Twenty-Seven. That’s the number of movie sequels that USA Today reported that Hollywood planned to release in 2011 (Life section, 14-Feb-11). And it was 19 in 2010, 20 in 2009, and 17 in 2008. Why are the number of sequels increasing? We like our characters and the familiarity that we have with them. We are comfortable with them. Most of us want to see Captain Jack Sparrow do the same shtick in every film. Who wants that formula to change?
The problem is, it will change. Actors will age, the theme will no longer be fresh (how many times have you heard someone joke about all the “Rocky” movies and how that franchise has gone on?), and we will have to deal with that change. And herein lies a problem, that many of us are uncomfortable with change. It’s why we like our comfort foods, the sequels, and similar routines. It makes us feel safe. But change is inevitable, and we need to learn to deal with it.
We deal with change every day, but it’s the major changes that rock our boat – change in job responsibilities, change with new processes and procedures, a new project, or even changes with job situation (and even if you are self-employed, change may come from a new competitor or a shift in business climate). With all of these, you can choose to fight against it, or you can choose to figure out how to survive with the change. Because when you look at it, you will have to make a change no matter what.
Consider: your company is moving your office from 5 miles away from your house to 50 miles away from your house. You can be in denial; you can complain; you can try and talk them out of it, but the change is going to happen. You can either change your driving habits and move to the new office, you can possibly adjust to a telecommuting schedule, or you can resign from the company and find a new position in a new company (one within 5 miles). All of these choices involve change – you are going to have to face that your world is going to be different.
So, to deal with it, here are a few tips to get you used to the change when it happens:
- Acknowledge that you will have to change. This is potentially the hardest step. The longer that you put off acceptance, the less time that you will have to react. If you accept it early, you will have more time to plan your strategy for how to deal with it.
- Look for the advantages. See if there are good things to come out of the change. Maybe you are moving from one project area to another and are completely unfamiliar with the people, processes, and systems in the new area. But, that group uses a software application that you always wanted to learn – there’s an advantage. You get to learn something new. If you try hard enough, you can usually find an advantage.
- Use it to your advantage. Talk to management about the new skills and training that you will need in your new position. Show them how it will benefit the company and the change by getting the training and acquiring the skills that you need to be successful.
- Support management. If you show management that you are on board and want to make it successful, it will go a long way for your reputation as a “team player.” Show them that you want to partner with them and explain how you see some of the keys to that success, whether it’s training, equipment, or new processes.
The final scene in the Indiana Jones Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: The wind blows the doors open, and Harrison Ford’s trademark fedora blows in at Shia LaBeouf’s feet. He picks it up, and starts lifting it to his head, and we realize that we are going to see him take over the franchise. SURPRISE! Harrison Ford passes in front of our view, takes the hat from him, and puts it on his own head. With the Indiana Jones trademark smile, we see the change in front of us. We are not going to see the same Indiana Jones in a younger actor – it will be something new. Something different. A change. And it will be good.
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