How to reclaim control during a corporate restructure

With the rate of change occurring in the world of work it’s very possible that at some stage in your career you have or will experience the uncertainty that comes with a business restructure or a round of redundancies.

It’s not fun to be part of and it can leave you feeling totally without control of your professional future. It can throw you into limbo land; knowing that change is coming… but exactly when and how it will affect you, who knows?

One response could be to throw your hands up in surrender and wait. Wait to see what cards you are dealt. Wait to see if you can “tolerate” the job offer that comes your way. Wait to discover if you are lucky or unlucky enough (depending which way you look at it) to be handed a redundancy.

This is how Kym responded to news that her department was undergoing yet another restructure; the 3rd in as many years. She had what I call … restructure fatigue.

She was tired, apathetic and resigned to whatever came her way. She felt completely without control of her professional future.

But there is another way to approach this situation in order to reclaim control. 

Plan B is to move from a position of disempowerment… to being part of the process.

I know that in the world of restructure and redundancies you will never be totally in control. And I can’t guarantee the perfect outcome for you. But you are much more likely to stay strong and resilient through the process if you are actively participating in it.

Here are my 5 best tips to reclaim control... even when you feel like you have none.

1. Decide what you want. This I believe is the most critical element of taking back control. This is the first step to being an active participant in the process. 

Decide whether you want a redundancy. Decide whether you want a role within the new structure. Decide what type of role you would like even if you have no idea of exactly what the new structure may look like. Decide where you think you can add the best value.

It is only once you have decided… that you can start positioning yourself for this outcome. It doesn’t mean that you will necessarily get what you want … but at least you have given it your best shot.

2. Look for opportunities. With every restructure come new opportunities. New roles. New reporting lines. New projects.

And change brings with it the opportunity for growth. This is the mindset my client Clare is taking into a period of massive change within her work environment. She is has been focused on her own personal development over the past year and is ready to take on a new challenge. And not surprisingly given her positive mindset, opportunities are flowing her way.

3. Know your value. It’s easy to have your confidence knocked when you are going through a protracted restructure process. This is your time to look within and embrace your unique skills and talents. Be clear about the value you bring to the team and your organisation.

 And most definitely don’t be keeping yourself a best kept secret.

Ladies it’s time to speak up in meetings, take ownership for your best work and confidently sprinkle your value around the office (in your most genuine and humble way.)

4. Work your network. Now that you have decided what you want and the value you can bring to the new structure… it’s time to spread the word. Seek out key people within the organisation who can advocate for you and let your network weave their magic for you.

5. Attitude counts. It’s way too easy to feel disgruntled, even angry during a period of organisational change, but know that a negative attitude during this time will not work in your favour. Do whatever it takes to maintain a positive attitude. That might mean disconnecting from the Negative Nellies around the office, ramping up your meditation practice, taking a walk at lunch time to decompress or consciously choosing your mood before you walk into the office.

 Resistance is fruitless… because change is the only certainty we can count on.

If you’re in the midst of an organisational change or restructure and are feeling anxious and out of control then know that what you are experiencing is completely normal.

But if you would like to reclaim control and be an active participant in the process but don’t have a clue where to start, then I invite you to consider coming along to the next Career by Design workshop.  This one day, small group workshop for professional women is designed to help you to get clarity about what you want for the next phase of your career.

Click here for more information and to book.


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