How to Deal With Career Transition 'Stress'


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Career transitions are stressful, especially if you have little experience dealing with them and don’t know how to leverage the stress they present to your future career advantage. Whether your employment loss was your choice or someone else’s, unavoidable feelings of anxiety and panic can prevail. If you find yourself in a career transition, you need to understand your own stress “profile” to minimize its potential negative interference with your daily life and personal health.

Understand What “Stress” Is for You

Self awareness of your own stress symptoms is a critical first step in dealing with a career transition. You need to know in what form(s) your stress manifests itself in your life before you can establish a means to address the circumstances.

Stress from life transitions can manifest themselves in a variety of physical and mental ways. Stress from employment loss can also present itself in both negative and positive ways. Often in a career transition, minimizing negative stress consequences is most challenging.

You, better than anyone else, know how negative stress surfaces in your life and when it particularly affects you the most. Physically you may experience irregularities in your breathing, heart rate, appetite, muscles or digestive system. Mentally, you may experience depression, lack of sleep, headaches, irritability, feelings of being overwhelmed or unusual levels of uncertainty due to self inflicted “damage” to your own self image.

From a positive stress perspective, stress is really a direct by-product of our body’s adrenaline flow, our natural reaction to “fight or flight” in dealing with life’s extraordinary challenges. For many people, when they are forced to immediately deal with a stressful situation they get a great energy boost, they CHOOSE to seek and accomplish things that they have never done before. As exhibited in so many extraordinary human events of record, stressful events can bring out the best in us!

Define What Stress is Career Related

Because we are attempting to specifically deal with career transition stress, it is important to differentiate symptoms caused by this temporary situation from other typical stress generators in your life, such as your: family, spouse, health, finances and friends.

Although your unique reactions to these “other” life situations many be similar to those of your career challenges, it takes a focused effort to effectively define your specific stress responses related to a career transition issues.

Attitude is Everything

How “stressed out” you think you are, or how physically and mentally you influence yourself because of your career circumstances, is not as important as how you REACT to your own perceived stress contributors.

Like most things in life, your attitude is everything. How do you use job loss stress to your advantage while protecting your health and life from ill effects? Make an effort to try these positive career transition stress tactics:

Three POSITIVE Career Transition Stress Tactics

1) Fortify Your Self Image:

For many people, their self image is significantly influenced by their perception of their own career successes and failures. A job loss can be a traumatic event, an opportunity to “beat yourself up”. This is particularly a natural consequence of an unexpected career transition. Continuously recognize yourself as worthwhile, competent and successful, independent of how your career transition came about. Again, attitude is everything!

2) Work to Stay Motivated to Get to Work:

Clearly define for yourself what is best for you in your next career move. Refine your career objectives with others who have your best interests in mind. Proclaim your next career intentions to everyone who is important to you so that you position yourself to stay motivated to seek your career objectives. Develop a written plan to get you where you want to be professionally. Tweak the plan as you implement it for best results. Plan to work, work the plan!

3) Treat Yourself Well:

Focus on developing and advancing healthy behavioral routines while you seek your next career opportunity. Establish a daily ritual that is both physically and mentally progressive and rewarding. Exercise, eat healthy foods, improve your relationships and establish a finite sleep regime. Strive to communicate your frustrations more and seek advice to lessen your stress burdens.

Whether this is your first time in a career transition or one of many, it takes a concerted effort to leverage positive stress and to minimize negative stress to your career advantage. Stress from a career transition does not have to rule your life and ruin your health! Hopefully reading this article is a helpful first step to taking advantage of your next career opportunity.

About the Author:

Mark Smock is President of , the FIRST international business buyer directory of its kind. Business Buyer Directory provides a non-traditional means for proactive business buyers to locate businesses for sale worldwide that meet their exact registered purchase criteria.


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