We examined the career transition of senior executives from a strong bureaucratic organization into a dynamic business environment. In surveying retired, flag-rank admirals characterized by the need to start a second career, we found significant support for a career transition model. The retired admirals in this study largely enjoyed a smooth transition into civilian careers. Their traditional career was associated primarily with external success, the contemporary protean career with internal success. The role of the organization proved instrumental for a successful transition. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.