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How to Handle Employment Transitions and Stay in Charge of Your Career

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It is not easy dealing with both your heart and your head when it comes to your career.
We need to acknowledge the emotions of the difficult side of career change, and to pay tribute to those feeling that pain.
Nothing is permanent when it comes to jobs, especially during this recession.
Our situations can change anytime, a merger, a downsizing, an offer we just can't pass up.
When that happens, we know we need to move on, and find a new match between our skills and values and an organization's needs.
At least that is what has been drilled into us.
It hurts when we make changes, even when we know it is the right thing to do.
Here is a story.
A couple of friends are in their second decade of working for a company, and are voluntarily leaving to seek greener pastures.
It is tough for them to let go of everything they have done for that company.
They feel sad leaving.
In many ways the employer has been the constant in their lives, through good and bad times.
How do we deal with emotions? Even if it gets easier each time we make a change, it still hurts.
Here are four tips to deal with the emotion of a career transition.
1.
You need to understand that the situation won't change.
Back in the early nineties, companies decided that it is bad to make commitment with employees, then employees had the upper hand.
Now we are back in a poor employment environment.
Here is the rule of thumb, as long as it makes sense, the two parties stay together.
When the situation changes, someone should say goodbye.
The best way to deal with the situation is to not take this personally, so your sense of self-worth is not impaired.
2.
Always take care of yourself first.
Give yourself a career checkup.
If a co-worker departs, or if your company loses a key project assignment, or an interesting job is posted, or you come to an end of an interesting project.
You should stop and evaluate.
How happy are you? How healthy is the company? Are you in limbo? Are you getting stale? How many hours are you working? How do you feel about that? How would you grade your current situation? Keep your career self awareness high so you are prepared for any change.
3.
Make sure your job situation has equal benefits for both parties.
Beware if things are too lopsided.
If you determine there is an imbalance, you should consider taking action so you don't get bored.
You want to make sure to exercise as much control over your fate as possible.
4.
Acknowledge what you are feeling.
It is important to have someone who cares about you and your family asking questions such as "what can I do to help?" or "How do you feel about that?".
Make sure to keep in contact with key co-workers throughout your career.
Some may feel you are hurting and avoid contact with you due to the pain.
You need to reassure them that its okay to stay in touch.
While we may think its just business as usual in the new decade, we need to deal with our emotions when career changes impact our families and long time co-workers.
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