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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Palmer


Updated: Jan 24

Transitions.  A lot of people are going through various transitions right now – and maybe we all are as we change the year from 2023 to 2024.  Transitions in life, work, family dynamics – anything that changes what was into what will be can be riddled with emotion.

In many ways, my ‘expertise’ is in transitions:  transforming employees into superheroes, and employees into working parents; navigating your Oh Sh*t moments. So, maybe I have something to offer in terms of how to navigate whatever transitions you may face now and into the future.

Retirement”.  I put this in quotes because I have a friend who had a plan, but his company had another.  His retirement has now been accelerated by a few years.  After working for the same company for over 30 years, you can imagine that this transition will be monumental, encompassing everything from his daily routine to his identity.  

Many of us define ourselves more by what we do than who we are.  I imagine saying ‘I am retired’ when someone asks what you do those first few months may feel a little awkward.

Open to Work.  So many people have been laid off over the past year.  No personal performance issues, and in many cases, no warning.  Staff reductions that they got caught up in can be abrupt and painful:  how to find a new job, where to look, so many emotions including vulnerability, shame, panic, fear and maybe relief to be out of a situation that was not ideal.  And a layoff feels like a firing.  There are distinct differences, but the transition feels the same.

Returning to Work.  The Your 4th Trimester program supports new parents as they transition to working parenthood.  This huge transition (for the parents and baby) includes financial, childcare, boundary and prioritization transitions.  Clients must see themselves as a new person and yet, we don’t want them to forego who they are at their core.  Can they ‘have it all’ and in what percentages? How do they show up differently when they return to work and how do they form new and better work habits to be the parent they want to be.

New Role. Different from someone who has been let go from work, someone seeking a new challenge or wondering if their current role is the right one for the future is another transition.  How do you balance the allure of a shiny new opportunity (or the hope that you will find one) with the personal equity you have built in your current role?  When you know your manager, team and organization, what would a transition to a new firm look like, and which opportunity wins?  

In an exercise I call Scorecards, you can list all the factors you may consider in determining whether you should transition to a new role, internally or externally.  You then score those elements to ensure you give proper weight to what matters most to you at this stage of your life and evaluate whether you stay or go.

Your Next.  For me, this year has been a transition to a nomad lifestyle.  Intended to help me determine my next, it was a choice and a continuous learning experience.  Maybe you are facing the transition of an empty nest in the new year, a downsizing at home or at work, or an itch to explore something new.  Whether you are facing transitions in your personal or professional life, assemble your Circle of Five, determine if the Grass is Greener, and know that I am both a Perspectives and Transition Coach if I can help you navigate.  

New years tend to feel like you should make sweeping changes and resolutions, but perhaps the best thing we can do is use the first quarter to research and evaluate, explore and be curious. And when the spring comes around with longer and warmer days, we can transition along with the earth to new opportunities.  

As we all transition into a new year, maybe the best thing we can do is to exhale, take stock of what is good in our lives and experience a moment of gratitude.  My moment is to thank you:  for your support and for considering my words.  

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