I specialize in helping leaders navigate change. Change is deeply personal and natural to resist due to the brain’s tendency to keep itself safe from potential threats. This makes uprooting your life to start a new job particularly stressful. Here are some tips that can help people navigate the mental and emotional complexities of change relating to city and job changes:
- Embrace negative emotion: It’s natural to feel discomfort when you step outside your comfort zone. This fear response is the brain’s way of trying to keep you safe. Your willingness to accept the feelings of anxiety, stress, and fear without trying to push them away will help teach the brain that new and different situations are not to be resisted but rather explored. When you experience and live through a negative emotion your brain will realize it can indeed cope; and it can.
- Get curious: Speaking of exploring, getting curious is a great way to channel the mental and emotional challenges of change. It is difficult for the brain to occupy a position of curiosity and negativity at the same time. When stress and anxiety arise, ask yourself, What’s at the bottom of this emotion? OR How do I know this feeling to be true? How about, What’s another way to think of this?
- Talk to family & friends: Before, during, and after your big move, ensure you’re tapping into your support system. Share your feelings and concerns about the move and your new role. Talking about the change will help you feel more supported.
- Make a plan: The “spin” of anxiety comes when our mind magnifies possibilities without being rooted in context or a plan. Whether it’s the move or the new job, you must make a plan. I recommend listing three things you will do per day. These micro-goals must be attainable. On the work front, ensure you have a 30-60-90-day plan prepared. A plan brings comfort because it’s actionable in the direction of progress.
- Leverage technology: Need a new lunch spot, a vet or a doctor? There’s an app for that. I also recommend you plan your new commute with your tech tools and do the “dry run” the day before so you’re confident in how long the trip will take you. Being late is never a good look. Also, the feeling of control makes the brain feel safe & secure.
- Ask for help: There’s never an expectation that a new person know everything, yet most of the executives I coach feel that they SHOULD know everything (or why else were they hired)! In actuality, you were hired because you have a track record of success and the ability to problem solve, leverage people and resources, and deliver results; not because you know everything. Give yourself permission to ramp up and ask for support along the way.
I hope you enjoyed my concepts on embracing change related to a move and job change. Reach out if you have any additional questions.