I think I have ‘survived’ more than 8 reorganizations in my 20 years in the corporate world. And boy – did I learn a LOT from that. If reorg experiences came in different colors I could be painting the rainbow. The whole spectrum! Some I experienced as super stressful. Some sort of came and went without me even being bothered by it. Currently, as a business owner and consultant, I get to experience reorganizations via friends, family and mentees. Due to economic crisis following COVID I am hearing a LOT.
I am hearing people that feel ashamed that they didn’t land a role. I am speaking to people that feel ashamed because they did land a role and they don’t like it. They should be feeling relief, their friends and family are congratulating them but they aren’t happy. I see hours and hours of fretting over filling in internal applications or so called ‘talent cards’. I see some companies where you have to interview for internal roles whereas others use a paper or panel-based approach. I see people talking to their friends about what their bosses and Vice Presidents have told them over coffee. That they are competitive for roles. What does that mean?
The unrest, the sleepless nights, the worry. So I thought it timely to talk about my views on a reorganization and what I think you can do to thrive in one versus just trying to survive it.
Tip 1 – It helps to be really clear about what it is that you aspire. Not the next role, or that promotion. What do you want your working life to look like? Most people move away from something, but they don’t know what they want to move towards. This leads to a lot of people being really busy all day (team call after team call) and feeling busy, but still dissatisfied. They are churning in place, which makes them tired.
Tip 2 – Once you are clear on what it is that you aspire, you should only do work/projects that move you in that direction. That also means looking outside your current company. It will give you an immense feeling of control. You can still stay with your current company but at least you will choose it wholeheartedly (warts and all) versus accepting what it is that is being offered to you. It is also ok to take a role that you don’t really like if it gives you what it is that you want (a steady income is also a fair reason in my view)
Tip 3 – Spending time on water-cooler gossip on why someone will or will not get a role is toxic. It will suck the energy right out of you. The same goes for after the reorganization when the roles have been divided. Your outrage about so-and-so getting a role is like drinking poison but expecting the other person to die.
Tip 4 – Same goes with dissecting every word those leaders say. Being competitive for a role doesn’t mean they guarantee you a role (unless they put it on paper, there are no guarantees) so you should take matter into your own hands and look at several options. Do you know what it would mean if you were laid off? What is your financial plan?
Tip 5 – Remember – the chances of you ending up with a sign under a bridge begging for food and money are very slim – so keep things in perspective. And breathe. A calm head and a steady heart will be so much healthier for you.
Tip 6 – Last but not least – surround yourself with positive voices. People that will stop you when you get into a negative mode. Those that lift you up, make you think and help you move forward.
If you need help in getting clear on what it is that you want, what your ideal future should look like, then subscribe to the Work On Your Terms program, which will go live June 2021.