How to Embrace Change in the Workplace

Skylar Wooden and Katie Butler

July 09, 2017

Note: This post was largely inspired by our recent reading of “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson, M.D. This book is several years old, but has many great lessons that can be learned if you have only an hour to spare.

More often than not, millennials embrace change and all that it has to offer. In fact, it often instigates friction between gen Y and millennials. Not only are we the generation most likely to embrace change, we often seek it out, disrupting the status quo. HR departments have changed the way they reach new applicants, and teach new hires, all because of our generation. Pretty crazy, right?

Millennials usually seek out change but, sometimes, change finds us. When that change is unexpected, it can be hard to step out of your comfort zone. You easily get wrapped up in what change will mean for you. Will you like it? Will you have to change other things because of it? The thought can be intimidating. You may want to crawl back into your blanket fort and hide, but don’t go running for your crayons just yet. Apply these few principles and you’ll be on your way to embracing change.

Adapt Quickly

Our surroundings are constantly changing. When we see change coming, it seems like it would be easier to resist, to show everyone that this change is not, in fact, better. But, there comes a time when you will have to face the impending change. You might as well be one of the first adapters. Promote it, learn it, and this will ease the tension that change creates.

Focus on the Positive

Ask yourself this one simple question: why did your company make this change? Chances are, this decision was not made lightly. Was it made to help your company grow? To make your job easier? To improve a process? Most likely. Focus on that.

When it seems tough to learn a new process, to meet and train new people, or give away responsibilities, remember that this will ultimately be for the best. Tough it out and reap the benefits later. Focus on the day when this change is a thing of the past and you are better for it. It will help you get through. Your employer will notice your positivity and understanding.

Find a Partner

Find someone who is going through this change too. You are likely not going into this alone. Find someone to vent to, if you need it, but most importantly, find someone to lift you up. You will need someone that can see the positive in this new change and can bring you up out of the slump.

Pro Tip: Beware of complaining to coworkers. You don’t want to be the person in the office spreading negativity. You likely have friends in your field who you can vent to without the negative comments spreading around your office.

Enjoy yourself

The best way to embrace change is to enjoy yourself. Everyone is adapting to something new at the same time, so you aren’t alone. This spans across all skill levels. This is a true moment when you, your manager, and your manager’s manager can relate because you’re all learning. Enjoy this moment that you can share with your team and be there to teach the change to new hires.

Do you have another method to embrace change?

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