I am so excited to introduce a piece on transition written by a dear friend, passionate CBT and EMDR therapist and colleague. They capture the essence of transition, the pitfalls of putting off change and placing the needs of others above our own. Transition can be a challenge whether in our personal or professional life, during transition we can be more vulnerable to stress, mood changes and interpersonal challenges.
Deciding to leave the Armed Forces has been one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make. Not only do I very much dislike making decisions anyway, but this was also with a heavy heart given I had not planned on leaving. The service gives me a sense of pride and achievement, the people made those hard days enjoyable and getting paid for things like playing hockey in Gibraltar… well, would you get that on civvy street? But I realised I was actually not performing at my best, not feeling fulfilled and not challenged…
As my notice got accepted, you say to yourself, wow.. I have a year.. that’s ages away! You carry on, trying to make sense of your decision and still trying to prove yourself. You go through a roller-coaster of emotions, you feel excitement, disappointed, angry, guilty, sad… and people on the outside will say ‘oh make sure you do your resettlement’ and you think of course, but that’s miles away yet……
Boom! 6 months have passed… you have 3 months left in your current job….you ring resettlement and they book you on a transition workshop, realising the dates you want are fully booked so they had to book you on a virtual workshop…..
Attending the workshop, you realise how much others have done, they have written CV’s, applied for jobs, using Learning Credits and attending to build their portfolio of skills they can offer a future employer.
So, then it finally hits you. You’re LEAVING the Armed Forces….
Luckily, my advisor clocked me straight away and advised me to book on to additional courses that were suitable for me…. I have surrounded myself with positive role models that could easily be approached in my time of panic.
My advice to anyone that is considering on leaving the service or in the process of a transition.... stop whatever you’re doing, and change your mindset. You have made a decision, so commit and take action. No one else willdo it for you. Time passes by quickly, be selfish, it’s time to concentrate on you. In an employment environment you are replaceable and you need to prioritise YOU and your future.
In the words of Simon Sinek “Putting yourself first is not selfish. Quite the opposite. You must put your happiness and health first before you can be of help to anyone else”.