5 Strategies for Thriving in a Fast-Paced Workplace

by Michelle Gibbings 2nd of July, 2024
5 Strategies for Thriving in a Fast-Paced Workplace
Michelle Gibbings

In today’s dynamic business landscape, Chiefs of Staff are pivotal players, navigating the whirlwind of organisational change, juggling multiple responsibilities, and making critical decisions. 

At the same time, there are increasing challenges at work, with the State of the Future of Work Report highlighting how many people are struggling at work with feelings of uncertainty. For example, the study found that workers have a limited understanding of how artificial intelligence and automation will impact their jobs and are unsure how best to prepare. 

Thriving in a fast-pace environment involves adopting robust strategies that enhance your ability to navigate this uncertainty and make wise choices.

1. Be Adventurous


As people advance in their careers, they can become more reluctant to try new things and adopt new workplace habits. Holding fixed views about how things ‘should be’, they hold onto the traditional ways of doing things and avoid adaptation.

Open yourself up to new experiences and people to help broaden your perspective and encourage you to challenge your assumptions and be more open to new ways of doing things. As part of this, surround yourself with people who uplift and inspire you to be your best self. 


2. Adopt a Growth Mindset

How do you react when things go wrong at work? How you react to mistakes and your ability to learn from those mistakes are hallmarks of whether you have a fixed or growth mindset. World-renowned academic Carol Dweck coined these terms. 

Through her research, she found that people with a fixed mindset see intelligence as static – a fixed trait. As a result, they always want to look smart and appear as though they have all the answers. They believe success is based on talent alone and will avoid challenges and give up more quickly. They ignore feedback, which they see as criticism, and feel threatened by the success of others.  

In contrast, people with a growth mindset believe intelligence can be developed through hard work and effort. Consequently, they are more eager to embrace learning, take on challenges and persist despite setbacks. They love learning, usually display higher resilience, and are more willing to learn from others and receive feedback. 

When you apply a growth mindset to a situation, you are more likely to have the resilience and optimism to work through it.  


3. Embrace Your Emotions

Your emotions are data points that are telling you something and all emotions are legitimate. Your emotions matter. They change your physiology, perception, and where you place your attention.  

The first step in dealing with challenging emotions at work is to acknowledge and accept your feelings. Then, dig into the meaning you are giving those feelings and what they are telling you to do. 

Next, consider what you can and can’t change about what is happening around you and how you can shift your perspective to focus on what you have (rather than what you don’t have). Lastly, consider the options to reframe the meaning you are putting on what is happening and what you can do to shift that state.


4. Take a Risk

To have a healthy and thriving career, you must throw away the expectations that others have of you. Expectations can drive you to hold a fixed view of the job you ‘should’ do and the career you ’should’ have. However, doing something just because you ‘should’ isn’t likely to satisfy you.

There will be people around you who question your choice and challenge your thinking. Don’t let their fears inhibit your thinking or throw you off course.

Pursuing your purpose and dream job can come with a ‘risk’ tag attached. However, the more you are willing to take a risk, the more likely you will have a career that aligns with your purpose and values.

So, get comfortable with ambiguity, be ready to make tough choices, and back yourself, even when it’;s hard and progress is slow.


5. Think Long-Term, Not Short-Term

While each day matters, if you have the occasional down day or go-slow day, it won’t have a massive impact in the context of your life. 

It’s critical to manage your energy and give yourself time and space. If you need a break, take it. If you need space to reflect, find it.

In doing this, always keep your eye on your goals and what you want to achieve. Never forget that you need to ensure your health and well-being come along for the ride to make sustained progress.

As the Author Maya Angelou once said, “Nothing will work unless you do”.


Michelle Gibbings

A workplace expert and the award-winning author of three books, including her latest ‘Bad Boss: What to do if you work for one, manage one or are one’.

Tags: human resources employment small business advice