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How to be a More Adaptable Employee During Change and Uncertainty

Change is constant. As an employee, change or something unfamiliar can be intimidating and you may not know how to face it or react to it at first. In this course, Dorie Clark, Professor of Business Administration and author, gives readers a few tips to make you more adaptable, flexible and resilient in your professional life. 

Start by cultivating the mindset of someone adaptable. Embrace change and become more comfortable with it to ensure your professional success. Understand what you can and can’t control in the situation and focus only on what you can control. There may be some things you don’t know about this change, but you know the skills you need, the team you’re working with, and the tools you have available. Focusing on the familiar can make the unfamiliar less intimidating. 

Motivate yourself to be more adaptable by looking at change in a positive light. What opportunities will this present for you? Why does your company believe this change is necessary? These kinds of questions will help you see the big picture and maybe get excited about the change that’s coming. 

Become adaptable by embracing a proactive mindset. If you see the warning sign of an incoming complication, think about what you could do now to prevent the problem from becoming more severe. Look for ways to make improvements in the company and if you see an area that requires improvement, suggest it. 

Get clear on how you’re expected to adapt. Make sure you understand the request, the deadline and how the change impacts you. When you’re clear on how you’re being asked to adapt, that enables you to be far more successful. You’ll know what you’re aiming for and if you have questions or different ideas, it enables you to add them to the mix in a thoughtful and constructive way.

If you’re asked to do something you don’t have expertise in, admit that you don’t know how to do it. Then, ask for help. Harness your existing strengths to understand how they can help you adapt to this new task. By thinking holistically about how you can develop skills and becoming comfortable with the fact that you don’t know everything, you can learn and grow as a professional. 

Change is inevitable, and adaptability is a way of life. The best way to be prepared for future shifts in your organization is by becoming more adaptable. 

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the view of the American Chemical Society.

Copyright 2020 American Chemical Society (All Rights Reserved)

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