À l’échelle humaine: March 15, 2017

2016-2017 Issue 1

IMG_3981Standing Out at Work: Adapting to Change

They say the only constant is change, and our careers are no exception. In the 21st century, a change of direction, jobs, industries, and even countries is becoming increasingly common. Expecting the unexpected and developing the ability to ride the wave will serve you in every tide – adaptability has arguably become the lifelong skill.

The swift changes in technology are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to change in the workforce. It can be seen in the form of company restructuring, the growing emphasis on streamlined productivity, and the increasing requirements of the emerging knowledge economy. We are also witness to the decline in traditional jobs such as journalists and real estate agents, the rise of e-commerce, and the challenges of blending a distinct group of young employees alongside three more experienced, and equally heterogeneous generations. The ability to successfully adapt to these ongoing changes doesn’t just mean you’re more likely to survive the next downsizing; it sets you apart and positions you for leadership throughout your career development.

As an experienced professional you want to communicate that you’re keeping up with new advancements, are flexible to change when need be and when desired, and not resting on your laurels. Although being open to new instructions, challenges and lessons begins as a state of mind, there are many concrete ways to demonstrate it on the job:


1. Highlight the transitions that you’ve already undertaken

Have you changed titles, countries, or whole careers? This proves that you put your money where your mouth is. Your professional transition or immigration process is already evidence that if conditions force to weigh anchor, you’ll be captain of the ship, not a reluctant and suspect part of the cabin crew.


2. Be ready with a Plan B, C, or D.

Does your project plan include alternatives? When faced with a curveball, not only will you adapt to change, but you expect it, anticipate it, and embrace it.


3. Keep calm in the face of obstacles or criticism

Managers sometimes get nervous about employees who frequently complain, get stuck, or argue that the way it’s always been done is how it always should be. Navigating through these challenges on your own shows you can handle it and are looking up.


4. Continue to develop your skills

Learn a new language, participate in your company’s extracurricular activities, or enroll in a continuing education course; it shows initiative and demonstrates your willingness to expand your horizons beyond comfort and ease.

Imagine yourself in a management role, looking for someone to take on a brand-new project. Chances are, individuals with the qualities listed above will be top-of-mind. You can be confident that they would approach the project with enthusiasm and be up to the challenge of finding an effective solution, so be the person you would pick first!

In time you may become a go-to resource for problem-solving and positivity, and that is a reputation that all of us, regarding of industry or level, strive to embody.

This concludes our series on standing out in the workplace. Join us for our next instalments to add a bit of insight and cheer into your professional transitions and development.

This article was published in French on 24 heures Montreal

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