Don’t feel like going it alone? Then don’t. Consider the benefits of participating in a support group while making your transition.
I started such a group two days after my job was eliminated and it just ended this week, approximately 10 weeks later. From little or no business structure I managed to (with the help of others) re-launch two websites, establish a 3rd feeder site, set up social media on Linked in, as well as to connect with an extensive personal network of colleagues, referrals and other resources.
The group I joined was a Creative Courage class offered by a friend and colleague, Gail McMeekin, www.creativesuccess.com and I was joined by 4 other women, from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Colorado and North Carolina. Joining these artists and writers, I signed on to gain the courage of my convictions in launching this business. They were there to increase their confidence and develop new skills to advance their individual goals.
For me, the beginning and ending of this group marked the three stages of transition. I ended my job and previous identity as an employee with one agenda for performance and professionalism, and entered the transition period. I experienced the neutral zone, where I received support and acknowledgement of who I had been and more important – who I was becoming. As I went through the stages of grief (loss, doubt, and the gradual opening to the new) I knew I had their support as well as the structure of a guided group experience to make a successful transition. That I accomplished so much in 3 months is a small miracle to me, as it would have been just as easy to fall into 3 months of on-going doubt, inertia, and fear as I wondered hopelessly – what steps to take next.
The group served several purposes – as a mini-think tank and focus group I heard myself say the words “I am a career transition coach” and “I focus on serving those who want to move through a transition and work with the powerful personal energy available at this time” and the words became my new reality. This “first” transition has ended and I know another will soon begin again, as the ebb and flow of starting and endings becomes my new reality as an entrepreneur.
Consider the benefits yourself of a support group:
- There is a place to speak your truth to total strangers.
- There is a place to set your goals with the intention of being accountable to others within a distinct period of time (3 months)
- On-going homework assignments and 6 tele-seminars kept us focused constructively in dealing with the dimensions of psychological growth, such as addressing limiting beliefs, the identification of role models and re-examining the saboteurs that could hold us back.
- I renewed my appreciation for giving and receiving feedback from a group of committed, intelligent, passionate women.
- I learned with the others, how important is self-care, learning to achieve balance in our daily lives, and staying focused on our purpose and commitment to our goals.
- I learned to trust the flow of business and networking that brought unexpected opportunities to me which allowed me to open to new possibilities while holding firm to the vision I had shared with the group participants.
If you’re ending an old role or job and starting a new journey, consider the personal benefits of a support group. Though we chose not to continue with this group at this point in time, the relationships are established, the support is there, and now we know of each others’ strengths and weaknesses and can call on each other in the transitions ahead.