Updated: Nov 6
We have changed our home/school/work address. Our body has changed from childhood to adulthood. Change is a normal part of life, yet every time we are exposed to change, we feel nervous, anxious, worried, and even opposed to it. Change moves us out of our comfort zone, outside of our routine, and into a new/different environment. Whenever facing Change, we are faced with two options: embrace it or fight it. Yes, pretending to ignore it is a way of fighting it. What could happen when we try to go with it? Instead of swimming against the river current, let's learn how to ride the waves! Let's explore what Change can do to our lives! Let's try to enjoy the ride and see where it takes us!
Change can allow us to grow, to learn a new skill-set, to update our knowledge on a specific subject. It could be as simple as trying a different way of doing things. When we open-up to Change, we evolve and increase our inventory of possibilities.
We should be prepared to include Change in our life’s plans. Whether we like it or not, everything in life is bound to change.
Let's talk about changes in the workplace.
Many of us want to or have thought of changing jobs, careers, or even positions within our organization. Having the thought of doing something different is the first step in achieving your goal. However, many of us do very little to act on it. Very few people take a training course to prepare for a new job/role. A good example is managing people. As a manager, you just doubled your job's responsibilities. You need to do what is expected of you. Also, you will become ultimately responsible for the quality of work from your direct reports, which means in many cases, you will need to review or redo their work to meet expectations.
Good training courses on managing resources advise you of the expectations in this new role; approving timesheet, approve/reject requests for vacation, coach direct reports/ new staff, knowledge transfer on subject matter expertise, review, and correction of work performed by others, etc. All of these and more in the same work schedule as before you became a manager.
Of course, managing resources come with rewards; personal and financial. The key to remember is to walk into that Change in your career with the right set of tools and knowledge to become successful at it.
If you are leading the Change, remember to; craft, communicate, and deliver the message for the change. Understand that people adapt to change at different paces. Assess the progress caused by Change and be prepared to change again.
How about seeking process efficiency? We all want to do our jobs better, quicker, more manageable. Do we know what that will mean to our current routine/work schedule? If our jobs get done quicker, what will we do with the extra time? If our jobs get done faster, what else will we do during our work schedule? If our jobs get done better, why will we be needed? Well, that is a Paradox we need to be prepared to face at some point in our careers. It is not if it will happen, but when it happens, what will we do? Maybe that will be the opportunity to implement the new idea you have been thinking about, or propose and execute the project you have been waiting to present to your team. Who knows! This could be a big chance to show your hidden talent, which could open doors in your organization.
Education is always an excellent place to start a Change. Getting a new degree, take a training course, attend a seminar focused on your objective, read a book related to your goal, etc. Another alternative could be to interview others in the same/similar role/situation you aspire to be, where Change is taking you. Real-life experiences have no substitute for visualizing if you are ready for that change.
Have you ever thought of the changes from phone lines to mobile/wireless networks? How much have smartphones changed our way of living? In early 1990, the mobile phone industry exploited. Cellular phones were the latest gadgets desired by most people. These devices had a calculator, a clock, a calendar, and a currency exchange. Cellular phones started to close the communication gaps between distanced individuals. In some rural communities, there were cellular phones before phone lines due to the infrastructure limitations (cables, electricity, etc.). Over time, mobile phones started to evolved much faster than most people could have assimilated. Very soon, cellular phones became smartphones. With the introduction of the iPhone in 2017, this mobile device became more than a means to initiate or receive a phone call. The handheld device had processing capacity to take pictures, function as a calculator, send short messages (text), become an electronic note pad, and yes, make phone calls. By 2015 (just 25 years later), smartphones have enough processing capacity to replace most cámaras, calculators, and even some entry-level laptops.
Internet Banking was once thought of as a romantic idea that was not going to last. People's necessity for human interaction was not going to be placed by the convenience of performing your most mundane banking transactions from the comfort of your leaving room. Whether it is due to today's fast-paced environment, the convenience of technology, the sense of instant confirmation or the opportunity to avoid long lines or a cashier with a bad mood, internet banking has become a way of completing banking transactions without leaving the house, from an airport or from under a palm tree at the beach. The reality is that Change is not always painful, as long as we understand the why, how it can impact me in a positive way and what is expected of me.
Work habits are difficult to change. It might mean learning something different. It can also mean to re-evaluate what we are doing to re-invent ourselves. However, it might be worthwhile to assess what could happen if we accept Change. Explore the possibility that our lives can be better off. We should ask ourselves, what am I doing now that is not productive, what is not adding any value or is preventing me from moving forward? Getting answers to these and other questions would allow our analytical selves to start thinking of how to change some of our bad habits, unproductive behaviors, and see an opportunity to improve what we are doing.
Sometimes, changes in the business will require subject matter expertise not available in the team. At that time, it is essential to seek professional guidance with experience in how to handle changes.
Change can bring some growing pain. It is ok. Just make sure every change has a purpose. If you cannot figure it out, make it along the way. Some believe Change can be as good as you allow it to be. When facing Change, embrace it. Make the most of it. Sometimes, we need to fall off the bike before we learn how to ride it. Hope, fully the fall will not prevent you from enjoying how great it will be to pedal your way through the streets, let the wind kiss your cheekbones, and realize that you are the only one in control, Change was just a motivation to bring you here.
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