Go to Top

How Change Happens

How Change Happens

By Janet Westlund, MSW, LICSW, Social Work Supervisor

Think back to a time you made a change in life.  Maybe it was related to a financial investment like purchasing a new home; a personal investment like a relationship; a physical investment such as adding exercise to your daily routine or quitting a habit that no longer benefits you; or maybe it was a geographical investment like a move to a new city.  Do you remember the experience?  How did you get to the end result?  Do you remember any feelings of stress or perhaps even ambivalence?

The Stages of Change Model (Prochaska & DiClemente) provides us with a framework for the general trajectory of change:

  • Precontemplation: there is no intention of change
  • Contemplation: there is ambivalence about the change
  • Preparation: there is movement, steps, toward change
  • Action: the new behavior is practiced
  • Maintenance: change is sustained
  • Relapse: not a stage in itself but it is a natural part of change

This theory, in practice, is not necessarily a linear process, but a very personal process that can vary based on the change sought. 

Let’s unpack the Stages of Change Model as it relates to the many job seekers walking through Daily Work’s doors. According to SoftSkillsBuilder.com our job seekers may find themselves at any point in the process and we can serve them better when we are able to remember this and guide our interactions with them accordingly.


Perhaps the job seeker has not contacted Daily Work for assistance yet. They may see work as something positive but don’t believe they can do it and/or are just starting to give themselves permission to explore their options.


Someone in the contemplation stage may be more open to hearing suggestions yet can still feel uncertain about what they are engaging in and no commitment has been made. They may be able see a light at the end of the tunnel they find themselves in though.


Commitment to change has taken place, the job seeker believes he/she can accomplish the goal!  The proverbial rubber is hitting the road, it is getting real and stress in on the rise. The job seeker is identifying goals and working through a plan for achieving their goals.


The job search is in full gear, interviews are hopefully happening or maybe a job has been attained.  his is a time for celebration but can also be a time of great tension. Imagine the pressure of the interview process and holding hope as you wait for a job offer that doesn’t come.  If the job is obtained there is the pressure of learning that comes with being new. 


A job has been obtained and the now former “job seeker” has acclimated to the role.


Remember, relapse can be a natural part of making permanent change and can bring a person back to any of the other stages of change.

Share your own experience with dealing with change. Have you noticed the stages noted above? What helped you create the change you desire?

Plus, stay tuned for the next blog where we will look at how Daily Work partners with job seekers no matter where they find themselves in these stages.





Leave a Reply