Are you trying to break into change management? We interviewed two recruitment experts that specialise in change and came up with a ten point action plan, just for you!
There’s no doubt that getting into ‘change’ can be tricky to begin with, especially if you don’t have any prior work experience. We gathered fresh ideas and insight to the current job market from two leading recruiters for change management positions in Australia: Eloise Seidelin from Change It Talent; and Tracy Petrie from White Cloud recruitment. To help you join this highly rewarding profession, we share ten tips that you can action straight away!
- Promote your transferable skills & check out this competency model
Think of anything that you do now that feels just right for you. It might be that you are really good with people which is, in many cases, imperative for change management. You may position these personal assets as skills in building and maintaining relationships; communicating with others; getting to know people and what they do in businesses. So, find your inner skills and assets and let them lead the way when you’re communicating with others ‘in change’.
“Change is a very people oriented profession, if you can connect and hold relationships at a high value, that’s a key part of the role. “ – Tracey Petrie
- Think laterally for work experience or shadow other functions
Don’t underestimate how people naturally want to help others. Speak to those that are doing change and leverage their skillsets and advice. Ask them to help you identify what you are lacking in your current role and how you can fill that gap through work experience? For example, if you’re already working in an organisation, try your hand at a project role or in the transformation space as a project coordinator, business analyst or any role where you’re doing project delivery. This will quickly bring you up to speed with what is expected and done in the change arena and build your appreciation of methodologies and delivering to a scope that is on time and budget. If you don’t have the opportunity to get exposure within your current organisation, use tools such as LinkedIn or networking to get exposure with industry associations such as The Change Management Institute! If financially able to do so, be prepared to take a step back or sideways if that will give you the exposure that you’re looking for – this may help you progress quickly through the steps into a change role.
- Nudge yourself to meet people!
Whether you are coming from a business oriented role, a transformation role or straight from university, networking and speaking to people currently doing the change management role will benefit you. Networking through Change Management Institute is a clear choice and option to meeting people locally, with chapters you can join in most global locations. A short conversation with a change expert can help you to initially understand if ‘change’ is what you are interested in and answer questions like; does it suit my personality? What part would suit me? Is it something you would enjoy? This is also a very quick way to get a sense of how other people have transitioned into change management. Did they originally work in Human Resources or Finance? Our experience tells us that people come to change from diverse work backgrounds and levels of experience.
- Be connected!
Members of the Change Management Institute, a global change industry association, can access a Member Hub that is full of free webinars from experts in change – it’s a great way to understand modern change practices such as Agile Change and Human Centred Design. The Member Hub app connects you easily to a friendly network of change practitioners in a closed and supportive environment. This is a great way to fast track your change journey. Be brave! Ask questions and learn from others; build your network and get noticed.
- Seek professional learning experiences
If you’re in a fortunate position to fund your own capability building or to have access to funding from your organisation, then head to the Change Management Institute website for recommended training providers across varying levels of experience. Prosci and People Centred Implementation (PCI) offer their suite of tools for change practitioners. More formal training is offered through APMG International and within many universities at either the Graduate Certificate level or Masters level.
- Find a mentor or coach
A mentor or coach can help you with your career design and future pathways. Sharing your aspiration and journey with people you respect can help you along the way, science shows that this can make a difference! You may be eligible for free careers coaching in your country or state/province. Industry associations can offer free mentoring through their internal networks, so investigate and explore your potential.
- Accreditation is something worth working towards.
Accredited change managers are highly sought after! As you progress through your career and build experience in change, bolstering your career choices with an accreditation is of high value in the field. Change Management Institute offers an international accreditation based on your experience in delivering change. Three levels of accreditation (foundation, specialist & master) will help you benchmark your skills and stand out in the crowd. Accreditation is a good start to becoming a recognised change practitioner and demonstrates expertise that you can add to your LinkedIn profile!
- What are the current demand and trends in change skillsets?
Our expert recruiters recommend building skills in data, communication, and learning. Specifically, being able to create narratives and stories from data sets; design and run creative and engaging learning, development and, training across hybrid ways of working (with half of their audience in room and half at home); communicating succinctly and in fun ways across mixed mediums (, video, platforms, inviting people to think outside of the box!). Let’s not forget digitisation! Many organisations are rapidly digitizing due to new hybrid ways of working since the Covid-19 pandemic and it’s speeding up rather than slowing down.
- Lead with your values and research your target employer!
Let your values lead the way! Core values such as authenticity, justice, kindness and optimism, can guide you towards the type of employer that you want to work with! Being can guide important decisions and help you prioritise your limited time and energy. , finding a job that aligns to your values can build greater success and joy in your life. A coach can help you identify values and work values but here’s a simple way to identify work values for yourself: list the values that an organisation must have, would be nice to have, are ok not to have and that they must not have.
- Final words from our change recruitment guru’s
Be pragmatic, learn to deal with ambiguity, and find your way into doing end to end project change to really learn the art form. Learn the breadth of change practices or you can choose to specialise in areas such as organizational design, it’s your choice!
“If you are thinking about a career in change, I commend you. The space needs and welcomes more people. Put yourself out there, have conversations and be brave. Be curious, ask that question and don’t be afraid if the answer is hard work.” – Eloise Seidelin
About the author
Angie Tenace is an ACM Master, Executive Coach and founder of Vitality Matters.
About the contributors
Eloise Seidelin, founder Change It Talent and, Tracey Petrie, founder White Cloud Recruitment, are thought leaders in the change and transformational recruitment space.