It's a feeling nearly everyone experiences as they transition from one career to another. There's so much information to take in, choices to make, new experiences to make sense of, and things to understand.
I think the feeling of overwhelm often expands when people are trying to find their place within the green, clean, sustainable economy.
Why? Because there tend to be even more unknowns when people transitions an emerging fields. How are industries going to develop? What role can I play in my target industry? What do I need to do to prepare myself for my future career? What companies are in my area?
Five Tactics to Tame Your Overwhelm
1) Acknowledge that transitioning to a greener, more sustainable career can generate feelings of overwhelm. It’s normal. You aren't imagining this; it's real….and you can conquer this feeling.
2) Create a plan for your career transition. Think about your timeline and sketch out how you are going to choreograph your transition. Keep in mind that more significant transitions take a bit longer because you need to build experience, add to your education, and familiarize yourself with your new field. Expecting instant results will only add stress to your journey.
3) Stay focused on where you are right now. Although it’s tempting to try push forward on multiple fronts, you’ll gain more traction focusing on the tasks associated with where you are in your journey.
a.Get Ready – Identify your green career focus
b.Get Set – Prepare for your target position
c.Go – Start your job search
4) Pause to identify the cause of your overwhelm. When you feel that wave of overwhelm strike, don't blindly stumble forward, forcing yourself into action. Stop and take note of the situation. Is there a particular element of your situation that tipped you over the edge today? When you've identified the source of your overwhelm step back to see what you can do to reduce the pressure.
5) Pace yourself. If you were doing too much, back off. If you are trying to read too many sources, choose one to focus on for now. If you were trying to attend too many networking meetings, choose your favorites or set up a rotation schedule. To succeed in your career transition, you must be committed to being in the game for the long run. Think of it as a marathon rather than a sprint. Engage in activities in a way that is sustainable over time.
Questions to Ponder
Based on previous times of transition, what tends to trigger your feelings of overwhelm?
What's the first sign that you are on the edge of feeling overwhelmed?
What's the best way for you to get back in balance the next time you are feeling overwhelmed?