June 4, 2014

Why You Need to Master the Art of Versatility

Written by

It’s vital for today’s employees to hold valuable skills and maintain a competitive edge. Sure, having focused expertise is great! But, for many employees, versatility can prove even more important. Companies are always looking for “Swiss Army Knife” employees. Of course, being flexible doesn’t mean jumping from one company to the next every six months. It means remaining with a company long-term, while adapting to its ever-changing needs.

Here are a few of the ways that versatility can benefit you.

Have Job Security

Many employers use cross-training to ensure that operations run smoothly if anything goes wrong. That means you need to be flexible and willing to expand your skill set. Learning several job functions shows your employer that you’re a valuable asset. Take the initiative to step outside of your normal duties, and meet the demands of your company, not just your job.

If you’re not excelling in your current position, but are expanding your skill set, your employer may be willing to move you into a different role. Employees that use their varying skills to increase efficiency and contribute to the team will always be able to find a place within the company.

Be Ready to Meet Challenges

Some challenges may require you to step out of your comfort zone. This is good! Being a human “Swiss Army Knife” can help you face the most challenging situations.

No matter where you work, today’s fast-paced environment almost guarantees that you’ll need to adapt to new business practices and technology standards. As this technology enters the workplace, you need the ability to keep up. Additionally, changes in company culture and environment call for diverse and open-minded employees. Those that see the importance of versatility during rapid growth, or changes in a business model, are likely to excel.

Get the Promotion

If you manage stress well, creatively solve issues, handle unpredictable work situations with professionalism, and seek opportunities to learn within the organization, then you’re showing your boss that you have what it takes. Take the time to learn each day. Work toward that promotion. Take advantage of any seminars, workshops, or meetings that might expand your knowledge. Personal and professional growth is the key to upward mobility.

I experienced the advantages of versatility first-hand when Rob Bellenfant, my CEO, transferred me from a sales position to his assistant! I’m not the first employee that has switched jobs roles at TechnologyAdvice. As we grow, our needs change drastically and everyone has to adapt. By remaining open-minded and flexible, I was given the opportunity to move into a role I knew I would enjoy.

What do you think about versatility in the workplace? Are there some pit-falls to being a jack-of-all-trades? Share your thoughts in the comments.