Protecting Your Career During Organizational Change
All too often when people are out of a job, they have no resources to invest in themselves. These resources include such activities as coaching, resume preparation, or even attending key networking events. This is true at every level of position, yes, even at the executive level. While some may have the money, there is a fear of letting go of it. What ever happened to the Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared.” Being prepared in today’s increasing activity of mergers and acquisitions that can create career careening events would seem a smart move. How can you protect your career during such organizational changes?
Types of Organizational Change
Mergers and acquisition are not the only type of organizational change having disruptive impact on your career. Events such as replacing an underperforming CEO, key players leaving the company, or even the sudden death of a high-level executive can occur. Any of these events can affect your career directly as new players want their own team around them pushing you out at worst, or even to the side line as new alliances form, pet projects become derailed, or you find yourself in a different area of the organization either career wise or in a different physical location.
You and your position may stay in place, but your mentor, best supporter, or boss leave, or your team is reassigned. This can leave you on shaky ground feeling disconnected, disoriented, and confused. You may feel that you are starting all over building your career. How can you prepare to help protect your career in today’s every changing business environment?
How to Protect Your Career
While no plan can provide you guarantees, there are ways to lessen the blow and help you jumpstart a job search or even a career change if circumstances warrant it. Below is a list of ___ ways to help protect your career. Some are no brainers, or ones you have heard repeatedly, and others may be ideas that would not be obvious.
- Resume: Always keep your resume current and be sure it’s results oriented. To do that, you need to keep a “kudos” file and keep it up to date as well. As humans, we tend to focus on the negative instead of the positive. Place your reviews, awards, accomplishments, and even emails from which you can obtain positive notes.
- Networking: Often when people get a job, they think their networking days are over. Nothing could be further from the truth. You need to continuously network both inside and outside your organization. This graphic says it all:
- Keep Up with Trends: You may be able to predict or see a change coming and therefore you have more information and more time to prepare than “the average Joe.” With all the information
- Visibility: During change some people try to become invisible, thinking, “If they can’t see me, they’ll just forget I’m here and my job will be safe.” Others began looking right away, and that’s a good strategy, but an article appearing in HBR offers a third approach. This idea is to embrace the change. Look at how you can make the change work and use this time for “introspection and growth.” While it is always wise to know yourself, this is a valuable time to take serious stock. You can conduct a SWOT analysis on yourself, your organization, and the new organization if there is to be a merger. In addition, now might be the time to hire a good career coach - you know, while you still have a few shekels. If you find one that utilizes a good assessment tool, even better.
- Become indispensable. OK, this is something you should concentrate on every day. but there may still be time to up your value. There is usually a transition time when mergers occur, plus activity may slow down. This is a double barrel opportunity for you to join committees, go above and beyond, and become known as someone who contributes.
- Take the Money and Run: If there is a healthy severance package, this may be the best route to take. There’ll be no more worrying, no more sleepless nights with indecision, and if you’ve been doing all the things in this article already, you may very well find a job quickly and then you’ll be ahead of the game.
While we humans don’t like change, there are ways to meet it head on, learn from it, and even take advantage of it. On the other hand, being prepared can be a gift from the gods.
Thank you for reading this blog. If you want to have a conversation about protecting your career, Let’s Get Started!