How to manage the emotional rollercoaster of career transition

Published on November 15, 2023

You're at the brink of a significant career change. Your heart and mind are racing with thrill and thoughts. 

INCLUDING a whisper of doubt, a shadow of fear that creeps in, questioning your decision. It’s an emotional tug-of-war: leaving a stable job; venturing into the unknown; finding out who you are when you’re not comfortable and knowing what you’re doing.

You feeling these contradictory emotions? Completely normal. It’s an important moment in your life. 

But if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, here are some things you can do:

     1.  Acknowledge and understand your emotions: are you feeling anxious, excited, or a bit of both? Understanding your emotional state is the first step toward making a balanced decision. Journal. Talk to your coach. Untangle these feelings.

     2.   Research and emotional preparation: Look at the opportunity ahead of you, whether it’s a new role or the possibility of looking for a new one. What excites you about it? What is good about the situation you’re in? What’s possible? 

    3. Assess your skills and build emotional resilience: look at the roles you want and identify any skill or knowledge gaps you might have. Make a plan to address them. At the same time, work on your emotional health in whatever way works for you: exercise, meditation, spending time outdoors, talking to your coach, your therapist. You DO NOT need to spend all your time thinking about work. On the contrary. The more fun you have, the more balanced you will feel emotionally.

   4.  Network and get emotional support: Connect with mentors and peers who have made similar transitions. Their stories and support can provide both practical advice and emotional reassurance.

  5.  Create a safety net: You may find it useful to have a safety net to give your mind some peace. This might be a financial plan, a plan B, a trial period. You decide what you need.

It might feel messy now, but if you break this down into smaller chunks and address these one by one, it become manageable and makes for a less bumpy transition.

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