Thursday, February 11, 2010

360°: Change in the Workplace


This can be a scary word for some. As the old saying goes… if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Well, if you’re not adapting to change, you could potentially be “broke”.

The inspiration for my blog on change came from U2. While I am frequently inspired while listening to music, my thoughts began while I was one of the lucky 80,000 people who scored a ticket to their sold out 360° Tour show in Houston this week. Whether you’re a fan of U2 is irrelevant, but even non-fans have to give credit to this band for standing the test of time since their inception 33 years ago. How have they managed to be one of the few bands to do it?


U2 is a great example of a group recognizing the importance of reinventing themselves to appeal to fans year after year. At any point in their lives, they could have said—you know what, we have enough money and we have a good fan base… why change?

This same lesson can be applied in your approach to your life at work. You have to be willing to change if you want to remain relevant and hirable in today’s job market.

If you’re in the job market today, you’ve either been forced to make a change or you’ve decided to make a change. Either way, the word change should be an important part of your vocabulary as you enter into the interviewing process. You need to be able to demonstrate to a potential employer that you have a history of adaptability and willingness to change. Today, more than ever, with business models, processes and company initiatives changing at an unprecedented pace, employers are going to weigh heavily your ability (and, frankly, your desire) to change. During your interviews, be prepared to share specific examples of ways you have experienced change, how you adapted to them and how it has made you stronger in your area of expertise.

Don’t have a strong track record demonstrating your ability to change?

Here’s your call to action. Find ways to reinvent yourself. Take a class on a topic you’ve been interested in… volunteer for something you’ve never tried… do something wild that may take you out of your comfort zone. It’s never too late to learn how to change.

Take it from a band like U2. They are all nearly in their 50’s and 2009 may prove to be their best year yet… all because they are willing to, year after year, change.