Not one industry leader got to where they are today by doing the same thing, the same way, for their entire career. Workplaces are constantly changing and evolving, so employees and jobseekers need to change and evolve with them. In the following, we’ll teach you how to broaden your perspective, prepare for change, and be more adaptable in a constantly changing work environment.
The first step to becoming more adaptable is coming to terms with the fact that your workplace and industry are constantly evolving.
For example, the most prominent way organizations are evolving is through the utilization of new tools and software. With the workforce advancing digitally and becoming more accustom to working remote, grasping new technology and software (such as video conferencing) is crucial.
With today’s constantly changing work environment, it is crucial that you be prepared for any type of change. This means you are always taking measures to learn, grow, and expand your working knowledge. Here are some things you can do:
Research shows that reading makes you smarter and helps you make better decisions. Make sure you read articles and books that fall within and outside of your core discipline. Taking in information from different industry thought leaders will expand your knowledge and make you a more valuable asset.
“I like to keep up with what’s going on in the industry by regularly reading articles and blogs. I keep my newsfeed filled with information on recruitment, management, and real estate and review it every day. This helps me stay on top of anything changing in the workforce so I am able to adapt effectively.” – CiAnn Blue, Vice President of Texas
With your work environment constantly shifting, you never know when you might have to take on new tasks. Shadowing your successful colleagues will help you learn quickly and understand how you can perform your new responsibilities at the highest quality.
“When I was first getting started at JWilliams Staffing, I had the opportunity to shadow Claudette, our Client Relations Manager in Southern California. While visiting clients, I watched her ensure each client’s satisfaction while taking the time to get to know and care about each of them personally & learned a lot that day.” – Brandon Holland, Vice President, Southern California Multi-Family Division
It’s always good to learn a new skill, and with the increasing reliance on technology, you never know when it will be necessary for your job function. Taking a class to learn a relevant skill will not only help you be prepared for inevitable change, it will also help you remain valuable in an increasingly competitive work environment.
There are three types of knowledge: Things you know, things you know you don’t know, and things you don’t know you don’t know. In order to understand the last two, you have to ask more questions. When trying to understand a task or project, try asking “why” questions before you ask the “how” questions. Understanding why you are doing something will help you understand how to do it the best way.
Everyone has a different perspective. Getting involved in your customer’s community will help you learn how they think and what their needs are while evolving your way of thinking as their community evolves.
“I am involved in my clients’ and candidates’ communities however I can. I reach out consistently and always make myself available to them so that I have an awareness of their needs. Maintaining these strong relationships allows me to change and adapt the way we provide our services to fit what they’re looking for.” – Victoria Lund, Vice President, Northern California New Home Sales Division
If you’re tasked with something new at work, chances are there’s an article, YouTube video, or dedicated learning site (if it’s a little more complicated) that someone has created to walk you through it or give pointers. From sources like Youtube Learning, Udemy, or Grow with Google, you have the ability to learn and teach yourself almost anything new just through a simple Google search.
You can’t always prepare yourself for every situation. Sometimes, unexpected change happens and you’ll need to maintain an adaptable mindset and be resilient.
"Facing down reality and being optimistic can co-exist if optimism is channeled into ingenuity, improvisation, and creativity. Being resilient in times of change is part of your career experience and smart hiring managers will be interested in how you personally maneuvered through inevitable changes within your company or, in today’s times, a global pandemic. If you are learning and finding meaning in what you cannot control, you have the foundation of resiliency.” – JoAnne Williams, Founder & CEO
It can be difficult to accept that our workplace is changing. Sometimes we want to believe that the old way was just better. However, dwelling on the past and complaining about change just creates negativity in your workplace and will slow down your ability to get with the times. Keep an open mind, understand that change can be a good thing, and start adapting and finding innovative ways to operate in your new environment.
“When the COVID -19 pandemic hit, an immediate change to our organization was our ability to safely interview new candidates. We’re all about face-to-face interactions, so I'll admit I was a little disheartened at first, but I quickly shifted to thinking about the benefits of the possible solutions. My team and I now utilize video conferencing to hold virtual hiring events and group interviews. This means we can interview candidates all over Southern California in one sitting, saving both time and money, while still hiring great people.” – Marlo Brooks, Vice President, Northern California Multi-Family Division
The best way to get your creative juices flowing is to think of a problem, write it down, and then just start jotting down solutions without any hesitation, erasing, or deleting. You might end up with 100 not so great ideas, but you’ll most likely have a couple good ones as well. Thinking creatively means accepting all of your ideas (the good and the bad) and using those to generate a great new approach to solving a problem.
“During the hiring process, I was often encountering candidates who did not have access to a computer to complete their onboarding paperwork. So, I started bringing a tablet to interviews for them to use. This allowed my new hires to complete their onboarding paperwork faster than ever so they could start working right away.” – Juan Vasquez, Regional Maintenance Service Director, Southern California Multi-Family Division
Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. You’ve heard this a hundred times before, but how often have you applied it to your work? In other words, what have you changed in order to grow in your workplace recently? If your answer is nothing, then it’s time for you to take a new approach.
Explore different methods for accomplishing your goals or try to leave your comfort zone. For example, if you work in sales and have started relying on your own personal script for making the sale, try something new and drop the script. Talk to the customer as if they’re your best friend, worst case scenario, you’ll learn what doesn’t work. However, say you stuck to your script and you continued to get the same amount of sales – the problem? – those sales will never grow. The only way to grow is to try something new.