With the unemployment rate hovering at historic lows, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is a job hunter’s market, and Millennials are taking advantage of that fact. A recent report from Gallup found that 21% of Millennials have switched jobs in the past 12 months, which is more than three times the rate of change for non-Millennials.
While 64% of workers view job-hopping as a good thing, a survey from Robert Half indicates that the number is 75% for Millennials. Clearly, the only constant for this demographic is change—a concept with which most are familiar.
Although I have remained in the insurance industry throughout my entire career, my time has been a journey characterized by different roles and responsibilities. I started doing grunt work in my parents’ office as the low man on the totem pole. Over time, my exposure to different parts of the business afforded me experience in underwriting, accounting, claims management, and predictive modeling, all of which prepared me for what I do today.
Varying work experiences are essential, especially in today’s fast-paced world where industries are constantly evolving. That said, the more areas of business you have been exposed to, the more insights you have to help you evolve into the professional you decide to become.
4 steps to stay adaptable in the workplace
If you are struggling to weather change in the workplace, follow these four steps to better adapt:
Focus on what is in your control. There will always be factors outside of your control. If you are working at a large company, you cannot regulate your colleagues or executive decisions, just as you cannot regulate market fluctuations or economic downturns. Instead, focus on what you can control.
If you are feeling unfocused or in a rut, determine what aspects of your work make you feel empowered and purposeful. Just as you can control outside factors in your life, such as maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and good sleep, you can control how you approach your professional life too. This will help you show up early, stay focused, and do your best.
Do not waste your resources. The most valuable resource is time, and we all have the same amount. Because of this, you must always be sure you’re using your time in the most effective, efficient way possible.
Time management is a skill that will serve you for your entire life, so the time to start cultivating it is now. By allocating your time and energy in the best ways, you’ll know how to maximize your productivity and remain energized in your work as you adapt to any changes that come your way.
Connect with other people. John Donne penned the phrase “no man is an island” in 1624, and it is a statement that remains true today. Even if you are at a point in your career where you’re only in charge of yourself, you can begin to cultivate relationships that will support you through any changes you face in your work. Meet new people, keep in touch with those you already know, and always look for ways to help others however you can.
Learn and grow. Skills and knowledge that serve you well today are not guaranteed to be effective tomorrow, so you must be ready to adjust. The best way to remain adaptable is to continually learn new things and gain as many diverse perspectives on your role and your industry as possible. Stay curious, and you will be surprised by the creative solutions you find for emerging problems.
As industries evolve, following these steps will help you stay relevant and at the top of your game. Small steps lead to big change, and embracing that change is what will set you apart in your career and fulfill you more than you could have imagined.
In a complex work environment, developing good interpersonal skills helps to build a successful career.