How to Manage Career Change and Transition

Carrer transition or change

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by Terrie O Connell

Often life transitions start with a jolt, through an unexpected turn of events. Recently, for many this transition has been in the form of a layoff, for others unfortunately it may have come with a the death of a close friend or family member. On the other hand, transitions can also sneak up more quietly, more like a feeling of general discomfort, you may be thinking "is this all there is"?

The gift this time offers you is the chance to reevaluate your career. This time is one of possibility, an opportunity for personal and professional transformation. Take advantage of this time to assess what you want to do and where you want to be.

Here are ten tips of how you can ease the emotions of your transition and clarify your goals during this important phase of your life:

1. This too shall pass. Reassure yourself that this situation is only a phase, not a permanent state of affairs. Your feelings are normal. Sooner or later your challenges will be addressed and you will move out of this phase.

2. Take care of your basic needs. As in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, your physical and safety needs should take priority - that includes food, sleep, exercise, relaxation, security, protection, comfort, and peace. It sounds simple, but taking care of these needs has to come first before you can even begin to understand your life purpose. If necessary, take a part-time or temporary job just to buy yourself some time to work out your next move.

3. Set a budget. Get clear on your short- and long-term financial needs, take stock of your living expenses, and eliminate your debt. If you are insecure about your finances, you may choose a new job too quickly. Make sure your next career move is based on the merits of position or opportunity, not on a sense of panic.

4. Organize yourself and your time. You have to make your job search the top priority in your life - treat it like it is its own job. Avoid distractions. You may even have to say "no" to some activities, some family responsibilities or other things that take up the time you need to focus on you.

5. Be ready when opportunity whispers. When you're stressed, it is most difficult to remain open-minded and alert to opportunities. But that's exactly what you need to do! Solutions are ready for your discovery! It is a fact that 61% of executives in the United States find their new job through networking, compared to those who respond to advertisements (8%). Talk to people about your situation, read every book and article you can, listen to radio and TV, surf the Net, interview a company before they offer to interview you.

6. Get advice and support. For some reason, people in transition tend to hide. There are lots of reasons for this: when the rug is pulled out from under you it's hard to find your ground, and you often lose confidence. Sometimes you get depressed, and the last thing you want to do is talk to people about your situation. Remind yourself continually that you're still a valuable person even if you have lost your sense of direction for a time.

Invest time with career counselors, business coaches and consultants. They will give you resources, advice and strategies. Talk to Recruiters. Recruiters are a great resource for more than just jobs. They know competitive salaries, hiring trends of the industries they serve, what new job titles are being created and which are becoming obsolete. The more recruiters you talk to, the more current information you will have to help you make an informed decision. Other perspectives are valuable because they are objective and will assist you in making a decision you can be confident about.

Finally, but most important of all, let your partner, friends and children know you need their support. Ask them for specific things they can do to help you — taking care of dinner, allowing you time at the computer, picking you up from class.

7. Get better educated. Take classes to assess or improve your skills and interests. Take advantage of seminars or workshops offered to assist your job search. There are many educational resources out there that can increase your chances of being successful.

8. Pay attention to your unconscious. We all have inner wisdom of which we're not consciously aware. Dreams and daydreams often provide clues to our future direction. Learn to read the language of your unconscious embodied in your dreams. If you're a spiritually-oriented person, this is a good time to spend some time in prayer, inviting good into your life at both conscious and unconscious levels.

9. Expect Success. What we believe is what we experience. If you expect it will be impossible for you to get a new job this late in your career, you will prove yourself right. On the other hand, if you believe your skill set is invaluable, you will prove yourself right. Believe in yourself and your ability to be successful. It is unlikely you will take action if you think your efforts will be wasted.

10. Be Patient. In our culture, people do not like waiting. But part of the reason why we don't like it is because we don't know how to do it. Most people think of waiting as a passive activity where they're obliged to sit around and do nothing. You might think of "Active Waiting" as that similar to what a butterfly does in its chrysalis. It is waiting, growing, and preparing slowly for its beautiful transformation. By taking care of yourself, noticing others' needs, looking for opportunities, seeking support, having fun, taking a day at a time, and paying attention to conscious and unconscious signals you are experiencing your own wonderful transformation! This phase can truely catapult you into a better, more meaningful existence expressed through new career move!

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Author:Terrie OConnell may be contacted at [email protected]

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