And now about events . . . and transitions!
Since transitions seem to be almost minute by minute, I wanted to write again about that topic. Bridges’ work is based on organizational change, while another of my favorite transition models (Schlossberg’s Transition Theory) works best for individuals.
I have experienced significant “aha” moments with both Bridges and Schlossberg. I know I know – others might have grasped these thoughts intuitively. For me, how Schlossberg describes “events” and “non events” and their impact was a light bulb moment for me.
Schlossberg talks about transitions in relation to events – things that we expect to happen and do happen. In other words, they are transitions from events that occur predictably. For example, graduating college, getting a job, marrying, having children, getting promotions, and such. There are also unanticipated events that lead to transitions. These unanticipated events are not predictable or scheduled, such as divorce or job loss.
But she also talks about transitions related to “non events” which are those things we expect to happen but do not – such as not getting married, not getting a promotion and so on. In other words, non event transitions are expected but do not occur, such as failure to be admitted to medical school. These non events may be related to individual aspiration or a ripple (due to someone else or another event).
What is a transition? According to Schlossberg it is trigger by an event or non event that results in changed relationships, routines, assumptions, and roles. While I gave some examples above, Schlossberg notes that the individual experiencing a transition perceives the trigger to be an event or non event. It is indeed all in the eyes of the beholder!
Ok all of this sounds a bit theoretical (but I did say it was a theory right?)
When I thought about it, though, I realized that non events have had a major impact on my career. In fact, I would probably say that, in some ways, non events triggered most of my major career decisions.
What about you? What is the relationship between event and non events in your career? Thoughts by Dr. Connie