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  #1  
Old 04-08-13, 02:29 PM
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How do you handle constant change?

I work in the healthcare industry. Recently the relatively small company I work for was bought out and has merged with the largest company in our specialized part of the healthcare world. It has been a very slow, agonizing process to endure. Anyway, as a result of the merger, constant change has become a regular part of my work day. One day I'm assigned a new set of responsibilities, but I never know how long it will last before I'm changed to something else; it could be a month or it could be a few hours.

In the beginning of the merger process, changes were few and far between and took an act of God to go through the approval process. Since the beginning of the year, though, it feels like they can't go more than a week or two without making some kind of change and it's REALLY beginning to wear on my nerves.

I have noticed that the more things change the more I feel an uncontrollable desire to be completely inflexible, as a form of protest. Typically I just try to focus on what I am responsible for, mind my own business, and do my job; eventually the desire passes and I am able to accept my "fate" & move on.

When I was a young stupid kid, I would have simply thrown my hands up, packed my stuff, and walked out the door without a second thought or having other employment prospects "on deck". However, now I have a family to provide for, so it's not like I can just up and quit my job.

So, I'm curious...how do you handle change? Any special tactics/tricks?
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Old 04-08-13, 03:46 PM
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Re: How do you handle constant change?

One thing that can help (though not as easy with a family) is to make sure you have some "enforced down-time" at some point not too long after work each day. Time that is yours, where you can "breathe" as it were. It doesn't need to be a long time, but I think it does need to be there. In my opinion for it to be effective it would be at home, far away from work people, and it would not involve alcohol. If play-time with your kids feels like a "breath of fresh air" to you then that could be it. You don't have to just go and hide.
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Old 04-08-13, 03:53 PM
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Re: How do you handle constant change?

Deliberately making an effort to expect and welcome change as part of the job, and an effort to erase the expectation of knowing the tasks? I'm assuming that the tasks being assigned are not bad in themselves, and that handling the clash of expectations vs. reality is the main thing.
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Old 04-08-13, 04:18 PM
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Re: How do you handle constant change?

mergers can be brutal
keep doing your job and dont let it get to you, try to keep a healthy distance from it all on your time off
there are probably a lot of conflicts between people in management right now as they try to implement the stuff they agreed on during the merger!
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Old 04-09-13, 09:45 AM
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Re: How do you handle constant change?

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Originally Posted by dvdnvwls View Post
One thing that can help (though not as easy with a family) is to make sure you have some "enforced down-time" at some point not too long after work each day. Time that is yours, where you can "breathe" as it were. It doesn't need to be a long time, but I think it does need to be there. In my opinion for it to be effective it would be at home, far away from work people, and it would not involve alcohol. If play-time with your kids feels like a "breath of fresh air" to you then that could be it. You don't have to just go and hide.
I live about 30-45 minutes away from work, so it's plenty of time to clear my head and chill out before I get home...this helps greatly. I don't live near anyone from work, and I don't associate with them outside of the office...not because I'm anti-social, I just simply have no time for socializing with anyone but my family when I'm home. I used to drink a lot and picked up smoking as a social habit when I worked as a server at a restaurant, but kicked both cold turkey when I met my wife...haven't looked back once, so that's a non-issue.

The best form of therapy I've found is being with my kids, so that's something already in place, even though it is kind of unavoidable. I don't have to just go and hide, but I'd be lying if I said that I don't want to sometimes...

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Deliberately making an effort to expect and welcome change as part of the job, and an effort to erase the expectation of knowing the tasks? I'm assuming that the tasks being assigned are not bad in themselves, and that handling the clash of expectations vs. reality is the main thing.
You are right, the changes made to my area of responsibility are not "bad". I'm being changed within the department, rather than being moved from one department to another at the whim of a madman. I've been here long enough to be familiar with everything our department does, so that's not a concern.

Lets save the "clash of expectations vs reality" for another thread...

The "main thing" is dealing with and accepting the frequency with which things are changing.
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Old 04-09-13, 10:14 AM
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Re: How do you handle constant change?

I continue to take meds and a lot of breaks. I try to leave work behind at home at set time limits in the mornings before work of how long I can think about work and I also try to remember to CARE LESS. That is really important and very difficult.
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Old 04-10-13, 07:47 PM
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Re: How do you handle constant change?

Focusing on self-care is vital for me. I don't like to change jobs frequently nor do I love change, but with ADHD and spotty access to treatment, I'm not always the most stable employee, and with the economy, I've had some toxic workplaces/clients/co-workers in recent history. So I try every day to set limits on how many hours I put in, balance my caffeine intake, eat balanced meals, and take long walks to keep anxiety at bay.
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Old 04-10-13, 11:50 PM
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Re: How do you handle constant change?

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Lets save the "clash of expectations vs reality" for another thread...
Just realized the multiple ways this little phrase could be taken. Another thread indeed...
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Old 04-13-13, 12:02 AM
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Re: How do you handle constant change?

Mergers are really rough. It sounds like the managers orchestrating yours are not doing a great job.

I think the best relief might be some knowledge - and see if you can understand the governing dynamics (the ever important why) behind the changes.

There is a Book called FIVE FROGS ON A LOG. It's all about M&As and how to survive the gut wrenching change (from a business leader perspective).

http://www.amazon.com/Five-Frogs-Log.../dp/088730981X

Now - turn the chaos into opportunities to learn, and pay attention to new paths you could take.

Hope this helps. Just hold on - encourage your team mates - operate on what you know - not on rumors, hearsay, or opinion.
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Old 05-01-13, 10:09 AM
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Re: How do you handle constant change?

I thought I'd update/bump this thread back up because I'm currently NOT dealing with change very well.

I just received an email from my boss a moment ago that informed me of a mandatory schedule change starting next Monday. This change is not optional, was not discussed with me prior to being notified by email, and is not up for negotiation or debate because her boss made this decision for change...so it was above her head. Discussing it with her, or anyone else for that matter, is pointless because all I'll be told is "The higher ups have made this decision, and there's nothing we can do about it"...basically, oh well, deal with it.

I'm so furious, but there's nothing I can do about it. I simply am expected to quietly agree and comply. This is going to cost us money we don't have as well as time with my 3 young children who hardly get a lot of time with me as it is. There is the possibility for me to get over-time, and that's a wonderful thing, but I'm so angry because it's so fresh that I'm not really excited about that right now...

This is just NOT what I need right now. I've got so many other, more important things to deal with. I'm not able to focus on those things now because I'm so upset about this change. My mind is racing with negativity and that's not a good thing...

Quote:
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...When I was a young stupid kid, I would have simply thrown my hands up, packed my stuff, and walked out the door without a second thought or having other employment prospects "on deck". However, now I have a family to provide for, so it's not like I can just up and quit my job.
This is one of those times...
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