Managing change is becoming common place and more people are considering or being put in a position where they have to think about change & the possibility of leaving a company they have worked for over 15 years or more. I have experienced this first hand and left a Blue Chip company after working in several different careers within the same company for more than 30 years.
There seems to be different stages you can go through.
- Possibility of change: The department starts to talk about new initiatives and new senior management. You know this may or may not impact you but the feeling of uncertainty starts to filter throughout your department. Individuals in ‘the know’ may filter snippets of information that starts the departmental grapevine to go into overdrive!! Confirmation of people leaving, new people starting and organisational change surface. Teams and individuals start to wonder and speculate who will be impacted and how they are going to manage the impending change.
- Strategy announced: A new strategy is announced which talks at a high level of where the department is heading. The challenges faced by the department & company are communicated. Interim dates for when further information will be available is distributed. Now we know our future is uncertain. We don’t know who will be impacted at the working level, when the change will happen and the process that will be adopted to make the change happen. You talk to your colleagues and loved ones about the possibilities. You may even start to think about the actions you may take. Emotions start to surface of fear, you question your capability and self worth, value to the company etc..
- Senior team in place: Now that all the senior players are in situ they start to develop their strategies, identify the people they need and fine tune the process for change to happen. Departments impacted are informed and communicated to. Job roles in/out of scope identified and application process implemented. Perhaps an external agency is employed to help the project team manage the fine detail and project plan. Meanwhile at the working level, panic, mistrust, fear, sickness, apprehension, joy, cynicism etc.. abound. High and low emotion.
- Decision making: What am I going to do? I’m ok Jack, have got the job I want! Oh no I have been displaced what shall I do!! Great what opportunities are there for me? Maybe if I go sick or keep my head down it won’t affect me! Seen it all before and it won’t impact me so will carry on as normal. Should I think about retirement? My job is too important- no one else has my skills! Hurrah was thinking of leaving anyway now just need to find the right job! Should I look for another role within the company? This is outrageous!! Visible high and low emotion. People are leaving or just disappear, the office dynamics change, friendships questioned etc..
The cycle has started and will continue for as long as necessary or until the organisation appears to have the right people in the right places.
People are impacted by change in many different ways. Emotions run high and often those you think will be ok decide on walking away. Dealing with change effectively, in my opinion, requires a mindset review. What I mean is taking the time to step back and consider carefully and objectively what you do next. For me I had elderly terminally sick parents who I wanted to support. I had worked for the company for over 30 years and chose to consider semi retirement and set up my own business helping people achieve their career goals. This has worked exceptionally well for me. How about you?
If you need help taking that step back and looking at what you want next in your career do give me a call for a free 45 minute consultation. I have been there and understand the physical and mental emotions that go with making a life changing decision. Call me Jean on 07872017162 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a chat.