Making a New Start

You remember your first day at college. Excitement, terror, bewilderment, loss, exhilaration– the entire bundle of feelings raged through your body and mind. The university was ready to provide assistance– new student orientation, details about getting your first set of classes and where to get books, sessions about money, getting a bank account, writing a budget. Activities to get you moving– dances, tours, shopping. The experience for many students is the biggest transition in their lives. It took a lot of energy. It took a lot of courage and persistence. There was a plan to follow. There were advisers, faculty, resident assistants and student affairs folk, ready to help. It was scary, venturing into the unknown. You were successful, you did it, the graduation goal was achieved.

Some unknowns are expected, like going to college, other unknowns happen to the best of people. Plans do not work out. Jobs end, companies move away, the economy changes. Each event is accompanied with a profound sense of loss and bewilderment. Somewhere in the back of our minds we expect a tragedy but for many good reasons we put off planning an alternate path. Financial unknowns fundamentally disturb us, especially a loss of ongoing revenue from a job.

Loss of work thrusts us into a scary unknown. At first, no problem, prior jobs have come through friends. Surely that will happen again. Check the personal finances, adjust the budget and wait. No calls. Go to the web. Look at job sites and the resume advice and other job stuff. Make some applications. No calls. The web advice says to network and go public with the job search. Never have done that nor know what a professional resume should look like. Go to professional association meetings and have an ‘elevator speech’ that is another unknown. Write an introduction letter! Never ever have these job search activities been necessary. Once again, excitement, terror, bewilderment, lost, exhilaration- the entire bundle of feelings rage through your body and mind. It is starting over.

Are you in a job that is not a good fit? Transitioning to a new position in the same industry? Re-entering the workforce after an absence? Having a plan, strong job search tools, commitment to persist, solid resources to use and a knowledgeable consultant to set up your plan are essential. The alumni office has resources for you to consider. Resources include job listing sites, career consultants who are very experienced and can relate to your experience and often your specific industry. Your University Career Center is very useful for recent grads and the career consultants at WayFinders Careers are mid-career seasoned and knowledgeable resources for you to use.

This article may be reproduced with attribution to: The Principals of WayFinders Careers.