Change management features in every leader’s role and also in the value employees are asked to create. A culture of continuous improvement means we see needs, design changes and drive implementation in all aspects of our professional worlds. Well nearly all.
Ironically, this perpetual motion seems rarely applied to the change management of our own careers. We are so consumed by the mission and engaged in the purpose, that we forget to consider an active change. We are so involved in daily challenges and passionate about bigger outcomes that we fail to consider our own personal circumstances. And that’s a good thing because it means we are in the right place.
Careers are no longer talked about as intervals of tenure but rather as periods of achievement and experience. If you are really engaged by your employer and in your role, that is a great place to stay. So long as you can demonstrate consistent growth over several years, new potential employers do not care about you spending “too long” at a company. If you are growth-minded and your knowledge, experience, personal attributes, and competencies are transferable, you can remain with your current organisation or easily move.
Change managing your career effectively, is not always about moving jobs, sometimes it’s about staying put. However, it does require you to be connected with the market, either to validate your current thinking or to benchmark internal versus external paths. As a leader or professional, your network should always include a small number of active contacts in search and talent acquisition firms. Those connections and colleagues whose careers you admire do just that. You simply can not control when an unexpected call from a search firm or strong external opportunity might arise. Only you can decide what is right for you, so use those contacts to keep yourself informed to enable good decisions.
We talk each week with hundreds of executives and our advice is always the same. If the 10 signs below now feature in your role, stay with your current organisation or seek out internal change before looking externally:
1. You are passionate about your work.
2. Your organisation promotes from within and you can see your next advancement.
3. You are kept well informed by your leader about what is happening in the organisation.
4. You can learn from your direct manager(s).
5. The organisation has a vision you can share in, you believe in the organisation’s purpose.
6. You feel good going to work, on your worst days you feel neutral about it.
7. Your health and/or personal life are not suffering because of your work.
8. Your compensation package is proven to be at least around the average market value.
9. Even when work is not going well, your manager always respects you.
10. You feel comfortable sharing some aspects of your personal life with colleagues.
This is not an idealistic list; this should be your norm. If they apply to you, all other matters being equal, your current firm is the right place to be. But make sure you keep in touch, HRM are connectors, networkers, and researchers, able to share a stream of talent market knowledge whenever you need it.