Coping With Change at Work: Do’s and Don’ts

January 9, 2018


Although some people thrive on change, most of us fear it. That’s not surprising, because routine and predictability gives us a feeling of control, while the unknown is anxiety provoking. Workplace change may bring with it fear, criticism and/or new responsibilities. Here are coping skills that can help anyone weather change more successfully.



Keep things in perspective...
Try to observe the change as an “outsider.” What advice would you give someone in your situation? Might it be that whatever is occurring is not as bad as you’d imagined? Remember that anxiety is normal when changes occur.

Be patient...
It might take weeks or months for a change to fully resolve itself. If that’s the case, during that time, stay flexible and open. You may find yourself more comfortable with the new situation than you’d imagined.  

Stay positive...
Don’t allow yourself to give in to despair. Recognize that you’ll have good days and bad ones during the change—just as you would have had before it. Even pretending to be happy can raise your spirits.  

Look for potential upsides...
It’s not necessary to agree with a change to successfully adapt to it and overcome any challenges it may bring. Remain motivated to find ways to use your skills to take advantage of the change—you may find yourself in a better position than when you began. 




Slack off...
You’ll want to impress a new boss, even if you’re not sure how you feel about that person. And should you decide to leave, you’ll still need a positive recommendation from him or her.

Isolate yourself...
Talk to coworkers, the boss, people from other departments and from other organizations. Learn as much as possible about whatever change is occurring to better understand how you’ll be affected. Others who’ve been through similar changes will have the most helpful advice to impart. 

Resist the change...
If you try to ignore or undermine the change, you’ll only make things more difficult for yourself, your colleagues and your manager. What’s worse, your productivity will likely plunge, and you’ll become the angry person everyone takes pains to avoid.


When you follow these suggestions, you’ll be better able to navigate changes large and small in your professional life. Remember responding positively to workplace change allows everyone to grow and succeed! 

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