Job and Career

The Skill To Have in 2023? Adaptability

Published: Dec. 14, 2022

How Well Do You Adapt?

There are countless scenarios that test how well you respond to change. It’s not always a matter of “going with the flow” or being unconditionally flexible. Rather, your capacity to adapt centers on how well you withstand adversity or difficulty. This adversity can be short term or long term; foreseen or unforeseen.

Becoming more adaptable in general has benefits, but doing so at work boosts your professionalism and helps you respond proactively to new situations, roles, projects, clients and co-workers. While adaptability comes easily for some, it may not come naturally to you. Don’t worry! It's a skill you can develop.

Here are four tips to build, refine, and grow your adaptability skills. As you develop this skill for the workplace, you'll be able to face any change that comes your way.

Change Your Thought Process

Do you need to “unlearn” something or break a habit in order to adapt? Maybe you need to let go of the “Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality. While change can be scary and intimidating, embrace it and look at it as an opportunity to improve, learn, and grow. In the workplace, it means being open to the thoughts and opinions of others. Considering different perspectives can open the door to creativity.

Force Yourself To Take Risks

For some, the idea of risk is so unpleasant that they run from it as fast as they can. Look at it this way: The opposite of risk is security or a comfort zone. Sometimes, when you look at the opposite of something, you see it from a different angle and embracing it may become easier. In this case, taking risks is key to being more adaptable because you’re forced to take action strategically instead of being impulsive. Start small: To increase your comfort, discuss risk-taking during team meetings, which can serve as a system of support. Remember, little progress is made without risk or a change in routine.

Embrace Learning

Are you a curious person? People who are curious and stay current with work trends, community news, etc., tend to be adaptable. Their minds are open to accept information, and they process it in a way that allows them to react after thinking first.

As you continue to learn to adapt your behavior to various circumstances, you’ll note that you possess an important characteristic that supports adaptability: versatility. During times of adversity, your versatility helps you make adjustments that allow you to transform challenges into opportunities.

Take Action

Take some time to assess your current adaptability skills. If they're not where you want to be, take steps to train yourself to become more adaptable. One way to do this is to simply record in a journal how you respond to an event and what you did to adjust to the situation. Note any barriers that hold you back from adapting. With time and practice, you'll develop the skills to adapt to any situation with confidence, compassion and professionalism.

Best Care EAP's website offers a variety of resources that can help boost adaptability. They include free on-demand webinars and a variety of articles in our Resource Hub. Visit 

Best Care EAP also provides wellness and training programs that will boost your employees’ productivity and morale. All of our services can be tailored to meet the individual needs of your company.

Additionally, Best Care EAP counselors are available 24/7 throughout the year. Schedule a confidential appointment by calling (402) 354-8000 or (800) 801-4182, or send an email to



About the Author

Kim Hurst is a training consultant with Best Care EAP. She enjoys helping organizations navigate difficult situations while enhancing employee happiness at work and home. Her favorite moments in her career often come when someone tells her of the positive influence she’s had on them.

Education: BS in Business Administration and Human Resources Management, Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment Facilitator, Integrity Solutions Coach Facilitator

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Kim Hurst