CAREER DEVELOPMENT / OCT. 25, 2014
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How to Cope with Anxiety about Leaving Your Job

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Leaving your job can cause anxiety because there is uncertainty about unforeseen challenges and whether or not you made the right decision to leave. Having a game plan can help you get through the process. This article will address four specific steps that can help you cope with anxiety about leaving your job.

1. Prepare and Assess

 

Developing a game plan begins with preparing for the challenge and assessing the situation. You should start by evaluating your current skillset, career achievements, strengths and weaknesses. Understanding your skill level will boost your self-confidence in knowing that you can succeed at this new job. CareerOneStop.org has a variety of resources available to assist job seekers in evaluating their skills with the Job Skillset Profiler. When you evaluate your skills you also discover areas where you need to improve. If you haven’t yet done so, now is a good time to create a career portfolio. In addition to having a portfolio to share with your prospective employer, it also can give you more confidence when you see your career achievements documented.

2. Cultivate Your Network   

Leaving your current job implies that you won’t see your co-workers anymore. Most likely you had several individuals at your job who were part of your support network. It is important to your emotional well-being that you continue to cultivate those relationships that bring you encouragement and are important to you. During this time, you also need to be open to expanding your professional network and meeting people at your new job. Realizing the need for human connection will help you to make an easier transition into the new employment position. This article shares suggestions on how to develop and cultivate your professional support network.

3. Decompress and Relax

During this transitioning process, it is extremely important to decompress and relax. The uncertainty of starting a new job and leaving your current employment can generate anxiety in your life. In order to survive the transition period, you must find a way to relax. Don’t allow guilt over leaving your job to cause you undue stress. Whatever your reasons for leaving, you need to take responsibility for them and move forward. Confide in a reliable individual who is part of your support network. Share your feelings of anxiety and utilize those conversations as a valuable decompressing avenue. This WebMD.com article discusses 10 relaxation techniques that can help you reduce your stress. Some of the techniques addressed are: meditation, breathing exercises, listening to calming music and exercising.

4. Finalize the Transition  

 

The last step involves finalizing the transition. Managing the stress caused by anxiety can help you to survive the last few days and weeks at your job. It is important that you don’t zone out and neglect your daily job tasks. Maybe you were assigned the task of training a new employee to take over your position. There are still daily tasks and projects that you need to complete before your last day. Set aside any anxiety and speak with your manager regarding what he or she expects you to accomplish before your final day in the office. The expectations must be clear so that there are no misunderstandings. The best case scenario is that you leave your job on a positive note. It is also important to meet with someone in the HR department to finalize any paperwork and ask any questions you may have regarding transitioning from your current health insurance plan or 401K plan.

Leaving your job does not have to be a stressful process if you prepare beforehand. Take the time to assess the situation and your skillset. Continue to cultivate your professional network and find ways to decompress and relax. Make every effort to transition from your job on a positive note by speaking with the HR department to finalize any paperwork.

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