“The sun always shines after the rain” Tanith Rice-Harris

One of my favorite songs by the group New Edition is ‘Can You Stand the Rain’. The tune talks about how everyone loves sunny days but it also asks the question: can you stand the rain? We all love when things are going well in our lives, but the mark of true character is when things aren’t going so good. One of my favorite hymns says “life is full of swift transition”, and the words of that song definitely proves true. In the past 3 years I have become a dad, started a business, purchased a home, began the process of starting a non-profit, been laid off twice, and had three different jobs—and these are only the things that I can remember! Needless to say, my character has been tested, but I have done well in the face of challenge.

Recently, I learned that my campus (and current place of employment) is closing due to a teach-out. This is the second time I have been a part of a college campus that suddenly closed its doors in the last two years. This time I was informed that I would have a remote position, however, in the past I had to figure things out quick. I often encountered people questioning how I could remain so calm while so much turmoil was taking place within the organization. For me it was simple.

Have you ever worked with someone who didn’t know how to handle tough times? It’s terrible. I’ve witnessed former “good workers” begin to call in every other day, leave early, no longer take any pride in their work, have a nasty attitude, and complain constantly. I have had to catch myself on many occasions from losing patience with people that become whiny little babies in tough times. I often remind myself that I wasn’t always good when dealing with change either. Here’s a list of things that help me during times of turmoil and transition.

1. Spiritual Base
For me having a spiritual base is very important, not just for my career, but for life in general. My belief guides me in times of storms and turmoil and is the main reason I rarely feel stressed about challenges that comes my way. When you know that God is on your side there is nothing to worry about.

2. Flexibility
Generally, I’m okay with change. I love change actually. I dislike doing the same things for too long, so shaking up the routine a bit is great for me. Some things I truly enjoy and never tire of them, such as reading, teaching, and writing (if it involves around the subject of career development). Even with my love for these things, I have to change the way I approach them or else I will become bored. In life you must be flexible, if you are, you will find out you can handle things that you didn’t know you were capable of.

“We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” Barbara de Angelis

3. Character Builder – (What Can I Learn)
Transition and change builds character. Whenever I am going through a time of transition I actually stop to think what is it that I should be learning from the situation. If you never face times of change or uncertainty you miss the opportunity to grow as a person. When I think back on the situations in my life that I thought were bad at the time, I find that I am grateful for them now. Always search for what you can learn from times of turmoil as opposed to just focusing on an uncomfortable moment.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. John F. Kennedy”

4. Transition Is Inevitable
Changes are going to happen in your life whether or not you know how to deal with it or not. In my opinion, it is imperative you keep a good attitude in the midst of it. What’s the point of getting all bent out of shape when transition arrives in your life? The problem I see is that people get too comfortable in their daily routines and don’t have plans in place. If you have both long term and short term plans in place (that you are actively pursuing and include being open to new things), you won’t fall apart once change occurs. As it relates to your career,don’t get comfortable with the idea that you will work for a place for 30 years and then retire. More and more people are taking on many jobs in their careers. Even if you enjoy your current job you need to have plans and options available.

Since we know that times of change are inevitable, we need to prepare for when they come. The tools I have shared worked really well for me. You may have some different tools that you use, please share them in the comments below. I would love to continue to share some of my insight with you. Hit the “follow” button above or send me a request to connect.

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