I am a tried and true “homebody” so when I am faced with finding a new home it can be a truly daunting experience! During my short time living in Sacramento, I have rented two drastically different apartments as a result of drastically different approaches, thanks in a large part to some key change management concepts.
My first process for finding a new apartment consisted of three phases: 1) procrastination, 2) panic, and 3) disappointment. This led to my being trapped for six months in an apartment that may have been livable, but substandard (no air conditioner during the extreme summer months!). I realized that my process for finding an apartment had to improve. Armed with my new knowledge of change management, I eagerly anticipated the end of my lease.
My second quest for an apartment involved Prosci’s three phases of change:
- Prepare for Change: I started my research well in advance. I tried not to dismiss apartments or houses offhand, even if they didn’t have the greatest setup or location. I learned that pictures are not always reliable, and that doing the legwork in advance meant much less stress later.
- Manage Change: Well…manage it as best you can! I tried to manage my expectations by keeping my hopes in check after applying to nearly half a dozen places, only to be passed over. I also managed my search by keeping a spreadsheet of all the listings I had reached out to, who had gotten back to me, and when we were scheduled to go view the apartment. While having to tour so many apartments was tiring, my persistence paid off in the end!
- Reinforce Change: Adopting a new apartment-finding strategy was reinforced when I found a lovely apartment that met all my needs. It also identified ways to improve the next time I was faced with searching for a new home. Less advance research is needed given the high turnover in Sacramento. And I know how to better balance my expectations with the stress of finding the “perfect” home.
All in all, if we are lucky, we realize that change is a given, but the world won’t come to an end! In fact, learning how to proactively manage change allows us to move forward, in both our personal and professional lives.