I loved my job. Really. I got to work from home, talk to customers all over the world, work with a great team and even do a little traveling. A 20-something with no college degree couldn’t ask for more. I was happy where I was and planned to build a life around this job.
Then something happened.
I sat down with my boss and he told me some things were changing. It wasn’t anything I had done wrong, it was just where the company was headed. My position, as it was, would look different; it was going to be part-time.
Suddenly I had a decision to make. I could take the position, work a measly 25 hours per week and make an hourly wage. I wouldn’t have benefits, I wouldn’t be working out of my strengths and I wouldn’t be able to afford life as I had planned.
I was disappointed, frustrated, confused, and angry. This was NOT how I pictured things. It’s not what I wanted and I had no idea what was going to happen next. So, I made the decision to move on and I had 7 grueling, difficult weeks to line up my next gig.
So I hustled.
I stayed up late writing, dreaming, and working on my resume. I had meetings and sent emails and listened to a lot of people I trusted. I worked harder than I had in a very long time and went after a few ideas and dreams I had previously let fall to the side the past few months.
While I was disappointed with where I was, I had no other option than to make it better. I set a few goals and made a few promises to myself. And thankfully, 4 weeks after the conversation with my boss, an incredible job offer was put in front of me. It was more than a job, though. It was an opportunity; and thankfully, I learned a few things in the process…
1| Relationships matter most when you are in need.
I would not have a job I enjoy if it weren’t for the relationships I have established with friends that are like-minded. My friends rallied around me during my difficult job transition, encouraged me, reminded me of my strengths, and helped me find a job I love. Authentic, connected community is a far better resource than any career-building tool found on the Internet.
2| Always choose patience over anxiety.
When bad, unexpected, and difficult things happen to me, my natural instinct is to be anxious. And while I hate to admit it, I have the tendency to attempt to regain control of my life at all costs. This normally leaves the people closest to me feeling neglected, hurt, or overwhelmed. Don’t be like me. Choose the relationships, opportunities, and conversations that calm you down, remind you of what’s important, and allow you to make the best decisions.
3| Talk about how you feel.
I know. I get it. You don’t like letting people know that you’re afraid of not recovering or finding a job or getting re-married or making enough money. I know it sometimes feels weird. BUT – if you will learn to do this, you allow other people to join in on the story you are trying to write. Being open with where you are professionally, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually (if that is your thing) can help others understand what you need and where you need to go next.
4| Listen to people smarter than you.
Now that you’ve expressed how you feel, let some older, wiser, trusted friends and mentors speak into your situation. Don’t just talk and talk and talk about how difficult things are for you. Stop. Listen. Take notes. Read books. Listen some more. Allow someone to speak truth into you, listen to them and apply what they have to say.
When transition comes (and I assure you, it will) be aware of how you handle it. If you feel like giving up, don’t. Allow yourself the opportunity to gain a healthy perspective on the situation at hand and determine what steps you need to make first in order to succeed.
Have you ever faced a difficult transition like this one? What’s the best advice you would give to someone in your shoes?