Featured Post: Career survival tips in agile organisations

Agile organisations means being prepared for all career eventualities

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 where my deep suspicion of camping is rooted 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

Agile organisations


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 two matches and twigs variety. This is to their disadvantage. Having survived the recession of 2008, you would have thought that lessons would have been learned. But seemingly not. Many have slipped back into complacency. For some it’s as though it never happened.

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We are seeing the emergence of “lean and agile” organisations. This is business speak for being able to shed and adjust relationships, quickly and easily. 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 short-term contract has not been renewed and two weeks before her termination date she is looking for a new job. She was hoping that the company would reconsider. They didn’t.

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 She had become out of date and expensive and easily replaced.

Morgan was let 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 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

If you want to make sure you are fully prepared for all career eventualities check out our coaching programs

3Plus, 3Plus online e-Gazine for professional women, Resume, Skill building, Workplace
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Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she joins the dots between organisations, individuals, opportunity and success.

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