Handling Transitions

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2020 has brought us a lot of things, but for me and a good amount of my friends, it is bringing us to transitions in lifestyles and careers. Whether you are moving to a new apartment, changing jobs, shifting into going back to school, ending a relationship, starting one, and more, transitions are extremely hard to navigate. 

Currently, I am trying to wrap my head around leaving the job I’ve been working for a year and a half, preparing to go back to school, and starting a new work study job on campus. While these changes have been on my radar for a while, I become more insecure and nervous about them as they get closer. Do I really have what it takes to be successful in these next steps?

As I often do when struggling with certain emotions, I try to think of logical action steps for me to take to overcome these struggles. For all of you going through similar transitions, I have listed some below: 

  • Slow it down. Change can come at you quickly. While you are going through and preparing to go through your transition, take some moments to breathe and reflect on what you are going through. Taking time to put yourself in a strong mental space for your transition will make it easier and feel less rushed. 
  • Make a plan. I thrive off of checklists and to- do tasks, but even if you don’t, it is still important for you to map out what this change might look like, and what steps you need to take to get through it. 
  • Don’t burn bridges. This especially applies to switching jobs, but can apply to other transitions as well (including breakups).  No matter how ready you are to make your switch, stay professional and courteous to the people you were just working with/ connected to. As much as you may want to leave the past in the past, you never know where those connections might help you in the future.  
  • Make new connections. Don’t be afraid to reach out and make new connections at your next adventure. If this is a new job, see if you can reach out to new coworkers; a new home, get to know your neighbors; going back to school, join a group chat with fellow new students. Your transition will feel easier if you have the comfort of knowing (or having spoken to) a few people who will be a part of your next chapter. 
  • Work through impostor syndrome. Many people, especially younger people who are moving up the ranks quickly, suffer from impostor syndrome, or feeling like you don’t deserve the accolades that you have achieved. There are plenty of resources out there to help you dissect and work through this phenomena, and I encourage you to look into those. I’ve linked a video with my favorite, Michelle Obama, talking about the impostor syndrome, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dumm_XfHkmY

Gratitude is also key for your transition. Be thankful and proud of yourself for starting a new chapter in your life. Change takes courage, and you’ve already done a lot by making a decision to make change. No matter what, you will learn something new about yourself in your transition, so embrace and enjoy it! 

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