Top 10 Career Transition Questions: #1 How do you deal with change?

Top 10 Career Transition Questions: #1 How do you deal with change?

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Blog post by Barton Career Advisors Founder and Managing Partner Chris Barton

This week we launch a series to address some of the most compelling questions for those that are beginning a career search. During the last 6 years, we have been asked hundreds of questions related to career transition and best practices. Here we are distilling those queries down to the 10 most critical need to know responses. We’ll begin with the first question about change behaviors.

When is the last time you had to deal with a significant professional change and how did you handle it?

So often we do not think about our behaviors during periods of change. There are few changes as profound or personal as the loss of a job or a major shift in your career. We all react differently to change so reflecting on past career adversity can be informative as you develop a strategy to deal with your most current needs and situation. That previous career change does not need to be the loss of a job — it could also be any other event that thrust you into a situation that precipitated a response on your part. There could be numerous examples; like the time that colleague with less experience got promoted over you, or when the boss passed you over for the special bonus or maybe you were given a lousy sales territory.

The question is, what was your response to the adversity? Did you take it all in stride or did you withdraw? Did you find a positive outlook or take an assertive stance to criticizing the new reality? The point is, career change can be an inflection point characterized by new opportunities and renewed passion. Alternatively, you can find yourself in a mode of self-sabotage and chronic doubt if your approach to the change is not optimal. The key is to understand how you behave when you are put in an uncomfortable or stressful situation.  If there is an opportunity to improve your response to change, now is the time to do it.

In my previous corporate roles, we had an acronym that I always found to be helpful when facing a difficult situation or professional challenge. Remember to TTT (Think Things Through) before taking an action. If you found out yesterday that your job is being eliminated, is email blasting 50 resumes out in the next 24 hours the best thing to do? In most cases, that answer is probably not. Know your stress behaviors and leverage them to your benefit.

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