Being demoted is uncomfortable and a real blow to your professional identity. If this has happened to you, you are not alone in feeling a lot of anxiety and anger. After receiving the news and surviving the awkward meeting with your boss, focus on taking positive action. Here are three steps that will get you through the shock and even launch you into a new start.
1. Get the whole picture
Make sure that you understand the workplace restructuring not solely from your own perspective of loss, but from a business, organizational and performance view. Are they moving you due to funding? Are you actually being moved laterally but to a position that has a lower perceived value? Are you being moved due to your performance? Swallow your ego and make sure to ask the right questions to give yourself a full view of the company and your future there.
2. Rebuild office relations
In discussing the demotion in your workplace, it is essential to keep your emotions under control. Don’t bad mouth your boss or to complain about your new role. People may not know exactly how to act around you, so avoiding this kind of gossip and excessive venting with your coworkers will ease the tension and let them know that you are making the effort to be positive. It is important to have support during this time, so do look for outlets in your personal life. Try talking to friends or family, pouring yourself into a hobby that gives you confidence or taking personal time to reflect and rebuild. At your job, you are still a team player, and your attitude in the face of adversity will do a lot to build your character.
3. Acknowledge the negativity, then transform it
It’s a terrible feeling to be reminded that you are replaceable. Instead of letting it get into your head and make you paranoid or under-confident, use this knowledge to change how you are at work. See this as a wake-up call and a chance to get genuine feedback on ways to grow. Schedule a follow-up meeting with your managers to brainstorm concrete ways in which you can improve your performance or receive training in your new role. There may be a lot of negativity floating in the office, so showing that you are willing to transform that into collaborative energy will demonstrate to your bosses that you are an asset to the company and that you are ready to grow. If you decide that your future at this company is compromised, still make an effort to transform the negativity and launch yourself forward instead of stagnating in frustration.
Your experiences are invaluable to us as career advisors. Don’t hesitate to contact us ↓