Change at work can be scary and even upsetting, especially if you worry that the shift might not be in the right direction.
Change is a part of life, but that doesn’t make it any easier to cope with the unexpected. If you’ve been at your job for a while, this is even more true.
Maybe a trusted colleague or manager is leaving and you worry about the future of the organization. Perhaps the company is altering policy or tweaking direction, and you worry that the change in question isn’t in anyone’s best interest.
Whatever the issue, change is coming — and you have to figure out how to deal with it. How can you best cope with change at work when it’s not something you want? Here are a few ideas:
1. Step back
It might make sense to step back a little while you start to process things. If you’re feeling frustrated, angry, or scared about the change that’s on deck, but there’s nothing you can do about it, now is not the time to act. Instead, pull back a little bit emotionally, and refrain from contributing too much about how you’re feeling too. Give yourself a little time to reconfigure this in your mind before deciding how to move forward.
2. Acknowledge your fears
Trying to avoid thinking about the things that scare or worry you doesn’t work. Instead, it’s best to be honest with yourself and acknowledge your fears. You may even want to write down all of the things you’re worried about. This is just between you and you. But, it’s an important step nonetheless. It helps to fully understand and acknowledge how you’re feeling when you want those feelings to change.
3. Get ready to grow
One of the great things about change is that it helps you grow. You’ll have to exercise your flexibility and adapt to this shift in some new and different ways. So, try embracing the experience as an opportunity. You’ll learn new things and be challenged along the way.
4. Keep up with routines
Change can be difficult. So, when things are shifting in a big way at work, lean into routines as much as you can, both personally and professionally. Control the things that you can control. Keeping up with a regular schedule will give you the strength and flexibility you’ll need to roll with the changing tides.
5. Remember that life is full of surprises
It might be worth just considering the possibility that you could be wrong here. After all, you know that life is full of surprises. Maybe, just maybe, you’re wrong about this one. Perhaps this change will be a good thing in the end. Try being open to the idea. The optimism is good for you either way.
6. Take care of yourself
It’s important to take a little extra care of yourself during periods of high stress or anxiety. So, spend time doing things that you love away from the office. Hang out with friends and family, get some exercise or spend some time outdoors. It’ll help you to be at your best as you navigate the changes at work.
7. Reflect back
Think about other surprises you’ve faced over the course of your career. Chances are this isn’t the first time you’ve been taken aback by an unwanted shift. How did previous professional challenges pan out in the end? Did everything always go as you expected? Or, did changes that seemed negative at first end up okay, or even for the best, when all was said and done?
8. Lean on your work pals
There are so many good reasons to embrace the friendships you have at work, especially when faced with professional challenges. This is a great time to lean on those work pals for support and understanding. Just don’t gossip too much about everything that’s going on, or be too negative. You want to be a part of the solution here, not the problem.
9. find something exciting to do
If you really want to move on from being worried about the changes you’re facing at work, you might consider trying to play a more active role in the change itself. Ask yourself what you can bring to the table. How can you contribute to the new order of things in a positive way? This will help you to start to embrace the change rather than just cope with it.
10. Give it time
Changes take time to settle into place. Be careful not to rush to judgment about the impact of what’s happening at work. Instead, give it time. It’s perfectly all right to make observations that you keep to yourself along the way, but commit to reserving judgment about how things are really going post-change for at least six months. In the meantime, go with the flow and just hang in there.
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