During the last six weeks I have been through a period of change. I learnt very quickly that I have quite a long way to go when it comes to adapting and managing change.
This was a new type of change for me, (temporarily moving house, I won’t bore you with the details!) and one which I haven’t experienced before.
Children have a routine for a reason. It makes them feel safe. I’m a bit the same with my routine. I guard it preciously. I believe I am pretty good at adapting to changes in my work. I like variety in my work and can be flexible and adaptable. But change in my routine and my life I have found has brought up all kinds of doubt and resistance.
So, I’m going to share what I’ve learnt in the hope that it will help you, either with a career change or change in whatever circumstances arise in your life.
Firstly, trying to fight against it or going into denial is not helpful. It made it all the harder when I found myself in the middle of it. I was not prepared for the feelings that arose and the resistance I experienced. I learnt that I needed to talk to someone about my concerns or write them out of my system, and to do my best to row downstream and accept the inevitable discomfort.
Secondly, it helps to have patience and a lot of it. You can’t control if events will happen as planned, but you can control your reaction to them. Things will go wrong. It’s how you deal with them that counts. I have learnt that to be patient and step back from the situation and let it simmer for a while is helpful. I made a lot of unnecessary phone calls to check on something repeatedly for fear it would not happen as planned.
Thirdly, planning and organization are absolutely key. I learnt this as I went along, but a bit more forward planning would have helped immeasurably. I did my best, but I learnt a lot about planning and organization in the process. There’s no point having a plan if you don’t stick to it! It needs to be flexible, but you need to be checking in to your plan every day to ensure you stay on track. I had a plan, but it went out the window when all it required was a little adjustment.
Finally, I learnt that a little self-compassion never goes amiss. Change is hard. I have learnt a lot about myself in the process and that is always a good thing. Next time I will be more efficient as a result of what I have learnt this time around.
On the plus side there have also been many advantages and good things that have come from this period of change, and that is usually the case with change. You have to get through the obstacles to reach the good stuff!
If you are dealing with change, go easy on yourself, have patience and have a good plan in place.
“Some people don’t like change. But you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.”