I first came across the transition curve when I was on my Career Transition Workshop and there’s definite merit to it if you’re like me and appreciate knowing what’s going on in your head. I don’t think I’ve really had the ‘anger, denial, shock’ phase, but that’s most likely because I have known this change is coming for years. The next stage I have definitely experienced! My meltdowns about having no transferrable skills, not knowing who I was or what I wanted to do was certainly an expression of fear and confusion. I’d have to admit that I’ve exercised avoidance as well – throwing myself into my current role and telling myself that I’ve got plenty of time is absolutely something I’ve done. I’ve also gone back and forward across the bottom curve, with acceptance and creativity being followed by a period of stress and frustration – then avoiding everything to do with resettlement for a while before moving forward again.
Right now, I believe I’m fluttering between impatience, avoidance and hope. I’ve been suffering in making the break between old me and new/next me – I’m a bit of a workaholic and throw myself completely into what I’m doing, but I’ve never had to split myself in half and have equal focus on the current and the future. I feel like I need a clean break and to not have to keep dragging things out – for me, I currently only have 8 weeks left in work, with will be followed by a long period of leave, but I am incredibly impatient to get out of my Unit and be gone so I can fully focus on my future career, I feel like I’m holding myself back – but I also know I have ample time to get myself sorted and that I’m very lucky to be afforded the time I do have once I finish work.
I think the message I’m trying to purvey is that resettlement is an absolute emotional rollercoaster and we need to know that and accept it as part of the process of resettlement. Acknowledging that you will more than likely go through these emotions in one form or another will really help in getting your head in the right place, accepting the ups and downs as they hit and understanding where you are on the curve could help to relieve some of the stress, anxiety and frustration.
This is why we need to consider our future long before we come to leave. I’ve been focusing on myself and my resettlement since January ’21 and there are things that I wish I had thought about and made steps towards before starting. Things such as figuring out who I am and what I’d like to do next could have been dealt with at a much earlier stage, making networking and CV writing easier by being able to consider the target audience before hitting the ‘resettlement’ stage – but hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it?!