Change FAQs - Part 1: Getting into Change, Contracts & pay, Certifications
Updated: Aug 25, 2021
You asked, we... didn't answer! (Eep! Mad soz). We partnered with General Assembly to host the "Introduction to Change Management" webinar on Wednesday 24 June. Designed for people curious about Change Management and how to get into the profession, it was a lunch & learn, which meant we squeezed 2 hours of content into just 45 min! We got to a few questions on the session, but there were so many great ones we missed, we're answering them here instead. And then, when I drafted all the responses it was a 15 minute article of over 20,000 words! Ain't no one got time for that. So I'm splitting the questions into 3 parts - one blog per week. Here's the first covering Getting into Change, Contracts & pay, and Certifications. Read on, my changies, read on.
Random side note: I've created this as an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) because this is a Frequently Used Activity (see what I did there? haha) in Change Management. I then clustered the questions under key topics, but I could have left them in chronologic order, too.
1. Getting into Change
2. Contracts & pay
4. Leading change (coming soon - see Part 2)
5. Change challenges & learnings (coming soon - see Part 3)
6. Impacts of COVID on Change (coming soon - see Part 3)
1. GETTING INTO CHANGE
Q. Is change management very industry specific or do you think skills are easily transferrable?
Answered this one on the webinar, but I'm often scatterbrained on live Q&A so enjoy a more thoughtful response. If I'm understanding the question correctly... There are industries that are more favourable to hiring Change (think Financial Services, Telcos, Tertiary Education, Government). Then you can take those same Change skills from those industries to work in the fewer and further between roles in other industries. Change is a cross-industry skillset. And you can easily transfer your Change skills into any other role, too!
Q. Is industry experience an advantage in this role?
Yep! All your previous experience in any industry, team, project or change will help you understand future change.
Q. I have around 10+ years of working experience and currently in Organisational Development. I think I'd like to move into CM in 1-2 years time. What did you find the hardest part of moving into a CM role/career path?
Just knowing what Change Management is! Hence... the webinar! :) For most people, it's confidence to convert their transferable skills to change to change. Executive Coaching is your best friend for that!
Q. Is it too late to move into CH MGT in say your 40s or 50s? If you have not worked in this area before?
Ironically, I'd suggest the opposite. In your 40s and 50s, you'd have amazing business experience already and also likely leadership experience and you've probably been doing Change for a long time without even knowing it. Read my article on How to Get a Job When You're Over 50. I think you just need a confidence boost on how incredible you are at this age, and every age.
Q. I am Service Change Manager with 10 years of work experience looking for my first job here in Sydney how can I help to fasten this process for myself specially during this time of new normal?
Get Executive Coaching to speed this up. Otherwise, just all the usual job hunting methods! There's no secret formula.
Q. How large an organisation (how many people) would a formal change management role be created for?
Answered this one on the webinar, but I'm often scatterbrained on live Q&A so enjoy a more thoughtful response. Any size - it all depends on if the leaders value Change Management, their people, and results that stick!
Q. How do you see the relationship between the change management and change comms or change & comms role? Are they all different/independent in a change program?
Most Change roles incorporate a degree of comms because often as change we come up with the key messages. It's whether you'll then go and draft and deliver all the comms. If you have a Comms person in the project, you might just partner with them. If not, it will likely be you! I don't know about all the titles - best to look into the job ad and ask the recruiter or hiring manager how much of the roles is Change vs pure Comms.
Q. Great sharing! I usually see current job requirement for change management requiring extensive prior project management experience/consulting background, what is your suggestion for one with 3 years BAU experience and some project initiation experience? I think it is hard to qualify for an interview?
If a role says "essential" then yep it's required. If it says "desired", then it's a positioning and confidence issue. You need to work out your Change experience, and use that as the launchpad to apply for roles.
2. CONTRACTS & PAY
Q. What does a standard contract look like for you?
6 month day rate, PAYG through an recruitment agency, working 4-5 days per week (all by choice).
Q. How do you determine how much you get paid for what Change Management project, Lata?
When I work on contracts as Lata Hamilton, I request my day rate.
When I deliver scope-based work as part of Passion Pioneers, I have set-priced packages that include particular workshops and deliverables, and extra workshops, leader trainings, or team trainings can be added on.
Q. What’s the difference between contract and fixed term?
You can have a day rate contract and a fixed term contract. Both are called contracts, but when I was referring to "contract" in the webinar, it related to the day rate contract where you are a "contractor" to the organisation, not an in-house employee (Fixed Term and Permanent).
Q. How and where do you start to build your networking to ensure you can roll from a contract to another one? What's the average duration of contracts? It feels quite daunting moving from a permanent position into contracting!
Absolutely! Your biggest challenge moving to work in projects is the perceived notion of job security. But it's a perception - redundancies and restructures happen all the time and are happening more and more, bonuses are not guaranteed, and the future of work is changing and perm roles declining. You need to find belief and confidence within yourself of your own skills and experience, and own your own career and finances to be prepared for any time out of a contract. Get ahead of the curve and start building that muscle now! Start with Change Management Institute (CMI) for networking (though I've gotten every job bar one through Seek, not my network). Or join my Leading Successful Change program because the community there is epic. Average duration of a contract is usually 6 months.
Q. Can you please go back to the pay rate/levels slide to show junior to more senior day rates?
Q. Can you show the pay matrix spreadsheet again please. Too quick :)
For both of these - I have your names, so shoot me a LinkedIn private message and I'll email you a screenshot.
Q. Can you get the qualifications while working full time? Is it very time consuming?
Yes - you can get the qualifications while working full-time. They are usually taught in blocks (don't know if COVID has changed this). If your company funds it, you'll get the time off as training time. If you can't get it as training time, take annual leave. It's your career - no one owns or cares about it like you do. Start investing in it. The beauty of my Leading Successful Change program - it's an online course which means you can complete the modules at the best time that suits you.
Q. I've been considering to complete a certified CM course at foundation level under APMG. Are there any providers you'd personally recommend?
The two that I mentioned - I did mine through PM-Partners, and I've heard great things about Project Laneways. But if you truly want to learn how to DO Change, not just learn ABOUT Change, nothing beats my very own Leading Successful Change program (open plug!). It's completely unique in the market, and the practical application focus is designed to build confidence fast for a Change role.
AND THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION OF ALL...
Q. Will the webinar recording or slides be provided afterwards?
All the questions above were asked once. This was the only Frequently Asked Question!
Update: 14 March 2021
The recording is available from General Assembly. The slides are not.
Lata Hamilton is the Founder & CEO of Passion Pioneers, and as well as being a practising Change Manager, she's also an Executive Coach. Keep your eye out for Part 2 next week with FAQs on "Leading Change", and Part 3 the week after with FAQs on "Change challenges & learnings" and "Impacts of COVID on Change". Get in touch if you'd like any help with making your career change. And if you loved the webinar, pass the feedback on to General Assembly!