A route to career success: The importance of resilience

Let’s imagine some conditions of uncertainty in your career. What would you do if your company shut down and you became jobless? How about you are fired for no good reason and can’t find any jobs for a year? Or what if you won a billion dollars in the lottery and lost a ticket for it? Or Imagine that you got a promotion for an unexpected position in your career? Will you be able to stay calm, never give up and proceed to survive? Or will you be depressed and let yourself fail?

 

 

Well…in this article we are going to discuss how to handle these unexpected crises and situations with “RESILIENCE” in a way that leads you to a successful career.

Resilient tree in a desert

Image from Unsplash.com (@bkotynski)

Trying to understand the resilience?

Resilience has several different definitions. For the narrow perspective, resilience is defined as a set of characteristics which includes hardiness, coping, self-efficacy, optimism, patience, tolerance, faith, adaptability, self-esteem and a sense of humor (Grafton et al., 2010). For the broader definition, Resilience is not just a collection of characteristics. Resilience involves the ability to overcome the adversity and obstacles and ‘bounce-back’ to face unpleasant events and to adapt the change and uncertainty (McEwen, 2011). Some scholars defined resilience as ‘an innate energy or motivating life force’ which lead to achieve desired goals in life. In this definition, resilience is a resource which can be used (i) to cope crises and stressful situations more effectively, (ii) apply these experiences as  learning sources to restore and strengthen the well-being of the individual and to manage the future unpleasant events (Grafton et al., 2010). Thus, to conclude, resilience is the psychological capacity of a person to recover from crises, adversity, failure and dreadful situations or even from positive changes and progress in life.

 

Resilience has several different definitions. For a narrow perspective, resilience is defined as a set of characteristics which includes hardiness, coping, self-efficacy, optimism, patience, tolerance, faith, adaptability, self-esteem and a sense of humor (Grafton et al., 2010). However, if we adopt a broader definition, resilience is not just a collection of characteristics. Resilience involves the ability to overcome adversity and obstacles and ‘bounce back’ to face unpleasant events and to adapt to change and uncertainty (McEwen, 2011). Some scholars have defined resilience as ‘an innate energy or motivating life force’ which leads individuals to achieve desired goals in life. In this definition, resilience is a resource which can be used (i) to cope with crises and stressful situations more effectively, (ii) to apply such difficult experiences as learning sources to restore and strengthen the well-being of the individual and to manage the future unpleasant events (Grafton et al., 2010). Thus, resilience may be viewed as the psychological capacity of a person to recover from crises, adversity, failure and dreadful situations or even from positive changes and progress in life.

 

Why such interest in RESILIENCE?

Why do we pay so much attention to resilience building? It is because resilience can lead individuals to achieve goals and desired outcomes as well as provide the necessary mechanisms to persist in the presence of change and the need for innovation and creative problem solving (Fernández-Díaz et al., 2021). Nowadays, we are living in a world of uncertainty. Everything is happening spontaneously and changing rapidly. To be able to survive in the ever-changing community and to adapt to the uncertainty, we need to have resilience. Therefore, resilience is an essential resource for a successful working life.

 

In the medical sector, resilience has been a crucial resource enabling professionals to overcome burnout and cope with depressing situations (Rushton et al., 2015). Nurses were trained to build resilience to handle shocking experiences and unpleasant events during  their careers. Moreover, in education, resilience offers a way of sustaining teachers’ level of motivation and ability to contribute. To help sustain teacher wellbeing, pre-service teachers and also in-service teachers have been trained to be resilient and thus able to handle often dynamic and complex situations (Le Cornu, 2009).

 

In the private sector, resilience is commonly assumed to be a major influencing factor for career success. Some employers demand that employees possess resilience as a skill in order to work and collaborate with their organisation. One recent study on the relationship between resilience and career success showed that there is a significant relationship between the two factors (Fernández-Díaz et al., 2021). People with the capacity to adapt to changes and adverse situations can achieve success in their professional life or in their career.  Highly resilient individuals showed better self-esteem and are good at handling work in times of crises which leads to higher efficiency and better productivity (Srivastava & Madan, 2020).

 

As Fernandez-Díaz et al. (2021) note: “the results suggest that a person with high levels of resilience is more prepared to achieve professional success from both an objective and subjective perspective”.

Tips to help build your own resilience

Build your network!

Image from Unsplash.com (@brett_jordan)

Exercise your imagination. 🙂

According to Cooper et al (2013), resilience has four major components: confidence, social support, adaptability and purposefulness. As they suggest, we can build high-resilient individuals by developing these four personal resources:

 

Confidence

(i) Face your fears: You need to challenge your negative assumptions about your abilities, use reflection and reframe situations.

(ii) Stretch yourself: You need to identify your natural strengths and apply them by taking on challenging tasks.

 

Social support

(i) Improve your emotional intelligence

(ii) Build your network and keep in touch by participating in social activities

(iii) Express gratitude

Read More

 

References:

 

Cooper, C. L., Flint-Taylor, J., & Pearn, M. (2013). Building Resilience for Success. Palgrave Macmillan UK. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137367839

Fernández-Díaz, J. R., Gutiérrez-Ortega, M., Llamas-Salguero, F., & Cantón-Mayo, I. (2021). Creativity and Resilience as Predictors of Career Success. Sustainability, 13(8), 4489. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084489

Grafton, E., Gillespie, B., & Henderson, S. (2010). Resilience: The Power Within. Oncology Nursing Forum, 37(6), 698–705. https://doi.org/10.1188/10.ONF.698-705

Le Cornu, R. (2009). Building resilience in pre-service teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(5), 717–723. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2008.11.016

McEwen, K. (2011). Building Resilience at Work. Australian Academic Press 32 Jeays Street Bowen Hills Qld 4006 Australia.

Rushton, C. H., Batcheller, J., Schroeder, K., & Donohue, P. (2015). Burnout and Resilience Among Nurses Practicing in High-Intensity Settings. American Journal of Critical Care, 24(5), 412–420. https://doi.org/10.4037/ajcc2015291

Srivastava, S., & Madan, P. (2020). The relationship between resilience and career satisfaction: Trust, political skills and organizational identification as moderators. Australian Journal of Career Development, 29(1), 44–53. https://doi.org/10.1177/1038416219886317

Author:

Khin Khin Thant Sin

Assistant Editor at GJSD

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The opinions expressed in this article/publication are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of GiLE or its members.

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