Can personal and professional change or transition be separated?

Well, it depends on how extreme either is. Even the most motivated, driven and/or successful person has a tipping point.

So, what do people do to get in their own way?
Sometimes it’s about making connections when there are none
Sometimes it’s about failing to make connection
Sometimes it’s about thinking without feeling, not drawing upon all the information you have.
Recognising closeness to the tipping point:
Being stressed. By this I mean seeing the stress negatively or not listening to yourself
Withdrawing becoming hyper self critical.
Stop panicking
Throughout our lives and careers we all have to cope with times of change, either of our own making or where we are pushed into it.

There’s no denying that change can be scary, but that’s normal. There are several perfectly justifiable and normal stages that we go through. The first is normally panic, followed by confusion and then a need to find out more information. You can’t subvert those stages, but by helping people through that process and by encouraging them to do things that are positive and productive it can change their view of the situation.

When career coaching, the first and the only piece of advice I would give would be to stop panicking. Of course, that’s very easy to say and quite hard to do. In my experience people tend to react far too quickly. For example, if they are losing their job they will often write their CV the day after they know they are going and send off several applications straightaway. But they are still at the very beginning of a personal change process where they are learning about what they need to and how to get there.

By really taking some time to explore what they’re good at, what they enjoy doing, what the most important thing for them is about their new role and what outcome they want, is a vital process. It provides the best possible start to know how to move forward and I’ve found that getting this key stage right saves people huge amounts of time, effort and anxiety later. If it’s not carried out properly they’ll keep coming back to it.

It’s also often the case that things are not as bad as they seem. So it’s a good idea for people to write down the worst case scenario. After writing it down and thinking about what would be the worst that could happen, it usually doesn’t seem as bad and some of the anxiety disappears and it becomes more manageable. We have a tendency to over think.

I also like to challenge people’s assumptions about what they can do and help them think things through calmly and rationally and above all to do things that are productive to help them change their view of what’s around them. By following this process it’s possible to start that person’s own journey to where they want to go by helping them come up with the solutions themselves.

My 5 top tips for transition and resilience

1. Establish goals, both small and large
Crisis situations are daunting. They may even seem insurmountable. Resilient people are able to view these situations in a realistic way, and then set reasonable goals to deal with the problem. When you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by a situation, take a step back to simply assess what is before you. Brainstorm possible solutions, and then break them down into manageable steps.

2. Keep working on your skills, everyone is a work in progress
Resilience does not involve any specific set of behaviours or actions, but can vary dramatically from one person to the next. Focus on practicing some of the common characteristics of resilient people, but also remember to build upon your existing strengths.

3. Embrace change and look for what you are learning
Flexibility is an essential part of resilience. By learning how to be more adaptable, you’ll be better equipped to respond when faced with a life crisis. Do something different every week!

4. Build positive beliefs in your abilities
Research has demonstrated that self-esteem plays an important role in coping with stress and recovering from difficult events. Remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments.

5. Invest in and look after yourself
When you’re stressed, it can be all too easy to neglect your own needs. Losing your appetite, ignoring exercising and not getting enough sleep are all common reactions to a crisis situation.