French author François de la Rochefoucauld coined the phrase, “The only thing constant in life is
change,” in the 17th century. But his words could not be more apropos to describe the current work climate today. Preparing yourself for change – from your job responsibilities to your future – may trump any other skill in determining your long-term success.
New computer systems, new management, new cost structure and new performance reviews can make anyone nervous. These are all factors you have no control over. Focus on what you can control to reach your goals and adjust your expectations accordingly. The Dale Carnegie Institute Training offers other timely suggestions to help you manage the changes you inevitably will face in the workplace.
- Practice patience. The cycle of change often takes longer than we expect. The change has to be communicated and integrated in all organizational functions. Individuals, too, need time to adjust to changing work environments.
- Be adventurous. Take on the change as a challenge. Throw yourself into planning and preparation, engage others in the process, and chart out new career horizons that may appear as a result of the change.
- Practice constructive discontent. Instead of clinging to the status quo, ask yourself, “How could I change for the better? How could the organization change for the better?” Instead of expressing discontent destructively by undermining change efforts, look for ways that the integration and process of change could work even better.
- Try something new each day. Once we get thrown out of our comfort zone, we have a tendency to try to build a new one as quickly as possible. What is the sense of tearing down old walls to just build new ones? Challenge yourself to try at least one new way of adjusting to change every day. Make it a positive and productive effort.
- Ask for input. Others in your organization may have insight into the ways that you can better adjust to change. Ask for ideas, suggestions, and feedback on how well you are adjusting to change. Periods of change are times to be open to input, not a time to be defensive.
While change is something you should expect, it doesn’t have to be something you dread. Follow
these tips and your adaption to change can end up being a change for the better.