Home > Work-related, Writing and Poetry > Surviving the Status Shuffle

Surviving the Status Shuffle

Whether a person has reached a new phase of an existing career or pursuing a new one, there is always a settling-in phase involved.

The person must go through at least three distinct steps during this phase.

  • Astonishment at having arrived at the new status
  • Panic at the thought of establishing new self-expectations, abilities, and reputation
  • Developing new coping mechanisms and strategic schemes for advancement within that status

The survival process can be either pleasant or not, depending upon the approach used. That approach depends largely on whether the person sought the change in career status or arrived there at someone else’s behest. The least objectionable attitude to assume, nonetheless, is one of acceptance. Stress reduction during the process is paramount. Acceptance breeds calm responses.

New Status Astonishment

If your new status was actively sought on your part, now would be a good time to show everyone that belief in yourself and your capabilities. Obviously someone believed in you or you wouldn’t be in this new position. If you didn’t seek the status, you can always bow out gracefully, without losing face. It’s entirely up to you. You answer the person or organization with a simple No Thank You, and leave it at that.

Let’s assume you’re a writer. You’ve just landed a plum assignment from a pitch you made to a glossy magazine. NOTE: You pitched it, you believed in it. Now deal with it.

The editor loved the idea and is contracting you to run with it. NOTE: You’re at this stage because you’ve learned how to market yourself, your ideas, and your talent. Accept that someone else believes in you and your potential to generate quality product to fulfill that contract.

Panic at New Responsibilities and Expectations

It doesn’t always follow that because you sought this change in status, you understood the responsibilities and expectations that go with it.

Greater belief by others in your abilities settles the mantle of responsibility for quality, punctuality, and consistency squarely on your shoulders. You might not have considered that side of the equation when seeking your elevation. There is no need to panic.

If you’ve strived in the past to provide quality and accuracy in your work, you’ve covered the first and last of those responsibilities. If you’ve set deadlines for yourself and kept them on a consistent basis, you’ve already covered that expectation as well. Panic comes with unfamiliar territory, unfamiliar needs being placed on a person’s career plate. If you took the time before to cultivate your skills to give those factors mentioned above, you’re going to be fine.

If you haven’t yet cultivated those factors, now would be a good time to start. Take it slow. No one is forcing you to be perfect with each second of the day. Take the time to get comfortable with these new expectations. Find a mentor to help you ease into this new position.

Developing Coping Mechanisms and Strategies 

Everyone learns to cope with new circumstances or perish. The best strategy may be to set yourself a work schedule according to your needs. If you work best on a loosely regulated schedule, fine, do that. If you need more structure for better self-monitoring, do that instead. You are the only one who knows what conditions work best for you. Put those in place and stick with them.

When those outside your work throw negative or jeering comments your way, smile. Turn to them and say something like, “Thank you so much. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you get to live your dream, too.” Use the enthusiastic and positive intonation of sincerity and genuine interest. It does make a difference.

Why would you say something like that? Many people deride those who are living a dream and making it work. These people haven’t the courage to live their own dream or they believe their life circumstances don’t allow them to live their dream. Don’t allow their envy to displace your personal positive attitude.

Lastly, at the end of each day, count your blessings. You’ve been given a dream to live or not. You’ve been shown a path to walk or not. Only you can choose to take your blessings for a stroll down the road of possibilities. In the end it’s the effort you put forth and little else that determines every change in your personal status. Declare it and own it. You created it.

Until later, a bientot,


  1. Poetic Bloomings
    October 23, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Oh my goodness. You NAILED this. The details and feelings you describe ring true in my heart. I’m bookmarking this one to keep coming back to. Thank you, Clauds.

    Marie Elena

    • claudsy
      October 23, 2011 at 11:01 am

      Thanks, Marie.I’m glad that you found it so worthwhile. I do try and sometiimes make the mark.

  1. August 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm

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