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Goodness, Lost My Career and Who I Am: Now What?

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

In the vast sea of corporate landscapes, company restructures are tornados that can reshape not only the organizational structure but also the lives of those navigating its turbulent waters. Many moons ago, I found myself at the heart of such a storm, experiencing all sides of a company restructure within the Travel Wholesale Sector.

My journey with this company spanned over a decade, a tapestry woven with diverse experiences and connections. From different departments to shared struggles, I had become a fixture, forging friendships and facing challenges together. The last two years, however, would be the most testing, as I became a crucial part of the team orchestrating a massive restructure in a bid to sustain the business.

As a member of the Human Resources Department, I found myself on the other side of the equation, reviewing and assembling severance packages for colleagues and friends. It was a heart-wrenching responsibility, knowing the faces impacted and contemplating whether they would want to know what lay ahead. The emotional burden was immense, as I prepared rooms with tissues, only to witness the devastating deliveries of these life-altering decisions.

One mournful instance was the accounting department, where I had started on my professional journey and still knew many old-timers. The cruelty of the experience struck hard, realizing that we were all heading home to process the aftermath of what had just transpired to them.

The emotional toll extended long after those moments for those individuals and then me. Little did I know that the tide of restructuring would eventually reach our shores, finding myself on the receiving end of the very process I had once been a part of delivering in that very company.

Fast forward 15 years to the present, and I now return on delivery days, not as an enforcer of change but as a compassionate guide. Sitting with those impacted, I ensure they understand the upheaval that has just occurred and that they get home safely. It's a full-circle moment, transitioning from the one who delivered the news to one who eases the impact for others.

In my coaching practice, I support numerous clients who have faced the gut-wrenching reality of a restructure. It's about helping them shift their focus from the question of "why me?" to "where next?" The journey is far from easy, and having walked that path myself, I understand the intricate layers of emotional grieving and uncertainties that accompany such transitions.

Yet, within this storm, there is a beacon of hope. This current state is temporary, and better days will come. It's a sentiment I share with those I support: "You do not have to do this alone." There is strength in community and solace in the realization that this too shall pass. Trurst me though, that is not meant to discredit where you are right now.

I would also want to shed light that not every aspect of restructuring is negative; for some, it serves as a catalyst for change they had been contemplating already. Reflecting on my own experience, I am grateful for that push that I was not able to make myself. It propelled me to where I am today—able to guide others through their own transformative journeys.

To those weathering the storms of change, remember that you are not alone. Reach out for support, whether from friends, family, or professionals. No doubt, this chapter is challenging, but it is also an opportunity for growth and the discovery of new horizons. As I often tell my clients, "You have the strength within you to navigate this sea of change. Better days await, and we will navigate this journey together."

Now I want to leave you with some ways to navigate through your own career transition, or to share with someone who is:

  1. Reflection and Acceptance: Take the time to reflect on your journey, acknowledging both the accomplishments and the challenges. Embrace the emotions that come with change, allowing yourself the space to grieve the past while looking towards the future. Here is one of my guided Meditations to help with acceptance (7 mins): Monthly Mindful Meditation - Walk Away

  2. Identify Core Values: Reconnecting with your core values can be a compass guiding you through the transition. What truly matters to you? What aspects of your identity are non-negotiable? Aligning your next steps with your values can provide a sense of purpose and direction. Here is a free workbook to help you explore your values: IDENTITY EXPLORATION: DISCOVERING THE ESSENCE OF 'WHO AM I?’

  3. Skill Assessment: Assess your skills and strengths objectively. Consider both the technical skills acquired in your previous role and the soft skills that make you uniquely you. Understanding your skill set can open up new possibilities for career paths you may not have considered. I like this book which includes an online assesement: Strength Finder 2.0 from Gallup.

  4. Network and Seek Support: Leverage your professional network and seek support from peers, mentors, or coaches. Sharing your journey with others not only provides valuable perspectives but can also help in discovering new opportunities. Here are some free supports to look into.

  5. Set Realistic Goals: Establish realistic short and long-term goals. Break down your transition into manageable steps, celebrating small victories along the way. This not only boosts your confidence but also keeps you focused on the future. This free workbook will also help you set some goals along with assess your values: IDENTITY EXPLORATION: DISCOVERING THE ESSENCE OF 'WHO AM I?’

In the tapestry of life, career transitions are not just endings but opportunities for new beginnings and to stretch us in new ways. Embracing change, though daunting, can lead to a richer and more fulfilling professional identity. If you find yourself navigating uncharted waters or have questions about your own career transition, feel free to connect with me. Together, let's explore the exciting possibilities that lie ahead and redefine your narrative in this ever-evolving.

Meet Jess Fraser, a vibrant Life Coach, retreat facilitator, podcast host, blogger, and avid book lover. With a passion for adventure, personal growth and transformation, Jess guides individuals on their journey towards self-discovery and empowerment. Her insightful writings and engaging podcasts inspire others to embrace change and embrace their true selves. If you enjoyed this article and would like to stay connected, join Jess at to explore her latest projects, including her empowering guided journal, "Courage to Change Journal." Together, let's continue the journey of self-reflection, growth, and creating a life filled with courage and purpose.


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