Job Search Stress? This Is Normal; To A Degree


Looking for a job and feeling stressed often go together. In fact, any time you work towards getting something you don’t have at the moment typically puts you in a state of stress; both body and mind.

Buying  a house, expecting a child, looking for a place for your aging parent(s) to move where they’ll get ongoing care; even buying your first car – these things can often bring with them varying degrees of stress and anxiety. You’ll note that each could be a positive thing I’ve listed; just like getting a job. Each requires some effort to first get and then adjust to.

Now looking for work requires effort as well; mental energy to start. Questions such as where to work, what kind of work to choose, the level of income required when looking, then self-assessing your current skills, education and experience compared to what the job ads say the employers are expecting. One main reason this process of looking for a job induces stress is because we are forced to engage in doing things we typically don’t put much thought into when we are already working somewhere.

While employed, we don’t think much about our résumé and writing cover letters. Nor do we worry about performing well in job interviews, making cold calls, applying for then being rejected again and again. For even when we have a job and go looking for another one to replace it, the stress can be quite different because we have a job at present. Hence we might not have the same level of stress wondering how we’ll pay bills, pay for transportation to job search or put food on the table. For the time being we’ve got income rolling in, so we can also job search for something better at a more relaxed pace.

Conversely, the out-of-work person quite often has increasing stress levels. A prolonged job search can be extremely stressful as savings get depleted, hope fades, stamina drains, confidence drops, desperation sets in and thoughts of, ‘will I ever work again?” take up residence.

If you’ve felt – or more importantly I know – if you FEEL these things now – you’re experiencing a normal reaction to the situation in which you find yourself. While it might be normal however, it’s not a good idea to spend any more time than necessary in this state. Some people do though, and by choice; here’s why…

Imagine you’re on a roller coaster. You start with the exhilaration and expectations of what it will be. When you’re on it, the highs and lows come as you figured, but soon you feel trapped and can’t get off. Every so often you plateau out and momentarily feel more in control. Given the highs and lows, that momentary control feels preferable to more highs and lows. To feel less of the lows, you start avoiding the pleasurable highs, only because the lows are following those highs with predictable regularity. Eventually you might then be okay – not happy mind but definitely okay – with plateauing out lower than you thought you’d ever do when you first got on.

Job searching can be similar. You begin with high expectations and the possibilities are enticing; a better job, more income, something new to learn and experience. There’s the high of applications and interviews, and the lows of being ignored completely or passed over and rejected. You reapply yourself,  redouble your efforts only to find the expected results are materializing. The odd day comes when you do little to nothing job search wise. Then you recommit your energy and soon find you’ve applied to 30, 50 or more jobs all unsuccessfully. Confused, disillusioned, disappointed and frustrated, you pack it in and coast…

The thing about this analogy of the roller coaster is that in the real world the ride stops and you get off. You know when you get on the ride is only of a certain duration and then it’s over. When you take your seat on the Job Search Rollercoaster, you don’t know how long the ride will be nor do you know the cost of the ride financially and mentally, nor can you see ahead to view all the ups and downs, curves, loops and plateaus.

Let me remind you why you got on this ride in the first place; to have something better than what you had. If you find yourself screaming, “Please! I want to get off!” to some apparently absent amusement operator, let me point out the person with the ride controls is you. You can experience this journey alone or when it’s slowing down, you can ask others to hop onboard and help you gain some measure of control by explaining how the ride works.

It’s true! Whether you work with a government paid Job Coach, Employment Counsellor or pay for one privately, or even ask someone to mentor you, there’s helpful people all around you just for the asking. Riding the rails can be exciting for some, grow tiresome quickly for others, and cause pain and discomfort for many who’ve been on much too long. Like so many things in life, sharing the experience instead of going it alone can be helpful and in this case, cut the length of time you spend figuring things out for yourself.

So, while the stress of job searching is normal, be cautious of the length of time you spend searching alone; there’s a lot at stake.

Advertisements

What A True Resume ‘Expert’ Does


Many people will turn to someone else to write their résumé for them. Like so many things in life, you’ll either have a positive or disappointing outcome, in this case depending on who you get the help from and how they go about completing the résumé.

I suppose to be honest, it starts with your own level of commitment. Do you want the résumé just done for you, or do you want to be fully involved in the creation of the résumé and in so doing, pick up the skills you now lack so that you can do it for yourself in the future?

