Sadly, It’s Time to Go: How to Have a Stress-Free Career Transition

Sadly, It’s Time to Go: How to Have a Stress-Free Career Transition

When I left the Navy, I knew I wanted to go back to school, but that was all I knew. I had a vague idea that I wanted to help people, and that I wanted a job that would provide for my family and give me a long career, but I had no real idea what I would do. This continued all the way until I started graduate school to be a counselor. I fit—that’s the best way to describe it. This was the place I was meant to be in, and this was the career I was designed for. It was the perfect fit, but I didn’t really know what the details of my new career would be. 


Graduate school is very intense, and when you are in it, you are just trying to make it to the end. I met some amazing people and counseled at some great organizations, but as I got closer to the end, I was unsure where I would begin my career. About halfway through my counseling education, I first met Good Dads. Dr. Baker was my supervisor, and I met the team by taking their fatherhood training course around the time my first daughter was born. I was intrigued from the beginning about the organization: how they were helping men connect with their children and be the dads they wanted to be.  


I graduated at the beginning of the summer almost four years ago and had no idea what I was going to do. I knew I was going to be a therapist, but I had no idea where or when. I planned to take a short break during the summer before applying to local counseling centers. One week after I graduated, I received a call from Dr. Baker, and the rest is history. That original phone call brought me onto the Good Dads team as someone to help with whatever was going on. The original plan was for me to work through the summer and then find a place to go after that. As you may have guessed, that did not happen.  


Over the last four years, I have spoken to hundreds of dads, helped build a counseling program, taught countless hours of parenting education, and developed amazing relationships with the men in our community and programs, as well as the staff here at Good Dads.  


It is because of all this background that I say with sadness, and with excitement for the future, that I will be leaving Good Dads.  

Learn More: What I Want to be When I Grow Up

Transition is hard, and the thought of leaving a workplace behind where you developed so many deep relationships can make the stress of leaving even harder. I felt so connected to the people around me, and the thought of letting people down went through my mind over and over. This has proved not to be the case. The team here has been supportive and full of excitement and questions as I prepare for my new adventure. 


If you are in a place where you are considering a transition, I know you are probably conflicted. If it is a bad work environment, it is probably easier to unplug and walk away. For those who feel tied to a place because of the relationships to the crew around you, here are some tips for transitioning as stress-free as possible. 


Stress-Free Transition (As Much as Possible) 

  1. Give notice as soon as possible.  


This may seem like a “No DUH, Drew,” but telling your boss you are leaving is scary, and I know many people who procrastinated until the last minute to break the news. What could have been a situation where people were sad, but excited, turned into a heated conflict because the management felt they were being abandoned with a lot to clean up after. If you are very connected to your job and wear many hats, make sure that you give enough time for the hats to be taken off you and gracefully put on others around you.  


  1. Create a Support System and Use Them. 


This is a good rule to follow in general, not just for transitions. Do I stay, do I go, will this job be a better fit, is money important? These questions are all valuable, complex situations that can sound the same when you play them in your head over and over. I am convinced humans can talk ourselves into, or out of anything if we stay in our own thoughts. Having people you trust and value around you to help decipher these questions is a great tool to lessen stress around transitions. 


  1. Follow your Gut. 


This one follows the second because ultimately it is you who must make a decision and stick to it. Not all workplaces are great, and not all transitions can be stress-free. While I believe having a purpose it great, and working for ideals beyond money is important, at the end of the day, work is there to provide resources for you and your family. If you feel it is time to go, listen to that voice. It may be stressful leaving an environment whether it is good or bad, but once you find the place you belong, the stress will be worth it. 


I have greatly enjoyed my time working in this community and getting to know the families and organizations in Springfield that care about fathers. Leaving can bring all types of emotions, but emotions are good. Excitement for the future can have some stress to it, but that stress can power you through your next adventure. 

About the Author

Drew Dilisio is the former Director of Counseling Services at Good Dads. His last day with Good Dads was August 15th, 2023 and is taking a position at the Jordan Valley Health Center. He is a graduate of Evangel University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, a husband and father.

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