it clear that career transition is a complex process, involving the interplay of a series of internal changes and external circumstances and events. Third, Nicholson’s model does not address the significance or meaning of a career transition for the individual involved. He knows that his model does not address this dimension and acknowledges the importance of gaining this knowledge when it is a person’s career that is the focus of study (Nicholson & West, 1989). All the dominant models of transition share a common position, that a transition ends with the establishment of a new sense of stability, a stable life structure. For the stress adaptation theorists like 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 on how a person resolved his or her initial loss, the career change could follow one of two courses. Career changers who had experienced a “sculpted” resolution were more satisfied with and invested in their second careers than those who had experienced a “foreclosed” resolution. 276 In this study, when the participants had completed their career transitions, there was a common feeling of having achieved a better, more meaningful life. This is consistent with the position of theorists such as Van Gennep (1908/1960), Eliade (1958) and Bridges (1980), who contend that the purpose of a transition is personal growth. They hold that transition is the process a person must go through in order to discover a better way to live one’s life. From this perspective, the accounts make it possible to suggest considering career transition not only as a means of simply changing or renewing the purpose of one’s life but also as a path to a more meaningful life. A plausible explanation is needed for this difference between Osherson’s study and the current one. It is possible that what Osherson described as a foreclosed pattern of career change was actually a group of individuals who were still in the midst of their transitions at the time of his study or, more likely, had been stuck in the middle of their change for an extended period. Prior to resolving their personal dramatic conflicts, at least three of the participants in the current study (Jack, Erik, & Daniel) were already working in their new careers and would have fit Osherson’s description of a foreclosed resolution. The current study provided a valuable opportunity to examine a person’s movement through a career transition. This is an aspect of transitions that has been largely neglected in most of the previous 277 research. Hopson (1981) suggested that it would be rare for a person to 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 a discussion of the relevance of life historical studies, Lafaille and Lebeer (1991) report that when their investigations examine events from the perspective of the individual who has gone through them, progress in the person’s life follows an up and down rather than a diagonal line pattern. Prior to the current study, Osherson’s (1980) was the only study of career change to comment on the nature of this movement. The reconstitution of self that dominated the career transition process followed a forward-and-back movement. According to Osherson, this finding indicates there is an underlying dialectic nature to adult development that is expressed in the events of a person’s adult life. It is interesting to note that this cycling of experience has been noted in another career-related study. In a descriptive study of the experience of unemployment, Borgen and Amundson (1984, 1987) found a “yo-yo” effect in the most common pattern of experience of unemployed people. Individuals went through dramatic and rapid emotional shifts, alternating between feeling positive and feeling worthless about oneself. The Q-analysis used in the current study showed that the course of the salient experiences that defined an individual’s career 278 transition followed an up and down cyclical pattern. This is similar to the progressive then regressive pattern of movement described by Osherson (1980) and the “yo-yo”effect described by Borgen and Amundson (1984, 1987). This same cyclical movement was evident in the individual’s attempts to resolve the personal dramatic conflicts that figured so prominently in the individual accounts and common pattern analysis of career transition. These findings extend support for those like Osherson who view adult development as a dialectic rather than a unilinear process. The study is also relevant when considered from the perspective of career development theory. Even though the study was restricted to individuals who had switched from one type of paid work to a second type of paid work, it is clear from the individual accounts that 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 the work domain. In every case it was evident that the career change reflected far more than a change in what was important in one’s work. There was a shift in what was important in one’s life as a whole. This is consistent with those theorists who define career as a life journey, course or path (e. g., Nicholson & West, 1989; Tiedemann & Miller-Tiedemann, 1985). From this perspective, the study’s individual accounts of career transition are examples of changing the course of an individual’s life path. As such, they offer 279 an opportunity to extend the career path concept to include a change in life course. The study demonstrates the importance of considering the meaning of work