Navigating Career Change Understanding the Six Phases of Change

I’ve heard it said that the only person who really loves change is a wet baby! I’m not sure that’s completely accurate, since some people seem to thrive on change. Whether you love change or loathe it, the fact is that change is inherent in every career, job, and transition.

If you increasingly find yourself faced with change, or if you’ve been blindsided by change (such as a layoff or forced retirement), you must learn how to adapt. Whether you’re changing jobs, careers, or a relationship, the following summary of the six phases of transition may help you navigate the process.

1. Disheartened - You feel discontented with the way things are (for example, your job is not as enjoyable or engaging as it once was).

2. Anguish - This can be triggered by an abrupt transition caused by a sudden event that forces you into transition, such as a layoff without notice, or a gradual transition beginning with discontentment and spiraling downward until it evolves into a decision to make a change.

3. Reflection - During this period of self-examination, you may feel confused and adrift. As you reflect on your values, purpose, options and try on new possibilities, it can trigger a rollercoaster of emotions.

4. Vision - You begin to envision what you want and plan the next steps. For example, you envision the type of job you want to apply for or the kind of fulfilling work you want to do.

5. Action - You activate your plan, embracing and anchoring the change. You launch your job search in earnest by dusting off your resume, surfing the web and online job boards, and reconnecting with your network. Ultimately, you land your new job.

Caution! Your work isn’t finished yet.

6. Check up - I recommend that you conduct an annual work/life re-evaluation. Ask yourself whether your new work is still serving you and allowing you to optimize your potential. You may need to revisit or refine your plan.

When life changes occur, and they will, use these six phases to help you successfully navigate your change process.

Visit to receive Career Boost, a free 7-part audio program, and to hear her invigorating weekly radio show: Career Juice! Refresh & Revitalize Your Work.

© Copyright - Elizabeth M. Lengyel, PeopleCoach, Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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Elizabeth M. Lengyel, President of PeopleCoach, Inc., delivers career breakthroughs. A trusted career coach, Elizabeth is passionate about helping ambitious professionals get juiced about their careers. The result? The right job in the career you love. Visit to receive Career Boost, a free 7-part audio program, and to hear her invigorating weekly radio show: Career Juice! Refresh & Revitalize Your Work.

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