Starting in 2020, the pandemic brought huge changes to most businesses. For some, their operating model had to completely change from an office or site-based retail environment to a remote or online one. Some were forced to shut down for months, while others faced a flood of new demand.
Change has been the one constant in navigating the pandemic, and conditions have changed for some businesses on a daily or weekly basis as health officials tried to keep everyone safe. These changes have brought the quality of adaptability to the forefront of employers' expectations.
As company leadership rises up to meet the challenges brought about by COVID-19 and governments' responses to it, they need employees who can likewise adapt to constantly changing conditions. In a very real sense, a company's ability to survive during these supremely challenging times may rest on the adaptability of its employees.
For job seekers, it can be difficult to figure out how to show adaptability as a trait you have. You may feel that you can adapt to sudden changes, but does your work history show that ability?
How to Show Adaptability During a Job Search
If your job was lost to the pandemic, you might not have been focused on adaptability as much before being laid off--or you just may not have realized you were. Adaptability is not a new skill, so chances are you were more adaptable than you think in your previous job.
Here are some situations that show adaptability to a prospective employer.
Creative solutions to problems. Part of adaptability is being able to look at situations from multiple viewpoints and problem-solve in creative ways. Use your interview to give examples of when you were able to do this in a previous job, and it will help to demonstrate adaptability to your prospective employer.
Project calm and confidence. If you have the trait of adaptability, you will project calm and confidence to a prospective employer because you know you can handle changes in a healthy and productive way. Staying calm shows you won't be thrown by change. You will embrace it and make the best of it. No employer can ask for more than that.
Talk about mistakes. Adaptability isn't just a perfect trajectory to success. It's also being able to bounce back from mistakes, which are inevitable. Don't be afraid to talk about your mistakes and failures if you can show what you learned and how it made you a better employee.
Describe pivot points. Part of adapting is being able to pivot when necessary. For instance, many mental health facilities faced a choice when COVID hit: shut down or pivot to teletherapy. Given that the need for mental health services only increased due to isolation and fear of getting the virus, a pivot to teletherapy was a very successful move for many.
Adaptability was already a top desired trait for employers before the pandemic in 2020 and will continue to be in high demand for many years to come. If you want to connect with employers looking for your skills, join our talent network to find new opportunities of all kinds.