Perception Is Everything When Stressed


When we are faced with job loss or change of career we many times feel an increase in our stress levels.  Stress increase is not uncommon as any change in life can impact multiple parts of life.  Work and money rank at the very top of stressors listed in a recent study performed by the American Psychological Association concerning stress.  They noted over 44% of Americans feel moderate to high stress which can lead to various other issues including health and family.  How does someone deal with the stress encountered during a career transition? 

If you are one of those die-hard individuals you would say to just push forward and get through whatever it is.  If you take a more panicked approach you may want to hide out till it all passes.  Unfortunately, neither of these techniques will give you the results you may desire. 

So… what do you do???  I suggest looking at the following four points:

Seek to understand the whole of the situation:  Ask yourself for example…

  • Is this just temporary or a more long-term situation?
  • Will this situation be something I can resolve easily or will I have to take serious action?
  • What does this situation mean to me and my family today and next month?

Seek to understand how your core values are impacted:  Ask yourself for example…

  • What are my core values?
  • Does the situation provide a new path that will allow me to better align my career or work with those values?
  • How can my core values guide my next career decision?
  • Do my core values direct me to find a new career or purpose in life?

Seek support when needed, which is now: Ask yourself for example…

  • Are there any groups or individuals that may be willing to help me during this time?
  • Do those groups or individuals want the best result for me?
  • Once found, will the group or individual have the capabilities and resources to help me in the needed areas?

Seek to change perceptions: Ask yourself for example…

  • How do I see my situation, through a lens of worry, doubt, fear?
  • Can I change my perceptions to be of hope, opportunity and wonder?
  • Who will support the change of perception to help me move forward?
  • Can my core values support a changed perception?
  • Am I looking at this in a gratefulness mindset?
  • How can I put a positive approach to work for me?

Stress comes to us in countless ways for a host of reasons.  When we use a perception lens that leads to worry, fear, doubt or does not match our core values the stress levels can be more severe.  Change the lens perception to one supported by your core values, using hope and positivity to see how stress can fade or disappear.  Practice of positive thinking and gratefulness also can impact our overall being when given full attention. 

Kathy Goodin-Mitchell, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Career Advisor & Founder, Career Leverage Advisors

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