You just got used to the upgraded software your company insisted all departments use even though there was absolutely nothing wrong with the old software when--ding! New email, new directive--time to jettison the upgraded software in favor of a completely new system you have to learn from scratch from a manual that must have been originally written in a foreign language and translated into incomprehensibility by a techno-whiz.

Then of course there’s the company re-org. You used to have a perfectly decent supervisor who’s now been bumped up the ladder--pouf! Gone just like that. Now you’re stuck with Ms. Rules-R-Us who a) won’t let you sit next to your work buddy with whom you had a great mutual understanding of “you help me with mine, I’ll help you with yours," b) believes that 8:00 a.m. means you’re in your cubicle already working, not strolling in with a latte, c) needs a dictionary to find out what bonus means and d) delights in loading you with yet more work while nixing any overtime.

And to top it off, you get a cute company-wide Flash e-card celebrating the company change--like you should welcome the complete disruption of your work life--and announcing more changes to come. You would scream, but Ms. Rules-R-Us would probably have you fired. But how, oh how, are you to function, much less retain your sanity, in the midst of so much change? Change is something you don’t mind from time to time, a little here, a little there, but preferably when you’re in charge of it, not when it's imposed in a wham, bang without even a “thank you ma’am” process.

Change is stressful for just about everyone, and change imposed upon you, rather than freely chosen, is even more onerous. People fare much better when they’ve had a hand in decisions affecting them. But here you are, stuck with decisions from on high that you must somehow make work.

Make the changes work for you. In other words, take a deep breath, step back, and ask yourself: “What possible advantage or benefit could there be for me in this change?” Try an answer beginning with “Maybe . . .” as in “Maybe the new system will allow me to get my work done more quickly or more easily” and then look for the one or two ways that would be true. “Maybe my new supervisor will give me a different perspective on my work that fast-tracks me to a promotion” and look for a couple of ways this could happen.

Then, give yourself a break. Don’t force yourself to learn the whole system at once, find ways to break it down, learning, for example, just one module at a time. Or make a deal with your work buddy (you can still work with her, even if she’s at the other end of the floor) that you figure out one aspect, she figures out another, and you get together to teach what you learned to each other.

Don’t assume you know everything about Ms. Rules-R-Us. She’s human too (although that seems unlikely at the moment), and there are no doubt some qualities about her you’ll come to enjoy. Maybe she’s a pet lover, like you. Maybe she has a secret fondness for your favorite DJ. Maybe she stretches you in ways you need to be stretched. Deliberately look for the one or two things about her that you might, could--maybe--enjoy. Give it time. Try putting yourself in her shoes. Maybe she enforces the company manual beyond all reason because she’s new at the job, scared of doing something wrong and incurring the displeasure of her manager. Maybe she’s afraid that you won’t respect her if she doesn’t enforce the rules.

Change is inevitable, and change in the workplace grows at the rate of technology--hyperfast. When you purposefully look upon change as something you can make work for you, that’s exactly what it does. Then change becomes welcome, and your response is a joyful “Bring it on!”

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Noelle Nelson is a best-selling author and a powerful, passionate speaker. Her best-selling books include The Power of Appreciation, The Power of Appreciation in Business & Everyday Miracles.,