Deloitte Alumni Career Development Resources

Helping you throughout your ongoing career journey

Looking for new job opportunities? Contemplating a career change? Hoping to advance your career within your current company? Whatever your career objective, we provide some resources to help you meet your goals.

When life gives you lemons, don’t let them go bad in your refrigerator drawer.

Aileen Baxter, Transition Assistance Coach, Evolving Workforce, Deloitte Services LP

I was recently cleaning out my refrigerator and remembered I had bought a bag of lemons on sale at the grocery store.  However, upon looking more closely I noticed they had become overripe and gone bad.  I was mad at myself because when I bought the lemons, I figured I would use them for any number of recipes, salad dressings or even just a fresh slice in my water every day.  But I had forgotten about them, letting them rot away in the drawer.

Sort of a strange analogy, I suppose, but one that resonated with me about missed opportunity.

Any life transition, and a job transition is a major one, can be an opportunity for us to take a step back and contemplate our career path.  What are the next steps for us?  How can we make use of our greatest strengths and talents?  What will give us joy and allow us to cultivate our true purpose? 

When life hands you lemons, don’t let them go bad in your refrigerator drawer.  As all of us approach crossroads in our lives, we may become overwhelmed, wondering what we did wrong or how we could have changed our current situation.  It’s easy to focus a lot of time and energy on the past – ruminating and dwelling on what happened.  This is human nature.  Our minds tend to focus on what went wrong and what we “could have” or “should have” done to change it.  But what would happen if we could harness that energy into something else?  Could we focus less on the past and more on future possibilities?  How would this change our job search and ultimately, our path forward?  Here are some ideas to help put the past behind you and open up a new world of possibility for your future.

1.       Reframe your mindset – Focus on the future, not the past.  Redirect your energy from rehearsing what you could have done differently to how you can search for a job you’ve always dreamed of.  When you find yourself getting stuck in the past, take action to focus on the future.  Reach out to someone in your network and buy them coffee or implement a creative job search tactic.

2.       Cultivate “grit” – The most successful people may not necessarily be the most talented, but those with the most grit; that is, those who can stand back up after being knocked down by life.  Life is going to come with a lot of surprises, both good and bad, and if you are able to identify lessons learned and move forward with optimism, you may possibly reap more success in your life.

3.       Be open to all of the possibilities – If you already know what career or job you want, great!  However, don’t close the door to anything that comes your way.  In networking, it’s often helpful to ask lots of questions and open yourself up to alternative perspectives.  You never know what opportunity is waiting for you.

4.       Identify a job search mentor or Board of Directors – When you are experiencing a time of transition, it can be critical to reach out for support and guidance.  If you can identify a job search mentor (someone you respect) or even a support network (Job Search “Board of Directors”), your job search effort will likely be winged.

5.       Contemplate your strengths – Take a step back, identify and reflect upon your innate talents and strengths.  Consider utilizing the various self-reflection tools provided to aid your self-discovery.

Your transition, while challenging, may be a time of great learning and personal growth.  Take charge of your own search and consider working with your network to navigate the right steps for you.  If you use your time and resources wisely, your lemonade may taste doubly sweet!