Back In Control

Back In Control

How to Stay Sane, Productive, and Inspired in Your Career Transition

Diane Grimard Wilson

Back in Control contains counsel and comfort for people working through career changes, turning an unconstructive and emotionally damaging experience into a personally enriching and beneficial one.


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Everyone goes through a career change at least once in their life and most people switch careers several times. This transitional time often causes people to feel stuck, depressed, dejected, confused, alone, and stressed. Back in Control contains counsel and comfort for people working through these changes, turning an unconstructive and emotionally damaging experience into a personally enriching and beneficial one. This book picks up where the “how to” manuals leave off. Countless career books will help readers craft a winning resume, use the Internet and other resources, or prepare for the all-important interview. Wilson’s book helps readers manage something even more difficult: themselves. It talks about the stuff that most of us want to know about from others but are seldom in a position to ask. It features personal reflections collected from people going through career changes—real-life experiences described in rich and candid detail.

Back in Control has been selected as a Finalist in the Business/Leadership category of the 2005 Nautilus Book Awards. The Nautilus is a unique book award, recognizing authors and titles that contribute to our society’s awareness and embrace of spiritual and ecological values such as compassion, sustainability, simplicity, and global peace.
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Praise for Back in Control


Splendid—full of interesting stories and crystal clear suggestions. This important book shows how to add distinction and avoid extinction in today's new economy.

—Richard Leider, author of The Power of Purpose and Whistle While You Work

Diane Wilson does an excellent job of capturing the emotions involved in dealing with career and life change and provides a practical framework for developing solutions. In addition, her approach and advice regarding techniques to shorten the change cycle are well worth employing. I recommend this book for anyone contemplating or currently involved in career transition.

—Michael L. Buckman, Senior Vice President, Lee Hecht Harrison

I wish that I could have had this book in my hands when I worked through my own unexpected career transition ten years ago. My humble experience surely resonates with Diane's wisdom from her own highly developed spiritual intelligence (SI). I recommend this book to those who are willing to reflect and learn from their own experience in tough times. Life is good only if we are able to see the life larger than our own.

—Zenglo Chen, Ph.D., Management Psychologist, Motorola

Work is a stabilizing structure in our lives. When it is gone, we can spiral out of control. Diane Wilson respectfully shares the stories of loss and emergence with insightful markers that normalize both the journey and the humanity of an experience most of us will face. This is a great tool for people in transition and those who help them through the process.

—Peg Hendershot, Director, Career Vision, a division of The Ball Foundation

This book offers something different from the typical job search book—hope. Reading it is like having an ally in your corner—a source of support, comfort, fresh perspectives, and practical wisdom. I recommend it to anyone who is struggling with the frustrations of a career transition.

—Rochelle Kopp, author of The Rice-Paper Ceiling: Breaking Through Japanese Corporate Culture

Ms. Wilson has done a wonderful service for anyone experiencing career transition. She shares her wisdom on how to effectively manage the variety of challenges that accompany career change in a refreshingly straightforward and practical way. As a career coach, I found her stories, insights, and strategies to be right on target with what I focus on with my own clients. This book is a must read for anyone interested in optimizing their success and effectiveness with career change.

—Albert D. Spicer, Psy.D., Chicago Coach Federation

Diane Grimard Wilson provides sound, practical advice to help manage the emotional side of career transition, drawing from a wide range of experiences and learning models. You will find opportunities to convert uncertainty and fear into growth and positive change.

—Jeffrey Sugerman, President & CEO, Inscape Publishing

This book is a rare treasure in that it goes beneath the surface to grapple with the real psychological and social effects of unemployment. Diane Wilson provides a "roadmap” of the emotional terrain one is likely to encounter in successfully navigating a career transition. Awareness, acceptance, and action—her three pronged approach helps us to transcend counter-productive knee-jerk reactions and find our way safely to the other shore.

