What jobs are available in change management?

By on 19 Nov 2018

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Change management is a fast-growing and exciting career. Read this article to learn more about the kind of change management jobs available.

What is change management?

Change management is the people side of any organisational change, whether you’re fixing current problems, responding to market trends, or taking advantage of new opportunities. It focuses on ensuring that your whole team embraces your new direction or adopts and learns to use your new systems and processes. It is therefore a structured approach to implementing change. [1]

The importance of change management

As change management frameworks, theories and best practices developed in companies and business schools back in the 90’s, discussions about having a dedicated profession in that domain started to evolve.

In the past, organisations thought twice before implementing change as time, cost, new processes, manpower, productivity, resistance and adaptation all had to be considered.

It may be a nightmare for some since it can be extremely complex and challenging, but not changing at all is the worst of all worlds for any organisation. With the dynamism of the business environment leading to increased competition, organisations which resist change will ultimately fail.

A good example of this was the worldwide leader in mobile devices in the 1990s; Nokia. Nokia was one of the world’s largest suppliers of mobile devices before smartphone mania swept the world. Apple was able to beat Nokia to market with its iPhone in the new millennia, and the latter company missed its opportunity to lead the smartphone revolution.

But what Nokia managed to do after their shares went down in 2012, was to hire a new CEO to initiate the change they desperately needed. What the new management team did was change the focus of its operations. In conclusion, they sold their phone division to Microsoft and now they build and sell network and mapping technologies which is what’s keeping the company alive today. [2]

This is one real-world case study showing the benefits and importance of change management. The importance of change management makes it a recognised field of management, studied in many educational and professional institutions. Accreditation bodies such as APMG and CMI provide courses to enhance your career path in change management. The professions of Change Manager and Change Management Consultant have emerged because of this.

Why consider a career in change management?

Change is inevitable. It is ongoing and never stops. The demands of our high-tech age are constant and never ending. There is always something new around the corner and a successful change can lead to fantastic results. Consequently, it can be a challenging and exciting career role.

On an organisational level, new ideas and initiatives to make something better are encouraged to survive in a competitive and dynamic economy. Each department requires dedicated personnel or a team to steer the required change in the right direction.

As change management requires entire teams, you’ll be pleased to know there are a variety of roles available. At the same time, gaining change management skills in your current role can also benefit your career, especially as a Programme Manager or Project Manager.

Change management job titles

While searching for change management jobs, you may notice there aren’t as many titles as you would find in domains like cyber security or business analysis. That’s because change management tasks are often incorporated into other roles.

Here are the most common change management roles:

Change Agent

Any employee in the organisation can be appointed as a ‘Change Agent’ if they’re capable of being part of the change initiative.

Change Agents may be coaches or consultants (internal or external), HR, OD specialists or trainers. They may also be supervisors, front line staff, line managers or others. Whoever they are, when they are functioning as Change Agents, they do so without direct line authority. The Change Agent can be:

  • Anyone who acts intentionally but without formal authority to facilitate change in the organisation.
  • Anyone who, through intentional contact with all those engaged in the change process, provides an objective and supportive communication channel, facilitating the development and implementation of the change.

These are some of the tasks Change Agents do:

  • Build strong networks across the organization.
  • Connect line managers engaged in change with others in similar positions.
  • Help sponsors, line management, and targets to fulfil their own roles well and to avoid ‘taking over’ other people’s roles.
  • Provide smooth access to resources needed by various groups [3]

Change Manager

Change Manager is the most common change management job role. They normally play a key role in ensuring projects or change initiatives meet objectives on time and to budget by increasing employee adoption and usage [4]. The Change Manager must be able to understand the industry they are applying the change in, like a HR business partner, to customise initiatives accordingly.

Some of their tasks include:

  • Applying a structured methodology.
  • Leading change management activities.
  • Supporting communication efforts.
  • Assessing the change impact.
  • Supporting training efforts. [5]

According to glassdoor.com, the average salary of a Change Manager is £49,614 per year. [6]

Change Management Consultant

The main duty of a Change Management Consultant is acknowledging the areas where there is a need for change and assessing how this will affect the organisation.

Some of their responsibilities are:

  • Overseeing and leading any change management projects, including the researching, implementation and assessment from start to finish.
  • Understanding sales initiatives and prospects, being involved in internal sales meetings.
  • Helping with and leading on any colleague engagement programmes to do with internal change management.

The average wage of a change management consultant is typically £63,675 per year. [7]

Competencies needed for change management roles

Whatever title you have in change management, you need to have the following attributes and skills to do your job effectively:

  • Problem solving skills.
  • An understanding of analytics and data reports.
  • Excellent communication skills (writing, speaking and listening).
  • Resilient and flexible.
  • Ability to influence others to adapt to the change.
  • Team player and being proactive.
  • Creating strong relationships and networking with stakeholders and employees.

Professional certificates needed for change management roles

Change management assessments like CMI’s Accredited Change Manager programme can assess your capabilities as a Change Manager.

Change management Foundation and Practitioner courses from APMG are also a plus on your resume for change management roles.

Project management courses help a lot with change management jobs as they relate to each other in many aspects.

Conclusion

Working in change management suits people who:

  • Understand the need of change in their organisations and believe in it.
  • Are passionate about the cause to be able to influence others.
  • Always come up with ideas and suggestions.
  • Are motivated and dedicated to lead the initiative.

Learning the theories and frameworks of change management, being certified and having practical experience in implementing change management helps to have a successful career.

Have we inspired you to check out jobs in change management?

Is your organisation going through a corporate transition, and you want to be a change agent?

Great!

To increase your chances of getting a change management job, and becoming a successful change agent, why don’t you enrol for the 3-day Change Management Foundation classroom course, or the 5-day Change Management Foundation & Practitioner classroom course in London provided by Knowledge Train! They are accredited by APMG in partnership with the Change Management Institute (CMI).

Contact Knowledge Train® today to book your seat!

List of references

[1] Prosci. (Unknown). A Structured Approach to Implementing Change. Available: https://www.prosci.com/. Last accessed 10 Oct 2018

[2] Sabrina Son. (2017). 5 CASE STUDIES ABOUT SUCCESSFUL CHANGE MANAGEMENT. Available: https://www.tinypulse.com/blog/sk-case-studies-successful-change-management. Last accessed 11 Oct 2018.

[3] Edited by Richard Smith, David King, Ranjit Sidhu and Dan Skelsey (3 Nov. 2014). The Effective Change Manager's Handbook. GB: Kogan Page. 52-53.

[4] [5] Prosci. (Unknown). Change Management Job Description. Available: https://www.prosci.com/resources/articles/change-management-job-description. Last accessed 11 Oct 2018.

[6] https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Salaries/change-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,14.htm

[7] Changeboard Team. (2018). Change management consultant job description. https://www.changeboard.com/article-details/16677/change-management-consultant-job-description/. Last accessed 11 Oct 2018.

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