Making a Transition

Transitions can be difficult.  Change is never easy and when it involves your career or your personal life it is just plain scary. Job seekers, career changers, and business people all experience transitions.  While it may be upsetting when it is happening, transitions are also an opportunity for growth.

At 38 I went through a huge transition.  I went from living in a large house with a husband, two children and a dog to being a single Mom in a much smaller house with a mortgage and expenses I had to take care of on my own.  Since I had been a stay at home Mom up to this time, I also needed to find a job.

I had never been totally on my own before. Before I was married I lived with  and was supported by my parents and after that – my husband.  Working outside the home was not common for women in those days.  Now I was responsible not only for myself but the children as well. This transition period was a really frightening for me.

To make matters even more difficult I had just bought a house that did not have a bedroom for me!  I had to build one in the attic or at least find someone to do it for me.

I hired a contractor, watched over the construction of a bedroom, office and bathroom, managed the household and cared for the children (oh yes and the dog too!) while at the same time I looked for a new job.  It was not easy and there were days when I was really discouraged but I kept going because I had two children to support and I was determined to succeed.

The construction of my bedroom and bath taught me a lot.  I’d never done anything like it before. I managed to stay within a very tight budget.  I made hundreds of decisions about the design and materials with no one to help me except the contractor and a few friends. I could really see how much I was capable of.

Confidence comes from these kinds of small successes that get you energized and keep you moving forward even under difficult circumstances.  It was during that period that I actually grew into the role of family provider.

Finding a job was my next challenge. My degree was in education and I had returned earlier that year to teaching but realized that while I still enjoyed it I needed to make more money than I could in teaching. I wanted to work with adults too since I was at home alone with two children.

The career I decided on was sales and marketing.  It took some real salesmanship to convince people that a teacher with no real sales experience could sell!  Even my parents and friends were skeptical.

Very few companies seemed impressed with my resume.  After numerous calls, tons of networking and several job interviews I finally convinced one company that I could sell their amazing electronic equipment – the telephone answering machine.

It was my experience building that bedroom, office and bath that had made me fearless! Doing that taught me I could do anything I set my mind to and I convinced the telephone answering machine company I could sell for them.  And I did! I became their star sales person.

If you are someone going through a transition (career, business, or personal) right now for whatever reason, look at this transition time as a period of personal growth.  Take on a challenging project (your own or volunteer for one). Learn a new skill. Deepen your expertise so you can become a thought leader in your field.  Learn as much as you can about yourself and the opportunities open to you.

This transition time is a unique opportunity for growth.  Use it wisely to help you to find new confidence in yourself.  You will profit from the experience!

Take action:

Many years ago I read this essay about transitions and loved it.  It is a beautifully written parable.  Hope you enjoy it too.


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