How to embrace cross-roads in life for a smooth transition into new beginnings

Be willing to make changes - if something or someone is sabotaging your plans.
Be willing to make changes – if something or someone is sabotaging your plans.

Years back I worked with a guy who for some strange reasons thought that I wanted to out-smart him (this I got to know after I left that job), so he tried to get me fired. One thing about me is that I focus on results. So when I was offered a job to work with Pete, I hit the ground running because many projects were behind schedule. Initially he was nice to me—but I could sense that he was not a very genuine person. For example, he would tell me not to attend an important meeting because my presence was not required, then later ask me to make a follow up on matters that were discussed, which obviously made it difficult for me because I was clueless, and because he always gave me scanty information. During appraisal time, he did everything within his power to prove that I was a bad worker. Unfortunately for me, the office had too much politics and so I had no one to defend me—it was obvious that my contract was not going to be extended.

Here was the thing—I was at a cross-road. A cross-road because I loved my job and the organization was highly prestigious. My plan was to work there for two years, so that I could build my professional profile; yet I was being pushed off the cliff. I had to do something.

As the madness was going on, I made up my mind to continue focusing on my work and on results. Meanwhile, I started networking with colleagues from other units for job openings, which helped me to maintain my cool. Two months to the end of my contract, which as mentioned earlier, I knew was not going to be renewed, I received a phone call from the head of other unit, asking if I would be interested in joining his team. I was elated and gladly took up the position. A higher position than I had before!

From this experience I learnt that sometimes in life people get to a cross-road. This happens when the time to make a change in someone’s life has come. A cross-road is not a comfortable place to be. It is a rite of passage into new beginnings. And because it is a rite of passage, we should embrace it in the following ways:

Seek advice from a trusted friend. This way you will not only feel like you are doing something about your situation—which is better than just sitting and feeling sorry for yourself, but you will also receive feedback that will help you to address the issues you are facing.

Never compromise your standards. If the cross-road you are facing is in an office situation, do not compromise your standards, but keep on doing your work and be very professional. Doing so will help you to avoid getting distracted by negative people and energies, and you will be able to prove your enemies wrong. This is because they expect you to lose focus and perform poorly, so that your performance can be used as an excuse to execute you.

Take action. Remember, cross-roads are places for making a change, just like a train changes lanes when it gets to one. Therefore, you need to engage in activities that will get you out of the bad situation that is threatening your life. For example, if it is a career situation—like the one I was facing, send out job applications, or pass word round within your networks that you are looking for new opportunities.

Had I not embraced my cross-road by doing something about it, who knows, things probably would have turned out very badly for me. Remember, when you get to a cross-road, don’t just sit there, do something!