A transition checklist


Image courtesy of Morguefile


While you’re going through your transition, professional or not, even the most disorganized person likes to have a mental checklist to give some sort of sanity to the process.

While it’s not exhaustive by any means, here’s a handy checklist you can use while your’re going through an change, even a change in the kind of toilet paper you use in the bathroom.


  1. Take your time.  No change starts with a single decision or action.  So don’t assume you have to run through it as fast as possible.  Just trying to get through with it will make it much harder.  Even the process of trying to orientate  yourself to the new surroundings takes time.  And so will testing new ways of doing things and seeing what works and what doesn’t.  When I started freelance writing, I think it took me about a year to figure out what would bring in steady money, what I hated (and I mean HATED) to do, and now not to try to bring in clients.  I really wish all that would’ve just taken a couple of months, but that’s just the way things go.
  2. Construct some temporary structures.  Think of it as going through a remodeling project at home.  But you’re the contractor who drags things on endlessly.  Find ways to accept things the way they are, not the way you want them to be.  As the Buddhist teach, realize that every situation is temporary and find ways to deal with them for now.  They’ll be gone eventually.  Remember:  inner work takes a lot of trial and error to get it right.
  3. Don’t act just for the sake of action.  Transitions require that we end a chapter in our lives PLUS we find out what we need to learn in order to take the next step.  If you try to bulldoze through this process, you’ll shortchange yourself out of that second step.
  4. Take care of yourself in little ways.  While you need to be practical about your resources, accept that you also have to practice some self care while you’re transitioning.  If your indulgences used to be expensive while you were getting a regular paycheck, find a cheaper substitute.
  5. Explore the other side of the change.  While you’re thinking of how things will be when you get to the end of your transition, actually go out and experience it from time to time.  Even if it’s just going to mixers with people who are doing what you want to do, it’ll make what you’re striving towards that more concrete to you.  And it will inspire you to keep going.
  6. Talk to someone.  And that’s not just for advice.  Although, God knows professional counselors are an incredible resource when you’re changing you life, don’t just feel like you have to come to everyone with a problem.  Find someone you can go to and not talk about work for a while.


I once read that you can look at a transition as a time where you leave the status quo, take a time out, and come back for an answer.  It’s a way of thinking of this time as a way to add to what you want to know, instead of thinking it as an upheaval.  Whatever works for you, it’s good to think of things from different perspectives.






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  1. […] we looked at a checklist of things to consider when you’re going through your transition.  One of the things to consider was if you’re acting just for action’s sake.  Today I […]

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