Succeeding in career transition & time issues1 – Moving from “looking for an opportunity” to employment? The different time zones of professional transition, by Sophie Audubert-Todorovic.
At last! Time for pleasure
The first spontaneous reaction in the first joyful weeks after leaving a job for a better one to be found is relief. You are encouraged to profit from this precious time, as if you were free of any daily time constraints and a busy schedule. It’s time for rest, making what you had promised yourself to do when you would have time do so come true. Aiming at a bright and a better future, you feel enthusiastic. Relying on your positive energy, you dream of many professional opportunities, more or less defined.
Let’s go! Time for seriousness
Holidays don’t last forever, and you realize that you have to join the active crowd’s pace. It’s the time of good resolutions: come on, let’s look for a job! You update your profile on social networks, rewrite your resume, give a few phone calls to reconnect with your ex-colleagues (Have you noticed how busy they are to grant you a lunch meeting before 3 weeks?). You spend hours on websites, forums, you read plenty of job ads… a little MOOC here, a little TEDx conference there… With all this time you invest in working again, something will happen for sure ! This serious occupation sometimes come across a reminiscence of the previous time (by the way, since you have some time, could you…) or by your own authorization to postpone…to another day. The good news is: you get regular positive feedbacks, what an active jobseeker you are!
Silence….Time for doubt and lack of confidence
Insidiously, without you ever notifying it, comes the time of doubt2… Very few or no answers to your application, recruitment process not going through, professional lunch regularly postponed, you feel tired of fighting with the same enthusiasm… you spend inefficient hours surfing the web, you have regular conversation with your little inner voice “yes, that’s a job for you, for sure, this time, it will work”. You re-arrange your resume to match some job descriptions, read again your application letter, you seek for various and always different advice. Your day seems longer now, and you start hearing some open or hidden critics. To the question “so, what are you doing now?” you answer “There are a few opportunities I’m considering.”
You wonder whether your career is really interesting after all… Your energy level is quite low, some people say “you are depressed”, and you do realize that it’s not really how it should be. If you pay some attention to it, you will notice that you are regularly overwhelmed by different emotions: doubt, anxiety, guiltiness, anger against an unfair environment, regrets of your former comfortable life… At home, it’s the time for reproaches, conflicts, loneliness…
Time for renewal
So, what’s next?
First step right, with a foot relying on the ground: admit the violence of the market place, the difficulty to find a job again, no matter your skills or experience. This violence is multi-factorial: discrepancy between the job offer and the profile requested, lack of possible options, a demanding selection process (a part of which is linked to the algorithms of computers, wrongly assumed to be humans gifted of good sense), opacity of the job offers as real opportunities are reserved to hidden networks… Do not take for yourself the burden of this complex world… to free yourself from feeling guilty.
Second step, the other foot forward: rise your energy level. We are… who we are! With our qualities and drawbacks, our story and our resources, which make us a singular and legitimate human beings. Reconnect with your own history, your skills, your little plus, to outline them feeling ok with it, thanks to adequate tools and attitudes that some people name “Personal Branding3.” No matter the name, as long as you are proud again of being yourself.
Third step, join your feet again: you are now aligned and ready to restart. It’s the time of a new and clear strategy, of your capacity to make choices, to manage your time or try new ideas… and all of a sudden, everything seems much easier…
You probably have guessed that these are the first three steps of a walz, that you can learn to dance slowly at first, counting. You will have to practise progressively to be able to turn around and draw attention. Time for renewal… to dance with a coach?
 For French readers & time issues: François Delivré, Les quatre visages du temps, Paris: InterEditions, 2014
 Inspired from Elisabeth Kübler Gross – Loss & Grief
 See for example William Arruda, speaker on this topic