Though it's often a hidden topic, whenever it's brought up in a presentation on career transition, I see peoples' heads nodding: Yes, you're hitting on something important to me … Please go on.
My own experience with people in career transition is that many have had an abrupt change in circumstances a promotion, a new boss, a demotion, the loss of a job, or a poor fit. Their identity, self-esteem and security are shaken. After an initial period of retraining or looking for other work, answering ads and registering with recruiters, they may turn bitter and begin to blame the system or their present or former company. They then resort to their own solutions for survival: isolation, aimlessness, antidepressants, alcohol, sleep.
On the other hand, I see those who, after a tough period of grieving, renew their faith in the purpose of their lives, make the connections they need for support, go on to discover new things about themselves, and eventually find meaningful work. This is not always a rosy picture it is hard work! But they are somehow able to make sense of the sharp highs and lows of an often long, difficult period. They are able to keep things in perspective and not give up. They are able to take risks; they are able to turn down an opportunity that doesn't seem right. Why?
The difference is their faith, their belief in a god, a higher power, a unifying force that gives a sense of purpose and meaning to their lives.
So, the first big question that I hope you'll tackle is, What will make it all right for me? What is important and what do I need to do with my life?
My heartfelt year-end wish is that you take time, without guilt, to do a few important things:
Don't stop there. Vast resources are available to help you consider your ultimate goals in work and in life. Here are a few you might consider:
In the end, things will work out. Your positive belief system will make you attract like-minded, positive people. You will be confident and optimistic. You will grow and learn. Make spirituality the center of your life.
Kathleen Martinek, former UNCG Alumni Career Counselor, has more than 15 years experience in career development and corporate management. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.