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Building a business change career
Dealing with change and more importantly, the impact of change has become an increasing priority amongst businesses in recent years, especially in industries focused on technology where there is high competition or where the organisation needs to adapt to constantly changing consumer demand. This has caused a surge in demand for business change specialists. But how do you become a successful Business Change Manager? What skills are required? And what experiences and qualifications do employers expect you to have? Peter Oleski, Business Change Recruitment Consultant, Networkers explains.
Standout soft skills
The purpose of a Change Manager is to ensure that changes within a business are implemented effectively. This involves stakeholder management and communicating with people across different levels and functions. With this in mind, strong communication, negotiation and listening skills are particularly important assets in business change.
As implementation can often cause conflict and friction within organisations, strong communication skills and the ability to adapt quickly to situations will be crucial in smoothing over periods of change. Developed leadership skills are also desirable as Business Change Specialists take on significant amounts of responsibility for the delivery of change management programmes.
Good business change professionals tend to have backgrounds in HR, Communications, Project Management and/or Business Analysis. In regards to education, employers tend to show a preference for hiring degree level candidates over candidates who do not possess a degree, with the most popular subject being Business Management.
Change qualifications are also becoming increasingly popular and can help you stand out against the competition when you are applying for a job. The most popular change qualifications we see are Prosci and APMG but employers will also be keen to hear what level of understanding you have of different change management principles such as Kotter, ADKAR and Lewin, amongst others. Some employers may also look for candidates with additional Business Analysis and Project Management qualifications.
Common career paths
Like many careers, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all route into business change. Business change is a rapidly growing discipline which is vital within both the private and public sector so there are a range of opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in this field. At the beginning of your career, picking a particular sector to work in may help provide you with a clearer career path as you develop your abilities and gain experience as a business change professional. Taking a job as a Change Analyst is a good place to start.
Is Business Change for you?
Being a Business Change Manager is a demanding albeit rewarding job. Effective business change depends on professionals with good people skills, naturally analytical minds and the confidence to deal with complex situations. If this sounds like you or someone you know, please get in touch or alternatively, browse and apply for our business change vacancies online.
To see our latest business change jobs, please click here.
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