Identifying Your Skills Job Hunting

What Employers Want – Adaptability

Regardless of the type of job that is on offer, we all know that employers are looking for a fairly standard set of skills that allow candidates to be productive and work with colleagues and clients.  Knowing this information gives you, the candidate, the edge.  But how do you use this information to your advantage.

I am going to deliver a series of short posts about these skills?  Read on to find out more.

Today’s skill is Adaptable

What does being adaptable mean?  It is when an individual, team or organisation is able to adjust to changes.   It is

  • where adjustments happen easily, and a new course of action can be identified and followed
  • being open to change and taking action to make that change occur. 
  • having a flexible mindset to allow us to consider alternative options and propose new ideas.

We are all fairly familiar with how changes in workplaces and technology have required us to adapt.  Evidence of this is in the number of workplaces that have transitioned to an agile workplace and moved away from desk top computers to individual laptops that get put away in lockers or taken home at the end of the day.  In the face of Covid-19 there has also been the mastery of Teams and Skype. 

During Covid-19 many businesses changed their operating mode rapidly transitioning from sit down café culture to take-away only.  Who would have ever thought that McDonalds would be selling bread and milk from their drive-throughs?  Or restaurants creating ‘make it at home’ packs of their most popular menu items.

As customers could no longer come into an office or a branch to perform their transaction they were obligated to go online.  For many, this was a new experience, so companies had to empower their call centre staff to coach and train their customers on how to create on-line accounts, place orders and make payments.  These may be things that many take for granted, but some in our communities are not so savvy and need additional assistance.

So, what is your adaptable story?  When during the last year have you needed to be flexible and adapt to changes? How do you make a story from these experiences?

Use the SAO method to develop your experiences into a great story which you can recount at interview or place into your cover letter or selection criteria.  Your story should be specific enough that it provides sufficient detail for the interviewer/reader to understand:

  • S = What the situation was
  • A = What action you took; and
  • O = What the outcome was.

Write it down and refine it.  Then save it away in your interview question database. This response can be used to respond to a multitude of ‘tell me when or how questions’.   For example:

a) Tell me about a time when you participated in a change at work?

c) How do you adjust to changes you have no control over? [Think Covid-19]

b) Tell me when you needed to respond to unpredictable changes at work, for example a sudden resignation?

d) How do you re-adjust your schedule when your manager asks you to prepare some information for a report within an hour?  How do you make sure you don’t fall behind your regular tasks?

Your activity has two components.  After reading the post I would like you to reflect on how you have demonstrated that skill during 2020; and then turn that reflection into a story for you to use during your job search.

If you need help to develop your cover letter or selection criteria – contact me.