Business Magazine

How To Deal With Change on Your Journey to Success

Posted on the 03 February 2012 by Classycareergirl @classycareer

Today’s post could not have come at a better time for me.  My company has gone through some serious changes lately and I am sure you have witnessed change in your organization recently as well.  Today’s post, written by Katie L. Smith, helps us learn how to manage this change. Katie is a Global Talent Development Consultant at a marketing software company. She previously oversaw internship and new graduate rotational programs where she was able to witness bright, ambitious young professionals manage the joys of career transitions. You can follow her on Twitter at @klindahlsmith.

“Change is such hard work.” -Billy Crystal

Dealing with change in one’s professional life is always a challenge. First, you master college. You figured out what success looked like there – you knew how to get the grades and juggle the necessary extracurriculars, all while keeping an active social calendar so you make sure to enjoy every last moment of your collegiate experience. And then after months of preparation, you landed the job. All of your time spent slaving over the resume, researching, networking and interviewing has finally paid off.

Now all of a sudden you are faced with a new definition of success to strive toward – the real world’s definition, and I would venture to say that that this definition varies according to which organization you’re with.  You learn the company culture, the unwritten rules of how things get done, who the strong performers are and how to emulate their behaviors.

Slowly but surely, you become comfortable at your job.  And then before you know it, you’re pretty good at it. You’re making a name for yourself. Getting to this comfort level can take months or it can take years. College seemed like so long ago, and yet it still feels like yesterday.

And then it happens again. Change.

Don’t get me wrong, change is not a bad thing. It is almost always a good thing in a young professional’s early career. Change brings excitement. Often when it is time for a new role or promotion we say, “Absolutely, bring it on!” We know we are furthering our career development and are on the way to increased expertise.  We may be one step closer to what we aspire to become.

This is where the hard work comes in.

New responsibilities mean new tasks that you have to learn and then master, plus new personalities that you will have to learn how to work with. This could mean a new boss or even a new team, and now you have to make a name for yourself among them as well.

“But I’ve already proved myself by being a really good _____”, you may think to yourself.

The hard truth is you have to prove yourself all over again.  As author Marshall Goldsmith tells us, “What got you here won’t get you there.” It’s true. The secret is you will have to let go of what made you successful in order to progress in your career. It can be really, really hard. But while it is terrifying/overwhelming/frustrating to start this process all over again, it is also rewarding because you slowly realize that one’s career is really about the journey, not the destination.

Employees are now measured on their ability to master many talents, not just to be good at one thing. So this is my challenge to all classy career girls: embrace change; don’t resist it, even subconsciously. The moment you are able to let go of what made you successful you will free yourself to accept the next challenge.

Is your organization going through a lot of change?  How are you managing the change?

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