The First Three Things to Do When Circumstances Change
The only constant is change, choose wisely how to respond to it
Back in July, I quit my job. It was a same day resignation, which I haven’t done since I was a teenager. However, the job was not a fit and I had been trying for months to make something work that just didn’t. I had asked for help, tried to learn processes, however, I couldn’t deal with the stress between the management team and the demands of the customers.
It was a job that I had worked for four months and gave my best shot. However, after a two-hour meeting with my team lead getting criticized for the way I handled a call when I had used what I knew about solving the complaint and not being able to escalate the problem to management (they are famous for not being willing to take over calls, for any reason, even when a manager is asked for). I had had enough. My mental health was too important to be breaking down after work every day and I knew that what they were asking me to do was against my morals.
There is no one size fits all for change: there are changes we choose, ones forced upon us, what we consider small changes, or life-changing events. Whether or not we choose these changes, three action steps can help us process change and choose our next steps.
Take a few deep breaths
The first thing we need to do when faced with change is to breathe and find a way of relaxing. Whether that means relaxing by doing a heart practice or getting our frustrations out by doing an intense workout. Maybe the best way to breathe is by talking it out with a friend and to spend the night watching a movie that takes your mind off of it.
Before you make any decisions, it’s good to come from a place of peace. It’s important to be able to look at the situation without massive emotions getting involved. The worst time to make a decision is when you feel tired, stressed, anxious, or angry. Give yourself some time to breathe and come to it from a refreshed angle in a few hours or even a day or two later.
The second step, once refreshed, is to take stock of where we are right now.
Create a list of the first things you need to do. What are the specifics of your situation and what will be the next steps you need to go forward? What considerations do you need to make at this point? What do you want to do now and what opportunities are provided to you based on your unique situations?
Spend time researching different options. Depending on what the change is, some organizations might be able to help you. Have you thought about what corporations can help?
In my case, the first things I needed to evaluate were financials and what I was going to do next for money. I was lucky that I had accepted a part-time job that I could turn into a full-time job, however, I was going to break even by the end of the month and not be able to pay down debt. I had looked through my bare-bones budget and decided to cut everything not essential.
I decided for the time being that I’m going to engage in my passion project. I’ve always dreamed of being an online writer that makes at least enough to cover a side hustle. I’ve set a deadline of six months. I’m going without money that I could be putting toward debt payment. However, I’m chasing my dream. If I fail, I have to accept the fact that I’m going back to having two outside jobs and I won’t be able to chase my own dream. Right now, I have the pressure of making it happen or not being able to reach any goals.
Put together an action plan and execute
Beyond your immediate first steps, what will be different in the weeks and months to come? How will your schedule change? Is it time to consider learning new skills or starting one or more side hustles?
What are you going to do to respond to the change? What do the next few weeks or months have in store and how will you conquer these challenges?
Put an action plan in place. Work at it every day. Whether that means sending in 10 applications per day, packing up in the event of a move or learning one new thing, or sending out new pitches if you’ve decided to start your own business.
Change is not always within our ability and power. However, how we proceed with and respond to that change is definitely within our power. It takes a lot of looking inside and self-evaluation. It takes a lot of planning. It may require a lot of risk-taking. Every change is an opportunity for growth. It’s a chance to learn new things.
At the end of this change, you will have a story to tell. What story will you tell? Whatever happens, please don’t give up. I’ve done that before and you’ll regret the wasted opportunity and time. Make your story inspiring, do the work necessary to make the change a catalyst for living your best life.