Transition, the process of change or moving from one state to another, can be both scary and exciting. Scary because you don’t know what is waiting for you on the other side. Yet exciting for the very same reason. Times of transition can make you feel vulnerable, out of sorts, and well . . . fragile. So, how do you keep your wits intact and block out the blues during a job transition? Here are four proven ways to stay sharp while planning your next career move.
Losing your job is a traumatic event. Fear, grief, self-doubt, even discouragement can overtake the most positive person. You must resist the woe-is-me mindset. Share your feelings, even release the anger, but stay emotionally balanced. Plenty of people find career success after a job loss, so why not you? To stay positive, avoid listening to war stories from fellow job seekers. Don’t rehearse negative aspects of your own story either. Choose to be around a positive crowd. Watch uplifting movies. Read encouraging books. Be social, laugh, and take long walks to refresh your mind. Since transition is about movement, enjoy the journey by staying upbeat as you move through it.
Emergencies spring up but there are ways to mitigate the stress of unexpected financial events. Start with a review of your financial affairs. Knowing your financial status at this point is paramount. Take defensive measures by creating a financial plan, including a budget. Make a list of what you owe, the amounts, and due dates. Find strategies to keep expenses and debt low. Try to negotiate and eliminate debt to create breathing space. Without a plan, the mounting stress will wear you out, mentally and physically. Next, find additional ways to bring in income. Aside from applying for full-time jobs, can you take on small work assignments? Check with family, friends, and networks regarding money-making opportunities. If you’ve considered starting a small business, now is a good time to research the possibility. Set aside a few hours to take a class on entrepreneurship or to upgrade your skills. Don’t stop there. Take a class on anything of interest to keep you plugged in and motivated.
If transition is about the process of movement, then we can safely say that without movement you are standing still or not making progress. Even if you apply for a job and are not made an offer, you are still moving. Movement generates change. And change means something new is happening. With each step, you’re closer to connecting to the right opportunity. That’s why you should not focus on only one avenue or door in your job search. Try different strategies to see which ones work best for you. I don’t have a green thumb, yet I love plants and gardening. Some types of plants always die on me, while others flourish easily. I still try to work with new plants because I never know which ones I’ll have success with. The same goes for you. You never know how or when a new career opportunity will present itself or pan out.
Don’t Overlook the Important Stuff
The act of movement, especially when you’re under pressure, can cause you to overlook important information. Years ago, while in the process of moving to a new residence, I packed a new comforter and placed it in the moving van. The comforter was a special gift and had never been used. It wasn’t until weeks later that I noticed it was missing. I still have no idea what happened to the comforter. It could have fallen out of the van. We’ll never know. Our constant movement, our attempt to get from one state in our life to another, shifted our focus from the present. In that short time, we “missed” something. We overlooked something that was important to us. Consider this time of your life and make a daily, weekly and monthly plan of your goals and benchmarks for success. With a plan in hand, you have a road map to keep you on track so nothing important gets overlooked.
Transitions mark seasons in your life. You can’t avoid them; they’re a natural part of change and progress. Transition is the only way to get from one place to another. Like a bridge or a railroad track, they keep you moving in a direction. The process can strengthen and help you to grow. It will prepare you for what lies ahead.
In summary, take advantage of this important time. Develop a positive mental attitude, prepare a financial plan, stay active and focus on what means most to you. You can do it! Once you get to the other side, you’ll be in a better position to take on new challenges and succeed in ways you’ve never imagined.