Now you might be the kind of person who really isn’t interested in learning how to do one. No, you might be quite happy to pay someone to do it and then pop ’round in a few days to pick it up.  Maybe your logic is that once it gets you a job, you don’t plan on having to write another one for years so why bother to learn how to do one?

I believe the most effective resumes; the ones that actually result in getting you through to the interview stage of the hiring process, are the ones where you sit side-by-side the person working with you to create the document. The major advantage is that the two of you can have an ongoing question and answer session, and the more the Resume Writer learns about you with the information you give, the stronger the résumé becomes. Why? Essentially they learn through those questions, information you haven’t provided otherwise, and it’s this information that they weave into the entire document.

I am reminded of this reality every time I run a group resume workshop, and then sit down personally with each attendee a day or two later. Many of those in attendance go ahead on their own prior to our personal meeting and do their best to incorporate the layout suggested to them, as well as targeting it to a specific job. When I’m sitting with them alone however, there’s a gap between what they’ve picked up in the group and what they pick up working together that gets bridged in the end. So many people comment on how they, ‘get it’ working together, because they can see the process first-hand as I craft it with them.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about highly educated people with doctorates and degrees or people yet to finish their high school education, the experience is richer when done working together. One thing about those questions and answers is that they morph, evolve, change and pop up as the process goes along. So it’s not like you could be given a list of questions to answer in advance and then just send the answers with your rough employment history and expect a winning resume. There are however, some Resume Experts out there who will gladly take your money and do this exact process. You end up having paid for something that looks great to the eye and you’re happy; until you realize the resulting interview invitation doesn’t materialize more often than not.

If you invest your time in sitting down with an expert to learn how to do it for yourself, with practice you get better. You don’t want or expect to be writing resumes for long of course, because your goal is to get an interview that leads to a job offer quicker and not longer. Then yes, you don’t usually plan on having to write another résumé for some time, perhaps years.

The thing is though, a real professional Resume Writer will craft a résumé for a single job posting. So before you pay them, if they tell you their plan is to give you 5, 10, 20 copies etc. of the resume so you can use it to apply to many jobs, this should be your sign to find someone else to work with. As I’ve said time and time again, no single resume should be used to apply to more than one job – even when the job title is identical. The details of the job – what you’ll actually do, the qualifications required etc. will vary slightly from one to the next, and so too should your resume.

We live in a world however where many often just want to pay someone to do things for them. There will always be these people and there will always be people willing to take their money. There are times when you want to pay an expert. If you’re having a window installed in what is now a brick wall of your home, call an expert in. You don’t have the skills and once that window goes in, you may never have another put in so pay up and be happy.

It’s highly probable however that you’ll be looking for employment again after getting your next job, or even more probable, you’ll be looking for employment after you send this résumé for the job you are applying to while waiting for a result. So it seems to me that if you pay for this kind of service, you should pick up skills necessary to do it for yourself in the future.

You won’t become an Resume Expert yourself just because you sit with one. Respect their work, respect the person. You can pick up a lot however that will serve you well on your journey.

Writing A Cover Letter


No the cover letter is not dead; nor has it fallen out of practice. Yes you will come across job postings that ask that you only include a résumé, but don’t take these directives as justification for not writing one as your usual practice when applying for a job. Put in the effort required and include a cover letter as the rule.

The first thing to look for in a job posting is whether there is a job number to quote in your cover letter. Typically an ad will instruct you to put this in the subject line of an email when applying, and likewise it’s good practice to put this at the beginning of your cover letter and underlined for prominence. This courtesy just ensures your application gets to the right hiring people for the job in question as it may be just one of many they will interview for.

The question now comes up as to whom the letter should be addressed. ‘To whom it may concern’ might be your standard opening, but I strongly discourage this generic opening. We have social media, company websites and of course the phone; do some digging and get the name, proper spelling and job title of the person you want your cover letter and resume to end up with. Sure some employers go out of their way to hide this information from job seekers, but do your best. If this information can be tracked down with a phone call or a visit to their website, applicants who address their letter to the person in question stand out from the pack right off the top.

Now, how to begin? Well, let’s put ourselves in the place of the reader of your mail. “Who is writing me and what do they want?” Two obvious questions. Your name at the top and bottom of the letter will explain the who, so your opening line should get right to your motive for contacting them. You do after all, want the résumé and cover letter you submit to lead to a job interview, correct? Right; so ask for one.

It is with genuine enthusiasm that I request an interview for the position of _______.

