4 keys to rolling with change

Sallie Krawcheck heads up the digital investment platform Ellevest, so she knows a thing or two about having to adapt to a changing landscape at work. When you think about how quickly tech is evolving, how the thirst for data and its myriad uses keeps skyrocketing, how fast new social media apps rise and fall … it’s almost a wonder any of us can survive in our jobs without taking a class every morning about what’s new and possibly disruptive to what we do.

Krawcheck offers four keys to staying ahead of a business world that always seems to be lurching furiously ahead:

1. Commit to a learning state of mind. “It’s safe to say that if you learned it in college,” she says, “it’s pretty much irrelevant.” Accept the pace at which business is moving and changing and tell yourself you’re going to get on board and stay there.

2. Don’t rule out lateral moves. A one-track career can feel comfortable but it can stifle your knowledge. Be aware of which tracks may lead to a dead end as others veer off it toward progress.

3. Redefine the word “failure.” Make failure part of your compelling narrative. Study why it happened and embrace it—even use it to actually enhance your professional brand. Everyone’s fascinated by stories of those who have been in the trenches and almost didn’t make it out. And owning failure sets a great example for others.

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4. Take control of your money. Ask for that raise, start a conservative portfolio and know your 401k options, and don’t let high-interest-rate debt weigh you down. Being on top of your financial matters gives you options when those career curveballs come—and they always will.

— Adapted from “Expect the Unexpected,” Sallie Krawcheck, Working Mother.