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My journey along the curve

This is the end. I had given myself until today to grieve the ending of my last work role. But, having been a consummate change management practitioner for a long time, I know that making my way along the emotional process of change happens in well-defined, required stages. Simply saying it’s the end does not make it so. So now, I look at my journey along the curve initially developed by renowned psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross MD, adapted for business to help us understand change and loss.


First comes the change: They let me go I must find a new job. “I was doing a good job, right? My people loved me. The company was better because I was there. I loved being there every day. It was not perfect, but it was great. I did not see it coming. I was not ready to go. What do I do now?”


After processing the shock, I should feel some level of anger. This one is complicated for me. There was no denying, of course, that I was severed. But rather than feeling frustrated or angry, I feel the loss.

Thick, gooey sadness sprung out from that loss, stinging my eyes and hurting my heart.

• I feel sad about the loss of connection—the colleagues, the conversations, the time, the relationships, the times I will not have again when we work together. But, they will continue working together, without me.

• I lost this fantastic team of change managers I put together. I had to transition my team to another leader quickly. I felt so responsible for them, for their experience at the company.

• I miss the work. I could have done even more remarkable work.

• “They” took away my activities and the ideas for the place.

I also feel guilty. I asked myself, ‘What right do I have to feel sad or angry?’ After all, I received a generous package from my company. So many people are sent away with much less or nothing at all. I should feel grateful.

I am grateful.

I practiced short gratitude meditations every morning to step through and out of the sadness of this phase. I practiced using this book, Sunrise Gratitude: 365 Morning Meditations for Joyful Days All Year Long.

“I look forward to this day with hope and am inspired to see the good in everyone I meet.”

(Emily Silva, excerpt from July 15, page 84).

I tuned into Headspace when I stopped flipping through old pictures. I kept turning towards joy and sunshine, but darkness came.


It must come, according to Kübler-Ross it is a necessary stage.

… Now here you go again, you say you want your freedom

Well, who am I to keep you down?

It’s only right that you should play the way you feel it

But listen carefully to the sound of your loneliness

… Like a heartbeat drives you mad In the stillness of remembering what you had

And what you lost

And what you had

And what you lost

- Dreams, Stephanie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac

For me, depression was also an irresistible crystal. It was a devastating, “highly ordered,” repeating pattern – avoid or sink.


Sometimes, it was me needing to be alone. Other times, it was binge-watching Nollywood TV series (New Year, New Us) or binge-listening to Audible series (Talia Hibbert, Brown Sisters).


In the silence that comes after an application submission or after the interview, I thought, “Will they ever call back?” When I hear about the long search journeys others are experiencing, I think, “Oh my goodness, will it be that long for me?” Then, coupled with the joy I feel when a peer is promoted or lands a position, I think, “Why did I leave that other ‘safe’ position? Why didn’t I say yes to the alternative position that I could do but did not want?”

These thoughts were loud. So, I am super aware of when these feelings came.

I found the strength to move against them as soon as I could.

The top three ways I did this:

1. Take a long walk

2. Listen to a podcast or playlist

3. Dance to some music

Sometimes, I did #1 while doing #2 and followed up with #3 when I got home. But, whatever the combination, I worked hard to never lingered too long in the moments I felt down.

Even if you are not ready for the day, it cannot always be night

(Gwendolyn Brooks, Blacks, Page 427)


Because the dawn did come. For my Change Curve examination, the experimentation stage came when I slowly began to tell more people that I was no longer employed.

📍This is where I am now.

So many people gather regularly to help job seekers at no cost. As well, other job seekers generously support other job seekers. I do not have to be alone. I am not alone.


Admittedly though, sometimes I feel like I am having an out-of-body experience when I tell my family, friends, and acquaintances that I am looking for my next work story. Some people immediately wanted to fix my situation, and others did not quite know what to say or do. Having gone through an experience where I felt they did something to me, I feel a strong urge to control what I do and what happens next.


And so, I curate my story. I start with a biography. Then an infographic. I update my resume. Then I update profiles here and there, specifically:

  1. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com
  2. Indeed: https://www.indeed.com
  3. BlueSteps: https://www.indeed.com
  4. ExecuNet: https://www.execunet.com


I talk with my husband, sons, sisters, friends. I tune into people who know me well.


Finally, while I exercise or find myself with moments to spare, I seek out people and podcasts the fill my mind with insights to help me through this phase and into the next.

For now, this post is to be continued. I have great news to share! The journey is divine. Next time: Experimentation breaks into Decision and Integration!

Thanks for reading.

I write about all kinds of topics from my life and work. You should check out long and winding content posted weekly on www.karlenejoseph.com.