I had been having a conversation with a friend who’d worked for several years in a small family run business. She had started her working life there, had worked in every area of the company and as such had acquired many skills throughout that time.
Now the family was closing the company and she was really struggling to deal with the inevitability of this change that was coming. She was feeling insecure, lost, fearful about the future and worried as to how she’d cope.
This is not unusual when we’re confronted 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 large blow to our identity, confidence and sense of who we are. Our life path, once so quite clearly mapped out has 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 path to work, knowing where everything is, what is expected of you, the relationships, security and expectations. Accept that it is a lot to deal with and allow a period of time to heal and come to terms with the ending of that part of your life.
Take the time to reflect and acknowledge all that you’ve obtained , the lessons learned, the character-building experiences you have been through as a consequence. They have all contributed to you becoming the person you are now and can be seen as stepping-stones to your future, to who you’ll eventually become. Relax and determine to continue evolving, improving and growing.
If you have dates and information about forthcoming intended changes use the time to research, learn and understand what’s being mooted.You can then prepare mentally and perhaps even physically. Getting healthy and informed gives you better control, and allows you to make positive decisions about the part, if any, you might wish to play in future changes.
Start to plan ahead. Impending change can prompt you to question if you would like to stay in exactly the exact same place 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 up something on your own. Might it be a fantastic time to explore what is available and move some of your skills to a different employer or business?
Life’s not all work. Explore groups where you can make new friends, interests and improve your skills. Treat this time as a great opportunity to enrich your life. Many people will be in precisely the same position as you, starting out again for many different reasons. Make yourself available and encourage each other.
You’ve made new begins 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, houses, coworkers and ways of doing things often needing to be absorbed into your everyday life at several points.
Don’t assume change will be difficult, unpleasant or awkward. Be positive and anticipate the opportunity to grow and improve, to maybe update your skills. Fight prejudging new opportunities as being too different, difficult or alien to you. You were fresh in your previous role once and learned to become the competent, skillful person you are today. Hold onto that knowledge and excitement. It is time to direct it to a new house!
Be proactive. Your previous employer doesn’t owe you anything; yes you have successfully worked together for several years, but they paid you for your services, respected and educated you, supported you on occasion. Life moves on and now it’s their time to move on. In addition, you need to, so begin accepting invitations to community, make new connections, get online and join groups. Then you can research what is out there and discover that which could be of interest or match you.