Take Charge of Your Career - How To Position Yourself in Times of Change

Melani Ward

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Some of you may have heard me emphasize this before but I think it is worth repeating. Whether you own your own business or you work for a major corporation, consider yourself self-employed and you will create more agency at work and better results in the process.

Restructuring , organizational change, and mergers happen every day and nobody is immune to the consequences this sometimes brings. So, using this framework of the self-employed, how can you make sure you position yourself so that you are recognized as an asset that can't be lost? Here are a few steps to get you started.

1. Do not assume it will never happen to me or my company or in this industry at this particular time.

In fact, assume the opposite. Most people who are self-employed and successful are keenly aware of the strength of their business every day. If they want to stay in business, they have to outperform everyone else. Same is true for you. Notice I did not say work harder or longer but rather “outperform". Whether you like it or not and whether you know it or not, you are being evaluated every day. So, look out for yourself and pretend every day is review day.

2. Be the president of your own personal PR firm.

This is often one of the most effective strategies I use with clients who are trying to move up in their organization. Ask yourself what you have done to contribute to the bottom line of the company. . . and this very often means how is your presence impacting revenue. Maybe money isn't your bottom line but it could be your company's so you better start thinking of your contributions and accomplishments in those terms. Even if you feel like you are doing rather menial tasks, try to look at the bigger picture and see how it relates. How do the tasks you accomplish on any given day provide value to your organization? Now, show them off - don't start knocking on random people's doors to tell them how great you are but figure out a way and a vehicle for sharing your accomplishments and what makes you unique to those around you.

3. Compare yourself to your peers.

Normally I advise against making comparisons as they often do more harm than good; however, in this case there is a real advantage to comparing. By researching your profession, getting close to the best people in your field, discovering the standards and competencies set for someone in your position or field, and seeking out opportunities to achieve a higher level of mastery in a chosen area you can see what it takes to excel and better yet surpass those around you.

4. Get out there.

This is probably the single best thing you can do for your career. Seek out opportunities to work on projects, volunteer for committees, and look for ways that you can enhance your education within the company. Also, reach out to people in the organization and see how you can help them. However, do not go up to them and ask them what they need. Instead, assess the situation, determine the need and then make them an offer. You are trying to make things easier, not add to someone's load. Being visible in the company as someone who adds value and makes everyone else's job easier will go a long way and when it comes time for re-organization, people will be fighting over who gets you rather than who has to “let you go".

To download your FREE report on Finding the Perfect Job for You go to http://www.mhcareercoaching.com/resources.html Melani Ward is a successful career coach who helps people create balance in their body, mind, and work. She works with athletic minded individuals and groups on career discovery and development, resume and interviewing strategies, setting and achieving goals, and uniting who they are with what they do. Do you have something you are committed to changing or achieving in your life. Contact Melani for a complimentary consultation at melani@mhcareercoaching.com or visit her blog Right Body, Right Mind, Right Career at http://coachmelani.typepad.com


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