Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes

Revised anniversary edition, 2019.

Whether it is chosen or thrust upon you, change brings both opportunities and turmoil. First published 40 years ago, named one of the fifty most important self-help and personal development books of all time, Transitions has helped hundreds of thousands of people cope with constant change in their lives by providing an elegantly simple yet profoundly insightful roadmap of the transition process.


With the understanding born of both personal and professional experience, William Bridges takes readers step by step through the three stages of any transition: The Ending, The Neutral Zone, and, in time, The New Beginning. Bridges explains how each stage can be understood and embraced, leading to meaningful and productive movement into a hopeful future. A new discussion guide with reflections for readers, written by Susan Bridges, is aimed at today’s current individuals facing unprecedented change.

The advice in the book continues to apply and is perhaps even more relevant today. Transitions was the first book to explore the underlying and universal pattern of transition and remains the essential guide for coping with the inevitable changes in life.

Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change

The business world is constantly changing and the resulting shifts are challenging. But the psychological transitions that accompany them are even more stressful. Change is situational, and it puts the people who have to embrace a new situation, and carry out the corresponding change, into a state of emotional transition.


In order for the change to be successful the issues of transition must be addressed. This book describes the three distinct stages described in the Transition Model, and provides practical, step-by-step strategies for minimizing disruptions and navigating uncertain times.

This 2017 edition was updated by Susan Bridges to reflect the challenges of today’s ever-changing, always-on, and globally connected workplace. New content, cases and examples make it relevant to current situations.

“Managing Transitions was timely when it first appeared twenty-five years ago. It is even more relevant now, at a time of unprecedented change and transition. The Bridges’ deep understanding of how we experience the destabilizing forces of change-and their well-tested strategies for helping people through it-are more important than ever.”      
— Marshall Goldsmith, executive coach, business educator, and best-selling author, ranked top leadership thinker in the world by Thinkers50.

The Way of Transition: Embracing Life's Most Difficult Moments

Bill Bridges’ lifelong work was devoted to a deep understanding of transitions and to helping others through them. However, after the death of his first wife, he found himself in the painful and confusing abyss of being personally in transition. An honest account of his experience, this wise and moving book is a direct result of his time in flux. It is a richly textured, deep map of the personal, professional and emotional transformations that grow out of tragedy and crisis.


Demonstrating how disillusionment, sorrow and confusion blossomed into a time of incredible creativity and contentment, he highlights the profound significance and value of endings in our lives. This book has helped people harness the transformative power of life’s disappointments and find a path to their own rejuvenation.

Throughout the book Bill alternates between his personal story and his deeper reflections on the nature of transition after decades of immersion in his work.

JobShift: How to Prosper in a Workplace Without Jobs

Acclaimed source of Fortune‘s widely discussed cover story “The End of the Job,” William Bridges’ JobShift breaks open the traditional world of work and how it has changed.



He describes a movement away from traditional “jobs” and full-time long-term employment as the way of getting work done in the new economy. This shift has enormous implications for individual careers, for organizational practices, and for social policies.

For all employees, executives, and entrepreneurs it reveals the new employment realities and uncovers new opportunities. JobShift will help you to understand how to generate secure work for yourself now and how to think about work for the next forty years.

Creating You & Co.

Creating You & Co., is a handbook for creating a work life that capitalizes on today’s frequent and disruptive changes. No one was better at explaining the new world of work than William Bridges, inventor of the term “You & Co.” By seeing beyond outdated notions of the job and learning to think as a business leader, you can find work that over the years will be both more fulfilling and more secure.


He provides self-assessment tests that help you to identify your Desires, Abilities, Temperament, and Assets. This “D.A.T.A.” is more than a window to what you like doing; it reveals your unique advantages in the work market. Other exercises lead you through the process of defining your ”product” and spotting your market.” Bridges shows that true security comes not from clinging to a job, but from doing the work you’re best at for the employers who need it.

Bridges Bibliography