Career survival tips in agile organisations

by Dec 27, 2017

Some must have career survival tips in agile organisations

Companies have changed to become lean and agile organisations. They can alter your career in a flash, so you need to be prepared for change too. 

When I was a kid I was a girl guide. I know it’s a stretch. The motto back then was “be prepared”. Every week we used to hold meetings with pally salutes and songs. We learned essential skills such as lighting a fire with two matches (always useful) and cooking on it (always inedible). I suspect this is why I am  deeply suspicious of camping and why I’m a big fan of walls around my bed, not canvas. But today, the prevailing motto of “be prepared” is one that many women could well be advised to revisit, especially in today’s agile organisations.

Read: 10 career lessons learned the hard way

 

REVISIT BE PREPARED

In my extensive coaching experience, my observation is that women tend to be caught unawares and are frequently unprepared. Research from Catalyst suggests that women tend to focus their careers internally within organisations, while their male colleagues look outside. Women are certainly not prepared for unexpected career eventualities, at the same level of the two matches and twigs variety. This is to their disadvantage. Having survived any number of recessions and the pandemic, you would have thought that they would have learned some key lessons. But seemingly not. Many have slipped back into complacency and for some it’s as though it never happened.

 

career survival tips

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We see the emergence of “lean and agile” organisations. This is business-speak for being able to shed and adjust relationships, quickly and easily. A.K.A disosability. This can be via lay-offs, cutting back on contractors, pay freezes, non-renewal of short-term contracts and cancelling training and development programs. Or not having them in the first place.

Selma is a Business Analyst. Her organisation did not renew her short-term contract and two weeks before her termination date she is looking for a new job. She was hoping that the company would reconsider but they didn’t.

Bryony is a long-serving account manager who always meets her targets. At the top of her pay grade her organisation  “downsized” her. The new organisation will use younger, digitally competent talent. She had become out of date and expensive and easily replaced.

Morgan’s company let her go on her return from maternity leave. And yes it is illegal, and yes it does happen.

Whatever the situation, it’s important to be prepared at a minimum level

Read: How to plan a career pivot

Here are 5 basic career survival tips to be prepared in agile organisations:

  1. Have a F$ck off Fund to avoid being a N.I.N.J.A.  (No Income No Job No Assets). 6 months’ salary is an ideal number, even though that is hard to achieve in today’s economic climate.
  2. Have an updated CV ready and on your phone at all times.
  3. Maintain and complete your LinkedIn profile.
  4. Network proactively on and off line, all the time. Download our free eBook to make the most of LinkedIn here.
  5. Have a Got To Top 10 – who do you call in a crisis?

 

 

Adapted from a post originally published on www.dorothydalton.com How to be prepared for all career eventualities

 

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Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she supports organizations to achieve business success via gender balance, diversity and inclusion. She is CIPD qualified, and a certified coach and trainer including digital learning.
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