The single most important trait one can have in a changing economy is the ability to be adaptable. That’s what will put you ahead of the others. All too often we hear people excusing others, “Oh, they are just stuck in their old ways.” Well move over traditionalists, you better clear the path for the modern thinkers.
Let’s face it… The world is changing. I watched this speech by Gary Vaynerchuk recently and it really opened my eyes. It is a long one, but I highly recommend it.
I can remember when Facebook first came out. I was NOT having it. Perfectly content with my MySpace account, I wanted nothing to do with this new social media approach. It looked different, it was confusing, and I didn’t want to take the time to learn it. Finally when I entered college, I gave in. EVERYBODY was doing it (that makes it cool right?).
There are a lot of things we do because other people are doing it. Facebook was one of the many things I said I’d never do, but then gave in because others were doing it (wearing skinny jeans and drinking Starbucks coffee are on that list as well). Since then, I’ve realized the benefit of jumping on trends before they become the norm. I’m not talking about fashion here, unless you’re a fashion entrepreneur, then you can relate this to skinny jeans all you want.
What if we had the ability to see what would be popular in a matter of weeks, months, or even years? Well, we do! Although it’s not full proof, we have the technology to see what people are talking about in real time. With the use of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and all the other social media sites, we can see what people like, at the instant they like it or talk about it.
If we want to grow in society, we have to be forward thinking. The other day, I heard someone talking about how Facebook finally forced them to have the new “timeline” profile. Welcome to 2012, lady. I hated the idea of the timeline at first, it was weird. At the same time, I knew that Facebook was heading in this direction and that eventually everyone would have this profile. So I voluntarily got the new profile while it was still an option, and I adapted to it. Sure, I could have waited until now when Facebook forced me to have it, but then I’d be behind the curve. Everyone would already be used to it, while I was still learning it.
We can apply this same scenario to the business world. Employers want adaptability. I have always said there is only so much we can learn by reading a textbook, but the ability to be creative and forward thinking is a skillset that will put you ahead. It is a gamble trying to anticipate what will be the trend in the future, but risk often equals reward.
“If life is moving slowly… Run faster!” ~Jordan D. Ulmer