Monday, April 27, 2015

Career Transition...#1

It's been 11 weeks, since I learned that I would be losing my job, and in point of fact as of today I've only sort of lost my job. The position that I held was eliminated effective March 31st, however I've continued to be employed doing "projects" since then. While I don't have confirmation, I won't be surprised if the project role ends on June 1st. These past 11 weeks have been a roller coaster, and that ride is consistent with what I learned while searching Google for articles about job loss and job hunts.

It comes as no surprise to me that the emotional/psychological impact is similar to other losses that we humans may experience over our lifetimes. The stages include:

  • Denial | Disbelief
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Self-Criticism | Depression | Withdrawal
  • Reflection | Acceptance
I've experienced all of those, and I am here to tell you...the process is NOT linear! Oh no! It feels more like a bunch of particles all crashing into each other.  The good news is particles are at work when crashing into each other. So for all the crashing and chaos comes some level of reflection and acceptance with where I am at.  Note, that I said some, but not all. Not a day has gone by where I've only ridden the high of acceptance. I'm no longer visiting the state of denial or disbelief, however I sure can still be angry about it all. Bargaining is involved on both sides, and that may still not be done. Depression, withdrawal and self-criticism...still present at times. Thank goodness for reflection and's a good day when those emotions are present!

I've been able to network at least twice a week which has been helpful, energizing and social! Those conversations have me considering what my most important accomplishments have been, what I believe to be my operating principles, what things energize me, what makes me stand out or makes me different than my peers, and what are my superpowers (things I do better than anyone else). I am struggling to answer these questions. I'm working on a list of my accomplishments, I think I have a reasonable sense of my operating principles (honesty, transparency, ethical, honest), I am learning what energizes me (photography, travel, teaching, learning). As for superpowers...gees I don't know, I don't think there are things I do better than anyone else; I do suppose there are things that I may excel at. During my networking meetings I try to listen for feedback that may help me to identify what I do well, especially in business or at work.

All of this reflection helps me to form my vision of "what's next" in a career that I believe is not over yet. And that I think may be the epitome of acceptance (although I reserve the right to revisit earlier stages as desired!).  

For me, the next steps are to continue to network, to answer the above questions and go after a position that will excite me! And to once again say that I am blessed to do what I love and love what I do!

As always, giving credit where credit is due:

Photography...again is mine!

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