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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

5 Ways to Deal With Ambiguity in the Work Place

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

It’s an ambiguous time right now. We're not even sure the new world of work will look like,

even for those of us who still have our jobs intact. And for those of us who unfortunately lost

our jobs, the future is even more uncertain. So let’s talk about navigating instability and

ambiguity in our work.


Even in an uncertain time, there are some things that you definitely know. It's important to focus on that rather than the host of questions that are no doubt at the front of your mind.

What are you good at? Where do you add value? What is your main goal in your work? Refocus on the things you’re sure about as you prepare to re-enter the workplace, and you’ll feel a lot less unsteady.


The world has changed, but as your job situation changes, remember that that list of things you know a lot about will support you in an unusual work situation. You might not have worked from home before, but you might know a lot about organizing a team effort, for example. Even though the circumstances are different, your skills will carry you.

Even without clearly defined goals, be confident in what you bring to the table and move

forward from there.


Think about the situations in your career that are ambiguous or stressful right now. Why do

they stress you out? What is unclear to you? Get a clear plan of attack down on paper as to how you might address these concerns. Then remember that your network and your relationships are a powerful source of information that you can lean on, so socialize your plan with a few people and get feedback. Sometimes just having a plan can make the difference between feeling frightened and feeling determined.


Perfection is a myth, and in an ambiguous time, pursuing perfection is not going to help you.

Even under ordinary circumstances, nothing is going to go flawlessly, so let go of the

expectation for yourself to get everything absolutely flawless the first time. Accepting

imperfection allows you to be agile and flexible, which is a strength, not a weakness.


It is courageous to show up in an atmosphere that lacks clarity and move forward anyway.

That’s a risk that takes a lot of guts, so amp up your backbone, square up, and get ready to give it your all. Your team will recognize the way that you performed even with all this ambiguity. Then give yourself a high five for putting in the work. Need help getting your game plan?

Book a one-on-one with me and let’s come up with a strategy for your specific situation together.

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