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  • Lori A. Jazvac, MRW

Letting Go of the Past is the Key to Moving Forward

The end of year often represents a joyous time for most organizations as they collaboratively celebrate the holiday season with holiday parties and Christmas bonuses, and look forward to a new and more prosperous New Year.

But for other organizations and its loyal employees, the end of year signals a time to reevaluate performance and review and plan budgets focused on implementing cost-saving strategies. Unfortunately, this often results in the critical decision to restructure and cut back on resources and staffing costs.

It is not surprising for professionals even after being with a company for more than 10 years to suddenly find themselves on the jobseeker side once again -- having to completely redefine their career goals and strategy along with their unique brand.

Finding out that you are being let go or downsized due to financial constraints, organizational shifts, or executive changes can be disheartening, especially after dedicating years of unsurpassed service. You've spent years cultivating trusted relationships that have made your workplace feel like a second home. But career restructurings can actually turn out to be positive if you choose.

Change happens for a distinct reason

If you can look at the change objectively, you will see in time that it often happens for a reason. There are many positive aspects to change, even though at the time it may seem unfair or unjustifiable. While these types of changes aren't always fair, change can enforce you to redirect your energies in a more fruitful direction.

If I had not made a career change years ago, I would have followed the same predictable path without aligning my innate talents with strategic goals.

The reality is that change today happens rapidly, impacting even the most successful professionals. Rather than taking career setbacks personally this season, it is time to work on utilizing your strengths, developing new marketable skills, and translating challenges and setbacks into rewarding opportunities.

The importance of self-reflection and career exploration

The key to navigating a career transition is to firstly take some time to reflect on your accomplishments without rushing into rash decision-making. Recap your strengths and skills, identify your networks and resources, and explore your options. Take a new course of interest. Then carve out a plan with the support of a trusted career professional or coach to help you rechannel your goals in a growth-focused direction and address any gaps. Have your resume package recustomized as this is your brand marketing collateral that will set you apart.

Consciously let go of the past..making room for the new

Many professionals get stuck in adopting the “good old what was” mentality rather than adopting a forward-thinking approach with “what is” and “what could be” to “what will be”. Career transitions, in fact, involve consciously making this fundamental shift and learning to gradually let go of the past in order to make room for the new and uncertain. It does not mean burning bridges with trusted relationships that you’ve built over the years, but leveraging meaningful supports to keep progressing ahead. It also means letting go of negative emotions, fears, hurts, and anger to step forward with confidence and anticipation of better opportunities.

Take positive steps ...consistent action is the key to success

Now that end of year is approaching, refuse to give into despair or discouragement. Invoke hope and transformation with consistent action:

Start a new exercise routine, reorganize your old files, and create a new vision board with fresh goals and strategy plan. Change your routine! Start scheduling meetings with professionals to discuss career opportunities during the holidays or New Year. Take advantage of chance events as they could lead to rewarding career and educational prospects. Get involved in your community. Change starts to happen and opportunities arise when you take action in alignment with your goals.

This holiday season, if you have found yourself in a downsizing situation, take time to be thankful for past, present, and future opportunities and acknowledge your blessings. You have plenty of unique value and expertise to offer employers. Change is on the horizon and it means wonderful things! Know that every career has its ups and downs -- this is what actually fuels growth and better prospects.

So how will you tackle your next career move? Hopefully, with a positive and empowering attitude. It's time for a complete change in perspective.

Remember, you don’t have to navigate your career transition alone. Contact Creative Horizons Communications and let’s partner together for greater career success.

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays and a blessed season filled with success and prosperity now and beyond next year!

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” — Zig Ziglar

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