within the context of the individual life, Previous studies have suggested that gaining an understanding of career change 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 a purpose, was imbued with meaning for the individual. The study is another example of how taking the individual’s perspective enables the meaning of one’s work to emerge. Furthermore, the study supports suggestions that the meaning of work within a person’s life can change and that a career change begins with the loss or breakup of 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). Career change studies have extended the relevance of the idea of work as an important part of one’s identity development beyond the adolescent and early adulthood periods. For instance, in Perosa and Perosa’s (1984) study, career changers had higher identity achievement than people who were considering or in the process of changing careers. Other studies have found that a person redefines important aspects of 280 one’s self-concept. Questions about “who am I?” are answered through a career change (Chusid & Cochran, 1989; Collin, 1986; Osherson, 1980). The current study complements investigations that focus on career change as an identity development process. It provides an opportimity to gain an understanding of how a person goes about making a change that involves a central part of one’s identity. As such, the study’s individual accounts are a source of support for Sarbin’s (1984) idea that dramatic conflicts occur when a transition 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 or logical models despite a paucity of evidence that such models apply well to real-life decisions of consequence. This study shows that people make significant career decisions throughout their adult lives and underscores the importance of examining career decisions from the individual’s standpoint. The study complements investigations of decision making that have focused on understanding a major life decision by examining the person’s life structure, assumptive world, life history, and the context within which the decision was being made (Cochran, 1991; Sloan, 1986). The accuracy of Janis and Mann’s (1977) conflict theory as a model of career-decision making was of particular interest in the current study because of its dominance in the literature and in counselling practice as a descriptive theory of how people actually 281 make major life decisions (e. g., Janis, 1982; Peavy, 1984). The individual accounts of how a person arrived at a decision during the transition period did not match the sequential appraisal process described in Janis and Mann’s model of decision making. There was a variety in the way, and in some cases the sheer speed, in which individuals arrived at specific decisions that was beyond the scope of Janis and Mann’s description of the process. In most of the cases, it was clear that major policy decisions were made in the midst of significant conflict and uncertainty. This is consistent with Janis and Mann’s position and has also been found in other studies that addressed the context within which career decisions are made (e. g., Collin, 1986; Perosa & Perosa, 1983). But the current study does not support Janis and Mann’s idea that quelling the turmoil the person experiences when faced with a major decision is the guiding purpose of the process. To subscribe to this notion would be to minimize or overlook the significance of the decisions that were being made. Concerns about the pros and cons involved in making a change (or not making a change) reflected a questioning of what was of value, of importance in one’s life. In every case, the person was sometimes knowingly, sometimes implicitly searching for a more worthwhile way of life, a new sense of purpose. This is consistent with Cochran’s (1987) suggestion that career decisions mirror a concern with how best to live one’s life. 282 Practical Implications The study has several practical implications. The common pattern of experience that emerged from the individual accounts can be considered a map of the psychological territory that a career changer goes through. It can serve as a guide for those going through a career transition and for those who counsel them. The individual accounts can serve as examples of the variations that can be 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, understand what it is he or she is going through. The accounts enhance this understanding by expressing the experience as stories of individual lives. As concrete examples of individual lives, they possess a communicative power that the description of the general pattern lacks. The narratives bring the general experience alive with their richness of detail and meaning. The participants of this study reported that people who were considering or already making a career change typically express a tremendous amount of interest in hearing about their experiences. But it is rare for career changers to have the chance to talk in detail with people who have completed a career transition even if they know someone who has gone through one. For example, none of the participants had ever told their entire story to any one person before. 