One of the greatest advantages of being an IT consultant is the ability to stay above the fray. Interpersonal conflict, technology shifts, and procedural changes are at most a light mist on an otherwise gorgeous day. Yet enterprise-wide changes or key leadership turnover have a different impact. When other workers treat the change like a torrential downpour crashing down around them, it can be difficult not to get swept up in speculation.
Our advice? Don’t panic.
Even when dramatic changes happen mid-assignment, an IT consultant can weather the storm. Keep these tips in mind as you determine how to handle the big transition.
Learn How to Talk to New Management
Management styles are like thumb prints. No two are exactly the same. One manager might prefer direct communication to address areas of improvement. Others expect employees and IT consultants to be a bit more intuitive. The key is to find the right way to interact with the new boss.
Communication is a good starting point. IT consultants that thrive during leadership changes find out which four communication styles are dominant in new leaders:
- Analytical – They prefer quantitative data and facts. Their perspective is logical and unemotional.
- Intuitive –They prefer quick and direct communication. Their perspective tends to be big picture without getting bogged down in details.
- Functional – They prefer details and thought-out processes. Their perspective demands that nothing is glossed over.
- Personal – They prefer listening to others and uplifting those around them. Their perspective tends to be as a mediator and relationships are their biggest concern.
Quickly assessing the ideal way to communicate with the new leadership conveys an IT consultant’s value in the most direct way possible. Explaining your objectives in terms that will resonate ensures that you can operate smoothly. Conflicts are minimized and the project continues without major impediments.
Watch Staff Responses Objectively
Objectivity is crucial in this scenario. Internal employees often respond emotionally due to bonds with past leadership or uncertainty about their own tenure. Because stress spreads between people as if it was an airborne disease (check out the science here if you’re curious), it’s important to remain aware of what is stressing out the rest of the staff.
Consider the big picture. There are certain questions that assist in determining the full scope of the changes being made:
- Is the new leader your direct supervisor? If not, how involved will this person be in your project?
- Is the new leader already making enterprise-changes? Will the changes influence your ongoing work?
- Is there a domino effect of people leaving? Or has turnover stabilized?
If your direct leadership is not involved in the turnover and your ongoing projects are unaffected, the easiest solution is to continue business as usual. Even if the outlook is a bit less favorable, there’s no need to panic. Instead, reach out to someone you can trust. Often, the best resource is your recruiter.
Gain Clarity from Your Recruiter
IT consultants have an advantage that the company’s internal team cannot touch. In complicated situations like leadership turnover or enterprise-wide changes, a recruiter provides a clear perspective.
For starters, recruiters have a direct channel to decision makers at the company of your current contract. Even when turnover happens, they can quickly address concerns with management and find out what is happening behind the scenes. Moreover, your recruiter can help you make tough decisions.
When is it especially important to reach out to your recruiter? Here are a few situations where we recommend that our IT consultants always reach out first:
- You are asked to do anything outside of the original scope of work.
- You are unclear about the changes happening in the company and how it affects your tenure.
- You have questions about how to interact with new management.
At TransTech IT Staffing, we strive to provide our IT consultants with an ongoing resource from the start to the finish of their contract. We provide insight, advice, and a sounding board in those rare instances where the contract gets complicated. Check out our current jobs to see how you can get started as a TransTech IT consultant.