12 tips for overcoming your fear of change at work

Change is essential and inevitable in the workplace. It’s also by far the biggest source of fear and anxiety at work. So if you’re one of the many people for whom change is a terrifying prospect, you’ll need to learn how to overcome this particular brand of the heebie-jeebies.


Happily, Forbes has published some great advice on how to survive and conquer our fear of change. Read on for its 12 pearls of wisdom on the subject.


1. Acknowledge the change.

2. Acknowledge your fears. Write them down and go through them, one by one, saying what you would do if that fear became reality. Knowing you have a backup plan can defuse your anxiety.

3. Accept your feelings and seek support from your friends and colleagues. Sharing your experiences and emotions can deflate anxiety and remind you that you’re not alone.

4. Designate ‘worry time’ to focus on your fears. This will enable you to workshop solutions and prevent worrying from creeping into the rest of your day.

5. Make an effort to communicate frequently with your team, particularly at times of major change. This is an effective way of addressing and calming fears. It also avoids the springing up of unfounded (and often worrying) rumours.

6. Stay positive. Try to describe the upcoming change to yourself in positive terms. Remind yourself that you’ve experienced change in the past and survived. Lean on lessons learnt in previous change situations and the personal qualities that helped you through the challenge.

7. Have realistic expectations. Initially, things may be less than ideal but everyone can adjust over time.

8. Be flexible and available to take on any new task that accompanies the change. This makes it a pleasure for others to work with you.

9. Get involved in the change. Form a committee to research potential repercussions and devise related supportive solutions for your colleagues. Proactively helping to drive the change helps you to understand the rationale behind it and to alleviate your fear.

10. Reduce stress through techniques such as breathing exercises or meditation, or by taking regular exercise and having a healthy sleeping routine.

11. Identify ways of increasing your value within your organisation and go for it! Highly valued employees typically get through changes unscathed or in an even stronger position than before.

12. Keep working even if your role becomes unclear. A good work ethic provides a morale-boosting sense of purpose and accomplishment.


There’s no one-size-fits-all solution but a pick ‘n’ mix approach to the tips above will be helpful in your quest to overcome your fear of change. There’s everything to play for so it’s worth taking the matter seriously.


ABL, your trusted recruitment partner, hopes that you find the above tips useful. If it’s your job search that’s causing you sleepless nights, please get in touch. We’ll remove all the stress from the challenge. Just tell us what you’re looking for and let us do the legwork. We’ll source great opportunities that tick off all the items on your job wishlist. Please give us a call on +44 (0)20 7092 3939 or email us at info@ablrecruitment.com to brainstorm the options!