Mastering the Art of “Metavasi”: How to Smoothly Transition into a New Job, Location or Lifestyle That You’ve Always Wanted

(Reading time: 10-15 minutes)

change_is_constant“The only thing constant in life is change.”
-François de la Rochefoucauld

Do you ever wish you could live somewhere else? That you would wake up one day, in a new place, a new job, or a new lifestyle that fits you perfectly?

I have too.

This is because I know the feeling of being stuck in a situation or a place that no longer serves my best self. Because each new chapter in life brings us to a new version of ourselves, it sparks a need to reorient and recreate our surroundings to enable us to thrive.

This article is for you if you’re…

1. Thinking about making a switch; whether to a new job, a new place, or a new lifestyle.

2. Already in the process of transitioning to one of the above (this will help you along faster).

3. At the beginning of your career/starting a brand-new career/turning over a fresh page in life.

(If you’re not, but you know someone who could use this article, please share it with them!)

Let’s say that you are already thinking about making a switch. Maybe you’re looking to change your work or your location. Perhaps you’re just looking for something new to spice things up. 

For whatever reason, you’re ready to shift…

Mastering the Art of “Metavasi”

Metavasi is the Greek word for transition.

Over the past three years, I’ve moved across oceans and continents. From the Midwest to Germany to Thailand and most recently, to the mountains of Colorado, metavasi has been a way of life for me.

I shifted my career path multiple times (from insurance sales to teaching English to corporate communications) and about a year ago, I started going through this process of metavasi again.

It’s always a challenge at first, but the good news is that it has gotten easier every time.

Each time, I’ve successfully made the switch. I’ve come to love the changes, because every time I make a switch, I grow, learn, and become a better person.

I’m confident that you too can become a Metavasi Master and smoothly transition into a new job, location or lifestyle that you’ve always wanted.

The Challenges

cliff_edge_of_your_comfort_zone

Change is daunting.

Transitioning to a new job or location brings up dozens of questions to answer. You might be overwhelmed, thinking, “How will I ever be able to organize all of this?”

Or you’re afraid that once you bring up the idea of moving to a new job or location, your friends and family just won’t understand…

…or they’ll even try to talk you out of making that transition.

You might even feel like you can’t make a move on your own because you just don’t have the support…

The questions alone are enough to keep you settled right where you are: comfortable, but not truly happy with your situation.

Settled where it just doesn’t feel right.

The last time I experienced this feeling, I ended up spending two full years of my life in Frankfurt, the banking capital of Europe…a place where finance and investment has a heavy influence on the day to day culture and city atmosphere.

The problem? It was a flashy city, but many of the connections I made were more useful for my LinkedIn profile than for my personal happiness.

The obvious solution was to change my job, or change my location, or both. The non-obvious solution, however, wasn’t about the physical shift itself. It was about the mental one.

In the past, I had learned to break down a big transition from a daunting project into bite-sized processes, easy to handle and repeat. Often, however, it wasn’t the process that was holding me back.

Mindset was the main thing that kept me from making a switch I really needed to make.

I felt stuck. I had a solid job with good benefits, located at the heart of western Europe. I had invested time and energy into getting a European work permit, and didn’t want to throw away the opportunity…or have people think I was stupid for giving that up…

…but when I thought about the direction the job and location were taking me, I realized that it just didn’t fit.

It took a while to admit that to myself, but once I had, I started taking action to create a situation for myself that aligned with what I truly wanted for my life. 

Once I had admitted that Frankfurt wasn’t working for me, my mindset shifted to be focused and determined on finding a solution. Once again, I went through my time-tested steps for mastering metavasi.

I left Frankfurt last October, certain that my next home would be in Colorado, working alongside the founder of this website, Phil Drolet. Just over three months later, I arrived here in Boulder with a huge smile on my face.

Now, I’m willing to bet that – once you’ve finished this article – the process of making a move won’t seem so daunting anymore.

I want you to feel that YOU are in control, creating your own reality.

Because here’s the key to keep in mind…This isn’t really an article about ‘how to make a smooth transition’.

This is about crushing the feeling of being stuck in a situation or a place that no longer serves you best, by actually moving on from it. This is about creating your own reality.

Yes, there are definitely challenges you will face. Always.

Fortunately, I’ve found there are valuable preparations that you can do to successfully become a Metavasi Master…it’s time to get this ball rolling!

