Things I Learned During Our Transition
You're in that space -- caught between sad and happy, closure and anticipation. You're figuring out the end of something while taking your first steps into whatever is next.
You are in transition. I know because I've just walked it out.
I have been in transition between jobs over the last few weeks and it was one of the hardest seasons I've walked, no, pressed through.
Hi, my name is Meiko and I'm no longer the Communications Director at Evangel Temple. I am now the Community Life Pastor at Pinellas Community Church in Florida. I've transitioned out and into a new season but it wasn't easy!
Why? Because I tried to be superman. I became obsessed with finishing well, figuring out how to break a lease, how do I tell the people I love that I was leaving them, finding a place to live in a city I know nothing about, honoring my boss, honoring two pastors, AND coordinating a big trip for our youth church! I just got overwhelmed typing that.
But I championed through it and learned a ton along the way. Here are a few things I learned while transitioning jobs:
- You Can't Do Everything: We often hear that we ought to finish well -- leave well. Sometimes, this translates in our heads as get as much done as you possibly can. I found that this stems from pride (for me). Here's the thing, the ministry or company was running before you got there and they will be fine after you leave. It's admirable to try to set them up for success but you can only do what you can. Everything else, you'll need to communicate during the process so that your direct report understands where there might be drops or gaps.
- Saying Goodbye is Exhausting: In one week, I think I basically cried an entire ocean of tears (see what I did there -- cause tears are salty and oceans hold a lot of water ?? ). I had to say goodbye to so many people. It was incredibly hard. It was taxing on me. And then it hit me ... these goodbyes were becoming my life and that was toxic. So I had to learn to let go once I said goodbye. Really let go. Often, I'd be talking to someone even days later and still saying goodbye -- getting into the emotions all over again. It wasn't good for either of us. So once I got the courage to say goodbye, I had to be strong and leave it in that moment.
- Let Go of Your Dream: I'd been in my Comms role for almost two years. Even up to the very last moment, I was still dreaming about the future of the role and the church. Unfortunately, that was no longer my job. It would be someone else's. Now was the time for me to dream about the new role. This is hard because you spend a great deal of time working on making your current projects awesome and moving the organization forward. You've poured your sweat and tears into it. But transitioning well requires you to let it all go and begin dreaming about what the possibilities are in the next role. I struggled with this because I REALLY loved my Comms role!
- It Really Is About You: I forgot to eat basically everyday during my transition. Had it not been for my wife and my spiritual son, I would have starved myself. I was just that busy being all things to everyone and all times. I wasn't sleeping. I didn't rest. I didn't take care of me. I realized however, as I ran myself into the ground, I would be presenting my new role with a damaged, broke down version of me and that's not fair. Thankfully, I was able to take a vacation between roles to rejuvenate and rest. Sometimes, it is about us. We have to be selfish and take care of ourselves during these stressful seasons -- because they will always be stressful.
- It's OK To Be Happy: Finally, the biggest lesson I learned was that it was ok to be happy about what I was headed towards. I struggled with this. I thought it wouldn't be fair to the people that I'd be leaving to be happy. They needed to see that I was sad just like they were. I was wrong. They needed to see God working in my life -- taking my dream and making it a reality. People needed to see that I'd be ok and that I wasn't being forced into where I was heading but that I was literally running for my life. Running towards my calling my destiny and that is stupid awesome! Be happy. It's ok.
I can go on and on about all the things I've learned but those are my best five lessons.
Transitions will be tricky. They will be rough. But you can survive them! They are the spaces between here and future -- you gotta fill them up right!