“The only sense that is common in the long run is the sense of change – and we all instinctively avoid it.”
Author E.B. White
#TryDifferent #change #reorganization
We avoid things that hurt. We sometimes avoid things that take effort. We often avoid things we don’t know.
Change can be all of those things. One of the 15 rules that Karl G. Schoemer points out in his book on change is its title: “Try Different, Not Harder.”
In discussing this, Schoemer cites this common complaint during times of change in the workplace: “I can’t work any harder. I’m already working harder than I ever have.” As he points out, we sometimes are more comfortable redoubling our efforts than changing them. Thus, the instinctive response: “The way we’ve been doing it has always been good enough, so more of the same should be better.”
In the modern world, organizations have to change. Workers can be part of the change, or excluded from it through layoffs and other downsizing. If you are part of the change, your role in the company could, and probably will, change.
If you are new to a company, and they are hiring you for a certain job, know this: what they are hiring you for today may not be what you will ultimately be doing a year from now, five years from now, 10 years from now.
Job situations change – some might say deteriorate – over time. Perhaps you have been in a job which, after a few years, had no resemblance to what you were hired to do. Or, your job now INCLUDES what you were hired to do, plus something else. You may feel you are doing the work two or more people should be doing.
In the past, unions, or even companies themselves, protected employees by keeping them in jobs that are no longer needed, relevant or could be done by machines or other technology.
In today’s world, companies can’t afford that. So here’s a rule of thumb: presume your job will change, even deteriorate, over time. You won’t be able to do much about it. By the same logic, promotional and expansion opportunities will be fewer, and farther between.
What to do?
As Schoemer and others advocate, learn new skills. Take advantage of additional training your company, or other institutions, may offer.
Don’t presume that working harder at what you’re doing will get you farther. It could get you out the door.
A better option might be finding another source of income, just in case you get shown the door before you want to be. For one of the best of many such options, visit
Most of all, don’t complain that your employer just doesn’t see how valuable you are. No matter your age, or how good you are at what you do, you are expendable. You are an expense to your employer. If you see that what you are doing is becoming less important to the business as a whole, or you – God forbid – are having trouble filling up your day at work, a red flag should go up in your head. If you don’t have a Plan B, you should get one quickly. Remember: if you see instances in which your employer might be able to live without you, your employer will soon see them, if he or she hasn’t already.
In short: work with change. Evolve with the job situation. Get better at different. Become fluent, and fluid, with change.

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