Reinvent yourself and gain organizational synergy
By Sharon Graham.
2012 was a tough year for many employment consultants and career practitioners. We heard about government contract cutbacks and restructuring of services. Combine this with a stagnant economy and you’ve got a reason for rethinking your career prospects.
If you are a career practitioner who is ready for a change, you can enhance your own career either by engaging within your organization or by exploring outside of it. Whether you are planning to stay or thinking about going, it is crucial that you build relationships within your organization. By doing so, you will be improving your internal visibility and leveraging organizational synergy in your favour. Here is more food for thought on reinventing yourself and being future-focused in your career development.
We all know how often companies reinvent themselves and their products in their quest to remain competitive. So, why not you? If you feel sidelined of late, perhaps you have failed to show your commitment to the evolution happening around you. Your mantra should be a slight revision of the age-old adage about tough times calling for tough measures – with your company in tough times calling for tough (i.e., resilient and supportive) people.
Whether to retain your job or simply leave in the most positive light possible, you need to make a concerted effort to reflect and support the corporate values and vision. Try implementing one or more of the following strategies:
- Begin thinking of yourself as someone with value – When feeling left out of company decisions, it’s easy to slip into a sarcastic tone – but that’s the uncertain person you must now leave behind. You offer outstanding career development and employment services to your clients. Absorb information about your current company’s corporate vision and demonstrate your understanding by using any new lingo in your business conversations. It’s time to really show that you care about yourself and believe in the contributions you can make to the organization and beyond.
- Look for ways to contribute – big or small. To move forward, you need to be inventive. Listen carefully to conversations and show an empathetic stance. Let your mind envision possibilities when issues are raised. Allow yourself to digest all the facts before contributing ideas. If you have a tendency to leap forward quickly with your input, you may risk offending or alienating others who may be waiting for their chance to put forth concepts. Be, even more than in the past, someone that others view as future-focused: think of ways to reduce costs, increase revenue, or inspire commitment to change.
- Volunteer – both within and beyond the company. Inside the organization, offer to build the business case for larger initiatives or formulate the project plan and lead delivery of solutions. Be proactive and bring your formulated ideas to the table. Outside of work, volunteer in relevant industry associations, not-for-profit groups, or mentoring situations. Volunteering can be a wonderful distraction for you in tough or uncertain times. Plus, it provides rewards of feeling great about your contribution while making connections that matter.
- Take a class – within the company or externally. If part of what makes you feel ‘behind the eight ball’ is lack of knowledge in a certain area, explore in-house training options as well as programs offered in the community. Internal classes have the advantage of furthering the visibility of your reinvented self, which may impress and inspire those around you. External courses, on the other hand, allow you to expand both your learning and your networks.
Remember that reinventing yourself takes perseverance. It took you time – maybe years – to gain your current reputation, so it makes sense that it will take awhile for others to see a shift in your style and approach.
Have you been trying to improve your internal visibility and leverage organizational synergy in your favour, but still feel uneasy about your situation? It may help you to reach out to other career professionals like myself – after all, I am still your greatest fan!
Thank you for reading my blog! Please email me if you spot any errors in this post.