Change challenges us. We tend to get comfortable with things as they are and are not welcoming of change. Even when it is good for us. We tend to be fearful or resistant to change. The saying is better the devil you know than the one you don’t. That’s why sometimes we resist change even though where we currently are isn’t the best place.
Several years ago I got fired. Technically I was let go for not meeting production standards, but in essence, I was fired. I was working hard one day when our HR director came by my desk and asked me to come to her office. Bad sign – you always want it to be you that is going there, not called there. Sure enough, my boss was there as well and they informed me that, even though I had tried my best, I was not meeting the production standard and they had to let me go. As per usual I was walked out from there – someone else went to get my backpack, etc, and out the door, I went.
Do you know what my first feeling was? Relief. I was free – I didn’t have to go into work the next day and keep beating my head against the wall, trying to meet some insane standard, one that neither I nor any of our team had designed. I never realized how burnt out I had been. It had been so bad that the previous July we had had to endure 3 hours of mandatory daily overtime and 10 hrs of mandatory OT on Saturday, for a whole month. That adds up to a lot of OT bucks at time and a half, but also adds up to 100 hrs of extra work. And in the process destroyed a well-functioning team.
Of course, it also meant that I was unemployed – though I did get unemployment – for the first time in 13yrs and had to job hunt. But this unexpected change relieved me of a lot of stress and led me to my current position with a much more progressive company which I love working for.
So how do you deal with change? Next post I will lay out some useful strategies to prepare ahead of time, but just for now realize that the change that you may dread, may lead to a better tomorrow. Maybe consider where you are and imagine that brighter tomorrow that may come from an unexpected change.