I often hear this: I am motivated, keen to advance my career. Work comes first, and I am ambitious. But suddenly someone has announced a restructuring that affected my department. And none of my accomplishments or contributions count in this uncertain situation. They’re not a factor. Restructuring, even the pending possibility of its hitting your department is more than unsettling.
For many, going, through restructuring is a traumatic experience.
An experience that shakes their foundation and makes them question their own value as an employee. Any positive feedback they have gotten and will get is received with a bit of doubt, because the next restructuring is always lurking around the corner, and what’s that worth then? Restructuring has become normal in many industries. Here are some thoughts to make meaning from this challenge. Most importantly, especially when it’s hard:
Don’t take it personally!
It has nothing to do with you, is no evaluation of your capabilities and skills, nor of your personality. It’s a systemic challenge, no more no less. Settle into the knowing that this is not about you, nor about the person who gives you feedback. And relax. Better yet:
Turn this crisis into your opportunity for growth!
Work and the prospect of a career have given you meaning, and yes, you might like what your company contributes to the world. Take that one step further: What meaning exactly do you draw from what you do? Do you ultimately make lives easier, or even save them? Become clear: What do you want to contribute to the greater good? This can be through your present work, and in general, as a leader, and either in this company or somewhere else. Because there are always several possibilities and contexts that allow you to create what matters most to you.
Tap into your own vision, your own purpose.
Knowing what matters to you not only brings you meaning and and a satisfaction that equals the best of feedbacks by others. Knowing what legacy you want to leave behind also gives you independence of mind, and resilience in the face of challenges. Because it’s not about you.
It turns you into a creator of your world, which is what makes a leader in the first place.
If you’ve just woken up to your own insignificance in someone else’s bigger game, then ask yourself: To serve what purpose am I living for? What’s bigger than myself? What’s my live’s work and meaning? And then start playing your own game, in service of that purpose.