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Managers - don't let a takeover take over you

12 April 2002

Managers - don't let a takeover take over you

TRADITIONALLY, reaching management status was the fulfilment of your career ambitions, a time when you stopped learning and started teaching others. But, argues Peter Shearer, managers can no longer afford to be complacent: they need to keep on their toes - or else!

Senior managers watch out! There's a younger version of you starting on a fast track programme and they're after your job. Or soon will be. He or she has a raft of skills that can oust you out of your comfortable padded chair quicker than you can say e-commerce.

It's no longer the case that managers study and qualify in their early 20s, and then just attend the odd refresher course for the rest of their careers. The business world has moved on - the business world is constantly moving on. And those who can't or won't keep pace are likely to find their skills about as useful as handwriting is for emailing.

On top of the massive technological changes in the business arena there's another big shift that affects your position. There are no longer any comfort zones - no job security. Businesses now have to be flexible enough to meet the demands of their ever-changing markets. More company mergers mean managers, like the rest of the workforce, can't rely on loyalty from their NEW employers. Managers are rarely left alone after a takeover - they're moved sideways at best - at worst they're moved out altogether.

For such reasons it's important to look beyond your current position. After a takeover you need to be able to show that you're worth hanging on to. If not, and you're made redundant, it's vital that your CV is relevant to potential employers.

Managers are doing this through programmes that are more substantial than the average refresher course, programmes that lead to an award or a qualification to add to their CV. It's no coincidence that the number of experienced managers studying on part-time MBA degrees has doubled in recent years, with others opting for a certificate or a diploma. They've realised that they've got to stay ahead of the game. And though submitting projects and sitting exams again is a daunting prospect, most are surprised to discover they actually enjoy a return to structured learning. Or maybe they're just looking forward to the rewards that successful completion of such programmes invariably brings.

Peter Shearer is the director of corporate programmes at Aston University Business School and can be contacted on 0121 204 3000 for further information on management courses.

For further information please call 0121 204 4549 or email: b.a.l.coombes@aston.ac.uk

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