Transitions And The Career Roles

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The word career can be seen not only as a job, journey or decisions, but also as a set of different roles. According to (Stevenson & Waite, 2011) role is: A person’s or thing’s characteristics or expected function, or an actor’s part in a play film. Each job involves multiply roles and they change over time. Roles are defined by, individuals, by others, by the organizations or by the companies. Role examples can be: student, parent, worker, child or a partner. Maintaining and developing identity through roles is a career task. Identity is important as making sense of who we are, provides self-esteem and guide our values attitudes and behavior. Also identity can be related to different roles, such as work (teacher) or social (sister). Many career theories include a concept such as identity to represent the basis for individuals to choose their roles. But, if the careers are series of roles, then the feature of careers is the process of role transition.

Role transition is the psychological movement between roles, including disengagement from one role (exit role) and engagement in another (entry role) (Inkson,2015) (Ashforth et. Al., 2000). As a new roles require new skills, behaviors, attitudes and interactions, they may produce fundamental changes in an individual’s self-concept (Ibarra, 1999). For example: moving between education and employment, being promoted, leaving to move to another organization or retiring. Work-role transitions also include changes within the role if for example new duties are added. Career actors also using role transitions. The term role transitions include various types of change. Transitions may be made within the current organization or to a new one, at the current level or to a new one, or to a new industry or even a country (Inkson, 2015). Ashforth et. al (2000) describe the role transitions as boundary-crossing activities.

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Limited studies, however have been undertaken to determine how individuals and organizations are coping with career transitions inside and across organizations, but many researches (Brown, 1995, Chope, 2001; Lankard, 1993) have noted the need for career transition to help individuals relieve the stress and anxiety associated with the life change. Career transitions are vital within organizations as they work to achieve their goals both internal and external. The key to successful transitions is that individuals needs to gain relevant work experience in that particular fields, but failures from manager’s point of view can lead to lack of support and coaching or making the wrong decisions by acting too quickly. The benefits of career transitions with the organizations by providing efficient career transitions programme is to increase their business performance and reducing inefficiencies (Banks & Nafukho, 2008). Organizations providing early career training and development to their employees, rather than late, which are fewer. Transitions from one role to another require boundary work, which involves strategies, principles and practices (Nippert-Eng, 1996). Effective role transitions may reduce employee’s negative experiences.

Transitions do not always have to be a challenge; they can be fun and provide pleasurable experience if supported appropriately. For example, a child, when it grows up, the parent should enable the child to enjoy the process of change, rather than moving into a different environment. Respectful relationships can lead to positive transitions as well. Overall transitions are important part of life and offer opportunities for new experiences and personal growth. This approach contributes to our understanding of careers that this transitions are essential and are part of our lives.

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Transitions And The Career Roles. (2022, February 24). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Transitions And The Career Roles.” Edubirdie, 24 Feb. 2022,
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