Donald Armstrong: Transitions Are Exciting—and Scary

Many of us have been going through transitions lately. Whether planned or out-of-the-blue, transitions are a part of life and we all go through them more than we recognize.

I’m in the middle of multiple transitions at this very moment. I recently left my position as senior manager of biomedical engineering at Stanford Health Care, an amazing hospital where I worked for many, many years. I transitioned from California to Florida, although I’ve spent lots of time back in California. Additionally, I am reimagining what the rest of my career will look like.

That’s three at one time—what was I thinking? We could dive into the role resilience and change management has to do with transitions, but I will refrain and keep this simple.

Simply, it is hard! Emotionally and physically. We have all endured transitions. From going from elementary to high school then on the college, the military, or the workforce. Those we all go through, but those we expect and they are steps in the right direction (hopefully). But what about the transitions that are not laid out in front of us as a normal progression.

I believe we all plan to change jobs from time to time. Maybe move from your home town to somewhere completely unknown. We may even have to move to change jobs when it not our choice (those are tough). Transitions, or changes, will challenge your faith and confidence. Being armed with some of these tools will help:

I believe being open and honest during the transition is key. Being scared and anxious is normal and having someone to talk surely helps.

  • Having an up-to-date resume. Just in case.
  • Have a well-thought-out plan for transitions if you are lucky to have the time. Examples are where to live, how to move, or where will you work. And—will you work?
  • All the “what ifs.” There are too many to mention. But I will tell you they come out of the woodwork. The good news is you could try many things in a transition as very few things are permanent and you could always try something different.

I miss my Job very much. I miss the team I got the pleasure to work with for so long. I miss the day-to-day interactions that were so much of my life. They are now in the past, and I am getting used to it. But there is a void that will not be easily filled. I am grateful for the time I had at this job and people I got to know. Gratitude is a great remedy for a loss.

While it’s pretty darn exciting to move to Florida, there is a loss when you leave a place you love. Adjustments and questions abound. How do I stay connected to the biomed Field? Gyms, churches, places to eat will all have to be leaned again. Not to mention, we hope our dogs to adjust well (so far so good). Again, all these transitions are scary, but also and exciting.

Finally, what am I doing after all? Will I find another biomed job? Will I semi-retire and take on some contract work? I am still trying to figure that all out. It is a process and I have not gotten there yet.

I just keep moving forward with faith and an optimistic attitude I know that this transition will be something I look back upon with fondness and gratitude.

Let me know if you are going through a tough transition as I am also will to talk with anyone going through similar challenges.

Don Armstrong, CBET, CHTM, is a biomedical equipment technician in Vero Beach, FL.

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