283 Sharing the stories and common pattern directly with career changers is one way of giving them a more accurate picture of what is involved in a career transition and a means of understanding their own stories. From a career counselling perspective, the accounts can serve as a guide for practice. Counsellors frequently work with people who are in the midst of a career transition, When career changers seek counselling, they are often stuck, seeking direction on how to proceed. They are often trying to make sense of what they are going through. The accounts make the career transition experience intelligible for the counsellor. The general pattern allows the counsellor to follow a person’s career transition story. It can be used to help the counsellor understand what the career changer is going through 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 a client at each stage of the transition process. Similarly, the common pattern of experience that emerged from the individual accounts can be used as a framework for assessing the needs of individuals who seek assistance during a career transition. In the current study, a different set of experiences dominated each of the three phases of the process. Therefore, the description of the common pattern of experience provides a basis for assessing at what point the person is at in terms of his or her career 284 transition and what might be the most fruitful area to focus on in the counselling. For instance, when someone is feeling frustrated and has begun to consider changing occupations it may be beneficial to focus on reviewing the story of the current career as a means of discovering its original purpose. It would likely be worthwhile to examine whether this purpose has been outgrown, whether its current purpose is of any significance for the person. During the middle period, the person is more likely to be searching for some kind of change that they often cannot yet define for themselves. In this instance, encouragement to delve into activities or experiences outside 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 this approach is to encourage the person to engage in experiences that correspond with their temporal and psychological position in the career transition process. It is important for the counsellor to understand that to deal with career transition is to deal with changes that occur in cycles. This was evident in the recurrent nature of both the prominent types of experiences that defined each person’s change and the personal dramatic conflicts. This suggests that counsellors should expect old issues and dominant personal themes to resurface during the transition. It suggests that changing the course of one’s life through a career change is not likely to be straightforward. Even as progress 285 is being made, both the career changer and the counsellor should expect repetitions of old patterns and images of oneself. It is important for the counsellor to recognize that other significant changes are likely to be intertwined with the person’s occupational change. The occupational change is part of a larger process concerned with shaping a more worthwhile life. This was the case for every one of the current study’s participants. This finding provides support for the practice of broadening the focus of career counselling beyond the bounds of the work domain. It also supports the idea of considering the career change from within the context of the individual’s life. From this perspective, the person’s life history and the set of circumstances within which the transition is taking place are relevant in the practice of career counselling. One’s personal history gives special meaning to the events of the career transition. If the counsellor is to comprehend what the client is going through, he or she must know the person’s story. The study also suggests that the existential implications of one’s work be a primary focus in the practice of career counselling. The beginning of a career transition corresponds with the loss of purpose in one’s work and ends with a new sense of purpose being realized. This suggests that questions of meaning should be basic elements in career counselling (e. g., What is of value in one’s life? What purpose does work serve in one’s life?). 286 Research Implications In terms of future research, the immediate task is to explore the extent to which the pattern of experience that emerged in the current study applies to other types of career change. This requires further replications with the types of cases that were not represented in the study. For example, replications are needed for career changes where both the first and second career involve a lower- stratum occupation. They are also needed for cases involving a person moving from an upper- to a lower-stratum occupation and vice versa. Future studies need to investigate whether the same pattern of experience applies when major life events that were not represented in the current study accompany the career transition (e. g., retirement, occupational obsolescence). It would also be worthwhile to explore whether the transition pattern applies to career changes that involve moving from or to unpaid work (e. g, full-time mother and homemaker). This would be of particular interest given the support the study provides for the concept of career transition as a change not just of the paid work one performs but in the course of one’s life. The different methods of inquiry used in this study proved to be a vary potent combination. Each approach was a way of entering and understanding the experience of career transition from the perspective of individuals who had gone through