Life is filled with big transitions — relationships, relocations, and more. Some of these big changes are thrust upon us. In other cases, we have the agency to author a major decision. For example, you may reach the point where you decide to leave your job. The reason can vary widely. But, regardless of those specifics, you may end up trying to cope with anxiety and uncertainty after leaving your job.
How do you know it’s the right move? Can you ever possibly know such a thing? And can you avoid feeling regret after a resignation? These are complex questions that vary widely from person to person. Even so, there are steps you can take.
Dealing With a Major Life Change
Compiling a complete list of major life changes would be futile. But here are some samples:
- Loss of a loved one
- Moving to a new home, neighborhood, state, or country
- Starting or ending a relationship
- Beginning studies at a new school
- Illness, injury, or disability
The list goes on and so does the need to adapt. Whether or not you saw the change coming, you will endure a transition period that can get challenging. With the recent “Great Resignation” in mind,” here are some suggestions for coping after you’ve opted to leave a job and/or career.
4 Ways to Ensure Your Resignation Doesn’t Lead to Regret
1. Accept and Process the Initial Self-Doubt
You may worry if you did the right thing. In addition, you may find yourself wondering if anyone will care or notice that you’re gone. Other concerns can range from financial issues to dealing with a loss of identity. Spoiler alert: All of this is normal.
Transitions involve loss. Losses involve mourning. Mourning involves a slew of emotions. Practice accepting this process as inevitable. You will second guess. You will also feel excitement and anticipation. Feel it all but don’t get stuck in any single feeling.
2. Keep a Journal
Monitor your thoughts and feelings. What were you grateful for about your former job? What are you looking forward to now? Keep track of these and other emotions. Give voice to your feelings. Journaling will help you gain clarity on your wants and needs. It can be helpful to use this practice to speak your future into existence. Plus, that journal will come in mighty handy in your therapy sessions (see below).
3. Learn As Much as You Can From It
Perhaps you tolerated behavior that was disrespectful to you. Maybe you played a role in your need to resign. Examine the situation with a nuanced perspective. This is not automatically about assigning blame. The goal here is to assess the situation in the name of bringing new awareness to your next set of plans.
4. Don’t Get Caught Up in Gossip, etc.
There’s a reasonable chance you will stay in touch with at least one former co-worker. At first, you’re likely to discuss the old workplace. As quickly as you can, move away from this focus. There is no value in rehashing old office politics and so on. Reimagine your friendships with former colleagues without them being centered around the old job.
Counseling Helps With Life Transitions
You’ll feel unsteady and unsure at times — especially if you were at this job for a long time. It’s not unusual to feel confused by all the mixed emotions. If you are struggling, this is an ideal time to connect with a therapist. Your counseling sessions offer you a safe space to speak openly about this experience.