I’m job hunting at the moment which means I’m getting asked a lot of questions about my work history and the companies I have worked for.
I realized this morning there is one phrase I keep saying over and over again in discussions and interviews.
‘The company had a restructure.’
It’s a constantly recurring theme throughout my career. Restructures are all the rage and have been for quite a long time. If you haven’t been through one I would be greatly surprised!
Many people have been through countless restructures, so many in fact that I can’t help wondering – are we suffering from corporate restructure fatigue?
Does even hearing the word restructure make our eyes glaze over with dread?
Often we barely get to settle in to new roles, new managers and new departments before they decide to change it all again.
The part that amazes me is how many other words companies can come up with to substitute for the word restructure. Perhaps they think if they use a different word, we won’t figure out what’s going on!
Constant restructures can weaken employee morale, particularly when a lot of people are losing their jobs. Understandably job losses make people nervous.
Here are some suggestions on how to deal with corporate restructure fatigue.
Understand restructures are now part of business
It’s like this quote – ‘The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.’ – Socrates
It might be hard for some people but it’s time to let go of the ‘good old days’. Jobs for life are long gone. Having a government job no longer means job security.
With companies big and small having to tighten budgets and increase profits they will always be looking for ways to run a more efficient ship. Businesses are about making profit after all. Without profit there would be no jobs.
Restructures are a sign of the times, better to come to terms with it – than fight it.
Learn to get comfortable with change
Working in a constantly changing environment can be a challenge. Some people find it more destabilizing than others.
To be honest the correct word to use in many cases is uncertainty more than change. Often we need to learn to get comfortable with uncertainty.
Some view times of uncertainty as a chance to maximize opportunities while highlighting their strengths and capabilities.
Others find uncertainty, particularly if they are worried about having a job tomorrow, incredibly draining.
Take pride in your work
Sometimes when your company is going through an upheaval the only person you can depend on is yourself.
What’s going to get you up in the morning is taking pride in your work, despite what is going on around you.
There is still work to be done. Regardless of what is happening with the company, your customers both external and internal are relying on you. There are still expectations, deadlines, targets and results to deliver.
Focus on you and your work and the satisfaction you get from doing a superb job instead of it being all about the company.
Restructures aren’t all doom and gloom
It’s important to remember that restructures aren’t always about downsizing and negativity.
Some restructures are based on massive company growth, rapid improvement and increases in profit.
When a company grows quickly, they sometimes need to restructure the business to deliver the same high level of products and services to their customer base.
Don’t always assume a restructure is a negative thing.
Have a life outside of work
If you are one of those people who lives for your work, you could be in trouble if you suddenly lost your job.
It’s important to have a life outside of work that brings you joy, happiness, social interaction and a sense of community and/or achievement.
Know when to cut your losses
This can be hard to get your head around but sometimes restructures, particularly where someone is offered a redundancy can be exactly what that persons needs.
I know it doesn’t necessarily feel like that at the time but drastic change can give people the push they need to try different things. If you get a decent redundancy payout you could get the opportunity to do things you never imagined!
When I was made redundant I headed off on an 8 month backpacking adventure. I was 38 at the time and had the time of my life.
A friend who was suddenly made redundant during a restructure took some time off to reassess his life. It was a huge turning point for him. His health, relationships and attitude to work all greatly improved.
Depending on our individual situation walking away and starting fresh can be an unexpected blessing.
What are your thoughts on the seemingly constant corporate restructure dance?
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