10 Ways to Build Career Resilience
Increasingly we are aware of the importance of our resilience in work. And bearing in mind how long we’re going to work for, the concept of career resilience is gaining momentum as a key issue for us personally and for employers more generally. This article focuses very much on you personally and what you can do to build your own career resilience.
1. Check Your Health
Regardless of what stage of life you’re at, you ought to get an objective check on your health from a medical professional. It’s easy to do and it doesn’t cost much money, if any, but it will help you understand what you might need to do to assure your resilience for the future. So you can check out the medical side of things but you also want to look harder at your lifestyle, whether you’re taking enough time off to replenish your energy and how you’re feeling generally. Only you know that because it’s something that comes from inside you.
2. Look After Yourself
Whatever your health check tells you, leading a better and more healthy life is something that we can all do something about, whether it’s to do with what we eat or how much exercise we might take, making sure that we go to bed when we’re tired and that our body gets the rest and the sleep that it deserves. These are simple things but if we over-complicate our life, overstress it, compound that by what we eat and what we drink, be it the wrong things or at the wrong time, we just make it harder to be resilient.
3. Assess Your Job
How clear are you about the work that you’re doing being good for you? Does your work have purpose and how content does it make you? These are big questions and they’re not always easy to ask ourselves, let alone answer. They give us a chance to check in on whether we’re in the right space with our professional life and indeed give us clues to how we can change it if it isn’t right.
4. Make a Plan B
There is no job that is 100% secure. That may have been the case in the past but not anymore. There’s too much uncertainty and no organisation has the ability to be completely and utterly fireproof. So if something does blow up in your face professionally, what is your plan B? What are you going to do? How are you going to make sure that you have built in some resilience so that you do not get completely derailed.
5. Think About the Future
If plan B is your emergency shelter, that is only a short-term contingency. Being clear about your future is another thing altogether. Career resilience is definitely linked to how much thinking and planning you have done about your future, a future that you can see and understand and that you can put into action for yourself.
6. Focus on Your Growth
It is a natural, human imperative that we are better tomorrow than we were today. It’s not always in our conscious thought but it underpins human endeavour. But you can’t be better just by turning up tomorrow and doing what you’ve always done. You have to do something very specific about how you are getting better at what you do. Are you more efficient? Can you be more effective? What is it you want to do differently? What is it you want to try, experiment with, explore? If you focus on your growth you’re adhering to a fundamental component of career resilience. The world is changing and we all have to change with it to some degree.
7. Focus on Your Learning
Aligned with your growth is how much conscious effort you’re putting into your learning to increase your knowhow about your professional world. You don’t have to go and do a further degree or gain another qualification. The best learners are those people who are curious, who want to know more, who want to read regularly, to discuss and debate. Being an active learner, someone who goes out of their way to ensure they have a habit of increasing their knowledge, is another key component of career resilience.
8. Be in Control
If the world is changing at such a rate and organisations have to flex what they do so frequently, why would any of us want to be dependent on our employer? Our employer cannot guarantee our future. The only person that can is you. The sooner we understand that concept and take the impact of that seriously, the sooner we will understand that our future is ours and there are things that we have to do to be assured of that control.
9. Be Present
It’s a well known fact amongst stress specialists that thinking about the future will erode your energy and your resilience. You have to be in the present and you have to be present in order for you to take stock of what’s going on in your life and what needs dealing with. Being present is a fundamental element of your resilience, ability to cope in the here and now rather than living in that future state.
10. Understand Where Work Fits
We have to understand where work fits for us in our life more generally. Sometimes this is called work-life balance, a term that has become more hackneyed through its popularity. But we know what we mean by it and we know how important it is that we follow our instincts and our gut. Making certain that work has its place and is in sync and in balance with the other things we need, whether they’re to do with nutrition and exercise, or whether its the human nourishment of face-to-face contact, allows us to live a good and simple life. Ultimately it’s that that allows us to have the resilience we need.
By Position Ignition (www.positionignition.com) and the Career Ignition Club (www.careerignitionclub.com), the UK’s leading career change and career development company and platform. Also the author of 125 LinkedIn Job Search Tips (http://www.positionignition.com/100-linkedin-job-search-tips). Follow @PosIgnition for more help with your career challenges.