How to Handle an Unwanted Job Switch

Upper management had decided to reorganize and suddenly you have a different job. Bummer! But it’s not all bad news. Check out Modern Manners Guy’s 3 tips for handling a company reorganization.

Richie Frieman,
April 28, 2013
Episode #245

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The Beatles once sang, “I heard the news today, oh boy…” and even though they weren’t talking about corporate life, I think of this line every time I hear unfortunate job news. Last month, a friend of mine had her life flipped upside down when she was switched to a new job due to a company reorganization. I emailed her that song lyric, hoping to get a small chuckle. Instead I got just a sad smile…baby steps here, folks.  

Here’s the deal with reorgs: No matter what, there will always be clear-cut winners and losers at the end of the shuffle..

Whether you are directly affected by the reorg, or are lucky enough to keep the same job, how you manage the often awkward situation will say a lot about you. So with that, check out my top 3 Quick and Dirty Tips for how to properly handle an office reorg.

Tip #1: Worse Things Could Happen

When my friend’s company was reorganized, she was furious, depressed, and felt betrayed. She went from a comfortable spot in a law firm, where employees were respectful and could speak openly in a constructive manner, to working for a boss that she doesn’t know and with coworkers who are known to be counterproductive and confrontational.  In her words, “I went from my dream job to a hellhole.”


So, tell me how you really feel. I could easily tell how upset – no, pissed – she was from the moment I opened her email and read the first sentence: “Well, my life officially SUCKS…”I wished there was something more I could do than just offer a sympathetic ear. But in the end, as much as it sucked, I had to remind her that in reality, much worse things could happen.

I know what you’re thinking: “Wait a minute, Modern Manners Guy, what could be worse than having to work with a bunch of mouth-breathers who hate their jobs?”

Well, let’s put things in perspective for a moment. For one, she wasn’t fired. That’s a biggie, right? She still had her job, with the same salary, and was still practicing the type of law she liked. The reorg just brought her skills to another division of the firm. As well, she could still see her favorite co-workers for lunch (they only worked one block away), since her daily routine didn’t change much either.

Sure, she’d have to travel a bit more, but as I reminded her, she would be traveling for conferences in Chicago where her college roommate lives. “Why not make a weekend out of it?” I told her.  Not that visiting an old friend should get you over-the-moon excited about a new unwanted job, but the main point is that worse things could happen and it’s not the end of the world. At the end of the day, she didn’t have to move her home and most importantly she was not affected financially. Now that would be a much bigger issue.

See also: Commuter Etiquette 101