The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world
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How to protect your job when there is a shake-up at the top

This is Laura Lee Rose, instructor for the GoTo Academy: Tools for the GoTo Guy and Gal.   I am a business and life coach that specializes in professional development, time management, project management and work-life balance strategies.  This is a segment from the GoTo Academy Leadership series

In the previous SSWUG TV interview with Stephen Wynkoop, we covered How to protect your job when there is a shake-up at the top” .   This is a more detailed discussion on that topic.

In these changing times, you often hear rumors of re-organizations and layoffs.

What would you do if you came into work and found out that your boss has been fired?

How do you make certain that you are not next to go?

The most effective way to assure stability and sustainability is to make sure your boss isn’t your only conduit to success.  If he is the only one that knows your value and potential, then (once he is gone) it is much like jumping out of an airplane with no parachute. It’s a little too late to create the network- parachute in your professional path at this company.

Even in IT and project management, you must be skilled in marketing and sales.  You need to be effectively and appropriately marketing and promoting yourself to your network of supporters and sponsors.

How do you do this?  Like any successful endeavor, you truly need a deliberate plan of action.  Your career is not your manager’s responsibility.  You don’t need to wait on your manager to assign you a high-profile project.  There are deliberate actions you can take on your own.  After all, your career is your responsibility.

Start driving your own success by choosing activities that expand your influence beyond your manager and your department.

Review the enclosed INP (Individual Network Plan) worksheet at the end of this article.  It has specific steps and techniques to setup your networking plan.  In the meantime, consider the below suggestions to get out of your own way:

  • Request to attend or even present at your 2nd-line manager’s meetings
  • Share your desire to get higher exposure with your first and second line managers
  • Volunteer your services to sibling departments’ projects
  • Volunteer your services to external nonprofit organizations to gain hands-on experience on new skills
  • Conduct Brown Bag Lunch Learning series
  • Write and present articles/white papers to local professional organizations on technical conferences
  • Add video/webcam to your regular status reports so that global and remote teams can see you
  • Include the global and international divisions in your individual network plans
  • Stay updated on open positions in your company that share the essence of you ‘dream position’.
  • Search out a mentor/coach that is currently in a position that you want to be in five years
  • Work with your manager to update your personal business commitments (list of activities that you are evaluated upon at the end of the performance evaluation year) with your next-step career goals and activities
  • Consider Toastmasters or similar organizations to help improve your speaking and presentation skills.

As you can see from the above abridged list, there are many things you can initiate and accomplish right now, from where you stand right now.   Continue to ‘push your envelope’ to increase your value and contribution level beyond just your current task, department or manager.  The more people know about who you are, your skill set and your career goals, the less affect a company ‘shake-up’ will have on you.

 

Fill out this workshop to get you started on you Individual Network Plan.
 Conclusion:

Your career management is an inside job.  Although your managers, mentors and business coaches can provide beneficial and objective perspectives, you are the CEO of your own life.  The critical key is to keep your professional and personal goals up front.

 

For more online coaching tips, subscribe to the GoTo Academy online coaching series:

 

If you would like some individual assistance with work life balance or professional career development strategies, please contact LauraRose@RoseCoaching.info

 

About the Author

Laura is a Corporate Exit Strategist for the Blooming Entrepreneur. She is a certified business and personal life coach, specializing in time management skills, project management training and work/life balance strategies. She has been in the software and testing industry for over 20 years. She’s worked with such companies as IBM, Ericsson, Staples, Fidelity Investments and Sogeti in various client advocacy and project management roles. The techniques she uses in her business coaching and client advocacy work saved these companies both time and money, which resulted in on-time, quality product delivery with higher client satisfaction. Laura now uses her client focus, project, quality and people management skills in her personal life coaching career. As a personal life coach, she helps people transform their life by integrating their goals and dreams into their everyday lives. Laura uses creative and practical tools to help her clients realize what really matters to them. She helps others to easily transition into their next chapter whether it’s the next ladder of success within their corporate environment or into the entrepreneurial playground. I am not a fan of choosing to act in spite of fear. Rather, together we will collaborate toward a plan of inspired action. We will develop a plan together that you feel confident and excited about. For us, Taking The Leap will be magical, exhilarating and natural. If you are eager to take that next logical step but are unsure what it is signup for the Corporate Exit Strategy Coaching group. We have books, tapes, training materials, twice-monthly group coaching events, 3-day workshops, and individual coaching sessions to help you on your way toward your freedom and prosperity.
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