Understanding and Visualizing a Career Transition

Posted on: May 26th, 2013 by admin No Comments

By Dr. Shree Nanguneri

As originally published on September 17, 2012

Career Transitioning Excellence (CTEx)

Part I


In our prior articles published in this forum, our focus was on getting professionals to succeed in their career by gaining a unique set of skills at the place of work or business. In our series this week, we are treading a different path yet focusing on a key need for our audience which is transitioning a career successfully. In Part I we will engage in a discussion relating to what CTEx is and why is it important for the professional.

In Part II, we will discuss how CTEx is done with these professionals across a different cross-section of professional categories and industry. The discussion will include a methodology and process and the dynamics involved.

With Part III, a conclusion of this series, we will bring closure by engaging with the professional and sharing some testimonials of how they felt prior to and post transition. The part will also contain some lessons learned. With benefits of CTEx discussed the last section will also include some Dos and Don’ts while dealing with the counselors who help or lead you in this process.

Status of Career Professionals:

Broadly classifying professionals, we have at least three identified. CSPs are career seeking professionals, while CTPs (Career Transitioning Professionals) are those transitioning between jobs or industry. Finally, there are ETPs (Entry Level Professionals) who are fresh out of college and new to the job market. Some of my observations over the years have helped me position my services and counseling based on these aspects. These are listed below for further reading (Top Six Reasons to Transition in your Career):

  1. Unchallenged at Work
  • Not challenged at work on nature of job or assignments.
  • Most of the work is routine and rudimentary
  • Doesn’t require CTP to stretch their imagination and think outside the box
  1. Unpaid for Talent and Capability
  • Financial rewards or basic compensation not on par with work or talent
  • Seen others with lower skills and talent making more elsewhere
  • Experienced of having been overlooked and bypassed for an internal promotion
  1. Unproductive Management
  • Own manager boss is not leading the path to display an attitude of productivity
  • Management philosophy is to say one thing and do another, possibly the opposite
  • Peers and superiors taking credit for work executed by ranks below them
  • Management stifling growth in professional and career areas
  1. Unexpected Personal Change
  • Marital status changes from unexpected course of events
  • Someone in the family is sick or has tragically passed away
  • Member in the family needs physical attention away from where you live
  • Parent reaching an old age where they need physical presence and help
  • Children needing time of working professional parent requiring a change in pace
  1. Unacceptable Terms and Conditions at Work
  • Change of management requiring change in group or manager/boss
  • Management philosophy changed significantly with new CEO or executive line up
  • Policies and Procedure non-compliance and violations are unusually high
  • Corruption or unethical practices rampant affecting day-to-day performance at work
  • Image of company is ruined after recent scandal in the news on a global level
  • Company got bought and management offers new position that is unacceptable
  • Layoffs in the company causing to get an offer to perform a job with a lower title
  1. Unhappy with current environment/profession
  • Insignificant management support or drive down the culture
  • Teammates not as enthusiastic as before
  • Company culture not keeping up with original mission and vision statement
  • Multiple silos are broken while customer complaints are rampant

What is CTEx?

CTEx (Career Transitioning Excellence) is the process of successfully and sustainably transitioning in one’s career in different ways as shown below:

  • Across Industries (Similar or Entirely Different)
  • From Industry to Academia or Vice Versa
  • College to Corporate
  • Full Time Employee to Entrepreneur (or Vice Versa)
  • Full Tim to Part Time (or Vice Versa)
  • Retiring to Consulting
  • Moving Locations and Changing Jobs
  • Unemployed to Gainful Employment
  • Other

Transitioning in one’s career can be challenging depending on the nature of the transition itself, the timing, location, economy, skills and other presiding factors. Thus executing the transition is itself a process that most professionals ignore and pay a dear price when they have to bear the consequences of either a delayed or missed timing. Sometimes the transition goes awry and a sense of guilt can take over thus damaging the self esteem of that person, the family associated as well as other aspects of their lives.

 Why do we need CTEx?

From a professional point of view, the average time to retain an employee (statistics apply for the western world) or be retained as a value –added employee is decreasing worldwide. Levels of tolerance in organizations have gone down and in general patience is thinning out when employees find that their bosses are not working in the former’s interests. In addition, the workforce is being populated by millennial citizens causing a rift of misunderstanding between them and their supervisors. This results in either a short term conflict or a departure of one of them from the organization voluntarily or through a layoff effort within that organization. In some geographical regions where the economy is employee driven (Asia), the millennial is likely to quit given that the supervisor (probably) doesn’t belong to that age group.

When it comes to industries, one can see that certain type of industries and jobs are most prone to such transitions simply because of the nature of their work business model. Their customers come on a contractual basis and so once their assignments are complete they may want to experience a new challenge or acquire a new skill in a new assignment and thus transition out voluntarily once they find the new paying opportunity.

In a volatile economy today (as it is in the western world), CTEx is all the more critical to these professionals (listed of Career Professionals – see category IV) where when done right they can reap the long term benefits of that transition. One of the advantages of the CTEx approach is the learning is a one-time effort while practicing it can be for a lifetime of situations.

Has CTEx been done before?

The process of transitioning has been done before in its own definition and even though guides are available, I haven’t come across a formal program per se in this field this. In this 3-part series, we will discuss specifically how the individuals who practiced this achieved their goals and share their valuable lessons learned with the rest of us who may be contemplating transitioning ourselves when the time is ripe to do so.



A summarized conclusion of Part I as shown below for your reading and expectations before Wednesday this week on Part II of this series, where we would review how the CTEx process is done. Real case scenarios will be summarized.

  • CTEx is going to be an integral part of every professional’s career
  • Planning for it is essential as poor planning can only increase risk or delay it
  • Transitioning is not a lone ranger but team effort (like a complicated surgery)
  • It can start as early as your college years as an entry level professional
  • Several live case scenarios help us establish a successful model for ourselves


…to be continued in Part II this week.

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