“…bridge to a new situation…”

We get it. “Change is the only constant in our lives.”

We look in the mirror and know we’re not that cocky athlete in the high school or college team photo or even the smiling professional from the “Big 5-0” birthday party.

At this stage, we can get blindsided by a relationship going south or an unfortunate shift in employment status. It takes a while to adapt/adjust—and the accompanying pain can be staggering.

Changes are silent, even sneaky. And transitions are the slow, internal process of adapting to those changes, a process that may begin before the change takes place as we anticipate what is going to happen. A good thing.

We can prepare.

Do the things necessary to ease the transition. William Bridges proposes a CUSP formula, which helps serve as bridge (pun intended) to a new situation.

Control. Find something you can manage in the midst of a change like choosing to seek coaching when job searching or committing X amount of time each day to get more comfortable with LinkedIn.

Understand the process. Be intentional in the midst of grieving a loss to begin understanding what happened, and what your full range of options are as you move ahead. Avoid a “knee jerk reaction.”

Support systems. Don’t go it alone. The transition process is complex and you’ll need people to support, listen, advise, commiserate and celebrate with you.

Purpose. Keep something larger in mind and heart. Job loss is devastating, under-employment sucks, a job with a heartless boss makes for discouraging days, and job seeking is the hardest work you’ll ever do. That understood, it’s helpful to know in your soul that your life is more than the anxiety you feel during times of transition.

Hope can comfort you and it’s critical to keep what faith you have alive.


Define and design your CUSP bridge between previous and future work. And consider your faith—in yourself, your family/friends, your career track record, your network, your God/Higher Power. How will your faith assist you in this transition?

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.