It is inevitable. Change will happen whether you are expecting it, or not, in your personal lives, in society and in the workplace. Generally speaking, when we expect a change, it is more manageable to deal with and depending on what it is, it can be a good thing. Unexpected change is the one that takes a little more effort to get through as it may require a re-adaption to processes, environments including those around us. Perhaps some of the methods talked about in this article can help with unexpected change not only in business or the workplace, but on a personal level as well.
A friend of mine mentioned a few months ago that her husband was losing his job. They had known about this for sometime and had been in the process of planning for what would happen. In the end, due to planning, they were ready for it, and her husband was actually looking forward to being let go, taking in the severance pay and moving on to something new. By taking this potentially negative upcoming change and making it something positive, they helped themselves from a financial and psychological standpoint and felt pretty good about it. Their expected change, moved to an unexpected change when the lay-offs were cancelled and he kept his job. At first, they were a little disappointed because they had worked so hard on the plan, he was looking forward to the time off and now they had gone back to the status quo.
We can see from this example that preparing for expected change is key in the change leaving a minimal impact. So, what are some things we can do to manage unexpected change? We can’t plan for it. Forbes Magazine touches on a few methods to deal with change in the workplace, such as preparation calming fears, letting go of perfection, and so on.
1. Take a look at the situation objectively, removing thoughts that these changes are directed toward you.
2. Think of the potential that can grow from this change. Think positive about the “surprise”.
3. Keep those things that have not changed up to date, by still taking care of yourself and maintaining routines.
When change happens, it might be wise to take a look at the entire situation from an objective standpoint. Instead of focusing on how this is affecting you as an individual, take a look at the big picture. Was it perhaps necessary from a business standpoint for your workplace needing to change to keep up with a changing industry? Are there redundancies your employer is trying to work with? At times, we may look at changes at work and think “What did I do to deserve this?”, but in fact it may not have been something you had done, but something that just happens in the course of running a business. No, it is not pretty and sometimes employers have to make difficult decisions.
Perhaps the changes at work are an open door to something new. Although change may be scary and it may not always be easy to flip around a negative impression already established, it may be needed to help you move forward. The opportunity to grow can found by moving past fears you may have about the change to come, and making a decision that this change is going to be good. Maybe there is an opportunity to learn a new skill within your job as a result of this change, or maybe the new skills can be learned in leaving this job for another one. Either way this can be an opportunity to further develop your skillset and knowledge. If you are leaving to find a new opportunity, what you have learned in this job can help you determine the things you like or may not like in going to the next job to set yourself up for something even better.
During a time of work change it is very important to keep up with personal care and maintaining your regular routines. You might think “Well I’m not going into work so why should I bother getting up early?” Maintaining your schedule and using the time that would have been at work in something productive can help stave off negative feelings and allow you to keep a sense of consistency during a time that may be anything but consistent.
Regardless, of the situation stay strong and forge on to a better path carved out by change.
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