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How to thrive in a fast-paced environment

Many careers feature fast-paced work environments. No matter the industry, chances are you’re part of a team that’s expected to be agile, always-on, and able to pivot priorities based on anything. To thrive in this type of setting, you must be adaptable and ready to face unexpected challenges. Here are three tips for thriving in a fast-paced work environment.

Be a team player

A crucial element to success in a fast-paced work environment is unity. You’ll need to set your ego aside and adopt the mindset that it’s not about you; it’s about your team working as one unit to achieve business objectives. While it’s certainly important to focus on your own job, you must also understand the roles of your co-workers within the context of your workplace. Fast-paced work environments often require teamwork in which every employee works closely together to meet common goals. If one member of the team lags behind, the dynamic of the entire group is affected. If you are working with others, inquire about their roles as well as your own responsibilities in relation to their positions to keep the team operating smoothly no matter how fast the pace becomes.

Have a sense of urgency

In a fast-paced work environment, having that constant drive and energy to get things done is crucial. If you are bound by external factors, you need to have the attitude of getting that deliverable done no matter what it takes. This is comparable to submitting a paper last minute or the feeling of not being able to finish your final exam. Sometimes, tight deadlines mean compromising your standard of quality and accepting ‘good enough’ to get tasks done in time. Other times, it means asking for more time or help if you think you truly need it.

Take a break

Even the most hectic environments provide some amount of down time. No one does their best work when they’re operating in a fatigue-based mental fog and on the brink of burnout. Use your breaks to relax, refocus and recoup to prepare for the next round. Consider practicing yoga or relaxation techniques on your down time so you can more readily transition from “go” to “slow” mode when you have a chance to take a break in the action.

This all goes without saying that fast-paced work environments are not for everyone. Some people prefer to have clearly defined tasks within a defined process. Evaluate if you enjoy getting that adrenaline rush paired with an element of uncertainty of what your day might look like without defined tasks and processes. Fast-paced work environments require you to exhibit an incredible amount of adaptability. As you start your job in a fast-paced work environment, remember the tips above will help you excel within your position and work at your fullest potential – even during the most chaotic times!

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