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Big changes at work. Now what?

by Joan Tabb in Uncategorized

News Flash: Your company has been bought, sold or merged,

Will there be changes in the  leadership?
How will the changes impact you?
Will you still have a job? Will the work environment change?
Will you have a new manager, new co-workers? What will it all mean?
Change can be scary and unsettling. Typically, employees do not fully know the extent of the changes to come, or the whys and hows of the change, for quite some time. But they do sense that things are being shaken up. When you are a  part of the contents in that shake-up it is unsettling. How to proceed? Here are three ways to cope with changes on the job:
1) Don’t panic! And don’t make quick decisions or fast moves.
Often we want to do something when we hear about changes.
 It’s as if someone yelled ‘Fire’ and we look for the escape routes; we look for  safety.  Our first reaction is for self preservation. But we need to calm ourselves, not be reactive. Remind yourself this is not a fire. Your physical safety is not being threatened.
It is not something you must respond to right away — unless the company
literally closed. In most cases, there is time.
Slow down , acknowledge you are in a transition, and pay careful attention.
Don’t assume things. Find calm within.
2) Don’t gossip. Stay away from gossip. This will not serve you. If co-workers asks if you know what’s going on, just provide the information that has been given to you. Don’t speculate or explain more than you know.Be a force of calm. Do open a discussion up with your manager or supervisor. Make it clear that you are committed to continuing to do a great job, and let them know you are flexible.  Also let them know that you are willing and interested in taking on more responsibilities. Sometimes with organizational changes there are opportunities for growth and advancement!!
3) Read the winds of change: Pay attention. Listen and look around. Do research, Google to possibly get updates about your company, updates about your  industry and what thought leaders in your field are saying. Keep up with your professional network.  Look for ways to be of more value in your job as often your management is looking to see who is coping well and focus on work during times of change. Ask trusted colleagues if they have learned of additional changes.  If you are hearing that there is a merger and that the new company will be taking over, it is time to quietly activate your job search. The operative work is, quietly.
Change is not easy, especially when it is tied to your livelihood. There are wiser and less wise ways to think and behave during times of change. Be steady, be stable, be smart and think before acting. Be watchful, alert and opportunistic.
Coach Joan