it. In combination these approaches made it possible to produce plausible and coherent 287 accounts that could be compared to each other without sacrificing the richness of detail and significance of each person’s transition. It would be worthwhile to consider using the same approach as a way to gain an understanding of other complex career phenomena. For example, it could be used to study individuals who make multiple job and occupational changes as a means of following what they consider to be a single career or life course. I encountered this phenomena while conducting the screening interviews for the current study and it has been incorporated into Schein’s concepts of the internal career and career anchors (Schein, 1987, 1990). Similarly, this kind of approach could be used to do a do a fine-grain temporal analysis of other employment and vocational phenomena such as job change, plateauing, demotion, termination, and occupational drift. In several respects the common pattern of experience that emerged from the accounts of career transition bore a remarkable resemblance to Van Gennep’s model of a formal rite of passage. In light of this finding, future research should focus on investigating the relevance of the rites of passage concept in job and organizational change. Several organizational psychology practitioners have suggested the model is applicable (Bridges, 1988; Hall, 1986; Trice & Morrand, 1989) but no rigourous investigation of this idea has been done. 288 Using narrative approaches in counselling is an idea that has been gaining interest recently (e. g., Keen, 1991; White & Epston, 1990). Future research could explore the impact of the current study on the lives of the participants. While the focus of the current study was research not individual development, several clients offered comments on the unexpected impact of focusing on a period of their lives and having the opportunity to tell the entire story of the career change to an interested and informed listener. In some respects the demands of the study on the participants were similar to or greater than those made of clients in many counselling settings. Extensive effort was made to maximize the likelihood of communication being open and honest and this was expected of the participants. The amount of time required turned out to be from approximately fifteen to twenty-five hours over a one year period. A systematic inquiry following-up the study’s participants may provide ideas and insights concerning using narrative approaches as a type of counselling approach. The accounts point to the continuing need for research into the meaning of work to a person over a lifetime. Adult development theorists have suggested that changes in the purpose work serves is a typical 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-span 289 approach, focusing specifically on this aspect, exploring the extent to which and how this happens with others, Summary A multiple case study approach was used to investigate the pattern of experience in a career transition. The participants were five men and five women who had completed a career change. The participants were selected to represent a variety of occupations. The study produced ten rich, detailed narrative accounts of career transition. Each one is told from the perspective of the individual who went through the experience. The accounts were based on in- depth descriptions of the experience, and a charting of the transition using terms drawn from relevant transition models. Each account was reviewed and validated by the case-study participant, who was the subject of the narrative, and by an independent reviewer. A comparison of the individual accounts revealed a pattern of experience that was common to all ten cases of career transition. It can be best represented as a three phase process, with each phase involving a distinctive character and each subsequent phase building on the preceding one. Furthermore, in each case the career transition reflected a process that was cyclical rather than linear in nature. Several theoretical implications arise from this study. First, it supports those models that describe career transition as a three stage process. The common pattern bears a remarkable resemblance to 290 the rites of passage process described by Van Gennep (1908/1960). Second, the accounts suggest that the meaning of one’s work can change over the course of one’s life and that a career change be considered a change in a person’s life path. 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Counseling and Values, , 169-178. 308 jJentification of subjects and preliminary screening interviewD CTansition 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 lntervie data to develop and write-up narrative account J 1aricipant self-reviewD Clndependent review) rinciusion of participant self-review and independent review L in analysis and reports of results ( Comparative pattern analysis j Fiure 1. Overview of procedures used in the study. 0 z ID 0 -J ci: 0 I C-) LL JOAN y PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1 PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2 309 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 -0.2. -0.4 -0.8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 LANDMARK EVENTS Figure 2. Case study one: Joan. The prominence (i.e., factor loading) of the types of experience (i.e., principal components 1 & 2) that describe Joan’s career transition across landmark events. z U 0 -J 0 I 0 CARLA —v— PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1 PRINCIPALCOMPONENT2 LANDMARK EVENTS 310 Fiure 3. Case study two: Carla. The prominence (i.e., factor loading) of the types of experience (Le., principal components 1 & 2) that describe Carla’s career transition across landmark events. 