How to manage a sudden change in your life and work can feel challenging and overwhelming. Last week we removed our son from school, permanently. From now on his education will be based from home and out in the big wide world. Whilst it was something we had been looking into it wasn’t something we had planned to do immediately.

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How to manage a sudden change in your life and work

How to manage sudden changeLast week we removed our son from school, permanently. From now on his education will be based from home and out in the big wide world.

Whilst it was something we had been looking into it wasn’t something we had planned to do immediately.

However, for a variety of reasons, it became apparent that it was in our son’s best interests and would also significantly benefit our family life, on many different levels, to do it straight away.

At the tender age of 9 he is setting off to design his own educational path. An exciting adventure ahead for all of us.

As a result of this sudden change, we find ourselves in unchartered territory. But not just in our personal lives. Me and my husband are both self employed so there is a fairly hefty impact on our work lives too.

So, we are cracking on with working out how to set ourselves up to succeed in this new situation.

Do we have all the answers yet? No.

Do we know what my business will look like moving forward? Not yet.

Do we have a plan of how to make this work? This time last week the answer would be “no”. This week the answer is, “we are working on it.” Next week the answer will be, “we have an initial plan.” Within a few weeks the answer will be “you bet your ass we do!”

Our current situation has me reflecting on the challenges of navigating a sudden change – in life and work. Here are some thoughts on the subject:

  • Accept that there will be a certain amount of chaos and uncertainty before there is clarity.
  • Remind yourself that you can’t know “how” straight away. It is important to get OK with that pretty fast otherwise it will screw with your head and create stress. The “how” will evolve as you take action and move forward.
  • Create a vision of the outcome you would like to create. Start taking small steps each and every day to move that forward.
  • Create some time and space for some thinking and planning and focus on an initial plan to manage the initial situation. Once you have that in hand, start focusing on the longer term.
  • Simplify – everything.
  • Connect with people who have experienced a similar change. They are a great source of ideas, inspiration and support.

Our recent sudden change was a change that came from a position of choice. We chose to do it and we chose to do it quickly. But that isn’t always the case in situations of sudden change.

Sometimes a sudden change is something that just happens out of the blue. Sometimes it is something that you have no control over. In those circumstances, always keep this in mind:

You can’t always choose what happens to you but you can always choose how you respond.

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  • Delia Bourne

    In the past few months I have met several families who are homeschooling. It seems to work really well. One American family home school and spend 3 months every year visiting a different part of France. Lucky kids!

  • malcolmwot

    Good for you Ali! As someone involved in Education for over twenty years I know what a big decision it was but now it’s made go ahead and make it work. Good luck!

  • Thanks Malcolm. Appreciate your good wishes.

  • Hi Delia, since we have made this decision we have met loads of people who have done it. It has opened up a whole new world, a whole new community and whole new exciting way of life for us all.

  • Patti Pokorchak

    Love the last line and it is so true! Life is how you choose to respond to what has happened and there’s a lot to choose from! People seem to act or re-act as if there is only one choice but there are many.

    Maybe not the popular choice as decided by ‘society’ (who ever that may be!?!) or your friends or family but we do get to choose how we live our lives.

    Good luck and have fun along the journey of change!

  • Hi Patti, I totally agree with you. I think we have to create our own definition of what a successful life means to us, based on our core values, and build our lives and work around that. I believe that is one of the major contributing factors to real and lasting fulfillment. As you point out, it might mean shaking up our own status quo and all the challenges that go with that, but it is so worth it. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your insights.