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How to position yourself to protect against corporate change

How to position yourself to protect against corporate change

Change in the corporate world is the one constant we can rely on. No job is 100% secure. No role will remain exactly the same one year to the next. Cultures change. Corporate structures and strategies change. Boards Change. Executive leadership teams change. And all of this change will directly or indirectly impact you and your role at some stage.

The question is … are you ready and prepared to weather the storm?

I was speaking with a senior leader recently who had just been made redundant for the 2nd time in less than 4 years. (A not so uncommon story.)

The first time around was tough. She struggled to come to terms with the loss of income, feeling out of control and suddenly loosing the certainty that comes with a being employed in meaningful work.   And then with financial pressures looming, she took the first acceptable (if not totally ideal) role that came her way.

This time round it has been different.

In the last 3½ years she has strategically positioned herself so if she were to be hit by redundancy again she would be ready. She has worked to build up her professional profile, broaden her network and strengthen her skill base.

She has also set herself up financially; funnelling funds from her annual bonus into prepaying school fees and mortgage repayments.

Although she is just at the beginning of her job search, she is filled with confidence that she has the resources, networks and importantly the headspace to secure the perfect next role.

How would you fare if you were made redundant tomorrow or found yourself in a role that no longer suited you as a result of a restructure, take over or change of leadership?

And of course, lets remember that not all change is bad.

I know most of us instinctively are cautious of change and may even try to resist or be resentful of it. But change can also bring with it incredible opportunities.

Susan recently secured a seat at the executive leadership table for the first time, taking advantage of an opportunity that presented as a result of a corporate take over.

You could say that she was lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

The truth is… she has been working hard over the last 18 months positioning for this type of role.

She has focused on getting known around the organisation as someone who not only has the ability to unify and engage a team to perform above expectations but also has a reputation of bringing new ideas and effective strategies to the table.

Are you ready to take best advantage of the opportunities that inevitably come through change?

And being ready is all about positioning.

Focusing on positioning is a bit like having an insurance policy for your career success and fulfilment.

Suddenly working on building your visibility and profile when it’s time to move roles isn’t the best strategy. And ignoring your network only to call on them when you become redundant feels a little desperate and inauthentic.

Learning to position like a pro is key to the health of your career.

3 top tips to position like a pro to insure against change.

1. Build Strategic Relationships

In times of change and uncertainty the value of your network is priceless. It will be these people who will reach out to support you, offer assistance and make introductions that could possibly lead to job opportunities.

But given that building strong relationships takes time, make sure that you are ALWAYS prioritising (in good times and bad) building and strengthening your networks.

2. Raise Your Profile

You will never get considered for the best opportunities if people don’t know who you are, what you can do and what your career aspirations are.

One of the best ways to raise your profile is to be strategic about the projects you devote your time, energy and resources to. Leading high profile projects will give you a great opportunity to demonstrate your value, your strengths and your leadership skills.

 3. Attitude Matters

Through my work with high achieving professional women I am convinced that attitude plays a significant role in determining the outcome of change. Time and time again I see the women who remain upbeat, optimistic and open achieve a more positive outcome than those who are negative, resistant and fearful.

I know that remaining upbeat through the turmoil and uncertainty of change can be difficult. So choose your support network wisely. Reach out to people who you know will lift you higher, keep you motivated and support you to consistently bring the best version of you to the office.

So… how prepared are you to cope with a corporate takeover, round of redundancies or change in leadership? 

If you answered… not at all prepared, you are not alone.

And that’s why I have made positioning and preparing for change, a major component of The Leadership Connection, an exclusive 6-month program designed for smart professional women.

Click here for more information and to apply for your invitation to join the group.

LET'S CONNECT

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Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
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How to reclaim control during a corporate restructure

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.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

From doing it all … to…

When you cast your mind back to when you first stepped into a leadership role, it’s possible you remember the feelings of excitement and pride, mixed with fear and trepidation.

What’s required to excel as an effective team member is different to what’s required of us as a leader. It involves a massive behavioural shift which, according to the tenets of Emotional Intelligence, also requires a corresponding shift in self-perception and identity

Jane Benston

My story, amplified

So, how did I come to be a women’s leadership coach?  

Like all good stories, the journey wasn’t all smooth sailing. I help women dig deep from a place not just of expertise but also from experience. I’ve felt that sense of career frustration and resentment. Let me tell you my story… 

Jane Benston

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston