Your Career Management Resource Centre

Tag: Margaret Maich

New Mindset New Results

Transition – No Laughing Matter?

Remember the executive ‘tribe’ I wrote about in my last blog? I’ve been thinking more about what makes that concept work and what moves it from the equivalent of a support group for a bad break-up, to something special, unique and highly effective. One of the things that I keep coming back to is the importance of humour and having fun.

I know, I know, getting the heave-ho out of an organization that you’ve been with for some time, maybe even a long time, and where you’ve been a person of some significance and stature, is hardly amusing. Similarly, being unemployed and having to look for a job rarely makes anyone’s top five ‘fun things to do’ list, but bear with me a minute.

I’m talking about positive attitude and ‘growth’ mindset and all of those other good things, but I’m also talking about the liberating power of actually laughing. Laughing with other people, laughing at ourselves, laughing at the foibles of human nature and the ridiculous situations we can find ourselves in through a career transition.

Job search is serious business.  Truly it is and no one knows that better than I do.  But the ability to find the humour in a situation that is inherently not funny does a great deal of good!

People Laughing During Business Appointment

So often I have seen executives relax, listen better and really start to learn the key lessons of conducting an outstanding job search. I’ve seen them learn to laugh at themselves and share embarrassing moments – and help others learn, grow and keep it all in perspective by doing that.

Coming back to the ‘tribe’ concept, it is much easier to take suggestions, advice and counsel around the serious business of finding another job, from people that you’ve shared a laugh with. More often than you’d believe, I’ve heard executives say, “the best part of this awful experience was knowing that it would make a great story to bring back and share with all of you”.

I firmly believe that we learn better, more quickly and in a more sustainable way, when we’re enjoying ourselves – even a little. I also firmly believe that we do a better job of connecting, networking, interviewing and ultimately finding that next job when we’re able to keep it in perspective and continue to find the humour in the world around us.

Much bigger brains than mine confirm this. Carlos Davidovich, our exceptional neuro-management expert, says that “Positivism” allows us to take greater advantage of our intelligence, creativity and energy. Not only that, but it releases into our brain the powerful neurotransmitter dopamine, that has been proven to turn on the learning centres in our brain, allowing us to work harder, be faster and work more intelligently.

Now I ask you, who wouldn’t benefit from that during a period of transition and job search?

And the best part? This works even if we’re just ‘pretending’, taking the phrase ‘fake it ’til you make it’ to a whole new level in my opinion!

So let’s keep laughing – especially at ourselves!

Working Together.

Where did my ‘Tribe’ Go?

A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.” ― Seth Godin.

Group of happy business people walking together on street

You’ve just been told that you’re no longer employed by your company and in most cases must immediately separate from your current tribe. What’s next?

‘Career transition’.  Two words that many people are not familiar with – until they run straight into them.  It is a concept that is often very misunderstood (write me a resume, find me a job); and comes with some pretty scary implications (I’m alone, I’m adrift and I haven’t the first clue where to start to look for a job). On top of that, most senior executives have not had to look for a job for many years, and even then, the job often came looking for them. So you can see what I mean; this is a pretty unnerving set of circumstances.

When John Donne wrote “No man is an island entire of itself” he certainly didn’t have career transition in mind, but it’s highly relevant to this conversation. One of the most significant things you can do to turn the adversity of job loss into a powerful opportunity for challenge, learning and growth, is to surround yourself with a group of like-minded executives.

For those willing to fully engage in the transition process and commit to being an active member of an executive networking group, the benefits far outweigh the initial discomfort:

  • Confidence: gained in seeing other senior, smart, capable and successful professionals going through transition
  • Camaraderie: a sense of belonging and a place to share your experience, learn how to ask peers for help and an opportunity to offer advice and support to others
  • Straight talk: an environment of open dialogue and honest feedback
  • Feet to the fire: a sense of ‘accountability’ within the group and by the group and the forward momentum this creates
  • Intellectual stimulation: a forum for discussion, advice, ideas; adjusting your mindset from fixed to growth; exploring other markets, approaches, ‘work’ concepts

But knowing executives as I do, you’ll not just take my word for it!

I mentioned to some of my past executive clients that I was going to write a blog about the concept of ‘tribe’ as it pertains to transition.  After they stopped laughing at the thought of ‘Margaret’ and ‘blog’ showing up in the same sentence, I asked them for their comments.  With typical eloquence, candour and generosity they said:

“A tribe can help create a sense of normalcy in a rather uncomfortable situation. It helps to remind you that you are not alone and there are so many others going through a transition who have done amazing things and who will go on to do more amazing things.” – Executive Client

“I see the world through a more compassionate and humbling lens. My own transition has made me a person who is so willing to help others, even before they ask! I totally owe this new purpose in life to the whole transition process and the tribe that carried me through.”  – Executive Client

“Having a tribe or network of like-minded individuals there to support you through the process is priceless” – Executive Client

Speaking personally, I have been privileged to experience the magic of this powerful ‘tribe’ connection time and time again – there’s nothing like it and the value is huge.

So get yourself a tribe!!