Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


School of Business


The purpose of this study was to capture participants' descriptions of factors and identification of turning points that profoundly influenced their later life career transition paths. The study sample consisted of 10 individuals age 55 or older with stories of engagement in later life career transitions. Volunteer participants had connections with career transition courses at Marylhurst University or Life by Design NW (Portland Community College). Qualitative method using narrative design allowed interpretation of meanings that surrounded participants' transition factors and turning points, as described in participants' stories of their lived transition experiences. Constructionist perspectives recognized the narrative was a joint construction between listener and teller and the story could be told differently in diverse contexts. Story construction was based on interviews with each participant, with these interviews creating a narrative text. The constructionist approach suggested that apart from personal reflections, socializing influences shaped participants' narratives. Factors of particular significance included age, health, education, work, economics, family, key people, emotions, and older adult stereotypes. The study concluded that descriptive turning points represented transformational catalysts, pivoting around life changes and events, a sense of calling, and epiphanies. Discovery of flow, acceptance of low points, and understanding of life's frailties allowed participants to reconcile fears and external circumstances so they could embrace their passions for work and celebrate their worth and wisdom -- making meaningful contributions to society. Methodology and purpose of this study combined elements not similarly combined in other studies found in literature, giving heightened significance to study's results. Timing was a substantive aspect of this study's relevance, as many in our society -- including the influx of Baby Boomers currently reaching retirement age -- were experiencing factors and turni

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