How to Deal With Unexpected News at Work

How to Deal With Unexpected News at Work


Sometimes shocking or unexpected news, whether we view it as good or bad, can push us in the right direction. Losing your job might open up a door for you to start your own business. And not getting that promotion at work could actually be the best thing that happens to you.

So have you dealt with unexpected news at work? Let’s be honest, some employers do know how to drop a bombshell on you.

  • From laying off people in the company
  • To cutting off wages (which implies legal requirements though)
  • To losing business partners
  • Or maybe not granting you the promotion you’ve worked so hard for.

Whatever the news might be, here are a few tips on how to deal with unexpected news at work:

Don’t panic 

It’s completely normal and in our human nature to instantly react to information. Surprising news can cause you to jump and immediately express how you feel. In fact, social media has even made that easier for us.

However, when it comes to your job, you might need to think twice about how you react and what you choose to share online. It is always important to take the time to reflect on whatever surprising or unexpected news you receive. Yes, also when you have been offered a great opportunity. Don’t be hasty to act. Always be conscious of weighing your options.

Which leads us to the next point…

Take stock of the moment

Every news or information deserves to be examined carefully. Of course, some more than others, depending on the nature of the news. In my own experience, someone once offered me a great deal. They pitched their idea, it sounded fantastic. And as soon as I got home, slept over it, I woke up and thought, “Wait, is this really what I want?”. “Can I really have this on my plate right now?”, “Was it the right for me to accept this offer?”

Therefore, it is important to first take stock of the moment and reflect on what you’ve been offered before you act. Whether it’s a business deal or a great opportunity at work, it’s okay to say “Can I have a few days to think about this?”.

Relax, take it easy – Maybe it’s not as bad as you think

The thing about unexpected news, of course, is it will shock you. If it’s good news you are guaranteed that nothing can steal your joy that day. Bad news, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. However, it’s important to try and see the positive in something that looks and feels quite negative. Why? A negative situation can cause you to lose hope and if you lose hope you won’t be able to progress or even think about your next steps. If you need a few days off to get your head around whatever news you have received, that’s perfectly acceptable. You might then actually come to terms that things were not as bad as you thought.

Reflect and stay positive

You’re only able to move forward if you remain positive. If you need a day or two to cry and let out all of the emotions that have boiled up inside. DO IT. While you’re reflecting on whatever news you have received, it’s healthy to express how the news actually made you feel. Also, in order to handle unexpected news at work (or maybe even in life in general), make sure you have people around you who can lift you up. People who will look at the positive side of things even if you can’t see it at the moment.

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