How well are you handling your new status as a home worker amid the raging coronavirus pandemic? How well are you coping with the change?
Many of us look forward to change at the workplace and we often have conversations with our colleagues and friends about how things should be different, yet when things do change, we are sometimes caught on the blind side, or feel terrified and uncomfortable.
Yet change is inevitable and necessary for businesses and organisations to thrive and survive.
Companies continue to restructure and reorganise because the corporate ladder seems to have collapsed a long time ago, and career progression is no longer well-defined in many companies. Therefore, changing careers is the new normal.
Clara Kariuki, a HR Consultant with Adept Systems, says that since millennials comprise a huge chunk of the current workforce, there is a higher demand for flexible work schedules and relaxed office environments.
“There is a lot more demand for change at the modern workplace. However, change is still often greeted with fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of criticism, and fear of the unknown,” she says.
While coping with change can be challenging, there are ways to make it easier. Here are some top tips for handling change and using it to advance your career.
The most important thing to do when change is happening at the workplace is to acknowledge it. Adopt a positive attitude and see the changes as opportunities to grow.
Choose to be part of the change by getting into new committees and spearheading the new projects. That way you will feel more empowered and less fearful.
Embrace new opportunities
View change as an opportunity to develop your skills further and to interact with new team members.
For example, reorganisations or mergers can create new positions, new divisions or departments, and a chance for you to take up a new role.
Approach the novelty with courage and try not to exhibit your weaknesses, or give excuses for not participating in the process.
Gaps in communication can create room for rumours and speculation, which can breed even more fear and uncertainty.
If your organisation is not offering effective communication, be proactive and dig for more information. Don’t just sit back.
Talk to your boss, your boss’s boss and your co-workers to get their views. Ask constructive questions and be careful about your choice of words because your statements could be distorted.
Make an effort to stay connected to previous co-workers and continue to expand your network.
Don’t close out your previous colleagues because they could be extremely beneficial to you in future.
If you have lost touch with some of them, revive the communication and keep that relationship going. You never know when you might need each other again.
Take stock of your contribution to the organisation. Acknowledge your successes, or the skills you offer.
Think of new ways to develop your abilities, and identify the people who can help you grow.
Research indicates that the most talented or skilled employees usually sail through change and emerge stronger and more valuable to their employers.
If you get demoted, identify your weaknesses and find ways of making amends such as joining masterclasses or leadership programmes to boost your confidence, then give your new role the best.
You probably aren’t the only one who feels uncomfortable with change at the workplace.
Make time for candid conversations with colleagues and friends, invite co-workers out for lunch, or for a walk around the office so you can discuss the issues at hand.
Helping others will help you cope better with stress, and encourage you to adapt more quickly to change. Learn to embrace change and you’ll soon appreciate it for what it is – a chance to grow.