In these days of takeovers and mergers, of downsizing operations of multiple “rightsizings”, chances are that you are going to be caught up in some form of major workplace change at least once in your career. Probably many times!
See Part 1 for Stage 1. Something’s Up and Stage 2 Getting Acquainted. Now Take a look at the last two stages.
Stage 3. Settled In: The Six Month Benchmark
Now that the dust has settled, it’s the time to gauge your career health. Do I feel like an active participant or am I on the sidelines looking in? Have I gotten reassuring comments or positive feedback? If you are in the dark, take the risk and request a meeting with your boss to discuss your performance.
You need to be direct. Say, “I’ve been working hard to cooperate and adjust to the changes. So how am I doing? Are there things I need to work on to be more effective?”
You may get an indirect response such as: “You’re doing fine, keep up the hard work”; or “Let’s set a time to discuss this further.”
However, don’t be satisfied with an evasive or avoidance answer. Performance feedback is essential during times of organizational transition. If all the signs are looking good, you can start breathing a sign of relief. But, don’t let your guard down completely. The next six months are also very important.
Stage 4. A Year After: Is The Coast Clear?
By the time you’re a year or more into a major change, it’s reasonable to wonder: Has my work life settled down at last? Has the sense of crisis passed? If this is the case, great! You’ve come through the storms of change and now are going on to calmer times, at least for the short term, – long term who knows?
Or, is the atmosphere still very hectic despite many attempts to try to fix what’s not working? Or, is everything on hold again for the nth time waiting for someone to make the decision? Or your workload is not easing up but getting worse? Sad to say, sometimes things never calm down especially in troubled company or rapidly changing ones. If this is your scenario, you may decide to take a break from the relentless change. You can try to find a calmer port within your company or you may need to seriously consider finding a new position somewhere else.
Career Success Tip
Taking control of one’s career sometimes means making some very hard decisions. But once a decision is made and action is taken, then you can get on with your life. Isn’t that what career management is all about—taking charge of one’s destiny?
Readers, are you currently dealing with a new boss, a direction or other workplace changes? If so, what stage are you in? How well are you doing? Let me hear your stories.
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- Copyright © 2011 Marcia Zidle career and leadership coach.