Career Defining Moments: Some Thoughts and New Mentor Research

150 150 Ellen Ensher
  • 0

FullSizeRenderWhat have been some of the defining moments in your life? How have these defining moments impacted your career? These are some of questions my co-authors (Troy Nielson and Wesley Kading) and I set out to explore recently in our research. We define a career-defining moment as a point in time that substantially alters the trajectory of one’s career.

These experiences can be a result of:

1) anticipated transition events (like graduation)

2) unanticipated transition events (like a bout with cancer),

3) an insight experience (you felt like “dead man walking” at work and  knew you had to make a change),

4) relationship experiences (like a mentor), or

5) spiritual experiences (experience with the divine). We interviewed 18 amazing leaders about their defining moments and what we learned was fascinating.

Here is a summary of these types of experiences from the article.

Table 1: Major Sub-Categories and Exemplary Quotes of Career-Defining Moments (CDM)

Career Defining Moments

If you are interested, I have included a link to the full article:


Happy Reading!!