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New Directions

By Jim Ward

New Directions
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Transitions / Part 1

Professionals from all walks of life can find themselves in a position of  “career transition”. Individuals experiencing this “new direction” in their life are often at a loss as to what to do! As a starting point, anyone in this situation must psychologically let go of the past in order to move forward. Transition begins by first letting go; the next step is taking action and moving on. For many reasons, this process is not an easy one. We often become very content in a given situation, even if we are unhappy. Today, because of all the economic turmoil, individuals are financially and emotionally so invested with their employer that any disruption or the possibility of change threatens their sense of safety. In reality, change is often just the thing we need to get us going! It allows us to step back, take inventory and begin again. Careers are no longer identified by a linear path. There will be bumps in the road. Understanding how to deal with those bumps, start over and recycle yourself is important. Frederic Hudson in his book Life Launch introduced the concept of “the endless change rule.” I really relate to this because life is about changing, learning and growing.

We live is a world of uncertainty. Career management is more complicated than it once was, which puts a great deal of responsibility on us as individuals to plan, manage and redirect. Change happens; the new boss, the new team, the layoff, the new job. In dealing with transitions, we need to first let go, so that we can take action. William Bridges explains this brilliantly in his book Managing Transitions: “Before you can begin something new you have to end what used to be.” 

Next time, Transitions / Part 2.

Until then…

Jim

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