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Shift Happens or How to Deal with Change

Published October 20, 2012 4:02 PM by Glen McDaniel

To put it mildly it's been a very stressful month. My older brother died suddenly, one friend lost his job and another was informed rather unceremoniously her marriage was over.

I have had to be brother, friend, psychologist and guru all while dealing with my own grief. All this made me think once again about change and how to cope when "stuff happens."

The one thing that I have proven time and again is that it's not what happens so much as how you react to the change. The outcome is not a set, logical, rigid, deterministic end. Think for a moment at how a crowd reacts to a traffic accident; you see everything from shock and horror to curiosity and even annoyance that traffic is being held up.

Jack Canfield, in his book "Success Principles", uses the catchy formula   E+R=O, meaning that the Event + your Response equals the Outcome. The way to apply this formula successfully is to make a distinction between the things you can control and those you cannot. For example when some reorganization occurs at work, you might be able to frame the outcome somewhat if there is some flexibility.  You might even be able to come up with more palatable alternatives that management had not thought about.

The reality is often less flexible, however. In that sort of scenario the most futile use of energy is to dwell on what was how things should be or the inequity of the situation.  Tome is best spent figuring out how to survive and thrive in the new situation. Or how to walk away with as little damage as possible.

Attitude is the key and I have discovered that one can actually decide not just what to do, but how to feel. One can make the pledge to survive no matter what.

The next thing that was proven to me this month is that it is not just OK, but recommended to seek help if needed. Whether it is learning how to cope, to process feelings, advice on rewriting a resume or networking; it is sound strategy to draw on all available resources to help you over that hump.

In life, as in a career, change happens. But at the end of the day is not about "the thing" as much as it's about how you react.

2 comments

Sorry to hear about your brother, Glen. You are in my thought and prayers. I attended one of your lectures almost 5 years ago and I must say you changed my life. I took what you said and I look at things like change differently. I have read your aticles to over the years.

I want you to know you make a difference to many people and to the profession. Thank you

Marie Carter October 27, 2012 5:03 PM
Galveston TX

hat is something I have proven in my own life. I worked for a hospital that decided to cut staff starting  with the last hired first fired.

Those of us in teh lab realized we were already short most weekes especially weekends. I talked my manager into hiring me PRN and I worked 40 hours on the weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun). Those shifts were always hard to find staff for.

Instead of losing my job, I got a job paying 40 hours, including weekend pay, some OT when I had to stay over and I had 4 days free during the week.

Most of my colleagues were simply complaining and crying, but I was happy and my employer was happy. People sometimes dont want to be happy. Because they were willing to hire another person to work with me or to cover my shift if I had to be out, but no one wanted it, so it took 3 PRN to cover that 2nd slot.

Jason Miranda October 21, 2012 3:14 PM
Dallas TX

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