Are you attempting to embrace change? Or running in the opposite direction?
Change isn’t easy. It’s uncomfortable. It’s messy. And it can happen all on its own, without any input from us. One day we’re happy, the next, we find ourselves unemployed. Or demoted, looking for a new place to live, or with a new CEO or sales manager.
The question is: when change occurs, how do you respond?
Do you throw your hands in the air and say, “Ugh, this is terrible!” and resist said change? Or do you say, “Great!” and embrace change?
If you find yourself in the first category, read on. We’re going to explore two ways that you can embrace change and succeed.
Embrace Change: 2 Ways a Negative Change Can Improve Your Life
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw
If you want a happier life—at work and at home—consider the beauty that is change!
If you’ve recently gone through a negative change—or a change that you’ve found challenging in some way—it might not feel very good to you right now. In fact, it probably feels downright awful!
Turning a Negative, Positive
I’d like to share a story about a friend who recently went through a relatively negative change. You see, Pete* was chugging along. He didn’t exactly love his job, but he didn’t hate it either. He was merely content, and was doing his very best.
Then one Friday, his boss terminated him. Pete didn’t see it coming. He thought everything was going well enough. But as it turns out, his boss had taken issue with Pete’s efforts to improve the company. Rather than seeing Pete’s suggestions and ideas as a benefit to the company’s future, his boss viewed them as a threat to his own position. He voiced that he had hired Pete to do things “his way,” not find alternate ways to get things done.
As you can imagine, this was a bittersweet change for Pete. On the one hand, he was unexpectedly unemployed. But on the other hand, he was also armed with a very real truth: his talents were not being utilized to their full capacity.
(*Name changed to protect privacy.)
Now, Pete had two choices. He could:
- Lie in bed and cry and tell himself what a loser he was for getting fired
- Dust himself off and start looking for a new job
After feeling pretty bummed and disappointed, Pete chose option #2. After all, he had a family to feed, bills to pay, and a life to live.
In the coming weeks, Pete discovered many ways that this seemingly “negative” change was actually a positive in his life. Here are two of those discoveries.
1. Re-Connect to Your Network
Pete’s unexpected job change created a huge sense of urgency. He now needed a job, and he needed it fast!
He started by first giving himself 30 days to find a new job, and he treated his new job search like a job.
Next, he started engaging his own network. This job loss might have been a loss, but he realized quickly how much he stood to gain by reaching out to people. Pete quickly learned that while the situation was not ideal, it didn’t matter. People were still happy to hear from him. This negative change allowed him to re-connect to friends, former colleagues and co-workers, and others in his network that he’d lost touch with.
Pete quickly learned about the power of networking, too. Folks that loved Pete made phone calls and referred him to people they knew. Others helped coach him through how he wanted to pivot with his career and the best way to mirror this on his resume.
And one colleague offered a piece of the puzzle that lead to his next big discovery: the name of a company in his “sweet spot.”
2. Build New Relationships
A negative change, like a job loss, might not seem like the best time to make new friends. But guess what? It just might be!
You see, that’s what Pete did. Not only did he engage his own network, but he reached out to new people too. He started building relationships with people via LinkedIn, and over the phone. So, when his colleague mentioned the name of a company in his “sweet spot,” he put his relationship building hat on and went to work!
The first person he spoke to at his dream company put Pete off. This person said, “sorry, but we’re not hiring right now.” But Pete didn’t give up. He did a little more research, sent a LinkedIn connection to the CEO of the company, then sent the CEO an email. He shared his desire to work at the company, and how his qualifications made him perfect for a role that didn’t even exist.
After some perseverance, Pete met with the CEO. They ended up talking for hours. The synergy was great, and Pete was exactly what the CEO had been looking for—even though he wasn’t looking! They met a few more times, Pete met with the entire team, and shortly after, had a job offer.
Embrace Change and Win
The beauty of the Pete story is this: his month started with the loss of a job where he was underutilized, and ended with a new job where his skills were a sought-after commodity, in a thriving culture.
The key to embrace change is simple. Stay positive, stay open, and look for where there’s opportunity!
Want some actionable, tactical methods for embracing change? Check out our free eBook, Change Ignites Growth: 7 Ways to Use Change as an Opportunity. Click here or on the image below to grab a copy!