• Author Rosanne Weerd

Changes at work: fear or progress?

Changes at work. Something you cannot avoid. We go down unknown paths, jump over hurdles, decide to go left and then have to switch gears and go right, we turn around, and we start again. Still, changes aren't so matter-of-fact for every company, and change is often associated with tension.

5 tips to handle changes at work like a pro

The tips below will help you handle change and get the best out of the situation for yourself.

Tip 1: don't bury your head in the sand (ostrich policy)

Changes at work can be minor, but they can also turn your life upside down. For example, a new position or role, a cherished colleague leaves, a new boss, or a major reorganization. Whether the change is big or small, accept it and don't bury your head in the sand. Ask questions, certainly if the changes are major to make sure you get the whole picture. And don't forget to ask those questions that you fear might have painful answers.

Tip 2: explore the resistance

People are creatures of habit. There will always be a little part of you that wants to maintain the status quo, the old situation. Take a good look at yourself. As soon as you know the underlying reason for your resistance, you can translate this into what you need in the new situation. Are you going to miss your old boss's approach and leadership style? Then tell your new boss this. After all, there's nothing wrong with bottom-up management, is there?

Tip 3: reassess

Really think about the issues that are most important to you at your job. Your great coworkers, the scope of your work, your salary, or the fact that you can commute to work on your bike? Your values, so what you truly find important, will change over time. Make a list for yourself as the situation stands now. Do you have a realistic idea of the upcoming change? Then you can explore if there are opportunities and alternatives that will allow you to seamlessly turn the change to your advantage.

Tip 4: prevent catastrophizing

Try to avoid thinking about an unknown future. Block the negative thoughts that keep gnawing away at you. Such thoughts have no purpose and will only give you a headache. Turn those thoughts around and reflect on ways you could influence the situation. Many people have a tendency to look at what they can't influence and quickly fall into the victim role. Try not to give in to this tendency. What you should do is focus on things that you can influence. Join a work group, bombard the suggestion box, become an active sparring partner, and above all formulate your own plan.

Tip 5: make a ta-da list

Are you often bogged down by your current to-do lists? Then make a ta-da list with things you've achieved that you're proud of. This will help you not get stuck on the negative side of "everything was better before," and you can proudly look back on what you achieved (with your old team).

Change. It's still a scary word. But it's also necessary; it means something new, an unknown future. Changes give you the chance to grow and to approach yourself, your work, and your environment from a different perspective. Do you want to learn to identify and control your emotions? Then check out our online training "Putting things into perspective". 


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