Oddly enough some people think this is too aggressive. Well, it’s not; it’s assertive yes, and it respects the time of the people who read the cover letter, right from the Receptionist, Human Resources staff and the specific Hiring Supervisor. Everyone who reads your opening knows what you’re after. Please don’t dance around what you want and dither about just hinting at what you want. Too often I see people write things like,

Please find my attached resume. I believe I have the qualifications you are looking for and I would appreciate the chance to meet and discuss how we can benefit each other

There’s just so many things wrong in a paragraph like the one above. The language is passive and weak, and if you can’t just come out and tell them what you’re after, that’s an issue. After all, you do want an interview don’t you? Of course you do!

So what’s wrong with that opening? Okay, first off, why are you asking them to find your résumé? Did you hide it? Do you have the qualifications or don’t you? If you do, then saying, “I have the qualifications you are looking for” is the right thing to say instead of inserting the word, ‘believe’ which literally means you’re not sure you have the qualifications needed, but you think you do. While we’re at it, substitute the word, ‘opportunity’ for the word, ‘chance’. This is an opportunity – for both you and the company. ‘Chance’ sounds risky, and you don’t want to sound like a risk at all. Finally, while it’s true that both you and the company will mutually benefit each other if/when hired, in your opening greeting, you should concentrate on what you’ll do for the company and not speak about what you’ll get out of things.

Okay so you’ve asked for the interview right up front. Now move to their needs and how your combination of skills, education, experience and attitude fit their needs. Research you’ve done will clue you in about what to speak to. Without some digging, you’re just guessing.

Your cover letter should include words from the posting but not just be a rehashing of what’s in the resume itself. Consider speaking to your motivation here, possibly stating why you’re entering the workforce, returning to your field of choice, you’ve just relocated to the area, etc. but whatever you speak to, don’t place yourself as a charity case; it’s not about what they can do for you but rather how your background qualifies you uniquely. Sell and market yourself to their needs.

When you do close off your cover letter, reiterate your request for an interview.

As stated in the opening, I am requesting an in-person interview to best demonstrate my strong candidacy for this opportunity.

Anyone skimming your cover letter can’t miss your intention. Assuming they know why you’re writing and that’s it’s obvious or a given would be a mistake. If you haven’t the courage to simply state what it is you want, how will you perform if they actually hire you?

When you close off, stand out. Drop the, ‘sincerely’ and ‘yours truly’.

With enthusiasm,

Enthusiasm after all is the number one trait employers want.

Eventually, You HAVE To Talk To People


Typically you’ll find I go out of my way to help people cut their anxieties when it comes to the job search process. The title of today’s blog however, has likely raised the stress meter for a few people who struggle with holding conversations.

Yes, there are a lot of people who have difficulty interacting with others; which ramps up even higher than normal when the conversation is expected to be a lengthy one and about them personally. “I don’t like talking about myself”, is a common opening statement I hear often with people who find the interviews and conversations associated with looking for work to be so intimidating.

Now some are great at texting and email. Here at a keyboard, they are more at ease communicating. If they had their way, they’d apply for jobs and be hired based on the qualifications and skills highlighted in their resumes without having to go through the in-person interview.  While some of these types are looking for jobs where they have extremely little interaction with other employees and the public, there are others who will do well once they get hired, become familiar with their new settings and co-workers, and only then do they communicate easier.

Can you feel empathy for such people? I mean, it’s hard to fully grasp what it must be like to have such an acute anxiety about talking to others. Most people I know find job interviews stressful, but job interviews aren’t something we go through every single day of our lives. Face-to-face conversations on the other hand, well, most of us have these many time a day, each and every day. Constantly being in a state of anxiety and heightened stress has to be taxing on both the mind and the body.

Every now and then I’ll hear from someone who was so debilitated on a given day with the fear of being in a conversation that they skipped their job interview altogether. Even though they both want a job and need the income, the barrier of talking to someone they don’t know for 45 minutes to an hour where they are expected to do a lot of the talking just became greater than the desired outcome; a job offer.

It’s not unheard of for some of these people to become physically ill and throw up before job interviews. Their stomachs are churn, their skin becomes tingly and they sweat heavily. The palms get clammy and simple things like eye contact and saying, “Hello” become major challenges.

