Top tip for coping with workplace change

Sinead O'Dwyer 29.03.2017

The workplace and the nature of work is changing at a considerable speed.

It is not something you would visibly notice on a day-to-day basis. However if you stood back and took stock of how you completed your daily tasks two years ago, who you dealt with, what systems you used, and who you worked with, there is a strong likelihood that this is different to your work set-up now.

How I deal with change today compared to five years ago when I first started in Morgan McKinley is poles apart. 

I was very much resilient to change; the type of worker who every strategic manager worries about guiding through change as I just didn’t want it. Common thoughts I would have would be:

  • Why are we changing systems? The one we had worked just fine
  • I don’t see the point of doing it X way. We have always done it Y way and it works
  • Things are going to go bad now that X has left our team to a new role

 

From the above you will note I only ever saw the worst case outcomes to change. I was happy in my work routine and blind to the fact that change can often be a catalyst for improvement or advantage.

I soon recognised in my career that change was inevitable and I needed to embrace it. By embracing change I gave myself the opportunity to see the positives that would come as a result. 

  • No company out there is going to update their IT system for the sake of it considering the cost and time commitment involved. If there was a decision to upgrade the system it was done so to benefit the company. Obviously there will be teething issues, and at the start it would be easier to work off the old system but these things bed down and you see the advantages of your new upgrade.
     
  • If I continued doing my work the way I did it when I first started I would have stagnated in my own professional development. By challenging myself to work in a different way, or take on others opinions when I felt mine were better has allowed me to implement more efficiencies into my work and ensure I don’t get left behind in a constantly changing work dynamic.
     
  • I am very much a believer that behind every successful person is a well-oiled team. Even if you perceive yourself to work autonomously you likely have some sort of team supporting you, be it sales reps on the ground, IT tech support, your receptionist. For those who work in a visibly set-up team like I do you know how integral each person is. When someone leaves that team it is easy to think the part they played is going to go to pot, affecting each of you. However someone leaving while disappointing, can really be of advantage to other team members. Firstly, it allows you potentially take on more work that the departed colleague had responsibility for which will enhance your skill-set. Also if a replacement is brought in, it really brings a fresh pair of eyes and a totally new perspective which could be the exact injection of energy your team needs.

 

In my opinion you have two options when it comes to change and your reaction to it, you can either push against it or pull with it and embrace it. I have learnt that change will inevitably happen no matter what stance you take so I highly recommend embracing it and using it to your every advantage.

If you would like to discuss the above in more detail, or perhaps you want to take charge of change for yourself then you can contact me at any stage.

Sinead O'Dwyer's picture
Senior Consultant ǀ Accounting & Finance Recruitment
sodwyer@morganmckinley.ie