Remember long rides home from that wonderful vacation?

Are we home yet?

When we were kids, remember those long rides home from that wonderful vacation at the lake, in the woods or mountains? Despite the sadness that summer was nearly over, we often longed for the comforts of home. And maybe even the opportunity to begin a new school year.

William Bridges uses the phrase “reinventing yourself” in describing our growth and development when we find a new place or new way to employ our talents. This discovery is central to the third stage of transition, “Beginnings” in his three part paradigm.

It is an exciting time as we embark on new work. We may have found “home” and there’s deserved elation. A time to celebrate! I cherish poet Marie Ranier Rilke’s message that when meaningful accomplishments from previous work can be folded into new work, we find fulfillment in the complete circle.

“There is nothing more joyous than being able to truly make use of oneself again, whether in the service of plans or memories; and what is most beautiful is the moment when plans and memories coincide and produce desired freedom to continue the one, in the other.”

It’s prudent to monitor your zeal, however, as everything is new and unknown (e.g., bosses, colleagues, evaluations, organizational processes, procedures, and philosophies). Resolve to go slowly and listen more than you speak. This is both a time to be cautious in approaching new assignments as well as a time to reflect back on some of the lessons you’ve learned along the way. Yes, you want to show your enthusiasm for new roles and responsibilities while coming up with great ideas. And your new boss wants that too. But your new boss also wants you to fit well into the existing culture. Striking the right balance between leading and listening will help make that happen.


Think about how both the successes and shortcomings of your previous job can be applied to your new work. What will you do the same and what will you do differently? How will you both initiate new ideas and listen carefully to the established leaders who have already succeeded in the culture you’ve now entered?

Thomas Bachhuber, Ed.D., President of the Board and Executive DirectorThomas Bachhuber, Ed.D.
President of the Board and Executive Director for The Center for Life Transitions. Tom is responsible for overall Center leadership and strategy. His individual coaching/counseling as well as workshops and retreats focus on integrating leading career development ideas with spiritual exploration. Read more.