I want to share something with you on a personal level because it reveals what is important to me and also because as I am going through this process I am experiencing how it has common themes found in career transition. My son, Kyle, approached me with an interesting question a couple of weeks ago. He told me he would like me to join him, as well as support him, during Lent with something he would have difficulty giving up.That something was drinking. His reasoning was he wanted to cut back, improve his health, lose some weight and save some money. I also sensed, like most of us, he wanted to be in control.

My initial reaction was WOW — a young person wanting to reduce his drinking, something that would not be easy! Initially I tried to join him on a limited basis (how about six days, then one day where you could have that beer or glass of wine?). His girlfriend, Amy, who really planted the idea, reminded us that it was not what Jesus did during the forty days – succumb to temptation once a week. That really hit home! You can’t have your cake and eat it, and you can’t do anything half heartedly – just like transition.

When I make a commitment to God, I make it with passion since failure is not an option, just like transition. I also wondered what message I am sending to my son if I do not join him in his quest. Positive messaging in transition is key to one’s success as well as a passion for the result. Without the passion, one would roll over when the going gets tough. Kyle was reaching out for support in order to not make the important journey by himself, just like transition. Transition is truly a team sport.

So, I will share this journey with you and how it relates to so much of what we experience in transition. Remember the ingredients of success:

  • A plan
  • Passion to achieve that plan
  • Willingness to step outside of your comfort zone
  • Do not take it on half heartedly
  • Stay in control of your message
  • Get a team around you for both accountability and support
  • Focus only on that which is controllable – leave others alone and understand the difference
  • Remember, your status may have changed but your value has not.

On a more personal note, I welcome the challenge. I felt that over the last couple of years I had become a little too dependent on wine to take the edge off since I struggle with relaxing. The timing was perfect, though not exactly my first reaction. Just like transition, I know I will end up in a much better place.

I am headed to ACHE with a schedule full of “drinks with….” where I will sip on Sprite or Sarsaparilla instead of a glass of wine. I will have to be honest about my current path which might have the added benefit of opening up new conversations with old friends. I will try to keep you updated on how I am doing.

Author: Jim WiederholdJim believes his 39 years of experience--particularly his more than 26 years in healthcare--has prepared him well for what he does. His wealth of experience spans key areas, including finance, operations, management, leadership, sales and sales management, corporate, contingency, contractual and retained recruiting, outplacement and transition work and executive coaching.