Walking into your purpose…

I get this question often … how does one become a Change Manager! Our office is inundated with emails and calls about the journey to becoming a super change manager that not only adds value to clients, but also has a career they are excited about, and be proud of.

When a close friend asked me, it got me thinking…how does one get here?

Afterall there is no formal degree, many change managers are from all walks of life ….how do you get in, stay in, and make sure that you are doing a good job?

One cannot answer this question without understanding what Change Management is, and what change managers do.

But it would be fun to look at the various journeys towards becoming a Change Manager out there!

There is no better place to start that looking at my journey, and boy what a journey it has been! I certainly was not meticulously planned! Most Change Managers I know don’t seem to have planned to end up here either, but as luck would have it – here we are!

The truth is, I did not set out to be a change manager. My “past” is pretty colourful.

I started off as a SAP consultant in an amazing company …but I was never great at being employed. I was a hard worker, but I was a dreamer! There was always something more to do, something different – and I was always moving from idea to idea. I always had an entrepreneurship spirit so I drifted from having a coffin manufacturing company, wanting to build a flower market in Soweto building a pretty nice exporting business, and in the process – losing a lot of money (including my mothers’ money. I eventually settled on an IT company long enough to make it work with my then partner. Needless to say, I did not even know what change management was until I saw and experience a really good change manager and I thought to myself – YES! That’s what I want to do with my life.

Little did I know what it would take … and trust me he did not warm me either! I had to work double as hard as everyone around me because it was so unplanned…and I had to learn and absorb every single little thing my mentor shared with me.

I had an IT degree instead of a Psychology degree, I was trained to think systematically and was super process driven! To opt it off I did not have a creative bone in my body, so don’t get me started on the communication side I was expected to deliver on. Many people even said I’m not much of a people’s person to be a Change Manager!

However, I was determined, I knew I could upskill myself while getting experience working with a solid consultant, and I knew I had it in me to grow and become better and better, project by project. I don’t think the late Mr Ray Suttner knew what hit him when I set my sights on him. I was relentless and I wanted a job. I moved from a lucrative SAP consulting job to a junior Change Manager in his firm.

Yet I knew that was the only way to learn and I was fortunate to have saved. I also knew I was never going to stay, but I had to do my time. I have never looked back! The entrepreneur in me did not rest for too long, soon I was back building a service offering within my IT company for Change Management and eventually Change Agility.

So how does one become a Change Manager?

Many times, I’d say – go and complete a Psychology degree and Honours, do some courses in communication and writing, read up on neuroscience and organisational behaviour in general, do some courses in consulting and coaching …then call us for learnership or junior opportunities.

However, this is not the entire story, and it’s certainly not guaranteed to make one a good Change Manager.

In the next few months, I will be showcasing my favourite Change Managers live on Facebook as well as on Microsoft Teams, and their journey towards this exciting career.

Calling on all Change Manager I’m yet to meet– how did you end up where you are? I’d love to hear your Change Management story. Email it to titled “BECOMING”.

Stay tuned:) Contact

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