Theses Doctoral

Vision Accomplished: How Professional Women Learned To Recreate Their Careers And Find Personal Fulfilment

Krug von Nidda, Helen

Women account for half of a country’s potential talent base and numerous studies have shown that women’s participation in the workplace provides the nation with considerable competitiveness. Yet, despite an increasing breadth of educational and work opportunities, research has shown that women are more unhappy than they were in the 1970s. Some women, however, have made the successful and determined effort to seek fulfillment by voluntarily leaving an organization, pursuing their personal vision, and transitioning to their desired reality. This qualitative case study explored how 24 college-educated women learned to recreate their careers and find personal fulfillment. The purpose of this study was to understand how some women voluntarily left secured positions and how they applied the concept of a personal vision to transition to what was for them, a new desired reality. Personal vision is defined by Boyatzis et al. (2019) as an expression of an individual’s ideal self, expressing someone’s aspirations, dreams, and ambitions.

The sample was a purposeful one. The primary method of data collection was participant semi-structured interviews. The second source of data was a group of six women with a personal vision who had not yet made the transition to their desired reality. The third source of data was document review, including CVs, LinkedIn, and social media accounts for cross-reference checking. The data was initially coded by research questions and the findings were coded by behavioral categories derived from the Conceptual Framework.

Four conclusions emerged from the analysis. These include confirmation that women need to be motivated in order to achieve personal fulfillment, personal issues must be reconciled before women can begin their transition from an established situation to their desired reality, informal learning methods are key in helping women make their transition, and transitioning to a desired reality is unlikely without the support from others.

Several recommendations for future research as well as recommendations for individuals, coaches, HR Practitioners and women’s networks and organizations are offered.


This item is currently under embargo. It will be available starting 2025-02-09.

More About This Work

Academic Units
Organization and Leadership
Thesis Advisors
Volpe, Marie
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
February 23, 2022