Life’s transitions require that you leave behind the familiar and adjust yourselves to changing situations and challenges. In life, change is inevitable. Transiting from one phase of your life to another can be both exciting and challenging.
Being prepared for these changes adds to your confidence and protects you from losing your sense of security. Knowing what to expect, being prepared, and putting things in perspective can help you better manage the transitions in life.
Accept that work life and school life present very different environments and challenges. In school, you can often excel by being disciplined in your schoolwork and studying hard for exams. Although you would have to work with your peers for team projects at times, the politics encountered is often of a less serious nature than that in an office environment.
This is in contrast to the working world, where very often, hard work or professional/technical aptitude alone may not be enough to get you recognised and rewarded. It takes both work aptitude and soft people skills such as being an effective team player, effective networking within and outside the organisation, and interpersonal communication to get ahead in their career.
One way to prepare for the transition from school to work is to take up vacation jobs during your school holidays. These jobs will give you a glimpse into the working world – the hard work, commitment, and people skills needed to succeed. You can also get to meet different contacts and start to build a strong network which will serve you well when you enter the workforce. Working during the school years can also help you discover your interests and build character and maturity.
Climbing the corporate ladder requires learning to accept and manage factors outside of your control - for example, office politics, a difficult boss, and the lack of training or opportunities for advancement.
Take greater control of your career by staying relevant and updated on opportunities in your industry. Make an effort to upgrade your skills regularly by attending relevant workshops and courses, and networking with others. You could also seek advice from mentors or reliable colleagues when changing jobs or making major career changes.
Marriage and starting a family
A common path for most people in life is to find a soul-mate, settle down, and raise children. Family life brings joy, but be prepared that it also requires commitment, dedication, and responsibility.
To prepare yourself for the responsibilities that come with family life, attend marriage preparation courses before marriage. Now that you have decided to start a family, focusing on the needs of your family must come first. Setting time each day to talk to your spouse or to help your children with their homework helps generate closeness and a sense of security. Find ways to make time spent with them a fun and relaxing experience. A visit to the zoo or the bird park during weekends or enjoying a board game at home can create wonderful memories for everyone.
Retirement and growing old
It is easy to be absorbed in work life in your adult years that when you retire or draw near to retirement, you may realise that your life was too centred on your career. Now there is a void. One other transition you are likely to face as you grow older is the empty nest syndrome, whereby adult children leave the house to get married – this may leave you feeling lost and empty.
To prepare for your retirement years, try not to make work the sole standpoint of your life. It is important that you have hobbies and interests outside of work that engage you into your retirement years. By taking up new and different hobbies, you can also learn new things and keep your mind stimulated and active.
Loss of good health
Having poorer health as you grow older is common, as the physical body ages and gets afflicted with more ailments. To minimise the loss of good health, you should try to take good care of your body in your younger years by exercising regularly. Cultivate the habit of exercising into your daily life, and the physical and mental benefits of exercise (better immunity, stronger mind) will serve you well into your golden years.
- Most people go through various stages of life – from school to work and marriage/family and finally to retirement. It is important to be mentally prepared for these transitions.
- Hobbies keep you occupied and help fill the void when you have retired, while stimulating the mind and body.
- A fulfilling family life requires commitment, dedication, and responsibility. Bear this in mind as you transit from a single person to a spouse or parent with family responsibilities.