I have come to learn that transitions happen well before transitions happen. I want to say it was probably the middle of a work week when I was sitting at my desk and realized that I would soon be preparing for a transition from my job. I did not have a date or even an idea of when, I just knew it would be happening soon. That evening, I arrived home and after preparing dinner I called my mom just to check-in and ended up talking about my day. It was apparent she sensed some frustration in my voice and said, “It must be time for you to go.” I paused and, for the sake of making a long story short, became very anxious about the idea. I did not have a plan and, as a person who enjoys knowing when her next move will take place, I tuned out the thought of transitioning. I mean aren’t we always told that leaving a job before having another is a risky (sometimes insane) move?
Each day that passed left me feeling less and less invested in the work I was doing. Crazy thing was the work itself was still meaningful to me, but the actual act of carrying out the work felt daunting. My transition had begun. I realized that my transition started when the “Good Morning!” greetings turned into “Hey!” or “Hi!” and the “Yes, I will be there!” turned into “Let me get back to you!” followed by forgetting to get back to them. My heart transitioned well before my mind was ready to accept it and my body was ready to follow. Transitioning from a job never felt so much like transitioning from a relationship…your heart leaves well before you actually embrace the fact that it’s over!
Transitions can be tough, especially when you are not sure about what’s next. My advice to you is the same as my advice to myself, the minute the thought of calling it quits come to mind, map out your exit strategy. I am sure you have always spent lots of time obsessing over your on-boarding process may it be you being “on-boarded” into a new position or the one doing the on-boarding. How often have you actually spent 6, 12, or even 18 months preparing for your transition? Now, I am not saying just go out there and quit your job every time you feel frustration at work because that would not be smart-at-all!!! Seriously. However, I am saying that only you know what happiness and fulfillment feels like for you and only you know when one tough 1:1 meeting with your boss has turned into talking yourself into not quitting every Friday (or every day). Embrace the beauty of transitioning because it likely means you are evolving and with evolution comes greater self-actualization.