Dear Joanna,

My job is changing. Over three years ago, I was hired as an Accounting Clerk with the help of my Reena job coach. Now, with a sudden shrinking of staff in my company due to the pandemic, my job description has expanded to include reception and general office duties. My workload has increased. Plus, I need to learn new computer programs and skills to keep my job and keep up. I am stretched thinner more than ever in my workplace. Thank goodness that I have a supportive manager and team. What should I do? Why is this happening?

Signed: Job Transformation (JT)


Dear JT,

Covid19 may have changed the world of work forever. The bloggers from report on a number of disruptions in our working life due to the pandemic. For example,  remote work is now “normal” and the way we communicate and get our job done is different too as the virtual platforms are used for meetings, and other work activities. Many offices have returned to both virtual and in person – i.e. the hybrid or blended model.

I’m unclear if you are working remotely or at the office. Either way, the bloggers explain that with less employees at the office at one given time, you have been called on to help out in areas that aren’t in your job description, but ones that the employer needs you to perform. This is referred to as “pivoting”.  You are not alone in this situation. Many employees – including myself – help out our organizations in many different ways – wherever this is a need as we want our organization and team to be as successful. It’s also a way to showcase stellar team work. I can see how this upheaval is stressful for you. However, you  can view this situation as an opportunity to meet these challenges, build your skills and employability and make a difference in your team and company amidst a pandemic.

Steven-Huffman’s article from suggests the following steps to take when your boss changes your “role” at the company:

  1. Talk to your supervisor and be as direct as possible. Offer to “pivot”. Find out how you can help to continue to add value to the company. Find out if the change is based on your performance or a change in the organization’s strategies. Always be cordial and professional. Offer to be available for any work or tasks that need to be done in the office, especially when the department is short-staffed!
  2. Use the opportunity to learn and improve. Think about this change as a positive experience. Never be attached to your “job description”. Being adaptable, and flexible are key soft skills that all employers cherish. However it the change is performance-based, then this is a perfect time to improve on your deficiencies and learn more new skills. Expanding your knowledge and expertise can only help you with your position in the company and if you decide to look for another position. . This is your chance to help the company grow, and build your resume, so to continue your efforts to remain marketable and competitive in your company and in the working world.
  3. Ask your boss for rewards other than a new title or money. With additional responsibilities without promotion or raise, ask your supervisor for perks (for example: a lieu day, a day off paid, longer lunch hours or the ability to work from home once a week). Keep track of your additional working hours, and when the time is right, talk to your supervisor about fair compensation or perks.
  4. Talk to your co-workers whom you trust. Brainstorm with your colleagues, to think through the experience and make plans for success. Continue to cultivate your team as your support group. You are all going through the same process, and you might find it helpful to speak to other people in your situation. Book at time to meet either on a virtual platform like zoom or perhaps at the office or in a coffee shop that are safe spaces given the Covid outbreaks.
  5. Get the necessary training. It is important that you learn the skills to help you succeed with your new responsibilities. if the employer doesn’t give you the training and the job role is changing, they could unfairly set you up to fail. If that training is not available from your organization, then get it on your own. Consult with your supervisor first. Find out if the classes or courses that you are interested in taking will help you with your job. Learning the new technical skills for the new position will only help the company and therefore your supervisor.

If the job change has any negative impacts on you (your mental, physical,or emotional health, because of the stress), then you might consider looking for another job. Just make sure not to burn your bridges on your way out.


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