Change – A little word that seems so scary

‘Change’ quite simply means, ‘an act or process through which something becomes different’.

We often associate change with times of transition, points in our lives that may be felt uncomfortable and where difficult for us. In reality, it’s usually the word itself, not the process of change which can inspire the negative feelings and fear.
If we think about the word ‘innovation’ we usually think of new ideas, fresh concepts or perspectives, and upward growth. Innovation is just a synonym for change. Yet, instead of seeing it as a negative, passive thing; we think of it as something that we are actively controlling and that will positively benefit us.

Implementing change can be a powerful tool in your personal life. From choosing to improve your diet to altering the time you wake up and go to sleep, there are many ways in which simple changes can have a real impact. This extends to the workplace too, the key to personal growth is to use change in a way that benefits you.

How can you make Change work for you?

Be assertive when you want to develop new skills.

The key to happiness in the workplace is to feel satisfied and appreciated. Be clear and communicate to your manager and other team members what you need to be able to develop your skill set. Whether it’s taking part in additional courses or sitting in on client meetings, your professional development goes hand in hand with your work/life satisfaction.

Find a workplace that encourages development and innovation

Again, this may sound intimidating, but right from interview level, ask what structures are in place for employee development. Are there effective feedback channels? How often are staff meetings held? Although these may seem like trivial question’s, they can indicate how progressive the management style of a company is and if they are willing to facilitate change when it’s needed. Being able to feedback to your employer and have your opinion taken into account is a constructive form of change which can benefit you and allow you to see real progress within the business.

Follow through!

Simply requesting changes may not be enough to get other people on board. Especially if you want a policy or suggestion to be implemented across a workplace. Having the ability to look ahead and suggest the outcomes that can follow change is key. Being able to forecast potential benefits in real terms, whether it’s a cost benefit, time saved or improved workplace satisfaction levels; is an equally valuable part of the process.

What are the benefits of Change?

Being open to change and showing a willingness to push for it indicates that you have an assertive mindset  and competitive edge. Demonstrating these competencies will set you apart from your colleagues and will boost your confidence; enhance your skill set and have a real impact on your career progression.

Not all change we encounter will be self-led. So, it’s important that you are also able to embrace change. Being able to understand the situation and have a positive mindset towards it will help to minimise any stress or disruption you may feel. In addition, being able to adapt and develop around new situation indicates flexibility and resilience which are key skills to hone in any workplace environment.

Understanding that change is a normal part of everyday and working life is an important realisation. Change doesn’t have to be something we live in fear of, it can be used to push and empower us. The ability to adapt to, or even to inspire change are remarkable skills which will have long term benefits in all aspects of your personal development.

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