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Dealing with Workplace Changes or Job Transitions

Changes at your workplace and/or job transitions can be very stressful. You may find the following attitude-adjustment, problem-solving, and symptom-relief strategies useful as you deal with this stress.

Attitude adjustment

Attitudes are composed of what you think, what you value, and how you approach life. Adjusting your attitudes in the following ways may help you cope better with situations:

  • Decide what you have control over related to your attitude
  • Be aware of persistence of unhelpful attitudes, such as catastrophic thinking, pessimism, taking things personally, defensiveness, blaming, and cynicism
  • Imagine how you would view the situation if you were feeling strong, resilient, and optimistic—you can think of this as a mental rehearsal
  • Practice realistic optimism
  • Be objective and professional at work; blow off steam away from work

Problem solving

Use the following problem-solving strategies to help deal with workplace changes or job transitions:

  • Remember your strengths—do what you know how to do well
  • Decide what you have control over related to your own behavior
  • Generate options for solving the problem—think of various possibilities
  • Gather information that may help you solve your problem
  • Identify your internal resources (strengths, talents, skills, experience, motivation) and external resources (sources of information, contacts, networking, co-worker, supervisor)
  • Consult or ask for advice/feedback

Symptom relief

Use the following strategies to help deal with workplace changes or job transitions:

  • Decide what you have control over related to your feelings
  • Be aware of your own emotional reactions (anger, irritation, frustration, sadness, fear, guilt, anxiety) and physical stress reactions (headaches, stomach upset, back pain, high blood pressure, sleep problems, sharply increased or decreased appetite, flare-up of chronic health conditions)
  • Eat right, whether you feel like it or not
  • Get enough sleep
  • Continue with a routine exercise program or start one
  • Write in a personal journal about what you are going through
  • Take medications as prescribed
  • Reduce or eliminate your alcohol intake
  • Do activities that help you feel centered and secure (i.e., listening to music, gardening, watching movies)
  • Utilize your emotional support network of friends and family