Change is a gift - 5 Tips to help make a transition easier.
Transitions are not easy, whether we are stepping into a new role, embarking on a new career path or reinventing ourselves. Whatever the reason, we always find change challenging because, to transition successfully, we have to find something extra within ourselves that we don’t know we have until we call upon it. The 5 tips below will make a transition easier.
Connecting with the bigger picture.
When we know who we are and what we do in life it is much easier to consider the why. Making a change when it is part of a wider vision about what is important to us helps us to understand why it is necessary to change a well tried routine or build new relationships. It is important to ask ourselves where we want to get to in an organisation and why is it important to us. We need to know what are we looking for in our career that is going to make our heart sing and allow us to make a contribution that makes sense of our lives.
A client, at her wits end about finding a new role to transition from a badly run family company with highly questionable business dealings, saw herself as unemployable. It was only when she was able to understand that the high standards she applied to her work and the valuable experience she had gained in her a role she hated, gave her an additional dimension to her fiduciary understanding and compliance knowledge that many never obtain. As a result she was able to see the possibility of a new role more suited to her unique set of skills. She is now a specialist in a global investment company analysing technical, financial and legal documentation.
Normalising change as part of life.
It is not unusual to find a transition challenging but what can make it more challenging is our unwillingness to recognise that sooner or later everything changes. If we can allow ourselves to acknowledge this truth and accept it as an inevitable fact of life it can make the inevitable uncertainty of living more manageable. Life is full of possibilities and exciting adventures, engaging positively with change and welcoming new realities can enhance confidence and flexible thinking. Creative problem solving becomes easier because you can generate more options.
Change is a process
Change is more manageable if we realise there is a recognised process to it, which we can track. Proschaska and Di Clemente's Change Model explains the different stages we pass through. It helps us understand where we are now and how we will know we have successfully navigated a change. We have to experience each stage until we are ready for the next and it takes as long as it takes to to complete a change cycle. Impatience with ourselves merely adds discomfort to uncertainty. It is the decisions we make and the actions we take now that create the future we are looking to.
Finding allies who understand the issues
We can feel very alone when encountering change and it can help to be in touch with others who are experiencing the same discomfort of not knowing how things will turn out! The reality is that we never know how things will turn out and the support of going though this experience with others can make this truth easier to live with.
Understanding your contribution and where to make it
Revisiting who we are and understanding what that person needs to feel fulfilled and happy can make moving forward easier. We can learn to recognise the circumstances we need to encourage us to express ourselves fully. If it’s the uncertainty of taking on a new career, we need to understand what constitute recognition and fulfilment for us. If it's a new role does the culture chime with our values? It can be helpful to identify some tick boxes to help you recognise if an environment will work for you. If you are transitioning from a traditional to a portfolio career separating the corporate identity from your portfolio identity will again help you feel more comfortable in your new circumstances.
Change is a gift
In any challenging experience there is always a gift, something you learn about yourself that makes you more resilient and more thoughtful. You probably won’t know what that is until later but keep looking for it!
Joella Bruckshaw changes lives through love and laughter. An executive coach, author, speaker and facilitator she enables senior leaders to make successful transitions through leveraging the energy of their personal brand. Her book, How to do it by women who’ve done it, is available on Amazon