Are you a Transformer? 3 Tips for Career and Life Transitions


Are you familiar with the popular Transformers comic book series and movies?

They feature two types of sentient or humanoid robots – the Autobots and the Decepticons – who can transform themselves into vehicles, machines, and other kinds of mechanical objects.

The Transformers storyline focuses on an ongoing battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons (good vs. evil is the general focus).

But what’s particularly fascinating about the Transformer series is the transformation process itself.

As I’ve gotten older, this process of moving from one part of my life, or from one job to another, or from one part of my career to another, has been unsure sometimes, awkward at other times, and occasionally painful.

I’ve somehow moved through those transitions and you have too.

For the rockier transitions, we both have probably wondered later on how we could’ve maybe managed it a bit more smoothly.

Let’s get back to the Transformers and why this comic book/movie series is relevant to the idea of transitions as something we can manage maybe with a little more grace.

The TFWiki.net has a great explanation of how the robots transform:

The term "transformation scheme" refers specifically to the way in which the parts of an individual Transformer move and shift in relation to each other during transformation.

(Isn’t that cool? They actually have a transformation scheme!)

And, in most cases, the process of transformation is just something that occurs.

The Wiki goes on to say:

When the issue is addressed at all, transformation is usually treated as an innovation from some point early in Cybertronian history rather than something that was literally always with them.

The Transformers were, at the time of their genesis, simply Cybertronians — mechanical life-forms — and became "Transformers" only later.

However, just as often in Transformers fiction the "origin" of transforming is simply not discussed.

We as humans also have a transformation scheme, although we may not realize it.

I’ve been reading a great book recently, “Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes” by William Bridges (hat tip to Janine Finnell), which talks about the many kinds of transitions we all experience as humans, including transitions in relationships and in our work lives.

Bridges gives an overview of transitions in action and also detailed “signposts” for each stage of a transition.