Change Prep Work

I. Talk Test

Part One

Talk about making this switch out loud, first to yourself. Make a change statement worded in the present, as if it’s already happening.

Example: I am moving to _________.

I am working for _________.

I am cutting out ________ from my life.

Pay very close attention when you say this change statement aloud. How does your voice change? Can you say the statement with a strong, clear tone?

How does your body feel? What immediate reactions come up (in your body posture, mood, tightening in your stomach, etc.)?

You are the best judge of yourself: are the reactions majorly positive or still hesitant? 

If they’re positive, move on to part two. If they’re hesitant, explore what’s blocking you.

Are there some ‘shoulds’ getting in your way? Nail down what they are.

Examine your language. Change those phrases of obligation like “I should…” or “I have to…” to “I choose to…” or “I allow ___ to happen to me.”

Forget your concepts of right and wrong. Instead, ask yourself if those reactions fit who you really are.

Do they fit your temperament, your enduring traits and tendencies?  Does the feeling of obligation really make sense?

Remember:

This is about CRUSHING the feeling of being stuck in a situation or a place that no longer serves you best, by actually moving on from it.

Part Two

Talk about making the switch to another person. Take that same change statement and try it out on a NEUTRAL person in your life.

(The key here is to pick someone who isn’t so close to you as to have a huge influence on your thoughts, emotions, or decisions. That way you can simply make the statement without caring about or being attached to their reaction.)

This talk test is a simple way to make the switch feel more real and mentally prepare yourself for the next step…

II. Assume Full Responsibility

From here on out, you are the only one who is creating the circumstances under which you CAN and ACTUALLY do make the switch.

This can be tough, since it means that whatever doesn’t work is also your full responsibility. We all know how easy it is to fall into the trap of talking about something and not following through.

Put the pressure on and trust yourself to pull through.

IMPORTANT: for this to work, you have to give yourself permission.

“Should” and “should not” are invalid words right now; ask only “what is best to further my well-being”.

You don’t need anyone’s permission to get this transition started.

Do what works for you and you’ll create a chain reaction of increased self-confidence and effective actions that yield better results, a happier you, and ultimately, a bigger positive impact on the world.

III. Define the Purpose

There is no sense in putting your energy into a daydream…unless that daydream has a solid purpose. Define your purpose, your Why in a sentence and you give yourself a concrete reason to get the ball rolling.

How to define your Why is easier than you think. It has a lot to do with gut reactions when you consider the following:

1. If I added it (the new job, the new location) to my life, what I would benefit most from?

2. If I cut it (the current job, the current location) out of my life, what I would benefit most from?

3. Who can hold me accountable to making this switch? Whose opinion do I care enough about that I wouldn’t want to disappoint them by NOT adhering to my decision to switch?

4. What is one way – big or small – that I can put this change into effect or get the process started today? <– write this down!

Another approach is defining the Worst Case Scenario.

Face that fear by writing out the worst thing that could happen if you do go through with this shift.

(Typical WCS statements: I will be lonely. It will be too hard to get a job. I will spend all my money in the move, end up broke and feel like a failure.)

Brainstorm solutions: if you actually encounter your WCS, what would you do? What could you fall back on? Generate at least one possible solution to each of your WCS statements.

Once you’ve written down your WCS and their solutions, you can see if the fear is based in common sense or irrationality and if the potential gain is bigger than the potential loss.

This step packs a punch in weakening your fear, and is worth repeating whenever doubts resurface.

IV. Build Your Game Plan (It’s easier than you think!)

Make a list of the questions that need answering in order to make this upcoming switch more real.

I find spreadsheets extremely useful in this stage of the planning. It’s nothing complicated (I’m terrible with Excel), just a couple columns of questions and your matching answers.

Writing down the questions that come up in your head serves two purposes:

1. It makes the logistics of a big switch less daunting. You see the variables laid out on paper. You know what you need to tackle in order to make this happen.

2. It serves as a checklist of whatever you have to do next, and is an easy organizer for the upcoming stages of the transition.

Once you have your questions down, all that’s left to do is the digging. If it sounds like research, no worries; this part is actually fun. You will be motivated by the knowledge that, when you have your answers, you’ll be one step closer to making your switch.

To get you started, here are some important (albeit slightly boring) logistical questions to ask when making a job switch. Feel free to add your own to the list.

