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So You're in the Middle?

So You're in the Middle?

So many of my clients are interviewing, considering looking for a new job, or trying to navigate a better 2022. After the past few years, it makes sense that we have more clarity about what we want (or more accurately, what we don’t want).

Or perhaps we’ve been pushing off making changes since current events and tending to the business of surviving kept us pretty busy. Or maybe a “return to normal” is the last thing we’d like to experience in 2022.

But, despite what your friend’s LinkedIn profile looks like (you know, that list of tidy jobs with bigger titles?) Life is usually much messier.

When we see people effortlessly accomplishing things on social media and in our professional circles, it’s hard to remember that we are only seeing a moment of a process instead of the actual full transition.

It’s true, you may change jobs quickly. Lots of folks are hiring, after all. But the true transition is just starting. When I look back on transitions in my life - from career changes, relationship endings, relocations, and birth and deaths, the full cycle of transition seems to be about two years.

Two years from when I first get the whisperings that something should change until I feel firmly planted and settled in my next step.

Months 1 - 3: Frustration: Feeling like something should change

Months 4 - 6: Uncertainty: Okay, it’s time! Must change but not sure of specifics

Months 7 - 9: Excitement: I’m confident of what a next step might look like

Month 10 - 12: Fear: Taking committed action and getting out of my comfort zone

Month 13 - 18: Exciting achievements! Now I start getting re-settled and adjusted

Month 19 - 22: Oh no! Inevitable bumps, possible regrets

Month 23 - 24: Calm Exhale: Seems like the new normal

When we expect calm seas in a shorter window, it's more likely that we'll feel we took the wrong job, make a wrong choice or blame ourselves in other ways. Evaluate your expectations and your timeline. Are they reasonable? Can you give transitions more time?

The middle is uncomfortable to say the least. Be patient with yourself and the process and you’ll be feeling confident and steady very soon.


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