The Definition of Transition & how I manage it
The actual definition of ‘Transition’ as per; Collins English Dictionary is;
- Transition is the process in which something changes from one state to another
The transition could therefore be about things, a product evolving from concept to final design or manufacture, as much as it could be about our (or people) transitions, for example, transitioning from one job to another.
‘People’ transition for me is about the process of us changing ourselves in order to reach our desired goals. It’s about how we engage with each transition to ensure success and that we are a better version of ourselves today than we were yesterday.
Here, I give my view of how I recognise I am transitioning and how I ensure I transition successfully. If you would like to read about my personal examples of transition, please visit this blog
I’ve heard people describe transition using various words over the years;
‘Change’ for example because our transition involves us and our situations to change in some way.
‘Progress or progression’ because as we move through our transition we’ll likely be learning new things and thus progressing our knowledge and ourselves, sometimes without even knowing it.
‘Development’ which is just another word for Progress really, we’re continually developing ourselves, our knowledge and capability as we move through our transition.
‘Evolution’ even has been used because transitioning from point A to point B is frankly bringing about some form of evolution in us.
I also see transition two ways;
A conscious transition is purely something we choose to embark upon. We choose to leave the single life behind and marry, live together and gain even more responsibility such as mortgages and children. A conscious decision to chase a job that you may think on first glance you can’t handle or perhaps it may be to move out of full time education and into business or even vice versa. It could be a decision taken to leave the armed forces and live/work on civvy street, a stark difference and likely uncomfortable change but none the less one you consciously want to make for any given number of reasons.
A subconscious transition is something that you don’t realise is happening, not at that time at least. We all learn new things from day to day as example yet unless we’re open to seeing these learnings we’re doing so without knowing it. We are therefore subconsciously transitioning to a more informed being that can at any time call upon this new knowledge. Often it is at the time we call upon it that we realise we’ve come far and learnt much.
My personal opinion is that one should learn to recognise when they are going through some form of transition or change. The more you can consciously recognise it, the more information you have to reflect upon, the better you can plan and know when and how to use the information and ultimately ensure your success.
This is key because;
- You can plan before taking a conscious decision to embark on a transition and give yourself the best possible chance of success
- React to the situation or information in the right way and progress to an informed approach as described in point A above
Taking the example of making a conscious decision to apply for a new role, perhaps a role that you initially believe to be a real stretch of your personal & professional capabilities but never the less it is something you still believe that you can achieve. How does that make you feel? Nervous, full of anxiety, fear even of failure? Do you start to question yourself, does this turn into negativity and thus could it eventually stop you from even taking the decision to apply? I bet that it could!
Due diligence to enable Planning is key in these type of situations.
You’re likely applying for the job role after seeing a fairly basic advert…enough information to make you want to find out more but is it really enough information to permit an informed decision over whether to go for it or not?
Perhaps you then get the Job & Person Specification. The job and person specifications appear complex and are written as though they seek a person that frankly is unlikely to even exist! This increases your anxiety and doesn’t give you much comfort. So you decide to call the employer and discuss the role, company and expectations. It’s a great call and it settles your mind set a little but you still have your doubts.
Now is the time to;
- Take time out, quiet time for you to reflect and digest the information that you have at hand
- During such reflection you should consider many things but essentially whether you have the enthusiasm, drive and determination to succeed in this new role. Determine what you feel is needed and decide if you have the personal and professional transferrable skills to meet these needs
- Map out what the interview may play out like; what questions may be asked and plan responses you could use. Plan further questions you want to ask to gain more understanding of whether you even want to work for this business
- Discuss it with a friend, family member or other trusted party
The point is that gaining as much information through due diligence before reflecting and planning will set you up to have the best fighting chance of whether to proceed and if you do whether you succeed at completing your transition.
Of course this is a highly specific example of a conscious transition and how to tackle it but I strongly believe that the principles of planning to successfully transition remain the same in any case or example.
Trust in yourself, ditch negativity and remain positive. I’ve learnt that you must trust in yourself, in your capability and engage with your self-worth. Positivity breeds positive outcomes, negativity breeds negativity (as the saying goes!) Sometimes it really is just about your mind set. Being positive often then transpires as confidence to others and we should all know that impression and/or perception counts for a lot.
I also strongly believe that we don’t achieve on our own, we achieve much more through having the support of others. In the example above I strongly suggest utilising family, friends and if possible seek and obtain a mentor, someone that has been there already and is wearing the T-Shirt! Having the opinions of others and the mentorship of someone that has been there before you is priceless and an honour to have. Such feedback and perspective from fresh eyes allows you to take on board those thoughts, opinions and direction permitting your further reflection and subsequent progress. You can always choose to use or discard what you hear as you please. From my own experience other people are invaluable to helping you transition successfully for these very reasons and there is absolutely nothing wrong in asking for or seeking help.
Many people also fear or have a strong dislike for change. It’s different and sometimes uncomfortable. Embrace and work with change, don’t turn your back on it as change is progress, it is development and without change everything stays the same, comfortable, easy.
Personally I deal with change by allowing myself to have the natural feelings that often come with change. Nerves, anxiety, concern and all manner of different emotions about my pending transition. However, I remain positive and learn to use, to embrace these feelings for positive advantage. To me, without change I remain the same and don’t personally or professionally grow. Also, let’s face it, change doesn’t last forever and in fact the feelings of change can subside far quicker if you engage with it positively.
- Transition is happening to us almost all of the time & it isn’t going anywhere
- We consciously decide to embark on some of our transitions
- We sometimes subconsciously transition & even realise we have later on
- Due diligence & information gathering is key
- Obtain a view from a fresh pair of eyes (or a few fresh pairs of eyes)
- Take time to reflect and think
- Undertake planning activities; plan for success
- Don’t fear change, embrace it
- Be confident in yourself
- Remain consistent and dedicated throughout your transition
- Remain positive, positivity breeds positivity
- Ditch the negativity
- Manage your emotions in a positive way but understand that it is OK to feel nervous & to have anxiety for example, it’s how you deal with those emotions that is key
- Keep a log of your transitions; this means seeing & realising you’re about to embark upon one or you’re within one, however large or small – you can use your log as a tool for further reflection later
If you would like to read more about my personal experiences of transition, please visit this blog
That said, reflect a little; what is your view of transition and how do you deal with it?
I welcome you to share on ‘Your Vocation’. Any articles or media shared are fully credited to you and linked back to your website/s and social channels. Please contact us for more info or join me on Twitter