Are you prepared for change?

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report, younger baby boomers held an average of 11.3 jobs from ages 18 to 46. On average, men held 11.4 jobs and women held 10.7 jobs. (In this report, a job is defined as an uninterrupted period of work with a particular employer.) A further study observes that millennials born from 1980-1984 held an average of 6.3 jobs from ages 18 to 25.

What does this tell us? People are no longer starting their career with a company upon completion of college, and 30 plus years later, retiring with the same company. Most employees are growing to new companies rather than new positions within the same firm. So, how can you prepare for the professional transitions and changes that are inevitable in today's rapidly changing world? We've identified three leadership qualities below that may help set you apart from your peers and provide the competitive advantage that's needed during times of transition.

Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is one of the four key components of emotional intelligence identified by Daniel Goleman. Self-awareness includes the ability to read your emotions and recognize their impact, having knowledge of your strengths and limitations, and possessing self-confidence. Not sure how others see you? Perhaps you should solicit feedback from more than one source. A 360 tool such as Voices 360 by Korn Ferry is a great resource for providing feedback to the leaders in your organization.

Differentiation

In today's business environment, it's important to differentiate yourself from the competition. What is your leadership style? How do you handle conflict? What is your approach to problem definition and resolution? Possessing a high level of knowledge regarding the strengths that you bring as a leader may provide a competitive advantage and differentiation.

Diversity

We live in a global marketplace that fosters a diverse workplace environment and receptiveness to change. The ability to listen to the opinions of others and to appreciate their perspective is one quality of a strong leader. Executives who manage diversity well increase their chances for landing a position with a global organization.

Leadership competencies that include self awareness, differentiation, and an appreciate for diversity will assist you in navigating change and provide greater opportunities for professional growth.