WOW Word-Of-the-Week #351: Flexibility

April 25, 2011 by  

Flexibility – responsive to change; adaptable.

Are you able to quickly respond to changes in your life? Do you feel you need to be more flexible in order to stay competitive in the workplace? Have you or someone you know experienced a downsizing at work? Or worse yet, are you looking for a job?

This week’s San Diego UT features an interview with Phil Blair who is the co-owner of Manpower, a temp agency. When asked about changes in the marketplace Phil’s response is, “I think we are seeing a trend of companies looking for more flexible workers. One thing that means is that workers have to continually prove themselves – taking on the biggest challenges at work or taking classes so that they can keep moving up the rungs of the ladder. We’re nearing the point where there’s not going to be a worker shortage, but there will be a skill shortage, and employers will look for workers who have the skills they need. You have to know how to develop the right skills for your employer.”

When asked what are the chief qualities employers are looking for beyond specific skill sets Phil replied, “A positive attitude, pleasant demeanor, teamwork approach, energy and ‘business-growing’ skills. You can’t call it ‘sales skills’ or it scares everyone, but everyone’s involved in sales in one way or another. Employers are looking for staff who will help them build their business. After that they look at skills, experience and education.”

He also states, “Many people are looking for jobs on their computer. But a computer doesn’t offer you a job. You’ve got to get out and meet with people. You may have to spend your day knocking on doors like a salesman – because you are a salesman. You’re selling yourself.”

This week focus on flexibility. How adaptable are you? Are you or someone you know (this applies to young adults entering the work force) looking for a job? What specific skills do you bring? How would you use those skills to help your employer build their business?

Reader Responses

“Change in an established organization, like a conservative private club, is often times impossible or as a minimum extremely difficult.  People, whether they be members or employees, are grooved into a comfort zone and just simply fight or find ways to avoid change.  AS a manager I found that in order to make even the smallest change I almost have to plant a “seed” and wait for it to grow; in others words, my idea becomes their idea and then change happens. Be well.” – Dick

“We are living in the “Survival of the Fittest” era, where we need to be able to do many things well in order to make it in the workplace. Because there are nearly 15 million people out of work, employers can pick and choose whom they want in their jobs. It is a sad statement on the economy, but true nonetheless. In order to survive, we have to learn to adapt, or be flexible, so that we can move onward and upward. Not easy in this day and age. But while employers are in the driver’s seat in terms of getting employees, they have to show some appreciation. What are employers going to do for employees who can bring a lot to the table? Many of them figure that the job situation is so poor that employees will work for reduced pay and few benefits. It is a two-way street, but workers are getting short shrift today from employers who are taking advantage of a poor jobs climate. Hopefully that will turn around. What I am happy to see is that workers are starting to stand up instead of taking it on the chin from those who want to exploit them. Great word, Susan. Keep up the great work. Take care. – “Warrior” Joe