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Let’s talk adaptability and leadership

August 31, 2021 by Curtin CEL Team

Let’s talk adaptability and leadership

Employers are always on the lookout for employees who can demonstrate transferable skills. As the name suggests, transferable skills are skills that you acquire in one place in your life and can then apply to many different scenarios elsewhere, such as a new job.

Previously we’ve looked at teamwork and time management and critical and creative thinking, and how you can best “talk” about these skills in your resume and interviews. Today we’re taking a look at two more skills that go hand-in-hand in today’s workplace: adaptability and leadership.

Adaptable  employees are flexible and able to respond effectively to changes in circumstance. With the rapidly changing nature of work in the COVID-era, now more than ever, employers see adaptability as a must-have skill in the toolkit of potential employees.

In the workplace, adaptability looks like learning a new piece of software as a result of  changing technologies, or how you respond to the changing scope of a project as a result of an unexpected outcome.

Being adaptable encompasses a broad range of skills, including communication, teamwork and leadership skills so think about that when you’re putting it on your resume. For example:

Adaptability – playing a key role in team projects subject to rapidly changing parameters, having to keep other teams and supervisors up-to-date on changes to outcomes as they emerged.

In an interview you could say:

‘During COVID-19, projects went from being very hands-on to virtual. As someone who has always prototyped by physical model, I took it upon myself to learn 3D modelling software for prototyping. I then worked out how to present it effectively to the class over Microsoft Teams, where I normally would have chosen to present in-person. As a result of being able to adapt, I now choose to employ 3D model making in almost half of my projects.’

Employees with leadership qualities are in high demand these days, most notably in the business sector. Over recent years, ‘leadership’ is often listed as one of the most sought after skills in graduate program advertisements. It’s a valuable skill in any team and businesses know that.

When talking about your leadership skills, it’s always best to talk about yourself with regard to the rest of the team. Even as a leader you are still a part of that team, so it’s important to show that on your resume:

Leadership – ensuring the smooth flow of group assignments at university, not limited to facilitating group meetings, fairly allocating work and keeping everyone motivated.

And during an interview:

‘Over the course of my studies I have undertaken the role of group leader for many group assignments. This has seen me facilitating meetings, ensuring everyone is working to schedule, and mediating conflict. When unexpected occurrences arose, I worked with the team to find a solution beneficial to everyone. This has helped me hone my leadership skills and I am now both a confident and capable leader that can adapt to challenges.’

If you’d like to learn more about what it takes to be an effective leader, come along to the Leadership Lounge this week. You’ll hear from a panel of not-for-profit and for-purpose organisation leaders as they share their journeys.

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