Managing Personal Transitions

I am changing employers for the first time in 15 years.  FranklinCovey has been amazing to me–lots of career opportunity, fun travel, colleagues who treat me with respect.  We’ll continue to work together around my book and I may have the opportunity to serve on an advisory board.  People have been writing me really nice notes, throwing goodbye parties, and giving me presents–I’m leaving on great terms.

I’m also incredibly excited about my new work in the Wisdom group at DaVita.  All my synapsis are firing as I learn about a new industry, a new organization, new challenges.  I love it!

Sound great!  But here is my little secret:  I’m also anxious.  And impatient for the transition to be over.  And resistant to change in strange ways (do I really need to switch to a Blackberry?  where will I park?  New Year’s Eve–my birthday– isn’t at least a 1/2 day company holiday?).  And worried about the unknown.

I should have known what to expect as I’ve been leading change in organizations–which means the people in organizations–for 20 years.  So I know that changing jobs is in the top 10 of life’s most stressful events.  I know it is only natural to feel excited and scared at the same time.  And I’m changing jobs because I WANTED to feel this way.  But for some reason, I thought the phases of personal transition wouldn’t apply to me.  I was wrong.  But I have developed some coping strategies in the month of finishing in one place and moving to another.

Here are my personal “managing transition” hints, in no particular order:

  • Exercise every day.
  • Allocate 15 minutes to write down the things you’re worried about and an hour every day to address a few of them.  Then stop worrying.
  • Connect with your support system.  Now is the time for lunch with a friend, a phone call, happy hour, a Saturday morning run, or a games night with family.
  • Think about other people who are dealing with your transition.  In my case, my previous employer has people assuming my old responsibilities and my new employer wants to help me hit the ground running.  Make it easier for them–your focus on others leaves less time to worry about yourself.
  • If you have any available blocks of time, do things you never take the time for–regular Dr. appts., getting the broken window screens fixed, taking the car for maintenance, scheduling next year’s Girl Scout meetings.  And after you’ve been really productive, you can watch General Hospital without guilt.

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