1. What income do I need to sustain myself (+ dependents)?
2. How long can I (+ they) live without a solid income?
3. What expenses will I need to cover upfront in this switch?
4. What is the total amount of expected expenses for the first 1-3 months after making this switch?

There are dozens of other questions you could address, but it’s helpful to keep it to the black and red basics of money in, money out for the beginning. Much of the rest can be figured out as you go along.

Here’s a simple spreadsheet to help you keep everything organized and moving forward…

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When making a locational switch, focus on getting the answers to these questions:

1. What don’t I like about where I am now? (Be specific. These things are MUST-GO.)

2. What are the MUST-HAVE characteristics for my next location? (i.e. typical weather, average age or size of population, proximity to water/mountains/forest, political tendency, etc.)

3. What things do I need to take care of “closing” or wrapping up in the location I am now, in order to actually make this switch (i.e. canceling contracts, selling stuff, de-registering from a city, etc.)

4. What will I do in this new location?

5. What type of people/what type of activities am I looking for in this new place? What prep work can I do online or through my existing connections to find them?

(Perfect if you’re looking for a new social group, networking, hobby, I’ve even found the Facebook search term “People I know who live in ____” to be useful as a starting point. Most people are happy to answer a few questions about where they live.)

Pro tip: arrange meetings before you move!

Reach out to people keyed into your industries or interests and suggest a meeting. Tell them you’re interested in connecting with like-minded people (like them!) in your soon-to-be new home. Bonus: it makes you feel extra welcome in your new location because someone is already “waiting” for you!

It’s easy once you narrow down where you can work and then determine your priorities when it comes to geographical, interpersonal, and lifestyle factors.

For example, when I was certain I wanted to leave Germany I created this “Places to Thrive” spreadsheet and pounded out some answers…

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I then looked at characteristics of new places that qualified as “Ginger-friendly”. Weather, mentality of the people, and proximity to nature were big factors I considered.

You can see similarities in how I chose my last home base of Chiang Mai, Thailand, and why I’m so excited to now be based in Boulder, Colorado, working at the heart of The Feel Good Lifestyle.

Suddenly…You’re on Your Way

Let’s make this happen.

Transitioning is difficult. Even with the strategies I’ve outlined above it can be really tough to ACTUALLY take the leap. Most of us need that extra push to make it a reality. We need the support to believe we actually CAN do it.

That’s why I decided to offer 8 free, 45-min “Mastering Metavasi” Sessions. In them, I’ll help you apply the strategies above (and the countless others I have in my toolbox) to your unique situation.

I definitely understand that it’s intimidating to make this kind of leap…

…and that it’s scary to take that first step in doing something that could shake up your whole reality.

But instead of feeling stuck and stagnant, I guarantee that after our session, you’ll walk away with clarity, confidence, and excitement for what’s to come.

If you’re tired of being in an unfulfilling job, location, or lifestyle you dislike, apply for a free session.

Click here to take 5 minutes and fill out the application.

To mastering your metavasi,
Ginger

Ginger_KernGinger is a Peak Potentials Coach and the Feel Good Team’s resident nomad. Through her coaching, she helps you navigate major transitions, whether to new locations, new jobs or to new phases in life. Ginger also coordinates with writers for The Feel Good Lifestyle so that you have fresh, inspiring content.

Twitter: @ginger_kern

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"PS. Ever feel overwhelmed when trying to reach your goals? Watch my TEDx talk to learn how to stop slowly killing yourself while accomplishing more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M9i3-QhWzg&t=565s"
Posted on : 9, Feb 2014

11 Comments

  • You know exactly, what you are talking about and it’s so easy to actually “feel” what you mean!
    You’re definitely one of the valuable people who can hold me accountable for my switch!

    • Thanks, Marina! It’s been a privilege holding you accountable and I’m excited to see what you do next!

  • I love this Ginger! Making a big change is really tough no matter what the change is. Having a plan of attack like this is really helpful, to be able to break things down into smaller pieces and look at what the worst case scenario is and how you would handle that if it happened. And sometimes you just need to remind yourself that no matter how tough the change/transition might be, it’s better than staying in a situation that just doesn’t work for you.

    • Hey Ali, thanks for the input – you’re exactly right :) You and Andy definitely have the travel-move/job switch thing down to a science too, and I admire how you always keep that sense of adventure, even during tougher changes!

  • You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find
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    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the
    hang of it!

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