How to Handle Change in the Workplace

how to handle changeAs the Fall season begins and the leaves turn orange and red, we start a new season here in St. Louis. Gone are the days sipping lemonade by the pool and shielding the sun from your eyes in the ballpark bleachers – now we replace shirts with sweaters, lemonade for pumpkin spice lattes (my favorite), and Cardinal baseball with Blues hockey.

The onset of each new season has its own excitement and feel. Which got me thinking about change… As excited as I get about the change of seasons I haven’t always accepted change in other aspects of my life quite as easily. When really, why not? Change can mean growth and new opportunities – a chance to improve. And this can be especially true when applied to the workplace.

So I admittedly do not like change, in any aspect of my life (hello?! I’m a Taurus!). I’m a creature of habit and comfort. And those traits don’t always mesh well in the workforce. Change is inevitable and if you can’t learn to go with the flow and adapt…well, you’re in trouble.

So, how do we deal with change? Being with for over two years, I’ve had to take this issue head on as we like to switch things up around here quite often! I’ve learned to embrace change as an opportunity for growth. Instead of feeling uncomfortable, I’ve found ways to forge ahead and overcome!

Here are some tips that have helped me handle change along the way:

Look for an opportunity

When there is a change in the workplace, such as a new manager or a change in roles and responsibilities, I’ve found that looking at the situation as a chance for new opportunities has made the transition easier. Once you start looking at the positives and realizing certain changes can enhance your skill set, you begin to see the benefits – which, in turn, makes it easier to accept. I’ve taken on many new responsibilities over the years and I’m truly happy it happened. I now have a wider range of skills that I certainly wouldn’t have had the opportunity to develop had changes in the workplace not occurred.

Why are you resisting?

When I’m being a stick in the mud, I stop and ask myself what the real reason is. Approaching it this way allows me to explore thoughts and fears that I may be glossing over. It’s helpful to have an actual reason for the reluctance. Instead of simply being uncomfortable because it’s different, take a deeper look at why you feel that way. Are you nervous that you don’t have the tools needed to complete the task at hand? Do you feel inexperienced in a new role? Are you nervous of personality clashes? Are you simply in a routine that you don’t want to change? Figure out precisely what is really bothering you. That way you can find an actual reason for your resistance and can begin taking steps to solve the problem from its roots.

Encourage and guidance

Once you recognize the reason for your fear, begin finding solutions. Whether it means asking for resources or simply speaking to a manager about their expectations – find ways to make yourself more informed and comfortable with the transition. Seek out guidance and encouragement to help ease your nerves!

Don’t worry about what you can’t control

My last tip is to stop stressing about things you cannot change. It’s something that has helped me tremendously. Instead of focusing on negatives, acceptance is much more fulfilling. Every minute you spend worrying about something that you cannot control is a minute that you can’t be moving forward and adjusting to the new circumstances. Once you’ve accepted the change, you can work towards making it work for you.

That’s just a handful of ways to deal with change. And don’t get me wrong, I’m still not crazy about change. It’s part of my personality. However, I think it’s important to recognize the traits that hold you back (professionally and personally) and improve upon them as much as possible. It will not necessarily just disappear, but you can find ways to manage it. And that’s what I’ve done. Hopefully if you recognize this trait within yourself, some of my tips will help! Besides, if we didn’t have change in our lives…we wouldn’t have the Fall season….which means no pumpkin spice lattes! And I think I speak for everyone when I say, that is unacceptable!

2013-11-07T09:07:04+00:00 November 7th, 2013|

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