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 311 C!3 z 0 0 -J rr 0 I— 0 U- DANIEL V PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1 PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2 LANDMARK EVENTS Case study three: Daniel. The prominence (i.e., factor loading) of the types of experience (i.e., principal components 1 & 2) that describe Daniel’s career transition across landmark events. 1 0.8 0.2 0 —1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 JOSEPH Y PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1 PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2 LANDMARK EVENTS 312 Figure 5, Case study four: Joseph. The prominence (i.e.. factor loading) of the types of experience (i.e., principal components 1 & 2) that describe Joseph’s career transition across landmark events. 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0 Z 0.2 0 -J ft 0 I— 0 U- -0.8 —1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 (!3 z 0 -J 0 C) LI RACHEL ‘ PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1 313 PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 21 0.8 0.6- 0,4 0.2 0 -0.2 -0.4- -0.6- -0.8 —1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 LANDMARK EVENTS Figure 6. Case study five: Rachel The prominence (i.e., factor loading) of the types of experience (i.e., principal components 1 & 2) that describe Rachel’s career transition across landmark events. z U 0 0 0 LL LYNN V PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1 LANDMARK EVENTS 314 Figure 7. Case study six: Lynn. The prominence (i.e., factor loading) of the type of experience (i.e., principal components 1 & 2) that describe Lynn’s career transition across landmark events. 1 PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2 —1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 315 (!3 z 0 -J 0 I— -0.2 -0.4 -0.6 -0.8 JOBY PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1 PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2 LANDMARK EVENTS Figure 8. Case study seven: Joby. The prominence (i.e., factor loading) of the types of experience (i.e., principal components 1 & 2) that describe Joby’s careei transition across landmark events. 1 0.8 0.2 0 —1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 z0 -J cc 0 I— C.) LL JACK PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1 PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2 LANDMARK EVENTS 316 1 0.8 0.4 0.2 0 -0.2 -0.8 —1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Fwure 9. Case study eight: Jack. The prominence (i.e., factor 1.oading) of the types of experience (i.e., principal components 1 & 2) that describe Jack’s careei transition across landmark events. 317 0 z 0 0 -J 0 I— C) U- ERIK y PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1 PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2 1 0.8 0.6 0,4 0.2 -0.2 -0.4 -0.6 -0.8 -1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 LANDMARK EVENTS Figure 10. Case study nine: Erik. The prominence (i.e., factor loading) of the types of experience (i.e., principal components 1 & 2) that describe Erik’s career transition across landmark events. 318 (!3 z C 0 -J cc 0 F— C) U- -0.8 TRICIA y PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 1 D PRINCIPAL COMPONENT 2 LANDMARK EVENTS Figure 11. Case study ten: Tricia. The prominence (i.e., factor loading) of the types of experience (i.e., principal components 1 & 2) that describe Tricia’s career transition across landmark events. I 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 -0.2 -0.6 —1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Ta bl e 1 D es cr iv tiv e su m m a ry o f c a re e r tr an si tio n c a se st ud y n a rt ic in an ts C as e N am e Se x Fi rst C ar ee r Se co nd C ar ee r Cu rre nt A ge C ar ee r A ge Y ea rC ar ee r Y ea r Le ng th Le ng th A ge Tr an sit io n C ar ee r Tr an sit io n C ar ee r o f of B eg an Tr an sit io n B eg an Tr an sit io n Fi rst Se co nd C om pl et ed C om pl et ed C ar ee r C ar ee r 1 Jo an fe m al e Sc ho ol Co m m un ic at io ns 43 27 40 76 89 8 8 T ea ch er E nt re pr en eu r 2 Ca rla fe m al e So ci al W or ke r Fo re ns ic 43 26 36 72 83 5 9 Ps yc hi at ris t 3 D an iel m al e Pr ie st La bo ur U ni on ist 52 30 50 69 89 1 0 6 4 Jo se ph m al e In de pe nd en t U ni ve rs ity 67 33 45 56 68 15 22 A ge nt Pr of es so r 5 R ac he l fe m al e Ph ys ic ist M in ist er 38 26 36 79 89 7 5 6 Ly nn fe m al e N ur se So ci al W or ke r 52 26 37 66 77 8 18 7 Jo by m al e C or po ra te M an ag em en t 59 25 43 58 76 20 16 . _ _ _ _ _ Ex ec ut iv e C on su lta nt 8 Ja ck m al e Ps yc ho lo gi st A nt iq ue D ea le r 46 34 44 79 89 14 5 9 Er ik m al e Re al to r Cl in ic al Co un se llo r 53 29 51 68 89 24 17 10 Tr ici a fe m al e A ud ito r D at a A na ly st 42 29 39 80 90 1 0 3 Ta bl e 2 Q- so rt ite m s: C ar ee r tr an si tio n de sc rip tiv e ph ra se s (1) w a s st ru gg lin g w ith co n fli ct (12 ) n o v ic e w ith m u ch to le ar n (2) st uc k (13 ) re gr et fu l (3) w a s w av er in g in u n ce rt ai nt y (14 ) su rp ris ed (4) dr am at ic