Employees who prepare for one career and stay in one job for their entire careers will find competition from an emerging breed of workers. Adaptability is becoming increasingly cropping up in the workforce. What does that look like? Let’s look at some of Adaptables’ attributes!
- EDUCATION. Most Adaptables tend to be fairly well educated. Most attend at least two years of college and many attend classes simply to acquire new knowledge or spend time in intellectual pursuits. Many continue to receive bachelor’s degrees with a well-rounded curriculum. Many decide on and complete specialization at the post-graduate level. There is also a current emphasis on completing curriculum in the trades that align with current technologies, robotics, etc.
- CAPACITY TO LEARN. With the world of work changing so rapidly, Adaptables are confronted continually by new technologies. Their work requirements shift with the introduction of new products, with changes in the marketplace, rearrangements of work teams, and other influences. In response, Adaptables cultivate and hone their ability to learn quickly. They read, study listen to audio tapes or watch videos. These knowledge-hungry Adaptables expect their employers to provide or at least fund part of their learning. Corporate recruiters often use professional development programs to entice top talent to come and to stay. Employers that don’t provide deliberate growth opportunities will find it much more difficult to attract the people they want or to keep those they have acquired.
- ALERT & SENSITIVE. Highly sensitive workers are alert to problems, opportunities, and subtle changes in their lives or work. They are astute at spotting potential problems before they become serious. Quick thinkers, they discern solutions and begin implementing them quickly. They’re alert for new opportunities, always trying to better their situation. They build and maintain a very productive networking system. They know what’s happening, where, why, and when.
- DOCKING TO EMPLOYER. This refers to the process of plugging in to a personal computer or phone at a stationery work site. You do what you need to, recharge, then unplug and move on. Adaptables look at their relationship with employers as a sort of “docking” situation. They plugin and get their work done. They’ll recharge (learning, growing, gaining credits for their resumes), then unplug and move on.
- FAMILY FLEXIBILITY. Adaptables expect their families to be flexible and understanding. They often lead unpredictable lives with often “crazy” schedules. They’ll change jobs with short notice and may move – even from city to city – rather frequently. Because it can be hard on children and families, they’ll often slow down when their children reach school age.
- INDEPENDENCE. Adaptables will fiercely defend their independence. They won’t want to be controlled by anyone – employer, family, friends, or economic conditions. They make their life decisions, including career choices, based on what they feel is best for them.
- UNIQUENESS & PRIDE. A strong sense of pride – both for who they are and what they accomplish – are characteristic of Adaptables. They deliberately accumulate experiences and expertise to help distinguish them from the competition.
- CREATIVE MARKETING. Many Adaptables have a keen sense for marketing. They are proficient at marketing their employers’ services, products, and opportunities. They show the same ingenuity in positioning themselves in the talent marketplace.
- INTELLIGENCE. A strong intellect enables Adaptables to compete at a high level – in many aspects of their lives. This does not mean that all Adaptables are in professional roles. Many of them are in production, maintenance, and service positions. They’ll seek the kind of work they prefer and may well switch careers even half a dozen times. They’ll test styles of work to see what they really like. Income often comes second to a job they enjoy.
- AGGRESSIVE. Adaptables know what they want, at least for the moment. Sometimes Adaptables may push a bit more than their superiors may like.
Other traits that Adaptables have include Technology Expertise, Communication Skills, Organizational Skills, Being Unconventional, and Managing Their Own Careers (versus clamoring for security). The emerging Adaptables are ready to shift in response to outside stimuli, to changes in work requirements, job opportunities, and will embrace life goals with a fast-forward mindset.
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