How to Face Changes in Government Administration


Government administration changes come with a lot of new perspectives, challenges and work styles.

It is normal for IT agencies to experience changes when the new administration gets in place.

When this happens, there is always a period when the changes start and too many people get stressed. They fear losing their jobs, or for not feeling able to fit in the new team. The nerves can lead us to behaviors that can be negative from the point of view of the new managers.

I have around 30 years of experience in government agencies and I have been in about 6 administration changes. Here are my top recommendations on how to face them:

Acknowledge that there will be changes.

The main thing for which you must be prepared is that you are going to see changes. New bosses, new co-workers, new plans, new strategies, new evaluation methods, new policies, new rules, new ways of working. You can be sure you will see all this… and more.

Get ready for the changes. 

Considering the above, you must be capable of achieving a mental state where you do not feel affected by the changes in a negative way. You should be prepared to face new paradigms and deal with them in a better way.

Focus on your work.

It is important that you can demonstrate your capabilities, expertise, dedication and commitment to the institution. I do not see any better way to do this than by working hard. Show the new people that your value is in your work and that it is prudent that you are considered to be included in the new team. Tell your ideas and share your knowledge. The new bosses must be assured that you can contribute.

Show that you are a team that is united.

In all my years I have seen a lot of co-workers start wars for keeping their jobs, trying to stand above the rest of the team and, playing hardball against the others. That doesn’t  work. In my experience, it is a lot better to show a team that is united, working together as a stronger and effective small community, with specific and clear objectives. It is easier for the new people to see group results rather than individual standouts.

Adapt to changes.

Once you start to know the changes, you must be capable of adapting to them. Count on the fact that there will be some personal adjustments you will have to do. If the changes cause you an internal conflict or make you feel that you lose interest in continuing with the institution, you should be ready to modify habits, practices and work schemes that you did before. If you are interested in being part of the new administration, you have to be willing to change.

Be trustworthy. 

One of the most difficult things to do is to show the new management that you can be and want to be part of the new team. You must be able to convince, with your behavior, dedication, and work, that they can trust you. There is always some kind of distrust in the managers because they don’t know you. So, find the better way to demonstrate you are a serious professional, committed to the institution and the work.

Take advantage of the change.

Ok so now that the changes are in place. There is always an opportunity to find advantages. Even in the worst case scenario, there is always something positive to obtain. And it is for sure that there will be a lot of possibilities to get good things for this new phase. The important thing is to be attentive to detect the changes that are presented and take advantage of them.

Be willing to grow and learn. 

New paradigms will involve a new way to do some things. You must be willing to learn. Quickly and efficiently. With a positive attitude and knowing that the opportunity is for growing. Personally and professionally. It is important to achieve the necessary knowledge and be able to integrate into the new team.

Just be yourself. 

I’ve never played another role. Trying to deceive people by being a different person from what you are will only bring the discovery of the truth … and then, more than one person will be disappointed, starting with yourself. Just be yourself. You must deal with the new people to find out if you will be considered to integrate with the new administration. It is better to be clear about who you really are and if that person (the real you), is compatible with the new managers, co-workers, and plans.

Changes are always disruptive. But not always in a bad way. That only means that many activities or tasks must be done using new paradigms, with new co-workers, with different approaches, and new organization styles. Ask yourself if you dare to face the administration change or prefer to look for another job. If you want to stay, be willing to do some temporally sacrifices, I believe it’s worth it.

Sergio Yorick is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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