Best ways to manage change in the workplace

Change at work

Change really is inevitable, so watch for the signs that say it’s on the way and prepare for it.

Photo credit: Samuel Muigai | Nation Media Group

We have a love-hate relationship with change. We lust after the latest phones, crave new experiences, and like making new friends. But any change at work makes us anxious. Wondering if we can cope in a new organisation, or work with a new boss.

So, why do we feel positive about things like new gear, and so negative about changes at work?

Something new at work scares us because we tend to focus on what we might lose. Perhaps even getting angry, depressed, anxious and stressed. It can take quite a while for us to get used to what’s new.

Don’t be like that. Stand out from the crowd by welcoming every change. Partly, that’s about your whole attitude to life, but it’s also about consciously taking control of your career. Think of every position as a project, for example, with an optimum end date. Rework your CV regularly, become really serious about networking, and always be working towards identifying and obtaining your next opportunity, even if you’re happy in your current job.

Think of change as the path to personal growth. Prepare for it by tracking technical and social trends that could affect your career, and by keeping your skills relevant and up to date.

Change really is inevitable, so watch for the signs that say it’s on the way and prepare for it. Then you aren’t surprised when something happens, and already have an action plan ready.

Become a good financial planner, minimising your spending and maximising your savings so you could survive much longer without a salary. You’ll be surprised at how much more confident that’ll make you feel, and what opportunities it creates. For further study for example, or starting a business.

It helps to develop a different attitude towards work. Just as committed to your employer, but without making your current job the most important thing in your life. Create a strong sense of identity that’s separate from your organisation, and develop a clear set of values, of which your work is only a part.

Join voluntary groups to build your network, and to develop new technical and social skills. And don’t define yourself solely by your profession. You also have other talents and abilities. So spend time thinking about the things you love doing, and develop a clear sense of what you want to achieve in your life. Maybe your primary focus is your family?

Or your community? Maybe you have underused skills that could lead you in new directions? Then pursue your focus and develop your skills in ways that exploit your abilities to the utmost. Incorporate them into challenging lifelong goals, and make plans to achieve them that will cope with the hurdles you’ll face.

Most people live their whole lives playing it safe and resisting change. But a much more successful strategy is to accept that it happens no matter what. So start seeing every change as an opportunity, and you’ll never look back!