Change at Work is Here to Stay
November 13, 2008
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Change is all around us...changing your mind, changing seasons, changing fashion, changing gas prices and changing jobs. Change can be predictable. Change can be cyclical. Change can be erratic. Change can be unpredictable. Change is inevitable.

How are you with change? Many of today’s employees are like a corked bottle bobbing in a sea of change...changing job description, changing ownership, changing global markets, changing product demand, etc. Today’s workplace is about adaptation and anticipation.

I am reminded of the exercise about what it to balance on one foot while stand. All the tiny bones and muscles in our foot are madly engaged as we concentrate on standing still. It looks like an effortless exercise, yet we must concentrate and let the internal trembling and jockeying within our foot hold us erect and motionless. It’s no small feat!

And so it is, with change. Change kicks up our emotions of fear, anxiety, excitement or hopelessness. We are challenged to show up at work and perform despite the emotions we might be experiencing. With the emotional rollercoaster, we often are not ourselves and do not perform at our best. It’s like we are trying out for the American Employee Idol. The music is changing and we don’t necessarily want to try out, but we are forced to compete.

To cope with a changing job market, keep the following in mind:

Change happens...it’s not always about you.
You might be in the industry that is downsizing or in the department that is being eliminated. Try not to take it personally.

Change can bring opportunity. It often doesn’t feel like it, you know, darkest before the dawn, but it’s true. For many, work was plodding along and they did not feel challenged or motivated by the work. They merely went through the motions of work to pay the bills. It is possible to become stagnant or complacent at work. We may be in denial, but it does happen. Then one day, we wonder how we got to that place. We feel stuck and don’t think we have any options.

Now what? Get up, brush yourself off and get ready for a "new day." Find the support and the resources you need to make the job change. Change can require a renewed attitude about work and how we value our contribution in the workplace. The future might require that you retrain, become self-employed, use a temporary agency or relocate. FDR said, "There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still."