How we perceive change differs for everyone. Even positive changes can still be perceived with trepidation. What’s worse is when you are blindsided by a corporate relocation or sudden job loss. Losing control of your career is hard to embrace – and is likely leading you to experience nervousness, anger, anxiety, or even excitement. To effectively address your emotional needs, keep these 4 things in mind.
1. Your feelings are normal.
It is common for your behavior and mood to change – a lot – during this time. My clients voice frustrations, express anger toward the situation, and disengage from activities in their life and their job search as a result of the emotions they are experiencing.
As you face job loss or corporate relocations, the amount of time you have to process the change affects the emotions you experience. We commonly hear, “I just found out about the move last week…” or “I just lost my job today…” Individuals experiencing the stress of these life changing events need time to think through their options.
You have permission to grieve during this time. This might seem strange, especially if you didn’t anticipate there would be an emotional component to your transition. However, all loss in life – whether a loved one, a home, or a job – is a challenge. Taking time to process these emotions may mean extending the time it takes you to launch your job search, but it will ensure you are in a better spot to embrace the change.
2. There are things you can control.
While the relocation or job loss was not your decision, recognize which areas you do control. You can control how you react to your emotions, the routines and healthy habits you implement to help you mange stress, and your plan for finding a new position.
As a career coach, I set realistic goals with my clients. Having an action plan for when your résumé will be complete, how to research target companies, and what to say in an interview sets you up for success. And breaking the job search into manageable steps makes the transition more bearable and achievable.
3. Lean on the people in your life.
Reflect on your support team that helped you manage difficult situations in the past. What coping mechanisms did you rely on? When the transition feels too much, be sure to share your feelings with family and friends; it can be a freeing experience. Find a new group to join to connect with others, learn a new skill, or give back to the community. Leaving the house to do something fun is an instant mood enhancer!
Another resource to explore is the Employee Assistance Program at your spouse’s company or your former employer. They will have a wealth of knowledge on coping with change and managing stress. Remember it is okay to ask for professional help. Explore community, mental health, or religious affiliations to find experienced professionals who can help you cope with the change.
4. Self-care is essential.
When you ignore your physical, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual needs during stressful times, the grieving process can be amplified. Listen to your inner needs. This might mean taking a day off from applying for positions so you can spend time doing an activity you love. Give yourself permission to take moments for yourself. Self-care will improve your focus, your confidence, and your mood. Make it a priority.
You don’t have to solve the problem in a day. Planned, small steps add up to major progress over time. By taking these 4 things to heart during your transition, you’ll be better prepared to find the right opportunity to move your career forward.
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