Integral Transformation Editorial: November 2010
Career Transformation

By Armand Diaz, Ph.D.

Since the economic downturn a couple of years ago, many of us have had our careers turned upside down by economic forces that are beyond our control.  It's been a scary time, and the stresses that come with losing your job when there are bills to pay (and there always are!) can be daunting.

Yet in my work with people who are in the midst of recent career transitions, I find a recurring theme - those who still have their jobs are looking for a way to make them more meaningful and more in line with who they truly are as people.  More than that, it is truly unusual in an economic climate like this to hear people talking about leaving jobs they have!  And - maybe most surprising - those who have lost their jobs generally wouldn't want to go back to the same career they had.

Maybe, however, it isn't too surprising after all.  Particularly in the United States we have created a society where we live to work rather than work to live.  Piling on the hours and being in touch with your coworkers 24/7 may have seemed worthwhile (but probably wasn't) back when the economy was soaring and the money you put into any market would yield double digits returns every year.  Many of us were walking around with cigars stuck in our mouths, like the like the guy on the Monopoly board.  It's a wonder top hats didn't make a comeback in the 90s.

When things started sputtering around the turn of the millenium, the solution was simple - try harder.  We spent the better part of the next decade trying to convince ourselves that it was still the roaring 90s, we just had a bump in the road. All that collapsed back in September 2008, and we've been slowly rethinking our relationship to work ever since.

What do we do when we've sewed ourselves into work-based lifestyles yet come to the realization that our jobs are not really fulfilling us - economically or otherwise - in proportion to the effort we put into them?

This month, has features from people who have made career transitions - jumping ship or being thrown overboard.  They share their strategies and successes, but also their doubts and fears.  You'll truly be inspired by their stories.