Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life!: A transition like no other

With this election, history is the present and the future. It is an amazing time, and federal workers have some of the front seats, if not drivers’ seats, to what will happen.
This time, this transition, will not be ‘here we go again.’  In fact, in my 30-plus years in government, I can’t recall a transition that could involve so much change. 

Federal employees who have worked through at least one and maybe more transitions usually think they know what comes next. And transitions are often not as interesting as the election process that led up to it. But this one is certainly going to be different.

First of all, not only will agency leadership change but heads of key Senate and House oversight committees will change too. Federal executives will be dealing with a whole new crowd on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

Sure, there will be plenty of wait and see, and there will be time to adjust. The dimensions of change are yet to unfold, but clearly change will bring some adjustment.  

As you wait to hear what changes will occur, it can be a time of some trepidation. What has become familiar in the way things are done, how leaders act and react, or the initiatives you support may become unfamiliar and different. 

While some may cheer that change will take place, when the outcome is not clear, it’s hard to move ahead. Dealing with uncertainty, dealing with change are some of the most unsettling tasks we undertake. Change can bring out the best and the worst in people at work.

The best advice is to use the time when things may go at a slower pace to continue to do your job, clean up and organize as you can, and above all be positive. It’s an old idea but true that change is also opportunity. Change brings with it new ideas and new urgency. This can be a fresh start for your colleagues and for you. 

What do you think will be the best or worst part of this change to a new Administration? Post a comment on this blog or send an e-mail to


Posted by Judith Welles on Nov 05, 2008 at 12:13 PM


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