By Nicki Cresswell, Wellbeing Training Co-ordinator at CABA
Everybody is affected by external circumstances. Sometimes these can be planned for, and at other times they can take us completely by surprise. Some people adapt brilliantly to a change in circumstances, thriving on new challenges, while others are overwhelmed and try to avoid change at all costs. Shifting circumstances can affect both your personal and professional lives, throwing up both positive and negative challenges. Change can’t be avoided, but your response to change can, whether you’re in or out of the office.
The way you respond to developments in the workplace has the potential to enhance your career prospects and self-confidence. Whether you’re faced with a new employer, or progression to a more challenging role, adapting positively to a new situation shows your resilience. You’ll become somebody who can be trusted to be steadfast and demonstrate clear-thinking, even in a crisis. It’s not always easy to adopt this positive mindset, but investing time in learning some techniques to manage your reaction to change will limit the emotional upheaval change can cause.
Try adopting these tactics to help you tackle any change that might come your way:
1. Predict your response to change – acknowledging how you react to change can help you prepare for the next time the sand shifts under your feet. Spend time thinking about how your reaction can affect those around you. How could you make these effects positive?
2. Decide a strategy to manage change – everybody needs different tools, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. You must find what works for you. Possible tools include:
• Work on problem solving and decision making – make sure worries don’t prevent clear thinking. If you can see a solution, you’ll automatically feel more in control of the situation and your response
• Make a choice – whatever the change, you can still decide how you respond to it. Even avoiding a decision is a choice in itself; it allows other people or events to shape your path for you
• Set measurable goals – achieving a goal, whether at work or at home, reinstates a sense of control
• Think positively – adopting a positive attitude can transform your mind-set. Putting a positive spin on all events means your emotional state is immediately less negative, and your interpretation of things around you will be brighter
3. Explore your options – if you don’t know what’s around the corner, plan for all eventualities. Addressing even the worst case scenario can help you predict your response, and will make other outcomes seem more manageable
4. Address change immediately – don’t bury your head in the sand. With careful forethought and planning you can get yourself ready for whatever is on the horizon
Preparing for change can help prevent hasty decisions and exaggerated reactions. Increased resilience, especially in the workplace, is an important asset which will benefit you and those around you. Whether you’re just starting out or well established in the workplace, managing your response to change can give your career prospects – and emotional wellbeing – a valuable boost.