The Big One is Coming

Written by Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.

When I asked my readers, "What's on your mind?"repparttar greatest response came from readers who asked, "How do I leave a job, whether it's my decision or someone else's?"

Gwendolyn Parker, author of Trespassing, asked for seven months of severance when she voluntarily left her senior position at American Express. Seven months seems like a vast, open space when you leaverepparttar 123937 corporate world, especially if you hate your job. Your health plan unfolds into Cobra -- expensive but comprehensive -- so you figure, "I've got time." You're tired, so you need to relax.

But, as Parker discovered, seven months of salary seems a lot less when you're no longer working full-time.

So what happens when you have six, seven or even twelve months of severance inrepparttar 123938 bank and you're getting twitchy? Will you ever be back on a payroll? Should you start a business?

Discuss your resources with a qualified financial advisor. Can you stretch your funds beyond six months?

Explore feelings, if need be, with a qualified specialist. You will sabotage your own best efforts if you carry resentment and grief into your next career project.

Resistrepparttar 123939 temptation to make sudden drastic moves. Sellrepparttar 123940 house, move to Wyoming and live in a tent? By December,repparttar 123941 tent is cold,repparttar 123942 housing market has taken another jump and you've gone too far to turn back. Anyway,repparttar 123943 bears have confiscated your computer to play hibernation solitaire. "Career winter" indeed.

Explore free or low-cost resources. Check outrepparttar 123944 Chamber of Commerce, your alumni career center, andrepparttar 123945 unemployment office. If you have trouble staying focused, paying your own consultant may be a good investment.

Now let's turnrepparttar 123946 clock back for a more proactive view. You expect to be fired -- or to fire yourself. What can you do?

Transform Wet Blankets Into Comfort Quilts

Written by Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.

You've embarked on a major transition and your enthusiasm is growing. Just when you get a small fire going, someone comes along with a heavy wet blanket.

"You'll hate it."

"I turned down that job two years ago, but it's perfect for you."

"Nobody makes a living that way."

Strategies to Transform Wet Blankets into Comfort Quilts.

"Calm under pressure" is a skill you can learn, and it gives you power. I used to flinch when people were critical until I worked with Rick, an Air Force veteran who had seen more action than he cared to admit.

When a bullying administrator yelled, Rick would laugh. "It's just noise," he would say, "not enemy aircraft." And he'd bounce right back into his next idea.

Recognizerepparttar champion inrepparttar 123936 critic. By investing time and energy to insult you, your critic acknowledges you have strength and power. Be proud!

The universe has sent you a coach. Dancers and athletes learn that coaches do not waste time on losers.

Pat Summitt, award-winning coach of Tennessee's Lady Vols, warns recruits that she yells only atrepparttar 123937 best players. It's when she stops yelling that you need to worry.

Use humor. When I told a colleague I was considering jobs outside academia, he suggested I visitrepparttar 123938 campus psychiatrist. Next, he recommended a career guidance book designed for people seeking their very first full-time position after completing a doctoral degree.

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