‘To make or become different.’
‘The process of causing a function, practise or thing to become different somehow compared to what it is at present or what it was in the past.’
Common C’s you will experience in the workplace:
- Physical – your office, desk space
- Management – new role, reporting lines
- Redundancy – workforce reductions
- Acquisition – different standards & procedures
A lot of people typically resist ‘the C word’ because they feel as if they have lost control and there is an excess of uncertainty. And surprise, surprise! Your workforce might also have past resentments, lying in wait, like ghosts of the past, to haunt you.
Can you guess?
Yes, the dreaded C word is change.
Why dreaded? Because our brain is wired to do the same thing over and over again, making any kind of adaptation very hard. It’s almost impossible for us to deal with change as one big chunk however, we always try to ‘eat the entire elephant’ which causes negative emotions.
At the youthful age of 22, I have already experienced numerous changes both in my professional and personal life and I have learnt that even though change can be harsh like winter, others are pleasant like spring.
Graduating from university was definitely a change that was in-between seasons; there were both ups and downs. This was followed by a sixth month period, where I committed myself to a 9-5 corporate role, which soon became very unfulfilling. I decided to leave despite having nothing to go to and very little savings to support myself with. An autumnal shift started to take place and I acknowledged that changes needed to happen in my life. Whether I liked it or not…
Early winter set in and during this period I had to sacrifice a lot, it was very dull and it regularly meant going without. Something I have previously experienced, so I knew what to expect and allowed myself to reflect and focus on my desires and values.
Spring has sprung! Opportunities were abundant, appearing in new and unexplored areas. This period of the past year was very eye-opening and allowed me to learn so much about what my strengths are, how far I can push myself out of my comfort zone and how creative I can be.
Now, I am in a very fortunate position and I can say that I have a job that I love, it is very fulfilling and allows me to be creative within a supportive and exciting team. I am celebrating my harvest confidently, in this summer period.
So how can you positively deal with change, not just at work but in all aspects of your life?
- Maintain a positive attitude
- Recognise that it is a constant and that it happens to everyone, all of the time
- Communicate and ask questions when you are unsure
- Be optimistic
- And finally, allow change to happen as it will give you so many opportunities
Adapting to change is what separates the marathoner from the couch potato because it has the potential for lots of positive growth, development and progress. However, also understanding where you are on your journey and how you are likely to feel in each season can be reassuring.
Below are the five most important things that change has taught me and even though I am only a couple of chapters into my journey, I hope that you can use them, remember them and experience them just like I have, regardless of how far through you are, in your own book.
✅ Change pushes you out of your comfort zone. Your assumptions are challenged and your opinions, mindset and beliefs are tested.
✅ Change allows you to experience more. You see things from a new perspective and opportunities are plentiful.
✅ Change teaches you your limitations. You can figure out what you can handle and also what you cannot. It highlights what you are made of.
✅ Change increases flexibility and adaptability. You learn to embrace chaos in a way that is foreign. You are then armed with confidence when you walk into the next uncomfortable situation.
✅ Change increases fun! You say YES more. Meet more people. Have more excitement. Create more experiences. Be open to more opportunities.
The next time you begin to feel an autumnal shift or find yourself in the fruitful season of summer, I suggest you welcome change and all that comes with it.