Go With Grace....
I have created a fictional business executive named Grace. She's seasoned. She's smart. She's worked for great companies. She's steadily risen through the ranks. She goes 'all in' and is 110% committed to the company. And she's been given the chance to "pursue other opportunities" several times.
As you probably have already figured out, Grace is not a totally made up person as she is based on personal experiences from transitions I did over the course of my 30+ year career. I know first-hand that exiting a company will be the most terrifying and the most liberating experience you have (get) to face in your professional career. But there is life after (insert company name here).
Whether it be by choice, by chance or by pink slip - departing a company that you've put your heart and soul into is never easy. It will take every ounce of the emotional intelligence that you have. It will be the loneliest and the loveliest of times. But you will survive and even thrive. I promise. I've been there.
Here are some things I learned along the way:
- What you do is not who you are. Right after my transition out of Carlson (thank you for 12 great years Carlson) - I was stymied when someone would ask, "What are you doing now, Kathy?". And I'd think, "Well, nothing! I do nothing!" I had worked so hard in that early part of my career that I had let my entire identity be associated with my job at Carlson. This transition forced me to re-evaluate who I was as a person, not just what I DID for a living. Those are very different things, but for achievement-oriented professionals the line often gets blurred.
- Build your network before you need it. This advice was given to me early on in my career but being young I, of course, never heeded it (kind of like that advice to maximize my contribution to the 401K plan). I now actively work to build and maintain connections to my professional network and with new digital tools like LinkedIn it is quite easy (albeit time-consuming).
- Finding a job IS a job. I was very fortunate to land at Caribou Coffee within 4 months of leaving Carlson, but that is the exception not the rule (one expert told me you can count on a month of time for every $10,000 of salary you require). Assume your search IS your job, which means 40+ hours a week with a structured 'work' day and a job search strategy. It will be A LOT of work, with more emotional ups and downs than you expect. A job likely isn't going to come knocking on your door, so YOU have to do the door-knocking and lots of it.
- Take full advantage of experts and resources available to you. I am alumni and big fan of Career Partners, Inc. (www.cpitwincities.com) who were instrumental in several of my job transitions. Ask for outplacement services as part of your exit package if you get one, as experts like CPI will not only get you the tools you need but also provide the support network that is critical. Take advantage of online resources like LinkedIn and other job posting sites that are relevant to your industry or job level. Get involved on a non-profit board or do some volunteering to stay engaged and make new connections. Contact professional services firms like Creatis to see what doors we might open for you.
Because that is what Creatis does best. We match highly talented new and experienced marketing, creative and communication professionals with great companies all across the Twin Cities. Companies like Medtronic, Best Buy, AmeriPrise, Ecolab, UnitedHealthcare, American Medical Systems and others! Working as part of the Creatis team allows you to experience a wide variety of companies through both short- and long-term assignments.
So while job change transition is never easy and often stressful, our experts at Creatis are here so you, too, can Go With Grace!