Flexibility at work is valuable to employers
WITH RYAN KUSUMOTO
PHR, SECRETARY, SOCIETY FOR HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT, HAWAII CHAPTER; AND PRESIDENT AND CEO OF PARENTS AND CHILDREN TOGETHER (PACT)
Saying, “It’s not my job,” may be an appropriate response in some circumstances, but an employee who is willing to step outside their job description may be perceived as being more valuable to employers. A willingness to get the job done can increase an employee’s likelihood of being considered for expanded duties or a promotion.
To dive deeper into this topic, let’s take a look at the following questions and answers:
Q: I try to be flexible but my supervisor isn’t. Is that fair?
A: In an ideal workplace, flexibility works both ways. Flexibility skills are just as relevant to managing people as they are to performing many frontline jobs. You will likely be more successful to the extent that you can to remain positive, open to change and exhibit a willingness to be adaptable even when your supervisor isn’t.
Q: How can I tell what situations demand flexibility in my workplace?
A: Ask questions. It’s almost never too early to start. For example, when you are interviewing for a new job, you might ask, “Can you give me an example of when I would be asked to be flexible in this position?” Understanding your own willingness to adapt, or your preference for routine and repetitive tasks, will help you align to what is needed in a job.
Q: What can I do to boost my capacity to be flexible?
A: Adopt a mindset of continuous learning. With more skills and knowledge, you will have more ability to apply a customized solution to a work challenge. Listen carefully and try to discern opportunities to adapt. Also, always start from a place of positive intent and work from there.