There is no quick fix I could pass on here in a blog. However, there are some ideas and strategies that tend to help which I can recommend. For starters it can help to look at a job and deconstruct the interaction you’ll have with others. For example, you might balk at the idea of being a Cashier. All those people lining up to interact with you all day long! However, when you break things down, much of your conversation with any one of them will likely be a brief greeting, asking if they want a bag for their purchases, and telling them the total due. Many customers aren’t going to expect or really want much more than that. So while you might be meeting people all day, you’ll only have short, scripted conversations with any one of them.

Looking at a factory job or on an assembly line, your interactions are likely to be restricted to those on your immediate team and perhaps the Security Guard who lets you in and says goodbye to you on your way out. Focus on your work and you might find you fit in rather well, even though there are people around you who are busy doing their jobs.

It can also help sometimes to clue others in to your anxiety. Telling an interviewer that you’ve come to realize that your best work is done independently, and that you like to keep to yourself doesn’t mean you’ll always get shown the door. There are many jobs where the most desirable employee is one who can focus on their work and go for extended periods without the distraction of conversing with others.

Thinking of the above, it raises the important point of making sure you’re going for the right kind of fit when looking for work. This isn’t true just for those with conversation anxieties, but for everybody. In this case, you may do well in a job where you control your surroundings. Take the Potter working with clay in a workshop, a farmer working in a vast field, a Conservationist working in a forest, a Fish and Wildlife Biologist working in a wetlands.

Just walk down any street these days and you see people with ear buds listening to music or podcasts who in so doing, shut out others around them and send the message that they don’t wish to be disturbed. Technology might be tolerated or even encouraged in some jobs if it helps you do your work better.

Of course, sooner of later you do have to talk to people; we all do. One thing to try is short conversations in small doses, where over time you increase your confidence and reduce your fears. Little things like saying, ”hello” to people you pass on the street instead of silently walking by. It might not sound like much, but it’s a small step.

Job Search Problem: When You Don’t Pick Up


Okay, so you’re looking for a job and you’re growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of positive results. There’s a lot of things that could be negatively affecting your applications. Today I just want to focus on one, and that has to do with your phone. When you’re called and not reached live, what is the experience of the person attempting to reach you?

I strongly suggest you call yourself and don’t answer, to hear for yourself what anyone attempting to reach you experiences. When you’re done, ask someone else to do the same and give you their reaction. Preferably ask a Job Coach, Employment Counsellor, Recruiter, Employer, and not your best mate or family.

Recently I called a woman to invite her to an intensive job searching group I run. When I dialed her number, an automated voice came on immediately with the message, “I’m sorry, the person you are trying to reach is unavailable. At the sound of the tone, please leave a message for ________. Beep!” The blank space in the sentence above is where the owner of the phone is expected to identify themselves, but in this case, all I heard was dead air. Why is this a problem? Well, some employers are going to hang up immediately because they can’t be sure they’ve reached who they want and for reasons of confidentiality they won’t name the person they want to have in for an interview.

When job searching, you should be going out of your way to create a positive and professional impression on those you connect with. It’s not hard to do. In fact, identifying who you are on your phone is just about the easiest part of a job search.

Now I often hear people say that they are concerned with privacy issues; hence they don’t want to identify who they are until they can be 100% assured who is calling them. While I’m all for privacy to a degree, you have to consider again the impression you’re making on potential employers who are assessing your suitability.

Take the person I called just this week who I eventually got a hold of after 6 attempts. The organization I call from comes up as an unknown number and this person said they make it a rule never to answer numbers they don’t know. Many organizations don’t identify themselves by number; after all, we don’t know who might be at the other end and see who the caller is, which could put someone in a very awkward, embarrassing or even dangerous situation. You can imagine the problem is someone was keeping their social assistance status private and someone else said, “Hey it’s your phone. Why is Social Assistance calling? Oh my gosh, are you on Welfare or something?” Or you’re at work and your boss is at your desk wondering why you don’t answer the phone when it’s ringing from the competition where you applied for a job.

Not as often anymore, (thank heavens), some people play music; forcing every caller to listen to 25 seconds of some love, rap, rock n’ roll song etc. Time is money people, and businesses don’t have or want to sit waiting for your favourite indulgence to finish. They won’t be amused; they won’t be impressed, and they won’t typically wait either. NEXT!

Then there are the people who as well as being job seekers are parents. As parents they think it cute to have their little one(s) take a turn on the phone saying their names or singing a song. Again, not a good impression. If you must, get a job first and then put the kids back on the phone.

