Upon returning to work from maternity leave, Elizabeth was faced with a number of changes to the organization that had transpired in her absence. Her department underwent a major restructuring resulting in new management and significant changes to the scope of her work. Always up for a new challenge, Elizabeth hit the ground running and was initially optimistic about the recent transitions.
After a few months however, Elizabeth struggled with balancing work and motherhood, and as her new duties were no longer a source of passion and fulfillment for her, she found herself struggling to adapt to the direction her organization was going. Deciding to cut her losses and view this as an opportunity to focus on her family for the time being, Elizabeth made the decision to resign from her position.
Fortunately for Elizabeth, her story had a positive outcome although she struggled with the change she was presented with. In so many instances of change in the workplace, we often try our very hardest to maintain an optimistic mindset when presented with a difficult situation. Sometimes, we can overcome the challenge and are able to learn and grow from the experience. Other times, we need to be able to recognize when it is time to take a step back, cut bait and run.
There are a few questions you must ask yourself with determining when we should keep trying, and when we should admit defeat. Have you adopted a positive mindset and approached the challenge with a willingness to succeed? Have you accepted that change is inevitable and attempted to use the situation as an opportunity for growth? Have you been successful in dealing with other transitions that you’ve been faced with, but just can’t seem to overcome this one? If the answer is yes to even one of these, it may be time to move on.
Even the most professionally successful of us don’t win every battle. We are all human and all have to take a step back and recognize that moving on from a situation that is unwinnable is not a sign of failure, rather an indication of professional maturity in understanding that the stress and negativity that some circumstances bring about are simply not worth our time and energy.
When a merger resulted in a complete restructuring of the leadership team at the retail establishment Scott worked at, he had a difficult time working with the new members of management and new procedures regarding the chain of command. Already in an assistant manager position, Scott knew that this change was completely outside his control and no matter how much he disagreed with the restructuring his department was undergoing, nothing would change the forward momentum the company was moving in. After having a conversation with human resources, voicing his concerns and frustrations, Scott approached his work with a new attitude and decided to view the situation as “glass half full,” and made the proactive decision to not let these changes affect him in a negative way.
Last week, we discussed how important a positive outlook is to ensure we effectively adapt to change. Our mindset when faced with difficult situations is vital in ensuring our personal and professional success. How do you get to that point? How do you adjust your efforts to view change as an opportunity to evolve, grow, and learn in a productive manner?
Let Go of the Past – Stop comparing what is to what was. You had an amazing manager, a great team, the perfect workload, and then things changed. Constantly comparing the present to how good things used to be is going to give you nothing but grief and resentment. Let it all go. Focus on the present and the potential opportunities that the change you’re faced with may bring.
Reevaluate Your Goals – During times of significant change, we may need to reevaluate our goals and objectives, and adjust them as necessary to fit the changing landscape. Setting new goals is a great way to wipe the slate clean and move forward with a new, optimistic outlook.
Focus on Control – One of the primary issues many of us have with change is control; more so, that change is outside our control which leads to stress. The only thing you can control in times of change is often your own actions and reactions to situations. Focus your energy on controlling your own actions and try to drown out everything else. Such attention will lead to higher levels of fulfillment and engagement in the workplace.
What happens when you’ve tried all of the above and you still find yourself stuck in a pessimistic rut? Read along next week as we discuss how to pull yourself out of the vicious, negative cycle and embrace the change you’re presented with.
Helen worked at a small consulting firm for nearly 7 years. When the company decided to downsize and move out of the property they were renting, employees were expected to transition to remote worksites (whether that be from home or an office they had access to). With 2 small children at home, working from home presented a huge challenge to Helen. Rather than becoming overly stressed at the prospect of telecommuting, Helen focused on the positives of the situation, and was able to work out her childcare situation, work projects, and time management to ensure that she handled this substantial change in the most efficient manner possible.
Significant changes in our lives can result in 2 very different outcomes. Change has the power to make us feel overwhelmed and anxious, or can provide us with an opportunity to better ourselves. Particularly with change in the workplace, considerable changes can be challenging. Challenges can be constructive however, and approaching such alterations to our work lives with a positive and constructive outlook can result in both personal and professional growth.
Adaptation can be hard, and a good place to start is putting yourself in the right mindset. Challenge yourself to view change as a positive thing and that it is within our power to not allow it to affect us negatively. Focusing your efforts on viewing change not as a threat, but as an opportunity to evolve, learn, and develop further is a positive first step in making the most out of the circumstances we are presented with.
Next week, we will further discuss how to use this newfound mindset to make the most out of the period of adjustment. How do you grow from a situation that, at one time, could have resulted in a loss of engagement and motivation?
Change is one of those constants in life that the majority of us aren’t huge fans of. Change is also usually necessary and depending on the situation, can leave us feeling anxious and overwhelmed. In the workplace, these transitions can range from promotions or demotions, new management, moving locations, different projects or workloads, or working with new and different people.
This month, we will discuss the necessary evil that is change, and how such alterations to our work lives can provide us with an opportunity to better ourselves. Rather than causing unnecessary stress, make the most out of this period of adjustment. There are countless benefits that can be experienced both at the organizational and individual level during a period of change, particularly when you look at the positive outcomes rather than the negatives.
Here at HRCentral, we are undergoing a significant change of our own! We are closing the offices we have been located at since our founding in 1989. For us, such a huge change is providing us with the opportunity to focus on new objectives for our Company and allows us all to reevaluate individual goals and how to make the most out of this transition.
Drawing from our own recent experiences, follow along this month as we talk about how to effectively manage change in the workplace. Every organization is unique and knowing how to work with your employees to ensure that even the most minor of changes are executed in a smooth and seamless manner is vital to success. Change has the ability to cause substantial failure, or significant accomplishments; let’s work together to ensure we all experience the latter!