You’d think we’d be good at it. Our pop songs are full of it and it’s inspired some of the best movie scenes of all time.
I’m talking about moving on, of course. Singers in any genre are always going on about moving, or easing, on down the road, and cowboys riding off into the sunset or moody private eyes sauntering down the rain slick city streets are virtually enshrined in our collective memory.
Maybe the reason we as a society are so concerned with moving on is because it’s really hard to do.
So we better study up. About 1.07 million people in the U.S. lost their jobs between January and August of this year alone, according to the consulting firm, Challenger, Gray and Christmas.
They’ll have to move on, and so will the thousands of people laid off in 2008 and those whose positions are on the chopping block right now.
In addition, there are no doubt thousands more who want to move on, or should.
As I wrote in an earlier post, before you can really move on you need to genuinely let go – of the past, your friends, your foes and, most importantly, any kind of blame you may want to assign for this change in circumstances.
This is particularly important if the person you want to blame most is yourself, which reveals the black humor-tinged silver lining to the current economic downturn – so many people are getting laid off these days that you don’t need to feel quite as bad if it happens to you. You certainly don’t have to beat yourself up for it.
You do, however, need to understand why it happened, so you can apply what you’ve learned as you go onward.
And onward you shall go, whether you’re really trying or not, because that’s the direction in which real life runs. However, if you want to go forward you’ll have to figure out which way that is.
It’s all well and good to imagine the rosy sunset of your future, but that’s a rather vague goal to steer yourself towards. Just as sailors need longitude and latitude to plot their courses, you need to give yourself some vocational and personal direction to find your own path.
And that’s really the secret to moving on. You need to figure out what you’re moving toward. Perhaps you want to go into business for yourself, assume more managerial responsibility or work in a field that gives you time for a robust private life – let these goals be your coordinates. Then you’ll genuinely be able to let go and move on.
by Danielle Dresden