Dealing with Change in the Workplace

Change is something that everyone can experience at some point in their life. All change can be stressful, and changes that occur in the workplace can pose some unique challenges. However, with the right attitude and actions, it is possible to find opportunities in change that can lead to success.

Recognize That Change Does Happen

Your own personal life changes as you grow older.  Why should your careers and job be any different?  Denying that change is or will be occurring, and continuing to live in the past only makes things that much more difficult.  The more you understand that change will happen, the less upset and surprised you will be when you encounter that change.

Communicate With Others

Communication is always important, but especially so when you face change.  A lack of communication from others can have a negative impact, while effective communications can have a positive one.  You need information about the change so that you can determine how it affects you.  Talk to your manager and your co-workers. Avoid rumors, which are common during periods of change. Try talking to others who have experienced similar changes. What difficulties did they experience and how did they deal with them?  How can you adapt their experiences to your own situation?  Insight from others can be valuable and helpful.

Do a Self-Assessment

What skills and strengths do you have?  What talents do you bring to your team? Are there areas you could improve on?  Understanding your own strengths and areas for development, and knowing as much as you can about a new situation and expectations will make it easier to cope with change. 

Maintain Your Network

Your network of contacts, both inside and outside your organization, can serve a valuable function.  They can be a sounding board and may be able to offer insight into how they’ve handled similar changes. Build your network by keeping in touch with school and college classmates, current and former co-workers, bosses and subordinates and by meeting colleagues at conferences and conventions.

Continue to Do Your Work

Regardless of any changes occurring around you, it is important to continue to focus on your work. Staying busy and doing familiar work can help during a period of change. If you have a new supervisor, a strong work ethic and a positive attitude can make a very positive impression.

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