A sultry, “I’m not at home as you can tell, so leave a message or go to ____” is the very worst message I have ever heard. This was the voicemail message I heard after working with someone for a time. She always picked up the phone when I called so it wasn’t until a long time had passed that I heard her message. “I get a lot of crank calls where people just hang up without leaving a message”, she said. Turns out those weren’t crank calls. No, they were employers who just hung up and called other applicants for job interviews. She changed her message when I asked her to and got calls for interviews almost immediately.

“Yo, you got the RT. You know’d the drill.” Seriously? Sadly and not surprisingly anymore, yes. Go ahead and call me out of touch, conservative, conventional. How’s this working for you? This is what I’d ask. Depends on the job you’re after for sure. Remember though, people know you can street talk  or dress down. What employers don’t always know is whether you can speak and represent them professionally and dress appropriately for the job when it’s called for.

Look, the phone is just one of the tools in a job search. I suppose the only thing more frustrating than a poor message or not identifying who you are is when you’re called and no one even has the option of leaving a message. Make sure you have time on your phone, that messages can be left. Being told th e person I’m trying to reach hasn’t initialized their phone or to try again later won’t get you an interview. Without being able to be contacted, why are you even applying?

A Glimpse Into The Social Assistance Experience


If you’ve never needed it, I doubt you’ve thought a great deal about what it would be like to be on the receiving end of the Social Assistance experience. Your knowledge and assumptions are probably based on what you hear in the news when an individuals’ story is profiled, from a candidate around election time or perhaps you’ve got a friend or family member who has shared a little of their own experience.

It has been my great honour and privilege to serve and support those receiving such benefits in two Municipalities; Toronto and Durham in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario for a total of 21 years and counting. In addition to this experience, my wife has 16 or so years of experience herself working in another municipality. While my experience is extensive, I’ve never been on the receiving end myself, and I hope the choices I’ve made and continue to make into the future don’t land me in such need.

That being said, if the time comes when I’m in need, I know now that I’d be thankful the support system was there to help get me through such times until once more I became financially self-sufficient.

It can be a very demeaning and embarrassing process to apply for welfare. In Ontario Canada it’s referred to now as Ontario Works, but to many in receipt, it is and will always be welfare.  It all starts with a phone call to apply in which someone in need talks to someone in what is akin to a call centre. The conversation while initiated by someone in need is pretty much led by the receiving employee asking preset questions. Full name, address, SIN and Health numbers, rent/mortgage information, family members, assets, banking information, investments, etc.; all of which will need to be verified at an in-person meeting to determine eligibility.

I get that it can strip one of their pride and self-worth. With every document you hand over to some stranger, with every disclosure of your personal circumstances such as whether you’ve been abused or the name of your child’s father or mother and where they might be, you give up a little dignity. While most in this field are very good at getting this information in a caring compassionate way, no amount of empathy can change that stuff you’d normally keep private and confidential must be fully disclosed.

Now the agenda of the person in need is pretty clear. Almost all the time, there’s a stated desperation present or looming; rent and food. Get approved and the rent gets paid and people eat. Get denied and a missed rental payment eviction and hunger, a visit from the child welfare authorities, homelessness, begging and worse, having to steal to survive.

If as my piece began you’ve not had to experience social assistance, maybe you’re completely unaware of the community resources you’ll have to tap into. Where would you find the kitchens, thrift stores, donation centers, etc.? If you needed your ID replaced to get many of these benefits, would you know where to go and remember it’s likely you’d have to walk or take public transportation; taking your child or children with you everywhere if you were a sole support parent without a trusted, reliable childcare provider.

Now meeting with us in Social Services for many is a good experience in the end. However, in those first few meetings, the anxiety and stress of anticipating what that experience will be like is often influenced by past meetings and stereotypes of government workers. Just as you’ve no doubt got frustrated with being put on hold, re-directed, not getting through to the person you need to talk to etc. when calling for help yourself, the experience can be like that for some. What increases the importance of getting through is the immense pressure and stress of failing to get the help asked for.

Look there are a lot of really good, compassionate and empathetic people in the business of providing social assistance recipients with support. While these are good qualities, what’s really needed in addition are people both knowledgeable and able to share that same knowledge of resources needed in any one person’s situation. Whether it’s a benefit we can issue ourselves or a benefit another service provider offers, connecting people with what they need is imperative.

