We asked: what changes are here to stay?

Looking only at data is definitely not enough. At Career Angels, we also speak with C-level executives, HR Directors, Management Consultants – you’ll find our weekly quantitative & qualitative reports on Market Signals. Some of them allow us to publish these conversations & their insights for our audience!

This interview features: Ingrid Gerstbach, Management Consultant at Gerstbach Design Thinking. More about her below.

We asked Ingrid 3 questions, incl. what changes caused by CV-19 are here to stay and how to adjust to the new normal. Here are her answers:

Career Angels: In your role as Management Consultant, you get to observe many companies, processes and corporate cultures. Which changes that were (partly) “forced upon” many companies due to CV-19 are here to stay? Do you see new trends emerging? Which?

Ingrid: The future is already here. CV-19 has only been an acceleration of long-overdue changes in the digitized world. What many “New Work” experts have been propagating for years is actually viable. Companies and leaders have learned plenty in the recent months. Now, they are challenged to combine the lessons learned during the pandemic with their existing culture. One challenge is that a good “offline” leader is not a good “online” leader too. The leaders have to face a shift from control to trust. Agile working is the new way of working which means that companies have to understand what agility really means and how it is done. Leaders have to redefine their management style. They need to create new frameworks for the employees that gives them, on the one hand, flexibility and freedom in their own working style and on the other hand, they have to set up new rules and objectives.

Career Angels: Many people have and still will lose their jobs; some of them have been with one single employer for more than 10 years. Being laid off now leaves many of them completely unprepared – not only in terms of looking for a job, but also being able to adjust smoothly to the new reality. What tips would you have for them in terms of adjusting to the new normal while looking for a job?

Ingrid: The CV-19 pandemic has affected everybody’s lives on a scale that most of us have never thought of before. We all have to adjust to this new way of life. There are many different kinds of challenges. One such challenge some of us have to face is how to get a job in the new reality. This is hard in times of uncertainties. But nevertheless, many of the steps of getting a job in the new normality are the same as before:
Familiarize yourself with the organization you are applying to, but keep in mind that things might be different for them too. CV-19 has changed many aspects of day-to-day work. Not only our personal life has changed, there are also challenges companies are facing. Think about how these changes have been impacted by the pandemic. Take a look at the news. Search for insights and trends that are relevant to certain companies. That will help you understand the companies and impress your potential employers.
Think about your own goals: what do you want to achieve? It is hard to think long-term at the moment, but it is really helpful. Are you looking for a role to tide you over or do you want to change? Thinking about your long-term goals helps you find the job that is relevant to you.
Prepare yourself and refresh your CV. Think about your skills and how they match a specific company. Do not forget to include skills important in this pandemic, like self-organization, experience with remote working and various online tools.

Career Angels: What’s the best and worst career advice you have ever received? Please add some context.

Ingrid: The best career advice was from a friend. He told me that we should allow ourselves to fail sometimes. It is better to learn from failure and to get better with every try than to try to be perfect. Success doesn’t come overnight. There are many steps towards your vision and the path is not that straight or easy as it seems to be. So don’t be too hard on yourself. Start climbing and strive for constant improvement. Remember: being too perfect is boring.

The worst career advice was from a colleague. He told me to “follow my dreams and everything will follow”. I was very skeptical because life always interjects. Sometimes you have to do work you don’t want to do – but it has to be done. Your dreams can get you through worse days, but you should do your work and not just dream. Sometimes our imagination is much more vivid and wonderful than the reality could ever be. Be in the moment and live your life.

A bit more about Ingrid:
Ingrid Gerstbach, Management Consultant at Gerstbach Design Thinking and Ingrid Gerstbach – Design Thinking.

“When businesses face changes or need to solve wicked problems, it is not uncommon to act quickly without communicating a lot. People feel insecure and need some help from an outsider. My great passion is bringing people, ideas and inspiration together to make the world a better place. I am never ever satisfied with the status quo. My belief is that there is always a better way to integrate work. This motivates me to share my thoughts with others through writing, speaking and workshop facilitation. I help my clients, which include SMEs and corporations, to cultivate authentic communities and to foster innovation. There is no silver bullet when it comes to methodology. Therefore, I use Design Thinking which is human centered: I seek to understand the stakeholder, challenge assumptions and redefine problems to identify alternative strategies and solutions. My educational background includes economics, educational sciences and psychology in Vienna.”

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If you are an experienced HR Director, C-level executive or Consultant who’d like to contribute to our series “We asked”, don’t hesitate to get in touch!