Tips For Surviving as a Corporate Refugee
by Lora J Adrianse

In her book "Are You A Corporate Refugee", Ruth Luban associates "corporate refugees" with refugees who never intend to leave their home country. People who are uprooted from the familiar terrain, customs and native language they've known for a very long time.

From my own experience as a corporate refugee over the past year, I can validate that the sense of loss can be overwhelming at times. The loss of a secure income is significant in itself, but when it compounds with the loss of identity, structure and community, there are times when it's paralyzing.

Today, almost a year later, I proudly consider myself a Corporate Refugee who has successfully navigated the grueling journey and emerged with an amazing new sense of purpose and freedom! With that in mind, I offer you tips for surviving from my own experience.

Give Yourself Time to Heal

Acknowledge the fact that you have been thrown into a life changing experience. Before you can move toward the future it's important to resolve the past. Just as in the loss of a loved one, there are stages of grief you will need to deal with. Chances are you will feel denial, anger, bargaining, and depression before you get to acceptance. Expect it, accept it, and try to have the forethought to recognize where you are in the process.

Take Advantage of Your New "Lack of" Schedule

One of the greatest advantages you have right now is "time". Even though much of that time will be preoccupied with processing your thoughts, there are no boundaries around where and when you do that. Turn off your alarm, forget your bedtime and let your body reset it's own clock. On gorgeous days go out and explore during times you would have been working. Whether you're running your toes through the grass, sitting on the beach or running errands, you'll discover sights, sounds, and people you haven't experienced at that time before. Cold, rainy days are great for putting your nose in a good book, clearing out clutter and browsing great bookstores. Like it or not, your time is your own now, take advantage of it.

Soul Search and Rediscover Your Passions

This is NOT the time to make major life decisions, but it's a perfect time to re evaluate what is most important to you. When you were 10 years old, what was it you wanted to be when you grew up? If you went in another direction, is it time to explore that option now? What are your values, your needs, your personal boundaries? What is it that you love so much you get lost in time? What is it that makes you laugh until you wet your pants? What have you always wanted to do, but never had the chance? The time is right to explore these things about yourself.

Evolve Rather than Revolve

This is a time of evolution for you, not a revolution. Based on what you're doing, or not doing, things will change. You'll think about and do things differently than you did before. Things that worked for you before will no longer work. You'll see things you didn't see before. Take time to "just notice" without judgment. It doesn't need to be about shoulds, coulds, good or bad. It just is, so just notice.

Let Go and Let Be

I'm a believer that we have the power to influence outcomes, but we can't control them. In other words, what will be will be. I also believe that the universe is constantly sending us messages. If you don't listen to the messages, you get to learn the lessons. Save yourself the frustration and struggle of trying to control outcomes.

Maintain Undeniable Faith

Even if it's not clear now, never lose faith in yourself or your abilities. Your past successes are validations that you have what it takes to navigate and emerge from this experience with a greater sense of understanding and appreciation.


Lora J. Adrianse is the owner of Essential Connections. She is a Coach, Consultant and Facilitator who specializes in the development managers and business owners. She recently left a long-term corporate career to focus on her passion for helping others bring out the best in themselves through the use of Emotional Intelligence. She can be reached through her website www.connectionscoach.com .

Many more articles on Personal Development in The CEO Refresher Archives

   


Copyright 2003 by Lora J. Adrianse. All rights reserved.

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