Talking Transformation. Part 1: The Caterpillar Vs. The Chameleon

Today’s modern world seems to have us on the path to digital transformation. As the world embarks on this transitional journey it has, and will continue to, impact each and every one of us differently. When it comes to change, some people openly embrace it; others question it. Regardless of how we feel about it, change is inevitable, and now is the time to think about how to deal with change itself.

 So, for the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at how industries are transforming in today’s digital world and discussing ways to embrace change rather than fear it.

The first step to any successful transformation is to identify you current attitudes and environments.  In other words, are you a Caterpillar, or a Chameleon?

Some people adapt immediately. Like a Chameleon they are great at adjusting their colours to suit new environments. Chameleons are fast learners yet impatient, so they like to be where the action (or a tasty cricket).  They pick things up quickly and can easily camouflage themselves in a mixture of seasoned employees.

Even though Chameleons will change colours numerous times throughout their lives, their internal composition will always remain the same. Similarly, a contracted Developer may develop apps using Java for 6 months and become a Python Developer for the next 12, yet they will always be considered to be Developers.

Chameleons are often most successful in contract roles. When given a specific goal, they quickly adjust themselves accordingly, and achieve that goal in a specified time frame, but also because during all that, they are consistently learning; absorbing valuable information and skills they can bring to their next opportunity.

Chameleons don’t like being in the spotlight and usually opt to blend into the background. They prefer to follow pre-established procedures, frequently solving problems by assessing current situations and searching for nearby solutions making them excellent Project Managers, Financial Analysts and Software Testers.

While the Chameleons act in a constant state of transformation, they work to sequentially achieve multiple objectives, Caterpillars are patiently creating the blueprint to reach one ultimate goal.

Similar to a surgeon who dedicates one-third of their life to study before even picking up a scalpel, Caterpillars stay in their cocoons, gathering resources as they prepare themselves for the big moment. In the workplace, these are the careful strategists who softly listen and take notes in meetings.

Consistently absorbing information, these powerhouses of knowledge are often over-looked. Make no mistake though; these persistent creatures are not to be undermined!

The career cocoon is nothing but stagnant. As they absorb resources and knowledge, Caterpillars are undergoing an almost secret metamorphosis, transforming themselves from every-day Joe’s into CEO’s.

Caterpillars value long-term goals and are loyal employees. Hardworking and devoted, Caterpillars may dedicate their whole careers to refining their talent. They prefer to start in roles that promote learning and advancement and have no issue dedicating time to achieve perfection. EA’S, Agile Coaches and Doctors make 3 great examples of Caterpillars that can transform into Butterflies.

Twenty six (26) years of experience has taught us at VTRAC how to identify many types of personalities and match them to the best role to suit their current needs and future plans.  Short or long-term, whether you consider transforming from a developer position to an Architectural role, a director to a VP role, or a move from Toronto to New York, let’s sit down and talk about it.

We’d love to hear your plans and help you achieve your goals. Connect with us at [email protected] with the subject “READY FOR CHANGE” and let us know what your ultimate transformation would be.

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