Adaptability is a core skill that means you’re able to rapidly learn new skills and behaviours in response you are able to respond to change, appropriately.
This could mean that when things change at work for example you take on a new role, or the boss installs a new system, you are able to adjust quickly to the new situation and continue your work with the minimum disruption.
Why is adaptability an important skill?
Employees value workers who can keep working and being productive under any circumstances.
People with low adaptability, take longer to get used to new environments, workplaces and situations, and the people around them will have to compensate.
Adaptable people find it easy to settle into new workplaces or roles, adjust quickly to problems or hurdles when they arise. Adaptable people can often help other less-adaptable individuals to transition into new work settings and processes and may often be considered for leadership roles.
Not sure if you’re adaptable?
Ask yourself if you:
- Are flexible and willing to learn
- Accept change in a positive manner
- Try new things
- Are self-motivated
- Don’t give up easily or get discouraged
- Are creative
If you can answer yes to most of the above then the chances are you already an adaptable person.
Become more adaptable
To be adaptable, you need to be able to:
- Understand why the change has occurred
- Proactively seek ways to modify your behaviour to meet the new situation
- Adjust your mindset to suit the new way of doing things
You can make yourself more adaptable by:
- Getting outside your comfort zone, frequently. Say yes to opportunities and participate more, you’ll soon find that you’re less phased about change
- Learn from other people who you think are adaptable. Ask them for tips or guidance, watch how they behave and make a mental note to try that next time
- Look for the positives even when things don’t go right. You could learn to successfully review and refocus, it could also be valuable when you’re presented with challenges next time
- Take chances. That might mean you make some mistakes, but if you learn about what went wrong then test alternative solutions until you find the right one, you’ll learn some valuable tips and tricks along the way
Jobs that require adaptability
Police Officer – You’ll be dealing with a lot of unpredictable situations as a Police Officer, so you need to be able to quickly adapt and keep calm.
Executive Assistants need to work with a variety of systems, like computers and diaries, and keep up with the changing schedules of important people.
IT Support Officers – Technology is constantly evolving, so you’ll need to be adaptable to keep up with the constant changes.
HR Managers – Working with people requires you to be adaptable so you can deal with all kinds of situations.
There are lots of things you might not be able to predict as a Farmer – weather, crop and animal health, and changing technologies are just some of the things you’ll need to be prepared for. Being highly adaptable can make your job as a farmer easier and less stressful.
Birthing babies can be a high-stress situation, so you need to be calm and adaptable to handle anything that might happen when you’re working as a Midwife.
Trends and fashions are constantly evolving, so to be a Fashion Designer you’ll need to be adaptable to keep up with the latest in fashion and design.
Project Managers need adaptability to be able to integrate various moving parts of a project and deliver a quality product or service in a timely manner.