Facing uncertainty: Preparing for a possible change of employer.

Many of us have been there.  The work is regular and enjoyable.  You work with an amazing team and you finally have the tools you need to do your job.  Suddenly .. PAM .. a hurried team meeting brings the news that the contract you work for has been lost.  There is shock and some gallows humour before the reality sets in.  In 10 weeks time, you might be sitting in another office, learning ropes all over again.

So, what to do with the remaining two and half months?  Look at it another way.  You receive the worst news of all from the doctor.  “It’s incurable.”.  What do you do with the short time you have left?  How do you want to be remembered?  Some folks facing a terminal illness seem somehow to die right away.  Others make a “bucket list” – a list of once-in-lifetime adventures to be taken.  They find a new zest for life.  They take the challenge of a suddenly shortened lifespan with both hands live every day to maximum.  As it is said, “It’s not about how long you live, rather, it is about how you live.”

My team and myself, now face a similar dilemma.  What do we do together in the time we have left?  One option is to sulk and just do the bare minimum to keep ourselves occupied.  The other route is do our utmost to finish strong.

At the moment, my own hope for us is that we finish with our heads held high.  There are still many customers to serve and they still deserve the very best service that can be offered.  By choosing to finish strong shows something of our character too.  It’s easy to show your good qualities when things are going well, but to show your best when the “wheels are coming off”?  That’s the real thing.  It is in the furnace that gold is refined.

“One door closes, and another opens.”

This is something that I hold close to my heart, I believe it and I’ve seen it.  When my family and I moved to Finland I worked in an English language daycare.  Through a bizarre series of doors opening and closing I am now happily working in the IT sector.  With this one door closing now, I can be sure that another door will open at the right time.  It might open by itself or it might take some pushing, but it will open all the same.

The whole thing with the door analogy is that it sums up the feeling of not being able to see what is on the other side of the change.  I might find myself sitting at the same desk but through a different agency, or I might find myself somewhere completely new.

“Somewhere new” need not be a bad thing either.  Just as I have choice about how to conduct myself in the coming weeks, I have a choice about how face the possibility of not continuing with my colleagues.  I can see it as the end of the world,  or I can make it a possibility to take everything I have learned and experienced, and sow it into a new team.  If a new job  doesn’t present itself immediately.  I could start studying and strengthen what I can offer to my next employer.  I could even start up my own company! The sky is the limit.

Some people deal with change easier than others.  We live in uncertain times and change now seem to be only constant thing.  The thought I would like to close this post with is that even when the future is uncertain and there are things happening in the background which we have no control over, we can still make choices.

We can choose how to spend the time leading up to a point of change.

We can choose to see the change as a launchpad into something new and fresh.

Without change we can become stagnant.  We don’t grow, we don’t develop and for our spirit that can often be the worst thing ever.   Even if the change is only a badge, it still represents a new start and new possibilities.  The only thing I do know is that change is coming.  That’s for certain, but  I am choosing to take this as an opportunity which I will look back upon with gratitude.

Originally posted on LinkedIn.

Header image from: http://briangaynorphotography.com

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