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  • Writer's pictureMarie Robinson

So why do we need to foster the skills of adaptability?

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

We need to foster the skills of adaptability because life is unpredictable, and our circumstances can change suddenly, without warning. Imagine, waking up one day to find yourself unemployed. This could happen for many reasons, such as job termination, company closure, or even the loss of your own business. No matter the reason, losing your job can be a stressful and overwhelming experience.

When looking for new opportunities, it is understandable to hold out for the ideal job, if you have the financial means to do so. However, after weeks of wading through a jungle of positions online, you may still not have found a good fit. Or perhaps you have not been shortlisted for that dream job. It is perfectly reasonable to set standards for yourself, but job or business loss can result in financial hardship and stress. For neurodivergent people, these challenges can be amplified; resulting in struggles with low self-esteem, anxiety, and self-doubt. The sudden loss of structure can also increase difficulty with focus, attention, and organisation.

Therefore, to navigate uncertain times, it is crucial to foster adaptability by embracing new opportunities. While an available job may be below your skill set, pay less, or be less prestigious than your previous one, it can be seen as a chance to learn new skills and support yourself. It is also an opportunity to evaluate your life priorities: do you value career and salary over free time and stress levels? Finding the right balance is essential, so take the time to figure out what matters most to you.

Even if a job isn't your dream role, it can still offer valuable lessons and transferable skills. For example, after working in a social services commissioning role for many years, I was burnt out from the relentless caseload. So I left and joined a care agency. This work provided much-needed variety and kept my ADHD brain engaged. It also gave me valuable experience working with different client groups in various care settings. And it gave me the mental space to figure out what I wanted to do long-term. This experience gave me the idea and confidence to start my own successful music business, providing music therapy to care establishments across the UK.

Consequently, seemingly unrelated jobs can reveal important transferable skills. During the pandemic, when care establishments were locked down, I pivoted to a remote charity telesales role. Instead of dwelling on setbacks, I chose to embrace adaptability and focus on learning from the experience. I thrived in the fast-paced and high-pressure environment of telesales, leveraging my competitive nature and energy levels. It honed my resilience, teaching me to bounce back from rejection. This role also offered the work-life balance and flexibility I needed to pursue my full time career goal of becoming a personal development coach and therapist.

Considering job opportunities that we may initially overlook can be worthwhile, as they may offer routine, structure, and opportunities for growth and development. Adapting to new situations and embracing change can build our resilience, helping us thrive in all areas of life.

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