We have all heard that challenges can make or break us. Many people are resistant to change. Change forces growth and can be uncomfortable. The one constant in life is changes, learning to embrace change in the workplace is a necessary skill. We face continuous shifts in technology, market trends, staff, and processes. Learning to adapt and change quickly will provide you with a valuable skill that will be beneficial in life and in the workplace.
Socrates said: “The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
2020 has been a year that has forced changes in all aspects of our lives, professional and personal. Businesses seizing opportunities to adapt and change and they are finding success. Change is uncomfortable and stressful but it is also good as it keeps things fresh and keeps us progressing.
Adapting to change provides opportunities:
Change is inevitable. To grow we need change. The children’s book, “The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar” is a great example of the cycle of change and how it can present the best outcome and future opportunities. The caterpillar can’t even imagine being able to fly when they are just inching along. Then the caterpillar doesn’t see the changes happening while they are in the cocoon. Just like the caterpillar, there is so much potential and opportunities that await us.
In the business world, people who seek change are visionaries. Most of us do not chase after a change or imagine the impossible. We hold ourselves back. What often only see limitations, we convince ourselves of things like lack of time, not talented enough, not smart enough, that has never been done before the list goes on and on. It is important equally important to learn from the past but remember to fight for the future. Be willing to let go of the past and move forward with fresh ideas. Every one of us is capable of so much more than we could ever imagine ourselves to be.
Stay Positive and Find the humor
Stress is a part of life and the process of change can be painful as we stretch ourselves and grow. Staying positive and finding the humor, being able to laugh will help ease the stress.
Set new goals
Goals help you keep perspective. It gives you something to strive for. Remember to break them into small bite-size pieces.
Some people are list makers and like to be able to tick off the tasks on the list as they work towards the goal. Others focus on the end result and just move forward without deviating. There is no right or wrong way to how you achieve your goal just as long as you are working towards accomplishing it.
I was recently discussing with someone who seemed ashamed that they had not completed their bachelor’s degree yet. I shared with them my story and how as a young seventeen-year-old college freshman it took me over twenty years to earn my bachelor’s degree. Along the journey, there were detours and delays. These detours and delays provided me with experiences that helped guide and shape me ultimately leading me to earn my Masters in Business Administration Degree specializing in marketing.
Be patient with yourself and be patient with team members and coworkers. We are all unique with different ways of doing things and as long as the communication is open and we work together you can achieve those goals.
Change doesn’t occur overnight. Things take time and we need no only patience but also the flexibility of derailment and detours. Be kind to yourself, and with others, and remember to focus on what you can control.
Own your actions
In a changing world and changing work environments the only certain thing is that we control our actions. Worrying about things outside of your control does not help. Focus on your actions and performance. This also means to overcome your fears, focus on the values, and what you are contributing.
Change can expand your opportunities and increase your skillset. “When we are trying to change, we need to be careful to not just stop doing something but to start doing something else”. – Meg Johnson
The point is that when barriers come our way, be sure that you find a way around it, over it, under it, just keep moving.
By: Cheryl Viola, MBA, Executive Director
Bevis, J. (2020, July 2). 3 ways the pandemic may make some businesses stronger. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbevis/2020/07/02/3-ways-the-pandemic-may-make-some-businesses-stronger/#14b3d3542dd9
How to adapt to change in the workplace. (2019, December 12). Retrieved from https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/adapting-to-change
Tasler, N. (2016, September 21). How to get better at dealing with change. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2016/09/how-to-get-better-at-dealing-with-change