—Laura Wimbish, Ph.D., Principal, Satori Consulting

Diane brings a wonderful new perspective to transition. I suspect this is the ONLY book on this topic that includes a discussion of Feng Shui and Focus! Since reading it, I have changed my office and feel totally refreshed. Diane asks much of her readers, however, when in transition, life holds great rewards for those willing to make the right investment of time and resources.

—Roger Breisch, Founder, Midwest Organizational Learning Network

Back in Control eloquently highlights the human vulnerabilities and emotional upheavals that accompany job loss and poignantly presents the candid reflections of 21st century job seekers in transition. The author combines career acumen with counseling and coaching expertise to offer a fresh, enlightened, holistic approach to support all who are navigating—or wishing to better navigate—life's inevitable career transitions.

—Julie A. Sells, Assistant Director, Career Center, Division of Enrollment Management, DePaul University

Back in Control is a real how to—a powerful toolbox for either personal or professional transitions. Diane Wilson is a highly emotionally intelligent, warm, and compassionate writer—her real-life stories are inviting and recognizable. I learned from this book and others can too!

—Janelle Dimitriou, Midwest Workplace Solutions Manager, KPMG

An inspirational primer for those seeking meaning in their lives and careers. Ms. Wilson does an outstanding job of helping the reader discover one's own path while encouraging life balance.

—Gary S. Cohen, Co-President, Employee Resource Systems

Back in Control is a powerful book for not only people in job transition and contemplating career changes; it is full of insightful ways to live a life you love.

—John H. Bishop, Certified HeartMath Coach

Diane Wilson has done a wonderful job of capturing how important work is to our psychological wellbeing. Getting smart about one’s career is like having food for one’s soul. And being able to engage oneself in meaningful work is a basic foodstuff in today’s work environment. Without meaningful work—either being in a job that does not have meaning to you or actually being unemployed—people move into the realm of ‘emotional unemployment.’ The book is personal and prescriptive without being in-your-face, helpful without being accusatory. Back in Control is must reading for those concerned about their career transition.

—R. William Holland, Executive Vice President, Right Management Consultants

Losing a job is like a sock in the gut. It knocks the air out of you and can make you feel terrible. In Back in Control, Diane Wilson addresses how to acknowledge the loss and yet use it as a tool to find opportunities that are right for you. She does this with expert knowledge, courage, and compassion.

—Anita R. Brick, Director, MBA Career Advancement Programs, Career Development Office, The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business

Wilson’s book, Back in Control, deals with the emotional side of job hunting, and, therefore, fills a real hole in the existing literature. In an excellent treatment of the issue of emotional responses to career change, Diane Wilson guides individuals through the process of taking control of their careers and of career transitions. Her book will aid self-awareness by showing people that they are not alone in experiencing a wide range of confusing emotions when faced with career moves.

—Dennis Doverspike, Ph.D., author of The Difficult Hire

Wilson’s Back In Control will help readers gain the knowledge and strength needed to manage their career transitions successfully, based on solid content and the real life experiences of career transitioners.

—Dr. David Helfand, author of Career Change: Everything You Need to Know to Meet New Challenges and Take Control of Your Career

I enjoy Wilson’s personal candor and the statements from her clients. This book is filled with life-giving advice based on many years of coaching.

—Dr. Tom Murray, Former Executive Director, Career Transitions Center of Chicago

Back in Control is right on the money with sound advice on behavioral styles. The content is insightful and presented in an engaging manner. I highly recommend this book if you want to learn how to communicate effectively with potential employers who may have different styles than your own.

—Jack Cullen, author of The Agile Manager

Job transition has the power to crack us wide open and send us reeling. Rather than beginning with what we should do, Back in Control starts with where we are. Its gift is helping us to become aware of what is going on within us and to accept it as a departure point on a path of engagement and empowerment.

—Al Gustafson, Cross Roads Center

Diane Wilson's book, based on her extensive experience, provides informed and compassionate guidance for the difficult transitions that many face in the course of their careers.

—Robert B.Slaney, Head of Department of Counselor Education, Counseling Psychology, and Rehabilitation Services, Penn State University

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