I have had my fair share of career mobility in my life. From working retail through college to transitioning to corporate, starting my consulting firm and then nonprofit. Each role taught me something about myself that I didn’t know before and the growth process is always rewarding. But in growth you find what you will and won’t tolerate. What crosses your ethical, moral and even emotional thresholds and makes you uncomfortable.
With the pandemic I found myself in a compromising situation. In a place where I felt ethically and morally compromised but stuck because I felt financially comfortable. Well, let’s be honest it wasn’t money, it was friendship. I was holding fast to my friendship that I had such value in that I wouldn’t abandon ship without her.
Well, then one day she jumped ship.
I felt it coming that I was next. I just had to find my next position, the next place that I could grow in. I’m a firm believer that you don’t always bloom where you’re planted. Last year I bought a beautiful Bougainvillea and I planted her in the ground, gave her fertilizer, sunshine and water. She struggled. Finally I repotted her in a pot, shifted her location by a foot and BAM, full growth. The most beautiful babe I’ve ever seen. That is exactly how you need to treat your position at any company. If you’re stunted, SHIFT.
So how do you shift your career when you’re FORCED to shift aka you’re fired or laid off?
- Breathe — you know that phrase “everything happens for a reason”, well sis, it’s true. You felt stuck already so they just did you a favor and just forced your growth. They uprooted you and gave you the opportunity to bloom on your own in a new space. Take comfort in that uncomfortable unknown.
- Gather your resources — hone your resume, reach out to your network, announce it. Why? Because you never know who could be listening, watching and waiting for you to become a free agent. You’re valuable and others know that too, especially if you’re good at what you do.
- Panic less, pour more — & I don’t mean just pour another glass of whatever makes you feel better (although that helps), I mean pour into you. If you have an opportunity to take 1-3 weeks even 1-3 months finding your bliss, TAKE IT. Utilize what little time you have to ground yourself, set intentions, affirmations and manifest. I am not trying to be “woo” but when you set your sights on what you truly want it starts to become what truly is.
How to shift your career when you shift on your own:
- Have a plan — so you made the decision to leave the ground and repot yourself into a new ray of light. Congratulations. What’s next? Yup, that’s the hard question. Seems easy but truly, it’s the hardest one. You might be changing positions but how are you going to utilize this shift to get to where you’re going? Establish a long term career plan, how this new position is going to get you there and execute. Center yourself on the path but give grace to speed bumps that might arise.
- Research — you found a company or position you feel is PERFECT. But have you talked to anyone about the culture? About the diversity? About growth opportunity? These are always my most important things to look at when prospecting companies and positions. Upward mobility, values and ethics.
- Crush it — here are some resources I’ve put together to help you NAIL IT:
- Try not to burn a bridge unless it is a bridge you are willing to lose.
- You are not obligated to continue to do work for a previous company off payroll. Politely decline or offer a contractual rate for your time.
- Keep the relationships you value! Some of my best friends are ex coworkers.
We all come to a point in our career where we make that shift. Whether it’s forced or voluntary, we can take both movements in absolute stride because we have the strength and resources to do so.
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