Adaptability in the Workplace: Embracing Change

The only constant in life, the old saying goes, is change. But that isn’t something that most people feel comfortable with. Change is awkward at times, scary and uncomfortable at others, because it means the things we’ve grown accustomed to aren’t exactly the same. Change means we need to adapt. 

The willingness to roll with things, to try and keep up and stay positive when things are redirected or shifted around, is a great skill to have. Being willing to give the new method of doing things, or a new project, a real honest try, even if it’s hard or confusing or you’re not thrilled about it, is the mark of a team player, something managers see, appreciate and respect.

Here’s what to keep in mind when change is the name of the game at work. 

  1. Take a deep breath and accept it. This is, potentially, the hardest part. It won’t help to fight or resist whatever new thing is coming your way. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions, but it’s important to understand that this is the way things are now. Your best bet, and what will impress your manager most, is to make the best of it. Pledge to yourself that you’ll give the new method or task a try without putting up a fight. Do your best. Everyone else is learning and adapting too. 
  2. Try to keep a positive attitude. If the change was unexpected and seemed to come out of nowhere, it’s going to be an uphill climb for everyone, manager and your team included. Do your best to find the positive and try to talk that up. If you have a good attitude about things, it’s easier to start to actually feel better about the new normal. File this under “fake it ‘til you make it” if needed, a tried-and-true process that really does work! 
  3. Determine what you can control and focus on that. All you can do is all you can do, right? You can control your attitude. You can control your approach. You can control your contribution to conversations and problem-solving discussions. You might not have any say in the bigger pictures about how things are done, or whatever change is taking place, but you can determine how you adapt to it and try to embrace this for the best. Managers will see this and, especially if everyone else is pushing back or complaining, it will help you stand out as an employee who is willing to do their best despite disruption. 
  4. Find a new goal. Depending on the size of the change, you might need to readjust your expectations of your job, your current project, your team’s abilities, etc. Instead of throwing your hands up in frustration, take a moment to think long and hard about what your new situation means and how it could benefit you in the long run. Will you have more time to work on something else because you’ve been reassigned away from a project? Will you have the opportunity to learn something new? Or, to stick to the key point of focus, how soon do you think you can become familiar with the new project or reality? Set a goal that’s reasonable and attainable and determine, in advance, how you’ll reward yourself for achieving that goal. Motivation is key! 
  5. Talk to your team. You’re not alone in this. Keep that in mind. It’s important to talk to your colleagues and sort things through together. You’re all going through this change together and need to work together to make the best of it. You need to help each other through this transition and those who are willing to adapt together are the ones who will be the most successful. Managers see this kind of camaraderie and appreciate it more than they can say (though they should try!). When people rely on each other to navigate tricky times, it’s a sign that there’s a lot of mutual respect and reliance, the indication of a good team that’s going to be stronger and able to take on whatever comes their way. 

Think back to the times before the pandemic, when we were all used to doing things a certain way. As soon as that happened, we had to adapt in some pretty big ways. Some people were eager to return to normal as soon as possible; others found silver linings in their new normal and routines and didn’t want to go back. The ones who are, and were, most willing to try new things, to be positive and supportive and make the best of it are the ones who handle change the best; they’re the leaders their managers see and appreciate the most and the ones who might have the best chance at earning a promotion in the future. 

But if the change takes things a bit too far and you find your job no longer enjoyable after a few months, maybe it’s time for you to make your own change — into a new job. Call SmartTalent Staffing! We can help you find a position better suited to your experience and skills, whether you’re looking for a permanent position or something temporary while you sort things out. Call SmartTalent today to learn more!


Share Article

Similar Posts