What is career adaptability and why is it so important in today’s world of work? There has been a lot of research done over the years in terms of why having a degree of career adaptability links to the ability to be consistently successful throughout a person’s career. Career adaptability means being able to transition effectively and respond positively to the rapid changes in the world of work.
Stress and burnout are an all too common occurrence, particularly among millenials who are becoming the largest segment in the workplace currently making up over half of the workforce. Jobs and money are a major concern for this demographic and workplace stress has become an epidemic. So how do we deal with this problem which affects productivity, creativity and profitability for organisations?
Career adaptability contributes to lower levels of stress because of the impact it has on understanding where one fits into the work environment, what their role is, what makes work meaningful to them and increased person-environment fit. Generally people who are career adaptable have a clear direction on where they see their future selves fitting into the work environment, they are forward thinkers and planners with a clear goal on where they want to go to and what they want to achieve in life.
Developing confidence in who you are as a person plays an important role – this is a big question “Who Am I” – how often have we asked ourselves this question? We as individuals have built up many layers over the years from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, it’s hard to peel back the layers to identify who we are as a person, what gives us energy and what inspires us. We are often taught who to be by what people say about us, such as “She’s shy” or “she’s not very confident” by our parents, friends, peers so we grow up thinking “I’m shy” or “I’m not confident”. These are self fulfilling prophecies, it’s time to rewrite the narrative and understanding your own story plays an important role in gaining career adaptability.
The writer Emily Esfahani Smith is a positive psychology expert and has a Ted Talk on the 4 pillars to living a meaningful life and she describes them as:
1. Belonging – being in relationships where you are valued intrinsically
2. Purpose – Your “Why” that drives you forward
3. Transcendance – feeling connected to a higher reality
4. And most surprising – Storytelling – which means creating a narrative around the events in your life.
We are the authors of our own story, in our My Story workshops we discuss how your defining experiences have shaped you and by embracing memories this can lead to key insights. This in turn helps with the ever changing, fast moving and volatile environment we now face in providing an anchor and focus on what you want to gain from your own career. It puts you in the driving seat and builds resilience when there are constant changes we deal with. At some point in everyone’s career we have to be able to adapt, whether that’s in relation to job losses, change of circumstance, having families, relocating to a different country, taking career breaks or wanting a complete change of direction. Therefore taking control of your own destiny is imperative if you are to thrive in your career.