...Answering life's difficult questions.
Q: I’m very recently single and I’m not sure what the future holds. I’m wondering whether to leave my job and move away.
A: As you are recently single, I would urge caution around making major decisions about life at the moment. It is not unusual at this stage to be grieving for the loss of your relationship, regardless of whether the separation was instigated by you or your partner. A sense of grief is common, especially when we we have lost the hopes and dreams that we once had for that relationship. The grieving process can often mean that we struggle to focus and to make decisions. We may also be inclined to withdraw from others around us, leaving us with a sense of isolation. Whilst it is not unusual to want to withdraw at this stage, isolation can impact on our capacity to make balanced choices.
It is no bad thing to take some time to let the dust settle and to attend to the immediate issues that separation triggers, whether they are financial, domestic or emotional. This is a time when the support of others is invaluable; colleagues, friends and family can be ideal sources of support, both physically and/or emotionally. They may also be a great sounding-board, helping us to put perspective on the present situation. Counselling can be a good source of support too, especially if the separation has triggered some deeper issues. Therapy provides a confidential space to process what has happened, along with an opportunity to explore this crossroads and the “what next”.
If, given time, this life changing event still leaves you feeling in need of major change, it is worth giving some serious thought to the consequences of change. If you were to move, would you have the practical or emotional support of others in the new location? Do you need to consider what facilities you would require to establish yourself in the new area? Would you have the opportunity to establish a new network of friends? If you are leaving your job, do you need a new one before you move? can you transfer within the same organisation?
With so many questions it is often helpful to get these out of our head and down on paper! I often encourage my clients to do a written “cost/benefit” analysis and it can be very enlightening to compare the two columns. Another really helpful exercise is to use SMART Goals and you can find a very user-friendly document at www.getselfhelpsmartgoals. This free to download PDF document is designed to enable you to plan Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and resourced goals in a Time limited fashion.
Whatever you decide, I wish you well on your journey and I hope that you have the opportunity to move forward in a well-planned and balanced way.