Whether you are leaving the military or moving jobs in the civilian world, change can be both exciting and stressful for anyone. Giles O'Halloran shares some lessons he has learned...
Most of us will spend a great deal of our lives working. It is a simple fact we cannot ignore. The more we work, the more it becomes an emotional attachment, something we care about or that becomes a habit.
That connection could be due to the work we do, the people we interact with, or the routines we get into. Any change from that norm and a detachment from those relationships often has a profound impact on us, and many do not realise this until it is going to happen, is happening or has happened.
The first thing to do is consider the change and accept this. It is easy to say but much harder to do. There are many coping strategies to help people adjust and it is worth either reading up on them or engaging some personal or professional guidance for support. Remember, it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help or seek guidance.
It is always worth considering how to manage the gap between leaving one career, job or organisation, and moving on to pastures new. If you have secured a job, consider approaching your new employer to meet the team in advance, socialise with them, or ask for a buddy or coach to be appointed to help you prepare.
The simple fact is that the more you feel at ease and integrated into an organisation, the more productive you will be in the shortest space of time. It is a win-win for both sides.
In the globally connected world in which we live, you should always be mindful of how you manage relationships. In the place you are leaving, keep the doors open and relationships warm and build those that will matter where you are going.
If you feel disappointed with a previous employer, try to prevent the emotional response from clouding the opportunities that existing relationships could still bring. They can help you get a glowing reference, referrals for other work, or even the opportunity to return and work as a contractor, consultant or even permanently in a new role.
Organisations are keen to keep in contact with talent. Why? Good people are hard to find and it also takes time for people to feel settled in an organisation, understand the culture, and how things work. I would therefore advise that you consider becoming part of or perhaps even start an alumni network if one does not exist already. Regiments, academic institutions and many major corporations develop or maintain active alumni networks aimed at keeping in touch with their people.
One way to help ease the transition to and from employers is by leveraging both personal and professional networks. Engaging with or simply talking to friends, family, contacts or colleagues via your close and wider network can be a great help. Simple things like asking for advice, for help or who might know people that could be able to help you, can relax the mind and stress levels when making that move.
Do not be scared to start networking into a new employer, it can help you feel more settled and comfortable more quickly.
About The Author
Giles O'Halloran is an experienced HR and Recruitment professional who works as a freelance consultant, strategist, writer and coach. He also spent 12 years as a reservist with the UK's Reserve Forces, serving first with the TA and later with the RAuxAF. Giles is passionate about technology, the value of networks and the future of work.