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.

I mean, your time at your current job might be way overdue – Who knows? So how have you dealt with shocking or unexpected news in the past? 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 (good or bad) news at work:

Don’t panic – stay calm

It’s completely normal and in our human nature to instantly react to noteworthy information. The surprising news will cause you to jump, shout it out from the rooftops and social media makes it even easier to express how you feel to the entire world.

However, when it comes to your job, you might want to think twice about how you react. Calm down, take a chill pill. Yes, also when you have been offered a great opportunity. Don’t be hasty to act – Always weigh in your options. This brings 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 (actually, it has happened way too many times). They pitch their idea, it sounds fantastic. And as soon as I get home, sleep over it, I wake up and think, “Wait, is this really what I want?”. “Can I really have this on my plate right now?”.

Therefore, it is important and also beneficial to first take stock of the moment and reflect on what you’ve been offered before you act.

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

The thing about unexpected or shocking news is, it will shock you. That’s what it’s meant to do. It comes as a surprise, without warning or announcement. If it’s good news you are guaranteed that nothing can steal your joy that day. However, bad news, on the other hand, has the opposite effect.

If you lose hope you can’t progress

However, it’s important to try and see the positive in something that looks and feels quite negative. Why? Negativity kills hope and if you lose hope you can’t progress. If you need a few days off to get your head around things, 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.

Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson is a marketing professional and the Founder and Editor of Corporate Career Girl. Her true passion is to empower career girls in the workplace and help them bridge the gap between university and the corporate environment.