In a New Job and Don’t Even Know It?
During tough economic times, when companies have downsized and reorganized, the professional role you are in may have dramatically changed without you being fully aware of it.
If you are still in the “same position” you were in prior to the current economic cycle (also applies to your role at your own company if you are an entrepreneur), and co-workers or employees have lost their jobs, then most likely your job has changed too. Your title has likely not changed, and likelier still, your salary is the same, but I would bet that the scope of your job has under gone something of a metamorphosis.
Here are some examples of what I have seen happening:
- A commercial lender at a bank whose primary focus was to bring in new clients, is now largely working on problem loans.
- An architect whose job consisted mostly of creating designs, now is required to bring in new clients.
- A small business owner whose energy was spent on her company’s strategy, now spends most of her day on operational and execution issues.
Think about your role. What’s changed? Have you?
Ron Ashkenas of Schaffer Consulting calls it an invisible promotion. One of the points he makes in his Harvard Business Review blog on the subject, is that often if the company had actually recruited for the
changed job, the person currently performing the functions would likely not have been selected or hired for the job.
In addition to the question “would they have hired you” is “would you have taken on this new job?”
If you like the job into which yours has evolved, ask yourself these critical questions:
- What do I need to do differently to succeed in this new role than I have been doing?
- What skills do I need to succeed in this new role?
- What relationships do I need to build or nurture to continue to be successful?
Talk to your manager or supervisor about your thoughts and enlist their input, understanding, and support of what is now being required of you.
If you are not happy in your newly defined or evolved position or don’t feel that you can be successful in it, don’t just keep doing what you have always done. Talk to your manager or supervisor about the situation. Explore if there are any other ways your job could be structured or if there is another role that would better match your skills and interests. If no options are available and you feel strongly about the mismatch and your ability to succeed, start looking for another job — the economy is on the upswing!
Has your job changed? How? What are you doing about it? We’d love to hear from you.