Three keys for adapting to any career change
Whether you work for yourself or are employed in an organization, one thing is for certain: at some point your career will change. It could be a gradual change, such as a job or industry slowly evolving or phasing out; or it could be a sudden change, such as the Board of Directors mandating a reduction in staff immediately. Regardless of the exact scenario, the key trait that will enable you to reposition yourself and thrive after a career setback is your ability to embrace adaptation.
Unfortunately, many people lack a belief in their ability to adapt. As such, they become immobilized by fear when change is apparent. So rather than adapt their mindset, approach, and even skills, they choose to stay stuck in their comfort zone, even though it’s no longer comfortable at all.
Realize, though, that adaption is natural. For example, when you travel to a location that has a different climate than what you’re used to (such as going from Miami, Florida to Chicago, Illinois in the winter), the new weather feels harsh for the first day. But after a few days in the new climate, your body adjusts and the colder temperatures don’t feel as frigid. Your body and mind acclimates and you get used to the new environment. This natural ability to adapt at a physiological level also applies to dealing with changes in the career environment. You simply need to tap into your natural ability to adapt and apply it to your professional life. The following suggestions will help you achieve that.
1. Reflect on your past.
When change is upon you, reflect back on a few times in the past when you overcame an adversity and identify what you had to do to get through those events. Ideally, choose examples from your past workplaces. If you can’t think of any, then go back to your school days and your personal life. If you really have led a challenge-free life thus far, then think about books or movies where you’ve learned about others overcoming adversity.
Once you choose a few situations to reflect upon, determine the actions and attributes that helped you or others in the past. There’s a high probability if you repeat the mindsets and actions that worked in the past, they’ll work for you now as well. This exercise helps you shift your energy from victim to victor. You prove to yourself that success is possible.
2. Choose to associate with like-minded people.
To keep your mindset strong, surround yourself with individuals and groups who support you in doing something different, rather than those who try to keep you chained to the status quo. Of course, this step is always easier said than done, especially when your family or closest colleagues are the ones holding you back.