Today’s Client Question: “My company is going to go through a major acquisition. I don’t know if my job will be impacted at this point. How do I move past my fear of this change?”
Change is something that everyone deals with at one time or another. There are minor things that happen and you can generally get through those changes with no issue. When something major happens at your job though, it can completely unsettle you and cause you to be really anxious. In my experience, changes happened in my company about every 1-2 years. The first time created major chaos for everyone as people were let go and the organization shifted focus. I remember so clearly that someone who was impacted told me “I have been through this at other companies. This is only the beginning and you should be prepared that it will keep going.” I didn’t want to believe her, but I knew deep down that it was true. It was my first time dealing with it as a manager and it was so stressful. “Change is a constant” they would tell me. They were so right.
Going through these types of changes cause you to feel like your foundation is moving out from under you. Everything that you felt was solid in your life may now be shifting and you need to deal with the fact that it is really happening. There is a change curve that everyone goes through as they move through this type of situation. You start off experiencing shock and denial that this is occurring. Everything feels like it is out of your control. Then you may start to feel anger and frustration as you learn more about the change and how it will impact you, your peers or your company. Over time, as you have had time to understand more about the change, you begin to accept it. You feel like there is hope that going through this change will be okay for you. You get more excited about the change and commit yourself to the outcome.
There is no set timeline to get through this type of change. It will take you longer to get through this change curve the first time. As you go through more changes, you will begin to be more open to change when it comes. Knowing that you have been through it before and you got through it allows you to experience the change curve faster. Try to focus on the big picture of why this change is happening from a business perspective so that you can understand it intellectually. Seeing the changes and how they are impacting people is where you will be emotionally impacted which is much more difficult.
Obviously, the change can be negative or positive for you. You or the people that you work with may be let go from your organization and need to find something new. Being prepared for this situation even when things are going well is necessary. You never know when it could happen. On the positive side, the change could bring more opportunities including more responsibility or a promotion. Being able to navigate change is a requirement in today’s world. Corporations whether they are large or small need to continue to change in order to stay competitive. The best advice is to be open to change, but have a contingency plan ready to go in case it happens to you.
Are there big changes that you have in your life? Would you be interested in working with me on these changes? Let’s set up some time to discuss the best way to navigate them:: http://susanmbarber.com/schedule-an-appointment/