Navigating the emotional and psychological impact of a career transition can be challenging. To help you through this, we’ve gathered eight insightful suggestions from CEOs, founders, and other professionals. From embracing mindfulness amidst career changes to taking a pause for personal rejuvenation, these leaders share their best advice on coping with career transitions.
- Embrace Mindfulness Amidst Career Changes
- Turn to Reflective Journaling
- Draw Strength from Resilience
- Forge New Relationships at Work
- Establish a Transition Ritual
- Seek External Perspectives and Advice
- Build Support System and Practice Self-Care
- Take a Pause for Personal Rejuvenation
Embrace Mindfulness Amidst Career Changes
Making the shift from a career as an engineering manager to life coaching was emotionally challenging for me.
One method I’ve personally found beneficial during this transition is mindfulness. Instead of succumbing to anxiety and stress, I dedicated a few moments each day to meditation, ensuring I was truly present, focusing on my breathing and surroundings.
This practice allowed me to process emotions without judgment, stay grounded, and gain clarity. Think of it as finding a calm space amidst the uncertainty and doubt; mindfulness offers that comfort, helping you to face the challenges of change with a clear mind and a strong focus.
Turn to Reflective Journaling
One effective method to navigate the emotional turbulence of a career transition is the practice of “reflective journaling.” By dedicating time each day to write about your feelings, apprehensions, and aspirations related to the change, you create a safe space for introspection and self-awareness.
This act of translating thoughts onto paper can provide clarity, allowing you to process emotions, recognize patterns, and devise coping strategies. For instance, I once journaled my way through a significant role change and found that my recurring fears stemmed from a past experience I hadn’t fully processed. Recognizing this link enabled targeted action to address it.
Over time, many individuals, including myself, have found that journaling fosters resilience, aids in understanding the transition’s broader purpose, and provides a tangible record of personal growth and adaptability.
Draw Strength from Resilience
Recognize that a career transition can be tough, often requiring sacrifices. Being mentally prepared for the challenges ahead is crucial. Take time to reflect on your inner strength, drawing from within to help you navigate the journey. This resilience will be your guiding force, propelling you forward despite the difficulties you may encounter.
Kimberley Tyler-Smith, VP of Strategy and Growth, Resume Worded
Forge New Relationships at Work
The best way to handle the challenges that come with a career transition is to work towards creating new friendships and professional relationships at your new workplace.
In the home-improvement business, we often have workers from other careers joining our team to learn the ropes of a more promising career. And I’ve always noticed that among these new entrants, the ones who go out of their way to fit into the team are the ones who have a smoother transition. They genuinely make an effort to build connections with the people they are now working with. When the team reciprocates, I’ve seen even the most challenging transitions get easier.
This is a lesson that comes in handy in any situation in life. When you embrace the people around you, even the most difficult situations get easier to handle.
Neil Platt, Director, Emerald Home Improvements
Establish a Transition Ritual
Going through a career change can be a rollercoaster of emotions, ranging from excitement to anxiety. One helpful way to cope with this is by establishing a “Transition Ritual.” This could involve dedicating time, whether daily or weekly, to reflect, write in a journal, or even practice meditation as you navigate this journey.
During this ritual, it’s important to acknowledge both wins and uncertainties while setting intentions for the next phase. By processing your emotions, instead of letting them build up, you’ll create a sense of stability. This not only helps manage stress and anxiety but also allows for self-awareness, enabling you to approach the transition with clarity, positivity, and resilience.
Remember that every transition brings both challenges and opportunities; having a ritual in place will help you embrace those opportunities while ensuring your emotional well-being remains intact.
Seek External Perspectives and Advice
When I’ve had career transitions, I’ve found it especially helpful to talk about their impacts with people I don’t work or live with. People who have a greater distance from my situation can often provide a sympathetic ear and can sometimes share their own life experiences by coping with the psychological impacts of a major transition.
For some people, this might involve talking to a therapist, but I’ve found just talking to friends about it to be rather helpful. By the time you get to a certain age, most of the people you know will have made a major career transition at some point. They can commiserate with you and talk about what worked for them.
Build Support System and Practice Self-Care
One way to cope with the emotional and psychological impact of a career transition is to build a support system. Surrounding yourself with people who understand your situation and have valuable advice can help you stay positive and motivated.
Additionally, it is important to practice self-care by taking time for yourself, participating in activities that bring you joy, and staying connected with your values and goals. With the right support system and self-care practices, you can make a successful transition in your career.
Take a Pause for Personal Rejuvenation
If you hop between jobs without giving yourself a moment to recharge and realign, then you’ve set yourself up for burnout, fatigue, and culture shock. Instead, take a break to engage in non-career activities, whether it’s going on a holiday or working on your hobbies. You can even set up a challenge for yourself—lose weight, read a specific number of books, or even start and grow a podcast.
If this is not for you, then relax—take long naps, meet up with friends, and occasionally visit your new workplace to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs. By taking a break from work-related activities, you prepare yourself mentally and physically for the new challenge.