Quality: Be Flexible

It is always a blessing to have the chance to hear someone’s honest feedback on your personal qualities and encouragement to keep growing. I’ll never forget a certain time I was able to talk with a friend when she simply established eye contact in the middle of conversation and spoke a few very thoughtful and honest words to me. It was encouraging to hear what someone I cared about thought of me and what I was doing well in my life.

In a much different setting was a similar conversation at the end of my internship this summer. I still am incredibly thankful that my supervisor sat me down and told me there were a few qualities that were noticable through my personality in the workplace. Like the conversation I remember having with my friend, it was encouraging to hear that I have a natural tendency towards these great qualities that not everybody has. Let’s look at one of those qualities and how it worked in an office setting…

Be Flexible

Being flexible will allow you to get more work done and to learn more in the process. First off, because I was working as an intern, the work I did was pretty varied. Because of this, I had to be flexible in the tasks I worked on. Some people may come into a new job expecting to do certain work, and if something different is asked of them, they might not be ready for it. But by being flexible and willing to work on a number of different tasks, I was able to get more valuable experience and learn different skills than I would have if my mindset was not one of flexibility.

Being flexible also allows work to be done better, so that the result is more complete and more efficient. More than once, a project’s requirements would be changed in a way that resulted in more work (and more learning) I needed to do in order to get the job done. I was working as a developer in these projects, so it was important for me to put the needs of the user (the “customer”) above my own ideas. Brainstorming as a developer from a user’s perspective allows you to answer the question, “Is this what the user really needs?” Sometimes the user might not see that part of the process could be changed to make things much smoother, and coming at it from their perspective will allow a developer to see that. The solution that will result will be efficient and desirable for the user because you’ve focused on their needs and not your own.

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