quick-start guide to career Interruptions
Let’s get started.
Career transitions can be overwhelming. This guide gives you the basics for understanding what lies ahead and how best to get through it.
Starting in 2018, Project Tugboat set out to examine both what hinders and what helps professionals as they make their way through career interruptions. We collected the perspectives of unemployed individuals, career coaches, psychologists, psychiatrists, academics, and HR professionals. Our aim was simple: find ways to empower you to better navigate your journey back to work.
The results of that effort are this guide.
We are constantly revisiting and reconsidering the ideas presented here. When new realities of HR practices, labor markets, and behavioral health emerge, we will incorporate them into the frameworks and content shared on this page.
Download a free version of this guide today.
1. What can I expect?
The journey through unexpected unemployment and back to work can be daunting. Career interruptions in the 21st century can leave individuals feeling at sea - lost, unprepared, and overwhelmed. What follows are seven "deadly seas" - or phases - that individuals often experience while unemployed.
Each journey through unexpected unemployment is unique. You may experience all of these phases or just a few of them. They may come in different orders or be repeated. While the path through these phases is always different, the pitfalls and challenges associated with each phase are consistent. Can you see yourself in these deadly seas?
Your job is gone. You feel shocked, sad, and angered. But you’re on your own now. Now what?
You start to feel relieved, optimistic, and unburdened. After all, how hard can finding a new job really be?
It sets in that this is going to be harder than you thought… You start to feel anxious, scared, and a little confused.
You’re angry, pessimistic, and increasingly withdrawn. The cards are stacked against you and that’s incredibly frustrating.
You realize what you’re doing just isn’t working. You feel frustrated, helpless, and lonely. It feels like you’re running in circles.
Your world feels like it’s collapsing in on you and you’re not sure if you can make it through. You feel despondent, numb, and exhausted.
You’re exhausted, but you march on towards a new job that you hope is out there. You’re skeptical and cautiously in-control for the time being.
2. Is there a better way?
Career interruptions in the 21st century aren't just about managing the tactical aspects of the job search, they are also about managing yourself. What follows is a path through unexpected unemployment that addresses both the tactical and the psychological aspects of the journey back to work.
This path relies on acceptance, exploration, and connection to avoid common pitfalls. It's simply "a better way" forward than braving the "deadly seas" of most career transitions.
You allow yourself a little time and space to process the loss of work before you dive head first into finding your next job.
You start working through quick ways to get your house in order — these small things add up to the solid foundation you’ll need for the journey ahead.
You spend time thoughtfully shaping new habits, new routines, and a new life without full-time work.
With a little bit of outside help, you start the hard work of unpacking who you are and what you really want and need in your next step.
You’ve taken stock of yourself, now it’s time to explore both the big trends that might influence what opportunities are out there for you and what those opportunities actually look like.
You know yourself and you’re equipped with what you need to be effective at job searching. Time to execute.
You’re seeking out new forms of support as you need it and sticking to your plan. You have a quiet, steady confidence that propels you forward.
3. What else should I know?
Plenty. We’ve selected a handful of the topics from the Project Tugboat library that every job seeker should be aware of.
I feel like I need some more help…
No worries, that’s why we’re here.
Our services are specifically designed to help make your career interruption a little less daunting. We have developed an outcomes-based approach to getting you back to work faster and with less stress.
Check out our services for individuals and tackle your career interruption with confidence and clarity.