Riding the rollercoaster of transition – dealing with workplace change

Riding the rollercoaster of transition – dealing with workplace change

Businesses and employees are coexisting in a highly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, whereby organisations are having to make hard decisions regarding redundancies, and employees are faced with a sense of unprecedented overwhelm – both professionally and personally. Whether it’s due to economic and financial difficulties or the rise of AI and its role in making key business decisions, job cuts remain prevalent in today’s world of work. And it’s during these times of extreme change that individuals are faced with a rollercoaster of emotions and challenges.

Which is where embracing positive psychology becomes essential – identifying what we enjoy in life, understanding how we can do more of what we love, and how we can best support our mental health. When practiced correctly, positive psychology can help us develop a buffer against stress, burnout and depression; bolster our mental health, wellbeing and resilience in order to navigate tough times; and build habits that enhance our mental toughness needed to thrive in times of disruption and uncertainty.

Essentially, in order to overcome a VUCA world, we need to become more VUCA ourselves. Read on for highlights from a recent webinar run by Right Management Leadership and Executive Coach, Clive Leach.

What does it mean to become more VUCA?

In this instance, VUCA is redefined to focus on vitality, understanding, consolidation and articulation – all of which can play a key role in developing our ability to withstand challenging times.

Vitality – During times of organisational transition, especially when it’s unexpected, people often experience a wide range of emotions, including fear, anxiety and stress. But what they don’t realise, at least not at first, is that experiencing this full range of emotions is perfectly normal and is in fact, a sign of positive mental health. The difficulty many of us encounter is that these negative emotions often feel stronger than positive ones, which is why we can so easily fall into a state of stress and dysfunction when faced with redundancy.

In order to overcome this negative emotion bias, we need to remember to identify and engage with our positive emotions during times of change. Whether you’re proud of the work you’ve achieved so far in your career, or you’re grateful for the support network you have around you during this difficult time, or perhaps you’re feeling curious about what could be around the corner – all of these positive emotions should be acknowledged and utilised to help you sustain positive energy throughout the rollercoaster of transition.

Understanding – Even when we’re trying our best to remain positive, it can sometimes be difficult to look past the challenges we’re now faced with – most notably, the imminent need to find another job. Understandably, many of us can then get stuck focusing on these immediate challenges, instead of taking a moment to reflect on our career to-date and identifying what it is we’d like to do moving forward – long term.

However, when done correctly, engaging in self-reflection can help you collate and recognise all of your achievements. You’ll be able to understand the difference between what you actually enjoy, and the behaviours you’ve learned to be good at for your job, as well as the unique values and drivers that motivate you on a daily basis. Acquiring this level of understanding will then provide you with the insight needed to make a more informed career decision – whether that’s to continue in your current field of work, start your own business or consider a lifestyle change – navigating change will become a far more positive experience.

Consolidate – Once you understand yourself, you’ll be able to consolidate your thoughts and newly acquired knowledge into a comprehensive plan for moving forward in your career. With insight into your values and strengths, you’ll understand what your choices are and be able to quickly identify whether a position is right for you – based on whether what you offer and want aligns with what the organisation is offering and wants. Once this alignment is established, you’ll know you’ve found the right opportunity to step off the rollercoaster of change, and begin a new chapter of your life.

Articulate – Having successfully identified your next step, you’ll likely find yourself in an interview or networking situation where you’ll need to articulate who you are and what you offer. The best way forward here is to always communicate with authenticity. Be yourself and remain confident in your suitability for the role or organisation you’re applying to. It’s perfectly normal to experience setbacks and doubts when transitioning from one job to the next, but when you’ve taken the time to embrace positivity, increase your self-awareness and make a clear plan, you’ll know when a position is right for you.


During times of organisational restructure, no two individuals will experience the same journey or set of emotions, and so there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to outplacement support. However, what it will do is provide you with the space to reflect on and identify what’s important to you in terms of moving forward. You’ll be equipped with the tools and knowledge needed to enhance your mental toughness, embrace change and step into opportunity; and ensure you’re able to achieve success in the next stage of your career.