How to minimize the negative impact of organizational change

Most of us hope that the other leaders within our organization see us as capable, reliable and even indispensable. But what happens when there is an organizational shake-up or new leaders are appointed? Will they know your strengths and potential or look right past you?

We like to believe that the people we work with are familiar with our professional accomplishments and project milestones. However, I receive numerous calls from experienced professionals scrambling to prove their value and showcase their work in the face of organizational change.

This is especially true when their company is changing due to mergers/acquisitions, new executives or a change in corporate direction which can drive professional unpredictability.

When this happens, I find professionals align to one or more of these emotional responses:
  Scared/concerned.
  Anger/disengaged.
  Excited/relieved.

All are valid responses which may differ based on a number of variables, including, but not limited to tenure, level or role, self-esteem, education, age and transferable skills.

Take charge of your circumstance
Should you find your company facing organizational change, there are three areas on which I encourage professionals to focus:

■  Brand Your brand is how people perceive you, your work and the value you bring to the company. It should be aligned with measurable outcomes. You may need to find ways to share your level of impact with key influencers and decision-makers.
●  Potential actions: Update your LinkedIn profile, schedule time with key decision-makers.

■  Relevance — What do you want to impact next? With the fast pace of business, it is important to stay abreast of new processes, technologies and industry leaders. Understand where you desire to have an impact, then align goals with your role or industry and get going.
●  Potential actions: Get a certification, share your work at a conference, take an online course or join a new association or industry group related to your work.

■  Sponsors — Sponsors are people that accurately represent you in a way that boosts your potential opportunities. Sponsors are more than mentors in that they leverage their social capital to benefit you.
●  Potential actions: Document your recent work, identify potential areas of impact and create opportunities to meet with potential sponsors to help align you for future opportunities.

We cannot pick and choose when and how we will be considered for new opportunities. But we can decide how prepared we will be and how we will respond to new developments at work. If you are like me, sometimes you need some professional guidance.

In addition to my books and articles helping professionals align to their next step, I often suggest my favorite career coaches in Northeast Ohio. They are Cathy Posner, Kris McGuigan and Cynthia Klug. Even if your company isn’t currently preparing for an organizational change, you would be wise to be prepared. Start to think about your current brand, future relevance and potential sponsors now.

JJ DiGeronimo is president of Tech Savvy Women