2 Soft Skills everyone needs – Adaptability & Flexibility

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2 Soft Skills everyone needs – Adaptability & Flexibility

Traits that could help you to be successful at school, work, and in life

School, uni, VET they all teach you hard skills in life and obviously that’s really important.

Working on developing your soft skills is equally important. It could really pay off in applications and interviews if you can demonstrate that you’ve got those skills (and provide examples to back up your claims).


What does it mean to be Adaptable and Flexible?


We’ve put these two skills together as they’re quite similar, but it’s useful to be able to distinguish between the two.

“Adaptability is a willingness to confront or change your own ideas and preconceptions. Flexibility is more a willingness to “meet others halfway” procedurally,” Forbes

Being adaptable could help you to react positively to changes in your environment, whilst causing the minimum amount of disruption to you.

This year you may have experience a shift at short notice, to online learning and studying from home.

For the majority of students that would have been total change to your normal day-to-day environment, getting to grips with new routines, adjusting to the technology and a different way of learning. Doing all that whilst being isolated from friends, your cohort, and possibly your support network.

But you did it – that’s a great demonstration of adaptability.

Whereas flexibility is your ability to quickly adjust to changes in your life and plans without it creating a lot of stress and drama (at least to the outside world).

For example, pre-lock down you might have been planning a gap year next year, but now you’ve altered your plans will apply for uni next year and do the gap year after you graduate instead.

Or, perhaps you were planning on applying for a specific course but they’ve adjusted the pre-requisites, so you’ve found an alternative course or pathway that’ll help you reach the same end goal.

Maybe you’ve decided to study online to save money and enable you to work while you study in response to this year’s pandemic. That’s being flexible, meeting the same end goal but going about achieving it a different way better suited to the situation.


How flexibility and adaptability could benefit you


Developing these skills could help you:

  • Be happier in life by taking change in your stride
  • Feel more satisfied in your education and career
  • Be more successful by not letting obstacles stop you
  • Stay positive and on top of things, even when situations don’t go your way
  • Approach life with a “can do” attitude, achieve more and make the most of opportunities
  • Confront challenges confidently
  • Become a better leader and team player
  • Increase your value to employers
  • Exercise emotional intelligence and boost your confidence


Ways you can become more flexible and adaptable


Wondering how you can put some work in to developing these skills further?

Well you could:

  • Say YES to more opportunities
  • Step outside your comfort zone
  • Keep an open mind and encourage others around you to do the same
  • Take every opportunity to learn
  • Set goals and stick to them – milestones may move or change, that’s ok it’s part of process
  • Ask for feedback and really take it on board
  • Don’t give up – problem solve, get creative, make a Plan B
  • Focus on keeping a positive attitude
  • Challenge yourself


Add these soft skills your resume


Since soft skills are important and highly sought after, so it’s important to put them on your resume.

It’ll show educators and potential employers that you’ll fit in, try your best and accomplish the work necessary to achieve your objectives.

You could simply state that your flexible and adaptable, or use phrases including:

  • Comfortably adjusts to change
  • Stay positive and productive even when faced with challenges or problems
  • Thinks creatively
  • Develops new and innovative solutions
  • Learn quickly and happy to try new methods of working
  • Flexible approach to work
  • Able to prioritise workloads and adapt to changing timelines



When you put something on your resume make sure that it’s relevant to the position that you’re applying for, reflects well on you, and most importantly – you can provide examples when you’re asked in an interview.


Learn about other soft skills


There are lots of other soft skills that you should consider working on too.

They’ll supersize your resume, make you stand out to potential employers, and could benefit you in lots of other ways.

Find out why your soft skills matter and 10 top employability skills in the linked blogs.

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