By Perminus Wainaina
What do you do when your only source of livelihood is lost during a tough economic season?
After working in an engineering consultancy firm for close to eight years, Ivan lost his job. This happened last year when the company could not sustain its employees because of the falling economy brought about by the global pandemic.
Without a sense of direction, he solely relied on his wife’s salary to sustain them, as he applied for jobs.
“This was all new to me. I moved from someone who was making good money to a point where I could not even afford to fuel my car. It was a huge change that I just did not know how to navigate.”
In November (2020), six months after losing his job, he saw a job advert that he thought he qualified for and he applied. He got the job and started working for the company in January this year.
With the partial lockdown implemented last week, most of Ivan’s projects have been put on hold.
“This is unfamiliar territory for me. I do not want to go back to how things were last year, but it’s out of my control.”
Many professionals have found themselves in this situation. But truth is, the unfamiliar can be a chance to turn your life around.
What if your resistance to change is what is holding you back and keeping you from exciting opportunities?
Truth is, change can be scary and difficult, but change is often a good thing and can be so worth it. While not all change feels good, if you can handle it and look at it in the right light, growth can come out of it.
Here are strategies that will help you navigate the uncertainty that comes with change:
1. Take Risks
Remember that even though change isn’t easy, life is too short to remain in your comfort zone. When you have a big dream in mind, you have to stick your neck out there if you want to build the life you’ve always wanted.
Have a little courage, and be patient with yourself. Although scary at first, small steps, over time, can lead to huge changes.
Be willing to step out of familiar routines and step into something new. Even if it doesn’t work out, you’ll grow and build confidence as you tackle new challenges along the way.
When you are openly embracing change in life, it reduces and can eliminate the fears that can come with change.
2. Have a coach or mentor
Embracing change isn’t easy, but you don’t have to go through it alone.
A coach or mentor can guide you and keep things in perspective.
They can help you recognize the limiting thought patterns that can prevent you from reaching your new beginning. You’ll have a cheerleader helping you stay motivated even when things don’t go your way.
3. Keep learning
Growth often comes with discomfort.
Even when things get tough, approach change as a learning opportunity. Allow yourself to discover. Challenge your assumptions.
Embracing change requires that you keep an open mind.
Stay in the mode of taking in new information. If you hold on too much to what you know, you’ll stay stuck. When willing to discover as you grow and experiment, eventually you will find the right path.
Change allows you to learn new things that you normally wouldn’t have learned with old ways. Even if the change involves failure, oftentimes a lot more can be learned from failure than success.
Learning doesn’t just stop at school. It’s a lifelong process. The more we seek out change and new experiences, the more learning opportunities are presented to us. Change can force you to look at things in a new light and challenge your current beliefs, values, and knowledge. It can allow you to learn new ideas, skills, viewpoints, and information. You can also learn and discover new things about yourself.
If, for example, you decide to start a business and are not sure of your abilities to speak in public, you can register for a public speaking class to boost your skills as you become a leader in your business.
When we set goals for ourselves, we tend to have a lot more motivation in the beginning. But change isn’t linear. You may experience failures and missteps that make it difficult to stay driven throughout the transition process.
Keep in mind that it takes hard work and persistence to make those big dreams a reality. When results don’t happen as quickly as you would like, or when nothing goes right, don’t give up!
You can’t rush the transition period. Remember, it’s normal to feel frustrated, to doubt yourself, and to face resistance in the neutral zone.
Be patient with yourself. Keep trying, keep moving, keep going. You’ll reach your goals eventually.
The sooner you can start accepting, embracing, and seeking change, the sooner you can start enjoying life’s natural process. There are so many opportunities out there waiting for you to discover. You can’t alter the fact that change exists, but you can adjust your view and approach to living a happier and more fulfilled life.
Perminus Wainaina is the C.E.O and Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR consultancy firm based in Westlands. Through career mentorship programs, he assists mid-level and senior professionals get solutions to complex and challenging career issues that they are facing.N.B: Would you like us to consider you for a job opening? Boost your job search. Upload Your CV Here. It's FREE