How to cope with job change?
Learning and sharing stories

How to cope with job change?

Changing jobs can be nerve-racking. There may be several reasons to change jobs, some are forced and some are done willingly, and some of them can be good and joyful. But not always. Whatever the reason is – it is hard emotionally and as harsh as it sounds, you just have to get through it. We can’t ever be sure will the change be good or bad in the long run. But what most certainly is true? Without changes – nothing changes.

How do you prepare for change?

We might hate the change at the time because it’s human nature. We are dependent on routines because they make us feel safe. Routines keep us in the loop of what is happening and what will come, what to expect. And how to prepare for it. Even if we are not 100% happy with our routines, we stick because it’s not guaranteed we get better cards after the change. It’s risky. And we are not prepped to cope with it. We are left alone in this.

From early on we are taught that we have to go to school, graduate, and go to work. We are prepared to go to work and even do the work. But our preparation fails at preparing us to deal with losing the job or even leaving on our own if OUR needs are not met by the job. We are prepared to serve and be grateful for what we have. Not demanding for more or worse, believing that we are worth more than that.

Do I have the expertise for this?

In case you are thinking I don’t know what I am talking about. My background on this topic: I have been made redundant, twice actually – from the same place! I have ended the contract with mutual agreement. I have been asked to sign my resignation. I have been blind-sighted by these and had to learn to adjust fast.

Being made redundant is the cruelest of them. I think it’s mostly because of the name. It makes you feel like you don’t matter. Your skills and effort don’t matter. Makes you feel like You have failed. This was how I felt the first time I was made redundant. Felt like I wasn’t good at anything at all. Like I was useless and just taking up space and air on this earth for nothing. And making things worse – I was (still am) a woman who hadn’t birthed any kids nor wanted to. A useless human being, a useless woman.

All others aren’t that great either and in reality, there is no way to prepare for these changes. I can tell you, that there will be a rollercoaster of feelings. You will feel relieved, you feel like a failure. Accept these feelings and try to dig in by asking why. Because the “Why?” will be the answer to where you should go next. Why – will get you through all of these.

Redundancy – what does it mean?

It took a while to understand that this didn’t mean any of what I felt. And fast forwarding to today and what I have learned in school about business management, it means the opposite. Redundancy is a sign of management failure. This means business managers failed to consider negative outcomes and recession in business and prepare for it. This means management failed to provide the finances to pay for you and/or ensure work for you.

Of course, there are those force-major cases for which no one can prepare and those are the actual reasons redundancy is an option by law. The truth is too many businesses use it as a cost optimization tool. So it has nothing to do with your skills or value. Nothing. Even if it is the result of optimization this is the only reason that won’t create negative thoughts about why your last contract ended.

Resignations and leaving

We can believe or hope at the start of new jobs that these are the best ones for us. That we can make it and we will be happy. Sometimes we are right. Sometimes we are not. Writing a resignation letter takes courage, but it should be thought through how you will explain this in your next job interview. The same goes for mutual agreement.

One thing is how you are gonna explain ending in your new place, another side to think about is your rights. Learn about local labor laws and terms of getting unemployment benefits beforehand and don’t let yourself be forced to do something. Some employers will take advantage of workers simply because they don’t know enough about laws and rights.

Know your options

I know laws are a boring thing to read, they are dry and somewhat difficult to read. At first. But try it anyway, if needed several times. Knowing your rights and understanding them is important because it makes it harder for others to take advantage of you. You also have to be aware of the obligations you have taken with contracts and not neglect them.

I have seen it and felt it. I was forced to into writing a resignation because the management decided that part-time workers are not preferred and they should become full-time or get rid of them. So I was presented that I can’t continue at my current position – either I transfer to another or leave. The trick was the other position offered was the one I had repeatedly stated I am not willing to do. Since it was my extra job and not with notable pay I resigned.

She might have been left with the impression she succeeded and forced me to do that. What she doesn’t know I had weighed my options for a while, because school and 2 jobs were a lot. She (and any other boss) wasn’t interested in their workers or their skill sets and this extra job had already changed completely from what I originally started to do.

To be or not to be

The ever-lasting poetic question: to be or not to be. We are constantly questioning ourselves, at least I am. Am I where I was supposed to be? Could I get something better? Always wanting something more. Something better.

For a long time, I was happy where I was, professionally. I could see the future of the company and how it could expand. A few years ago I lost that vision and it feels like the owner of the company lost it too. But changing anything felt scary, so I stayed in my comfort zone. Becoming more and more unhappy, losing sight and motivation.

But I feel like I am on the edge of breaking. I am working and doing my best to complete my tasks, but I don’t care. I know I have achieved everything it’s possible to achieve at this place, so the only logical thing is to move on. I need something more. I need to feel challenged.

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