BINUS Business School

Professional Survival Skills 101: Flexibility, Adaptability, Communication, and Emotional Intelligence

When it comes to working in a professional setting, there are many important soft skills to possess besides having a relevant educational background or working experience. Some of the most important ones include flexibility, adaptability, communication, and emotional intelligence. Here’s our take on what each means and why they belong in the must-have professional survival skills 101.

Professional Survival Skills 101: Flexibility, Adaptability, Communication, and Emotional IntelligenceFlexibility

The vast development of the industry today leads to many companies encouraging their employees to be more flexible individuals. Flexibility in work is believed to help workers survive and adapt better in their careers.

Workers with a flexible mindset at work usually have low-stress levels and high productivity, two desirable traits in the professional world. Flexibility also emphasizes the willingness and ability to adapt to change. This includes knowing and managing effectively how and when the work is completed.

To be a flexible worker, you must be able to adapt to the work and challenges you receive according to the needs of the company. This includes adapting even when working conditions aren’t ideal.


One of the must-have professional survival skills 101 here is adaptability, which is also important following the accelerating development of the industry today. As a worker, the ability to adapt is a provision to survive in many tough competitions out there.

Workplace adaptability is a set of skills that includes a person’s ability to adapt to changes in their environment. Adapting to a changing work environment and process will make you more resilient in the world of work. In addition, your communication and interpersonal skills will also be automatically developed.

Being able to adapt also means being able to respond to changes quickly and being responsible for every assigned work. This skill is important so that you can apply a different approach to doing your job.


Communication skill refers to the ability to deliver information effectively from one person to another. This skill also refers to the ability to express thoughts, feelings, and desires through verbal or non-verbal communication to obtain other people’s understanding. Therefore, communication really depends on our ability to understand one another.

In the most basic sense, communication can be classified into two types: verbal (speech) and non-verbal communication (intonation and body language). There are three things that must be considered before starting business communication:

  • Understand your power in communicating your messages
  • Realize the benefits of the communication you do
  • Know that communication is not just words

Emotional Intelligence

The last skill on this must-have professional survival skills 101 here is emotional intelligence (EQ), which is a skill that allows us to display understanding, control, and evaluation of humans’ emotions. Some researchers report that they can study and hone emotional intelligence. Meanwhile, some argue it is an innate characteristic.

Some experts have also argued that EQ might be more important than intelligent quotient (IQ) in overall success in life. Researchers suggest that there are four different categories of EQ:

  • emotional perception
  • the ability to reason using emotions,
  • the ability to understand emotions, and
  • the ability to manage emotions.

Possessing this skill enables you to understand—or at least try to understand—the feelings of other people. In turn, it’ll be easier for you to assess and provide appropriate responses to various types of problems and situations.

There you go, some of the most important and must-have professional survival skills 101: flexibility, adaptability, communication, and emotional intelligence! Have you started honing in one of these skills? Whatever stage you’re at, we wish you all the best at the process!