I’ve worked for two Fortune 100 companies that no longer exist. Both were acquired by larger, more sustainable organizations. These acquisitions happened long before the Great Recession of 2008 unhinged the careers and financial security of seemingly every American. Disruption happens … continually. Always has, always will.
Think of all the ways organizations have needed to change in the past decade due to technology, market trends, regulation or shifting consumer demands. These changes cut across industry lines and impact businesses in finance, manufacturing, retail, news and entertainment, just to name a few.
When organizations experience change, employees get disrupted. In my experience, both as an HR leader and executive coach, I’ve observed that people who take the following five steps seem to be stay ahead of the curve and keep more control of their careers:
- Get educated. Read about trends in your industry, profession or desired area of development. What industries or professions are slated for growth or decline? Who can you talk with to get more insight on projected or emerging changes?
- Be honest with yourself. If you are on the favorable side of the trend, how can you have more sustainability or enhance your career with the increased demands for your skills and experience? If you are on the wrong side of the movement, what do you need to do to get back into the market in a favorable way while time is on your side?
- Determine the training, development or experiences you need to succeed. What will help you stay on the cutting edge of a positive trend or help you turn things around if you are experiencing decline? Your development is your The more you invest in your development, the more likely you are to continue to learn and grow. The rapid pace of change makes lifelong learning and development more vital now than ever before.
- Don’t let complacency sabotage your career. Act on what you learn and observe. People who act early on positive trends can put themselves into great positions or become more established in growing organizations or professions. Staying too long in a sinking company, industry or profession can severely limit current and future career growth. The path of least resistance is often the path of least growth.
- Identify who can help you achieve your goals. There are people who do a wonderful job navigating career and disruptive change by themselves. Others find that collaborating with a knowledgeable mentor provides insights that are valuable and offer guidance. Some partner with an experienced coach to explore alternatives aligned with their values, help broaden their perspectives, challenge them to reach their potential and hold them accountable.
Don’t wait for disruption to alter your career. Anticipate change; it’s inevitable. Be observant of the current business climate and trends. Plan and act now. If needed, enlist the help of others to develop your strategy for a less disruptive and more controlled career.
How can executive coaching help you achieve what’s next?
Lance Hazzard, CPCC, ACC, is a certified Intelligent Leadership Executive Coach helping people and organizations successfully achieve what’s next. He is Executive Coach and President at Oppnå® Executive & Achievement Coaching. Find out more about Lance and Oppnå® Coaching at oppnacoaching.com