I had been having a conversation with a friend who’d worked for several years in a small family run business. She’d started her working life there, had worked in every area of the business and as such had acquired many skills during that time.
Now the family was closing the business and she was really struggling to cope with the inevitability of the change that was coming. She was feeling insecure, lost, fearful about the future and worried as to how she would cope.
This isn’t unusual when we’re faced with our world suddenly changing; a longterm relationship ends, our health suddenly suffers, the children leave home or we reach an important birthday and life can seem quite scary and uncertain.
It can be a massive blow to our individuality, confidence and sense of who we are. Our life span, once so quite clearly mapped out has now become unrecognisable.
How do you cope when you realize that change is inevitable?
Grieve for the reduction of the familiar. Yes those automatic, everyday routines are now gone; the route to work, knowing where everything is, what is expected of you, the relationships, expectations and security. Accept that it is a lot to deal with and allow a period of time to heal and come to terms with the end of the part of your life.
Take time to reflect and acknowledge all that you’ve received, the lessons learned, the character-building experiences you’ve been through as a consequence. They’ve all contributed to you becoming the person you are today and can be viewed as stepping-stones to your future, to who you’ll eventually become. Relax and determine to keep on evolving, improving and growing.
For those who have dates and information about forthcoming planned changes use the time to research, learn and understand what is being mooted.You can then prepare emotionally and possibly even physically. Getting healthy and educated gives you better control, and allows you to make positive decisions regarding the part, if any, you might want to play in future changes.
Begin to plan ahead. Impending change can ask you to query if you would like to remain in the exact same location or line of work. You will no doubt have made contacts within other companies in your field. You could introduce yourself, maybe form liaisons with individuals with complementary talents, or even set something up on your own. Might it be a fantastic time to explore what is available and transfer some of your skills to another employer or business?
Research groups where you could make new friends, interests and enhance your skills. Treat this time as a excellent opportunity to enhance your life. Lots of people will be in the same position as you, starting out again for many different reasons. Make yourself available and encourage each other.
You’ve made new starts before! There will have been many times when you’ve had to adapt and accommodate change throughout your life; change is unavoidable, with new schools, teachers, friends, homes, coworkers and ways of doing things often having to be absorbed into your daily life at several points. Look forward to bringing your knowledge and experience into this next phase of your life and moving a bit out of your comfort zone.
Don’t assume change will be difficult, awkward or unpleasant. Be positive and anticipate the opportunity to grow and improve, to maybe update your skills. Resist prejudging new opportunities as being too different, alien or difficult to you. You were fresh in your previous function once and learned to become the competent, skillful person you are now. Hold onto that knowledge and excitement. It’s time to direct it to a new home!
Your previous employer doesn’t owe you anything; yes you’ve successfully worked together for many years, but they paid you for your services, respected and trained you, supported you on occasion. Life moves on and now it’s their time to move on. You also need to, so begin accepting invitations to network, make new connections, get online and join groups. Then you can research what’s out there and discover what might be of interest or match you.