Have you been waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, panicked about your future, wondering if you’re going to be able to make things work out? Is your mind racing as you contemplate options, unsure about what to do and where to go from here? If so, then you are in the middle of a career transition crisis.
It’s a crisis because you’re feeling unstable, realizing that you’re at a crucial turning point. It’s a transition because you’re making the passage from one thing to the next and feeling out of control.
Nobody likes feeling out of control. This is especially true when making a career transition—either changing from one type of job to another, or moving from being traditionally employed to becoming a small business owner.
Transitions are rough. They’re hard on your body, spirit, and emotions. They’re tough on the people around you, your wallet, and your ego. Major life transitions beat you up, roll you over, and spit you out the other side. Even if you planned your transition ahead of time, had all the kinks ironed out, and had everything lined-up and ready to go, chances are... it’s still going to be rough.
The good news is that there are things you can do to stabilize your transition. Here are the 10 main things I did to ease my transition from working in the Ivory Tower of academia to starting up and becoming a successful small business owner.
1.Allow the process
Big change often feels like death, as if an old part of you must die in order for the new part of you to be born. The birthing of something new requires a deep integration. So allow that to happen.
2.Stay in charge of your happiness
Understand that you determine your happiness—not someone or something outside you.
3.Reach beyond what you fear
Don’t go through it. Reach beyond to something greater, something more important than what you fear.
4.Trust that everything in your life is unfolding exactly as it is meant to be
Spend as little time as possible asking why or looking for answers. Trust and know.
5.Make your inner voice the predominant voice you listen to
Turn to others for support. Turn inward for guidance. Not the other way around.
6.Remain unattached to outcome
Fretting about the future or worrying about the past keep you attached. Stop doing both, and you’ll be surprised at the number of doors that open, pathways that light up, and possibilities that present themselves to you.
Don’t allow your fears to multiply by isolating yourself. Remain in contact with family and friends who support your vision, and stay involved with leisure activities that you enjoy.
8.Take good care of yourself with a balanced, healthy lifestyle
Eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Weekly massages are terrific at releasing and balancing the body.
9.Meditate and practice T’ai Chi or Chi Qong
This will help you center and ground yourself, increase your energy, and sooth your psyche.
10.Avoid jumping into anything new too soon
Go slowly. When your life is disrupted by a transition—even one you initiate—it takes time to adjust to the new reality. Use that time to reflect and think about what is really best for you.
Will doing these 10 things make your career transition crisis go away? No. However, they will go a long way toward giving you some breathing room to explore what matters most to you and how you’d like your life to be. Doing these inner practices will help relax the tension in your body, clear away the fog of confusion in your mind, and allow your inner voice to speak to you. Getting in touch with your inner voice and allowing it to guide you will put you back in the driver’s seat and turn your career crisis into a career transformation.