5 Ways to develop career resilience

Orange rope

Photo credit – Wynand van Poortvliet via unsplash.com

In a casual conversation on the weekend, someone I spoke to mentioned that he had been through nine workplace restructures in twelve years. Some saw him in a new role, other times he was made redundant. For him, it is part of working life. How resilient are you in the face of these changing times?

Unpredictable change highlights the importance of maintaining your re-employability. Job security has never been more challenging as industries restructure in new ways that do away with jobs. So not only do you need to keep your skills and performance up, you also need to develop transferable skills and adaptability.

It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.
~ Hans Selye

Mindset is key in all of this.  In expecting and accepting that change brings stress, can influence the way we react to it. There are stress management strategies like maintaining a healthy lifestyle – through diet, exercise and balance, as well as managing our mental state. These are particularly important when you face the prospect of having find a new job – and sell yourself at interview.

Be proactive, expect change
Being able to promote yourself and demonstrate your offering to a potential employer is no easy task when you are dealing with unexpected employment change.  Expect that it will happen. Maintain your currency on new technologies. Your willingness to adapt and learn new systems can be invaluable. Keep your resume/curriculum vitae up-to-date with new skill acquisitions. Take this online, and ensure presence is listed in places like LinkedIn. Many employers recruit directly there, searching for people with the right profile and experience.

In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.
~ Lee Iacocca

Share learning, be social
Innovation in learning has come through being social. People share their knowledge. They put “how to” videos on YouTube. There are free courses offered through universities across the world. People interact through social networks and connect with experts and other learners. These learning methods require some flexibility to learn in different ways, at little or no cost. Being curious is another quality that can result in significant learning that can enhance our suitability for a new position.

Get connected, reciprocate
In times like these, connections and networks are very important. Maintain contact with people from all parts of your life, and develop new connections. Don’t wait for a crises to do this. Supportive relationships eg with mentors are important throughout your working life. Reciprocate, and mentor others. Positive relations and connections are important to maintaining a positive outlook especially when dealing with the rigours of recruitment.

Remember that stress doesn’t come from what’s going on in your life. It comes from your thoughts about what’s going on in your life.
~ Andrew J. Bernstein

Choose optimism
Positive people are more resilient than pessimists. You can develop this approach by consciously looking for a positive perspective. Negativity drains your energy and affects the energy of those around you. There are many resources available on this – but it require flexibility of focus to look the things working well. Some people keep a gratitude diary, noting things they are grateful for on a daily basis.

Get in shape
Exercise brings many benefits. Apart from general well-being, it also improves thinking and focus. It is a well-known drug-free treatment for depression.

Do you have career resilience strategies?  Perhaps you would share them here?

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