chapter  12
37 Pages

A Self-Regulatory Perspective on Navigating Career Transitions: Connie R. Wanberg, and John Kammeyer-Mueller

ByConnie R. Wanberg, John Kammeyer-Mueller

Career Transitions: An Overview of Current Research ........................... 435 Initial Career Choice ............................................................................. 435 Organizational Entry ........................................................................... 438 Career Reevaluation ............................................................................. 440 Involuntary Job Loss............................................................................. 442 Retirement and Pre-retirement ........................................................... 445 Summary ................................................................................................ 447

A Unied Self-Regulatory Framework ....................................................... 447 Self-Regulation ...................................................................................... 448 Antecedents ........................................................................................... 451

Transition Characteristics ........................................................ 451 Individual Characteristics ....................................................... 454 Situational Characteristics ....................................................... 455

Transition Success ................................................................................. 455 Summary ................................................................................................ 456

Organizational Implications......................................................................... 457 Conclusions ..................................................................................................... 460 References ....................................................................................................... 460

When a college graduate begins a rst full-time job, when a dentist takes up law, when an engineer enters the managerial ranks, when a housewife re-enters the labor force after childrearing years, and when an executive retires, each is undertaking some kind of career transition. (Louis, 1980, p. 332)

Career transitions are “events or non-events in the career development process causing changes in the meaning of the career, one’s self assumptions, and view of the world” (O’Neil, Fishman, & Kinsella-Shaw, 1987, p. 66). Our lives present myriad points for such changes. A recent high school graduate interviewing for her rst job, an ambitious middle manager who has nally achieved a desired promotion, a social worker with years of experience who becomes so burned out that he becomes a chef, and an entrepreneur who sells her successful business so she can retire early are examples of people making intrinsically generated transitions. Other career transitions are not as voluntary. A teacher who needs to nd a job in a new city because her husband is transferred, an employee who is given a completely restructured set of responsibilities during a corporate merger, and a factory worker whose job is eliminated altogether during a downsizing are examples of people making extrinsically generated transitions. Whether intrinsic or extrinsic, these transitions may impact work activities, social relationships, personal nances, and individual wellbeing. Although the management literature is replete with descriptions of the career progress of those who are progressing through an extended corporate or professional hierarchy, the concept of career transitions also applies more broadly to those who do not t into the traditional corporate or professional hierarchy, such as artists, factory workers, clerical workers, and stay-at-home parents (Louis, 1980). When this expanded denition of career is taken into account, it is clear that career transitions apply to nearly everyone, and include some of the most signicant changes that occur during our lives.