What if someone came to you and said “You will be going through a corporate divorce in your future. Everything is going well today but 10 years from now you will no longer be part of our organization”.
How would you reply?
This is an important discussion to have since many people face an involuntary or voluntary corporate divorce in their future.
At Don’t Dread Monday we serve many career coaching candidates that are facing re-employment challenges due to outdated skills, job market, or high salary expectations.
We were having a discussion on what advice we would have given to these clients based on the challenges we know that are ahead of them.
What we would share are these five career coaching steps to help them prepare for their corporate divorce.
- Continually Upgrade Your Skills
Most jobs are dynamic, constantly changing, and adapting as the field grows. Therefore, employees must be adaptable and up-to-date with the trends and developments in their field. An IT professional needs to be fluent in cloud based computing SaaS, enterprise software, the Internet of Things, advanced analytics (Big Data), API’s and many other technology advances.
It is not enough to be able to talk about them. You also need to seek out ways to learn more about them so that you can go beyond small talk. Ways to do this are online courses, volunteering for assignments and informational meetings. It is also strongly advised that you be able to articulate the set of skills that you have to positively impact either the top or bottom line. The future may mean a shift from a manager to an individual contributor. While being an effective manager is great you will be considered for what you can directly do on your own.
- Stay Relevant
Being relevant does not mean that you need to be fluent on who are the hottest rappers or you have to start wearing skinny jeans and taking Uber to work. It does mean that you have enough knowledge to know what these cultural references are. Relevance is important in a workforce that can span four to five generations. It helps someone be able to better relate to others, find some commonalities and be approachable
- Be Open to Change
The reply that says “that is how we always have done it” or “it works great, why change it?” will not work in today’s workplace culture. While comments like these may be well intended be based in fact they can position someone as be closed minded, out of touch or frankly old.
An open mind to change is one that embraces new concepts and tests them continuously versus the status quo. It strives for constant improvement and welcomes all new ideas as a way to further grow. An older worker must avoid the approach where they point out all of the things that are wrong with a new idea and not offer a viable alternative. This negative approach will isolate you from the decision-making process and paint you as a barrier to change. Not a good thing.
- Respect Experience but Respect Youth
Experience brings many valuable things – insights, tenure, and time on the job. It can help guide you to many informed decisions based on the accumulated knowledge that you have gained by your time in the workplace. Youth also bring many things – a fresh perspective, energy, a willingness to try something new.
Problems occur when each side is not empathetic and respectful to the other. They dismiss the other person’s idea as either being out of touch or naïve. A person over 50 can only control how they treat their younger workers and they should see themselves as an educator. They should help their younger counterparts by providing a full spectrum of options and past experiences.
- Have a Contingency Plan
It is also a great idea to have a contingency plan just in case you find yourself in transition. Do you have an updated resume? Is your LinkedIn profile current and do you routinely ad new connections? Do you routinely touch base with key people within your business network? These are the types of value added activities that will help you quickly activate your job search in the event that you want to proactively leave or are transitioned out.
We all know the sad statistics about how many marriages end up in divorce. The same can now be said about the how many corporate marriages end badly. Practice the seven career coaching steps to help you from being caught unprepared.
If you are looking for support in shaping your career or transitioning to a new job, or if you simply need resume and LinkedIn profile professional branding assistance, our consultants and technology will help you move forward with clarity, focus and success. To learn more about Don’t Dread Monday Career Coaching Click Here.