Lean Into Grief During Career Transition

When you are in the process of creating new work, it is ideal to let go of the past. You need to give yourself time to grieve.

Many of my clients have followed the path laid out by external authority. They succeed in school, college and the companies that employ them. But something happens and they wake up to a longing for something more meaningful and fulfilling in their lives.

Somethings that ACTIVATE this WAKING UP:

  • death of a friend or parent
  • getting fired or laid off
  • seeing a friend make a successful career transition
  • the suffering and dissatisfaction has become greater than life’s distractions

In the process of re-claiming your most authentic self to activate your career purpose; you need to shed the layers of external expectations, simply put, you need to grieve.

You may grieve what you thought your life would look like at a certain age. Or you may need to grieve the disconnection you feel with the younger part of yourself that dreamed something better for your work and life. You may need to grieve the loss of who you thought you were. It is all tied to identify and expectations. Aligning your current reality with the past is the way to allow yourself to grieve and then create something new.

We do not honor grief enough in this culture. We often want to keep DOING life after a loss, rather than BE with the grief. But it is in the BEING that we actually set ourselves free and provide ourselves the energy and resilience to make the change and create new work. Purpose work.

By embracing the grief, you give yourself permission to then look forward with a clean slate. You give yourself permission to reinvent yourself and career. You give yourself permission to flourish.

Grief needs tenderness and tears. Grief needs attention and patience. But the good news about grief is with some TLC it will pass. You will be set free once you tend to it.
Suggested Rituals
I often suggest that clients write out their career disappoints and frustrations and then burn them. Or go to a body of water, the ocean, a river, a lake or a creak and throw in rocks for each disappointment. Name one or two disappointments or frustrations per rock. Let yourself be witnessed by one of your beloveds who can compassionately honor your process.

Again, give grief your time and attention in service of creating something greater for yourself, in work and life.

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