The time ‘you want to take off’ between jobs has been renamed a ‘jobbymoon’ however the reality is it's a luxury few can afford. So why not try this low cost option instead?
We clear our desks on the Friday and start a new job on the Monday, anticipating everything will be weird for a while but once we've learned everyones names, can locate the WC without getting lost and understand our job it will automatically fall into place. This however can take months and is always harder than we anticipate. Here's what goes on when you change jobs:
New Job Doubts
Do you remember feeling uncomfortable after 6 weeks or even 6 months ? Your mind is in overdrive all the time, feeling overwhelmed that the new way of working is taking too long to adopt. Sometimes you reject new processes internally grumbling about how you used to do it. You unconsciously refer back to your old role and the reality is that your mind hasn't caught up, it isn't aware it needs to and so you feel out of sync. With some conscious encouragement we can reduce the disruption you are experiencing resulting in an effective and happier you.
What the advocates of the 'jobbymoon' suggest it is the easing of pressure from a psychological perspective is the key factor in being more effective in a new role. Giving yourself space to register the change, reflect and decompress from the old role; its politics, successes and failures freeing up valuable cognitive presence to learn new stuff. You don't need a holiday to be able to fulfil this, but you do need to give your mind a conscious break.
Start firstly by reframing your thinking about a job change, its less of a 'leap' and more of a 'series of steps' you are taking. You are effectively transitioning into a new role.
“Transition is psychological; Change is situational. It is not events, but rather the inner reorientation and self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life.” - William Bridges, Change Author & Consultant
Secondly, by thinking of transition as having three phases each one bringing up a different set of emotional stuff is valuable. It firstly offers an objective view of what you are experiencing, its not just you it happens to everyone and there are legitimate reasons why emotions are surfacing. I find this is an important awareness for people and allows them to be a bit kinder to themselves. The phases we go through are:
What to expect from the three phases of transition
1. Loss: Refers to the challenge of adjusting to a new sense of ourself now we are in a new role. This can be as simple as how we to describe ourselves, what we tell others we do and where we work. Its our new self which is now out of alignment in our mind. This is where the feelings of being uncomfortable with the new, or that sense of loss your experiencing results in emotions such as fear, denial, frustration and uncertainty surfacing. All of these will happen when we feel loss. But change starts with this loss so its good. How to get through this phase is super simple, by acknowledging the emotions just noticing really helps. If you want a simple exersize to work through it, try this three tips:
Tip 1. Acknowledge Losses
Mind-map - loss: On paper, write loss in the middle and note down all the things that you get a sense of loss from: your old team, the position, job title, loss of specific skills, your commute where you got to read, favourite sandwich shop, lunch time chats, great clients, working environment…what ever it is identify it and acknowledge it. Keep adding to it as the emotions evolve and see why you are experiencing loss.
Acknowledge loss: When you experience emotions such as fear, frustration, uncertainty whist starting your new role, refer back to your mind map and identify the trigger from the map's content. You've a dilemma, you'd normally chat to an old colleague, or you had great relationships with clients and you are struggle to get that with current ones. Remember things will feel out of alignment, again by identifying the trigger to that feeling you are acknowledging and understanding your experience. This is removing judgement and the 'I should, we should, they should' out of any internal chatter, why, because we know why - we are feeling loss .
2. Neutral zone - Think of this phase as the bridge between the old and the new; in some ways, people will still be attached to the old, while they are also trying to adapt to the new.
So confusion, uncertainty, scepticism and impatience will bubble up at this stage.
Tip 2. Acknowledge Ambiguity
Mind-map - ambiguity: Acknowledge what you don't understand by getting it down on paper. Write 'new' in the middle of a piece of pater and note down all the things that you are learning and don’t fully understand...yet. Keep updating this list as you experience more confusion and uncertainty
Acknowledge ambiguity: Refer back to the mind-map and scan through it and tick off anything that has become clear and notice what you are yet to understand remembering this is a learning phase to learn you need ambiguity, so its working.
3. New Beginning - This is the last transition phase moving from letting go to acceptance. At this point things you will start to feel more comfortable and you will now have confidence to contribute more in the the work place, you have a sense of purpose, clearer ideas of what you want to achieve and how this fits with the business goals. There is where you can acknowledge your growth.
Tip 3. Acknowledge Growth
Be kind: What is important at this stage is to be kind to yourself, no-one can ever be perfect, get comfortable with some levels of ambiguity, remember it is part of growth.
Acknowledge growth: Refer back to the mind-map and scan through it. See how much you have learnt and developed over the past few months be proud of your achievements.
Space to Learn
Essentially the idea of transition is to give yourself space to learn, re-define and re-align your sense of self, your patterns of behaviour, and habits, and give yourself the change to grow rather than snap back into old ways of thinking and doing. As Bridges, says, “without a phase transition, change is just a rearrangement of the furniture,"and we deserve more from making the effort of getting a new job than just a new working environment we want a chance to grow and learn.