Relaunch: Stagnation, Change, and Renewal in Mid Career and Beyond
Book Review by Mason Murphy
Simon, Steven. (2018). RELAUNCH! Stagnation, Change, and Renewal in Mid-Career and Beyond. New York, NY: DocUmeant Publishing. 274 pages.
Dr. Steven Simon has written a book which focuses on the topic of recareering. However, Simon takes a unique approach to recareering and he calls it, “relaunching.” In his book, Relaunch: Stagnation, Change, and Renewal in Mid Career and Beyond, Simon addresses how to effectively work with clients who are in their 40’s and 50’s and seeking help to relaunch their career.
According to Simon, a relaunch may be needed if someone has been in the same job for a number of years and has grown tired of it. Sometimes a client may find more joy in an activity outside of work and want to pursue that as a career. Other clients may have developed a new skill over time and are now in a better position to maximize that skill. These are the positive changes Simon prefers to focus on. Of course, counselors do see clients that have to make changes due to job loss, burnout, illness, or shifting family situations.
As Simon addresses these types of traditional clients, he focuses on a relaunch as a positive moment in a client’s life. Why this positive approach is important is because Simon is shifting the mindset of the client. There can be so many external negative influences coming at the client during this time and this book reshapes that philosophy. A relaunch can happen through a process of discovery. To learn more about this process turn to Chapter Six.
Counselors and other readers from the field of career development will appreciate that in each chapter, Simon uses examples of client stories to illustrate a relaunch. Simon opens the book by directly focusing stagnation, renewal, and change. Simon notes that counselors must ask client’s six questions when embarking on the relaunch process.
1.How important is a change?
Counselors who are unsure where to start with a client can follow Simon’s belief that change is the most important of the six questions and therefore comes first. Assessing a need and want for a change and as well as the timing, will help the counselor gain insight into the core values of the client. The counselor will then be able to help manage the next steps.
2.Is a change of job or career going to improve your life?
Simon articulates that this question is bigger than a yes or no answer. That improvement can come in a variety of forms. Improvement could be increased income, happiness, stability, or peace of mind. Furthermore, this change could be the adventure a client is looking for at this point in his or her life.
3.Do you have the financial resources and temperament to take on the risks of change?
Each client brings different financial concerns into a relaunch. Some clients have saved money and have been planning to relaunch and others have to work with their spouse’s income in preparation to make a relaunch. Simon notes when addressing client’s finances and temperament this may take a few sessions because conversations with family members will need to take place between sessions.
4.What is your stress tolerance?
Relaunches do not happen over night and may take several months. Networking will be critical, but the art of how to network is very important. Clients may not have networked for over twenty years so teaching someone how, where, when, and why to network is vital to relaunching.
5.How is your health?
A counselor has a great opportunity to positively impact long-term change in a client’s life. Even if a relaunch does not happen or happens later in the client’s life, this question could lead to clients making changes in their diet and introducing exercise into their lives. Working with clients on just this answer can lead to improved holistic health.
6.Are you ready to invest in new learning?
Simon notes “to invest” involves time and more importantly a change in mindset. Working with clients on a change in mindset may take several sessions. Counselors can begin to focus on the traditional aspects of a job search such as resume writing and interviewing and then come back to this question.
Listen to this Author
Steven Simon, Ph.D., is President/CEO and a Career Consultant at Human Services Outcomes, Inc., Safety Harbor, FL. He has extensive experience as a career counselor, manager, forensic vocational expert, and graduate school faculty member. He is a licensed professional counselor in several states, and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Relaunch is his second book.
Simon provides thirty-one chapters full of resources, stories, and questions related to working with clients on relaunching. This book is most appropriate for counselors working in private practice. Just as a client's career may need a renewal, a counselor's private practice could benefit from following the changes described in this book. Wouldn't it be great if your own practice could be 'relaunched?'
Mason Murphy, MEd, MPA, works as a Career Counselor at Texas State University. He is visually impaired and holds an MEd in College Student Affairs, an MPA in Public Administration, and is pursuing a Ph.D in Adult, Professional, and Community Education. His research interests include international students and students with disabilities. Mason also serves as a Field Editor of NCDA’s Career Convergence web magazine. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org