On the receiving end, people want to be heard, respected, treated with dignity and foremost be a person; not a case, not a number and no, not a client. Most aren’t in receipt by choice. On top of their financial needs, many have multiple barriers to employment including gaps in work history, mental health challenges, anxiety, low self-esteem. You’d be surprised though to find highly educated professionals in receipt of help; people with their Masters and Degrees perhaps. Yes, really.

Hopefully, supporting people in need is done in the way we would wish to be treated were it us on the other side of the table or end of the phone. “Do onto others…” And while we may have our hopes and plans for people, it’s critical to listen and figure out where someone is at any given moment. I mean, are they ready to job search? Would job searching just set them up to fail at the moment? Do they need stable housing first, addiction intervention, counselling, or maybe to volunteer to rebuild a shattered confidence?

Just the briefest glimpse into this experience.

Honeymoon With The Boss? Absolutely!


Stick around in an organization for some time and it’s likely you’ll go through a change in Supervisor as those around you retire, get promoted, change jobs etc. When that transition happens, you’ll find yourself having to adjust to the fact you’ve got someone new at the helm providing direction.

Depending of course on your relationship with your previous boss, you may be looking forward to the change with great anticipation. On the other hand, if you were fortunate enough to have a positive relationship together, you may be finding the situation has you happy for them but a little disappointed or perhaps sad yourself. Nonetheless, change is afoot through no action on your side of things so you’d best mentally prepare yourself for the change over.

Early days in a relationship – and yes this is a working relationship but a relationship just the same – should be something to look forward to. The new boss wants to get off to a good start, will take some time to get to know all their staff personally; how they tick, what motivates them, their strengths, areas upon which to improve, how they communicate with others, work ethic etc. You as the employee are also adjusting, finding out what the supervision style is of this new Supervisor, learning their expectations, how they communicate and lead, where they’ve come from and how ambitious they may be to excel.

This phase is often called a ‘honeymoon’ period; things are pretty good, it’s getting to know this person and them you, in how you both will interact. Now while in a marriage you most often join because of a mutual desire to set up house together, you could argue this is more of a shotgun affair, having this new person thrust on you whether you like it or not. Why though start this relationship thinking negatively or with suspicion? Go with this a positive thing and a fresh start and your attitude might do you a world of good.

My team is in this stage right at the moment; our Supervisor retired 3 days ago now, and our new Supervisor starts on Monday. Now fortunately, the new boss is a former colleague of ours, and my assessment is that her head and her heart are both in the right place. She’s intelligent, compassionate, fun with a great laugh, but serious when she needs to be and its been my experience that she’s someone who wants what’s best for the people we serve. This is her first Supervisory role, having been successful in a recent competition.

New Supervisors have their own style and it may mirror or contrast with the approach their predecessors used. It might not be fair to hold a person just starting out up against someone who retires with a history of leadership, but it’s inevitable that employees will compare the two moving forward. Listen for it and in the early days there could be conversations among employees on a team going through a change that comment positively or otherwise about the style of the new vs. the old.

There will also be comments that refer not so much about comparing a previous boss with the new, but speak more to the values held by the new Supervisor. “She doesn’t respect the experience on the team does she?” or, “I like the fact she’s taking the approach that we’re all here to support and help each other.” I think it’s safe to say employees always like to feel valued and appreciated for what they give, and hopefully when you go through such a change, your incoming boss recognizes your skills and experience.

The thing to remind yourself of however is that the selection of the person who now leads your team reflects Upper Management’s direction. So supposing a new Supervisor were to come in and shake things up, you’d be well-advised to realize that they are likely doing so with the approval of their own boss. Is it the direction they’ve received to lead similar to the person before them or to tighten things up, instil some creativity and innovation, realign people to new roles or maybe even weed out some dead wood?

Look, you can worry yourself and stress about the changeover; be suspicious and cautious about how much you trust this new person. You can decide to give them respect only if they respect you first, hinder their early days and spread discontent among your peers. Conversely, you can accentuate the positive, welcome them sincerely and help them get off to a good start by doing the work you’re paid to do with some enthusiasm. Either way, you’re going to share the same workplace, so how do you want to be perceived? How you get on together in the beginning will set the tone for your ongoing relationship.

In some workplaces, you might have had a briefing by upper Management advising you of the plans they’ve got, the need for things as they are or maybe an opportunity to overhaul, move people around all at the same time etc. Then again, it’s well within their purvey to act without full disclosure to everyone on the workforce. You’ll find out when deemed proper, such as the first team or individual meetings.

Look on the bright side, you’ve got a fresh start, and in this case, so does my team.