Professional Feature: Anticipate


About The Professional Feature 'Anticipate'

Anticipating means: anticipating and recognizing situations and relationships. If you can anticipate well, you will make a major contribution to both the development of your company or organization and the working climate.

What does that mean in concrete terms?

You can anticipate in two areas: in the relational sphere and in the business sphere.

In the relational sphere

This concerns estimating the relationships between both yourself and your colleagues, as well as your colleagues themselves in different situations. For example, you need a presentation this weekto give. It is useful if you check in advance who will be present. Is there also the communication manager that you can't really handle well in the room? How should you approach him? Do you stay friendly even if he attacks you at your vulnerable point, or do you blame him with a steel look? And what about the rest of those present? Are there people who are likely to find some parts of your presentation uninteresting? Can you prepare your presentation in such a way that you make these parts accessible to them too? Are there topics that might not be suitable for this audience?

These kinds of questions seem to be a side issue, but in reality everyone - consciously or unconsciously - is working on it. They are essential for favorable working relationships. Creating a pleasant climate in which employees feel at home is not without tact, empathy and recognizing body language. If you've this subtlety, not only your work, but also your personality is appreciated. People who don't anticipate in the relational sphere are often labeled as socially unskilful or tactless because they don't take human sensitivities into account and therefore collapse unprepared everywhere.

In addition, promotions or new career opportunities often arise from the fact that you are not only experienced as competent, but also as sympathetic and subtle. Anticipating in the relational sphere is therefore important for your career.

In the business atmosphere

From a business perspective, anticipation has everything to do with developing a vision. In the commercial sector, for example, you are in great demand if you identify future trends and developments in the market early, and if you can discover possibilities rather than limitations. You then contribute with that commercial insight to the success of a company or organization.

You do business anticipation first by making adequate connections between situations in the past, present, and the future. In addition, you can distance yourself from current problems, so that you've enough space in your mind to focus on the future. To achieve this you need rest and time. You take that too. Under these circumstances you can develop plans that can be used for the long term.

An economist, for example, predicts economic growth primarily on the basis of data from the (recent) past and the current situation. For example, he compares the unemployment figures of today with those of a few years ago. He also keeps an eye on the main lines; he looks at the unemployment data over a broader period of time, for example how the situation was in the past three decades. He also has a great deal of professional knowledge (for example, he knows that too rapid economic growth in a country is dangerous for the general welfare state, or the economic situation). He then combines all this information with his own insights. In this way he sets a certain expectation pattern.

Which competencies are involved?

- Analytical skills: You easily make connections and have a large problem-solving capacity.
- Creativity: You use your creativity to assess matters and relationships and to signal new developments.
- Empathy: This gives you insight into situations and relationships, allowing you to respond well to them.
- Adaptability: By tuning in to the behavior of your colleagues, you create a pleasant working atmosphere.
- Rich in initiative: You often come up with new ideas that contribute to the development of the company.

How do you show in job applications that you can anticipate?

Suppose you apply as an AA accountant at a small but ambitious accounting firm. They ask for a top accountant who can anticipate the world of tomorrow. What would they mean by that? Well, you think so. They are of course looking for an accountant who can not only browse through the books of the past year, but can also look ahead for the customers.

How can you convince this employer of your anticipatory nature? You already have experience as an AA accountant. You always anticipate new regulations in your advice to small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. Discussions in the Lower House about taxes are fixed costs for you. Of course, you can't say what changes will be made, but you can argue where things are going. Your customers experience that it pays to take this into account when making investment decisions. It gives you a kick when a customer calls to thank you, because they have saved you a lot of money with your tips.

You use this example to arouse interest in your cover letter. You also decide to ask some customers about your strengths so that you've more material available during the interview. This way you show on the spot how to anticipate their questions.

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