10 Ways to Cope with Job Change

Change your thoughts, change your feelings, change your life! Di Philippi, Holistic Anxiiety TherapistJob transitions are usually stressful – whether they’re due to layoff, a new job, reorganization, new responsibilities, changes in working hours, changes in who you work with, etc.

Change of any type can be extremely nerve-racking…even exciting changes like getting married or getting a new job. And if the change is not what you were hoping for, the stress level can really get overwhelming. This happens to all of us!

Human beings are creatures of habit. Our brain is designed to be comfortable with the status quo. Change throws us into the unknown and this can be very scary, and can feel very out of control.

Here are 10 ideas that can help ease job transitions:

  • Step up your self-care. Realize that major changes can be physically and emotionally exhausting. You need self-care now more than ever.
    • Get some physical activity every day.
    • Focus on eating healthy foods.
    • Make getting a full night’s sleep a priority.
    • Pick up a hobby to give you something fun to focus on.
  • Be proactive in reducing your anxiety. Here’s a few relaxation techniques. Many of these can be found on my Downloadable CDLess Stress Now“:
    • Mindful Belly Breathing
    • Calm Mind Meditation
    • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
    • Visualizations
    • Yoga
  • Engage your curiosity about yourself and do an accurate self-assessment. What are my strengths that can serve me well considering the new situation? What tendencies or personality traits do I have that might help me adjust to the change? On the other hand, what tendencies or personality traits do I have that could actually make things harder on myself? What can I do now to help prevent that from happening?
  • Prepare yourself for your new work situation.
    • Learn all you can about the new job situation.
    • Find a friend/mentor to support you in your new position.
    • Get to know your new boss to build rapport.
    • Talk to your family about how your new position may affect home life.
    • If needed, redefine your household budget to reflect income adjustments. Facing this head on will actually make it easier.
  • set goal, make plan, work, stick to it, reach concept presented on blackboard with color notes and white chalk

    Create workplace goals. Intentionally moving in a positive direction will help ease the stress of your new situation.

  • Locate all possible resources.
    • Get personal support. Since your transition affects your family as well, it may be better to seek the outside support of friends or professionals who can be more objective.
    • Get professional support. Is there a mentor or someone who’s been through this before who can offer some guidance? Ask around. Or consider some career counseling.
  • Keep your eye on the prize. Once you set goals, focus on what you do want, and less on what you don’t want. This makes doing the things you need to get there will become easier.
  • Let go of how things were “supposed to be” and accept “how things are.” Regardless of the situation you now find yourself in (by your choice or not), you now have before you the opportunity for some wonderful things to happen in your life. Perhaps you can’t quite see them yet, and they are still there.

    For example: If the change involves a new job or position, it is likely that you will meet new people, learn new skills, and gain more confidence. If the change means you now find yourself unemployed, see the opportunity to spend time with your family/friends, further your education, restore your energy, or finish that project you’ve been putting off.

  • Try on a new perspective. Don’t get stuck in negative thinking. Remember, the only constant is change. Ask a trusted friend or loved one to help you brainstorm about alternative perspectives if it’s hard for you to see beyond your current perspective.
  • Search for what possible good could come from this situation. Do your best to find some appreciation for what is. Every day write down a few things you are thankful for, even if (and especially if) the situation is not what you hoped for.