m o o d sw in gs (15 ) w a s w o n de rin g a bo ut m y fu tu re (5) e m pt in es s a bo ut lif e (16 ) c o n fid en t (6) a n gr y (17 ) ha d a br ea kt hr ou gh (7) se n se of di re ct io n a n d pu rp os e (18 ) ga in ed in si gh t, kn ow le dg e, o r w is do m (8) e n v is io ne d a be tte r lif e (19 ) ha pp y (9) e x c ite d (20 ) fe lt di ffe re nt (10 ) c ha lle ng ed (21 ) let go of o ld lif e (11 ) w a s be in g te st ed (22 ) so u gh t su pp or t L i Ta bl e 2 (c on t) (23 ) so u gh t in fo rm at io n (35 ) re a liz ed I h ad to c ha ng e (24 ) c o n si de re d o pt io ns (36 ) w a s se a rc hi ng (25 ) n u m be d (37 ) bi tte r (26 ) tr ie d n ew th in gs (38 ) dr ai ne d (27 ) to ok c ha rg e (39 ) w o rr ie d (28 ) o v e rw he lm ed (40 ) fe lt rig id (29 ) pr et en de d n o th in g w ro n g (41 ) bo re d (30 ) lif e of fc o u rs e (42 ) ha d se n se of be in g gu id ed by so m e hi gh er po w er (31 ) v u ln er ab le (43 ) tim e w a s dr ag gi ng (32 ) w ith dr aw n (44 ) ris ks n o m at te r w ha t (33 ) w a s ta ki ng st oc k (45 ) de te rm in ed (34 ) re si st an ce fro m o th er s “ . 3 322 Table 3 Example of a “factor x event” matrix: Case study eight. Factor 1 2 Event 1 71 .47 2 .61 .19 3 .56 .23 4 .46 .39 5 .66 .18 6 .18 .59 7 -.01 .74 8 -.34 .72 9 .23 .85 10 .74 .15 11 -.65 .33 12 .55 .44 Ta bl e 4 E xa m ni e o fr a n k- or de re d 0- ite m de fin iti on o f f ac to rs : C as e st ud y e ig ht Fa ct or 1 Fa ct or 2 Z- sc or e Ite m Z- sc or e Ite m 2. 6 (19 ) h ap py 2.1 (1) w a s st ru gg lin g w ith co n fli ct 2. 2 (9) ex ci te d - 1. 7 (29 )p re te nd ed n o th in g w ro n g 1 . 6 (42 )s e n se of be in g gu id ed by - 1. 9 (19 )h ap py so m e hi gh er po w er - 1. 5 (28 ) o v e rw he lm ed - 1. 9 (43 ) t im e w a s dr ag gi ng - 2. 1 (6) a n gr y - 2. 7 (32 ) w ith dr aw n r J 324 APPENDIX A Initial Letter of Contact Hello, I am conducting a study of career transition. The study is being conducted for my doctoral dissertation research project under the supervision of Dr. L. Cochran (228-5259) at the University of British Columbia. The purpose of the study is to obtain detailed descriptions of the experience people go through when they change careers. For this purpose, I am interested in finding individuals who have experienced a career transition and who are willing to talk about it in depth. Participation will require approximately 6 to 8 hours, and will involve interviews and a sorting of items that describe different aspects of the career transition experience. Involvement in the study will provide participants with an opportunity to reflect upon their experience, and to examine it in greater detail. We hope that being involved in the study will be an interesting and useful experience. All identifying information will be deleted in order to insure confidentiality and to protect participants’ privacy. Participation in the study is completely voluntary and participants are to ask questions at any time, and to withdraw from the study at any time without jeopardy of any kind. If you have any questions about the study, please feel free to call me at 873-8967. Thank you! Sincerely, W. Gary Ladd Doctoral Student Department of Counselling Psychology University of British Columbia Vancouver, B. C. 325 APPENDIX B Study Participant Consent Form1 Research Project: Career Transition This study is being completed as a doctoral research project by W. Gary Ladd (phone 873-8967) under the supervision of Dr. L. Cochran (phone 228-6139), UB.C. Department of Counselling Psychology. The study is about the experience people go through when they change careers. Participation will involve interviews and a 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 erased at the end of the project. Interview material will be transcribed and all identifying information will be deleted to insure confidentiality and protect your privacy. You are free to ask questions concerning the project. You may refuse to participate and withdraw from the study at any time without jeopardy of any kind. By signing this document you are agreeing to participate in the study and are acknowledging you have been given a copy of this consent form. Date Signature of Participant 1-Approved by The University of British Columbia Behavioural Sciences Screening Committee For Research and Other Studies Involving Human Subjects 326 APPENDIX C Independent Reviewer Instructions 1. Listen to the audiotape of the subject’s interviews. 2. Listen for and make note of whether the interviewer unduly influenced what the subject said (e.g., Did the interviewer ask leading questions?; Does it sound like the interviewer’s style made the subject uncomfortable or reluctant to talk?). 3. While listening, develop an understanding of the basic story the subject is telling. 4. After you have listened to the audiotaped interviews, assessed them for interviewer bias, and formed an impression of the subject’s story, read the write-up of the case study with these questions in mind: (a) Does the write-up of the case study accurately portray what the subject intended to communicate? (b) In the write-up of the case study, has anything important to the understanding of the subject’s career transition been left out or distorted? Note: Please feel free to write as much or as little as you want. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call at 325-1773.


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