Friday, February 4, 2011

Embracing Change in Your Professional Life

The professional world is always changing. This is particularly true during a recession, with corporate downsizing, reorganizations, mergers, and acquisitions—all of which impact workers. Common reactions to change can include anxiety, shock, denial, confusion, resistance, and anger. However, if you view change as an opportunity and you take responsibility for your career, you can grow both professionally and personally.

Accept and Expect Change

When you accept that change is inevitable, you won’t be surprised or overwhelmed when it happens. Stay informed about what is happening in your organization and look for signs of change. Be as prepared and as open as possible to the opportunities that accompany organizational change.

Keep Current

Keeping your skills sharp and your knowledge current is always a good idea. This is especially true if a change at work requires you to take on more responsibility, assume a different role, or even begin a new job search. Be sure to regularly update your resume and any online professional profiles with your most current skills and experience.

Stay Focused and Productive

When change is happening all around you, it is easy to become distracted; however, your best response is to stay focused and keep up with the tasks at hand. Not only does this keep your mind from wandering and minimize worry, it could also cause management to take note of and appreciate your efforts.

Take on New Challenges

Frequently, with change comes opportunity to learn or try something new, like taking on a new project or working with new co-workers. Typically during times of change—especially reorganizations or layoffs—extra works becomes plentiful. Help facilitate the change by extending assistance to your manager, wherever possible.

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