Career Coaching 3-Part Series (Part 1): Bouncing Back From Major Life Changes


 “Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to navigate them”



Career Coaching 3-Part Series (Part 1): Bouncing Back From Major Life Changes

At some point or another, we all experience major life changes that affect our work and life. We get fired, laid off or passed over; a loved one dies, leaves or gets in trouble; a project stalls or gets cancelled. The list, unfortunately, is endless. This blog is the first of a 3-part series that will explore how best to rebound from major life changes and navigate those difficult times.

For some, the impact of challenging life changes and disruptions is overwhelming. Recovery, if it comes at all, is painfully slow. Others are resilient and able to sail through the tough times. Resilience—the strength required to adapt to change—acts as their internal compass so they can resourcefully navigate an upset.

How can you can develop your internal compass and build your emotional resilience to better survive the rough seas of life?

1. A Sense of Hope and Trust in the World

Resilient people set their internal compass on a belief in the basic goodness of the world and trust that things will turn out all right in the end. This positive attitude allows them to weather times when everything seems bleak and to look for and accept the support that is out there. This approach toward the world gives them the ability to hope for a better future.

Neuroscientists have discovered that the human mind functions best when it acts as if there is hope and organizes itself to make good things happen. When feeling challenged by life events, take a time-out and consider: What do I hope for my future after this event? Once your mind stops thinking about what is lost and begins to focus on what is possible it will start working on this new hopeful future.

2. Interpreting Experiences in a New Light

Resilient people recalibrate their compass to see how things look from another position. This ability to look at a situation in a new way (a skill called “reframing”) can minimize the impact of a difficult situation and support creativity in solving a problem. Resilient people realize that there are opportunities in every crisis and focus on those.

3. A Sense of Mastery and Control Over Your Destiny

You may not be able to predict the future, but you can tackle a problem instead of feeling at the mercy of forces outside of your control. Resilient people know that ultimately their survival and the integrity of their life values depend on their ability to take action rather than remain passive. Tough times call for you to tap into your own sense of personal direction. Ask yourself: What is important here? How can I start to take some small steps to move in that direction?

Just by attuning your internal compass, you can dramatically shift your experience during difficult, major life changes.

Are you currently facing or have you previously faced a challenging change in your life? How do you use your internal compass to effectively navigate these challenges? Share with us and let us know how you use the power of your thoughts to ride out these tough times.

If this blog resonated with you let me know how I can best support your current challenges and book your free session with me here.


Dr. Lynn K Jones

P.S. Share this blog or the image below with someone who may need a little support and direction today!

Career Coaching 3-Part Series: Bouncing Back From Major Life Changes

Dr. Lynn K. Jones is a Board Certified Coach and an Advanced Certified Personal and Executive Coach based in Santa Barbara, California and a sought after coach and consultant for organizations and individuals across the US. Her doctoral work completed at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University concerned organizational culture; she coaches, consults and trains organizations on what they need to do to create organizational cultures that are aligned with their vision and values using a process of Appreciative Inquiry. She coaches individuals on achieving their reflected best selves. A MSW@USC faculty member, Dr. Lynn K. Jones, MSW, DSW, CSWM, teaches Human Behavior and Social Environment and Leadership to social work students at the University of Southern California.


  1. Calla Gold on July 11, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Resilience is a handy trait, thank you for sharing some tips on how to develop and nurture this vital, life altering trait. Life is anything but problem-free, so learning how to best navigate your way through those problems is key to being happy with life.

    • DrLynnKJones on July 12, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      Calla Gold I like what you said about nurturing this trait.  I think that part of nurturing resiliency is having the ability to listen to what we value and believe and have the confidence to act on those values and beliefs.

      • Calla Gold on July 13, 2013 at 6:55 am

        DrLynnKJones Calla Gold You’re right when you focus on your values and beliefs and listen to yourself and consider them in any internal dialog you’ll have a better chance of getting “yourself” back.

  2. SharryFlaherty on July 12, 2013 at 7:08 am

    My self that moves through the world didn’t HAVE an internal compass to connect with – so adjusting to change was always a painful struggle, always an attempt to control circumstances rather than accept and adapt.  Resilience wasn’t a tool in my box.  My higher/deeper self knew what was right or not right for me, but my day-to-day self had been so trained to look to other people to tell me who and how I was supposed to be.  With much internal work I am, now at the age of 60, getting much better at being in touch with my higher/deeper self and my internal compass.  Late to the party, but ever so glad to have accepted the invitation!

    • DrLynnKJones on July 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      SharryFlaherty I Sharry, I got your comment as I was teaching a group of nonprofit leaders about individual change.  I read them your comment because it was so pertinent to our discussion and they really resonated with what you said about the pain and the need to control during time of change.  They got a chuckle out of what you said about being late for the party but glad to accept the invitation!  Congratulations for accepting the invitation!  Many people never do! And thanks for being an inspiration to my class!


  3. cliffwalters on July 12, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Hi Lynn,
    I have a daughter whose husband of four months had a motorcycle accident resulting in a complete paralysis from the waist down.  She dove in, was optimistic, and full of hope and provided all the support and medical help he needed..  He didn’t have his spinal cord cut, but just the nerves below the cord compressed.  After corrective surgery, and 12 months of rehab, he is walking, driving, and back to work.  He can’t run and walks funny, but he is functional.  She handled all his medical needs well as well as was fully engaged with emotional support.  Then . . .
    6 weeks ago, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl with a heart murmur.  The work-up showed bicuspid aortic stenosis at four weeks requiring a catheter to be put into her heart from the groin and with the balloon, they were able to open up the narrowing of the valve.  Baby is doing much better.  But once again, my daughter rose to the occasion, loved her baby through it.  Though this issue for the baby will be life long, once again the resilience of my daughter came forth with optimism and hope.  She sees this as HER journey. 
    And really isn’t that what life is all about – a journey  – to manage what comes before you with optimism, hope, and positivity? Is it possible that troubles in life can contribute to the flourishing life?  Just a thought . . .
    Cliff Walters

    • DrLynnKJones on July 12, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      cliffwalters Wow! Cliff, you must be so proud of your daughter.  They say that the acorn doesn’t fall to far from the tree and I am sure that you are a big part of how resilient, strong and hopeful that she has been able to be in the face of such adversity.  I do believe that positivity springs from the ground waters of negativity.  It is funny how when we survive the challenges in life that we can appreciate what we have gratitude for.  Thanks for sharing such a heart-warming and inspirational story.

    • Calla Gold on July 22, 2013 at 7:43 am

      cliffwalters That is an astonishing story. You must be so proud of your lovely daughter.

  4. LindaMenesez on July 15, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    This is beautifully written, Lynn!  You gave us all information on how to move forward when change comes, which it inevitably will.  Sometimes it can feel like the rug has been pulled out from under us.  When we learn how to be resilient, we become powerful and able to “sway” when the strong forces come and push so strongly against us.  I’m looking forward to the other parts of this 3 part series.

    • DrLynnKJones on July 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      LindaMenesez Be able to “sway” and not “snap” is such a great metaphor for resilience, Linda.  Glad you found value in the post and look forward to your reactions to the others!

  5. […] the course of the last couple weeks I have been exploring how you can bounce back from adversity by calibrating your internal compass and preparing for the uneven terrain of your life’s […]

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