Career & Work Life Matters, ISSN 2150-6299, Vol 3, no. 21
|If continued uncertainty is the “new normal” in the workplace, personal resilience strengths are crucial for career success.What can you do to develop your resilience? Read the 3 R’s below for ideas on easy ways to begin right away.|
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|If you have been close to Hurricane Sandy in the past few weeks, you have seen first hand the impact of losing things that often don’t even merit our attention in daily life. Housing. Electricity. Water.
Even if you are witnessing the devastation from a distance, it is a stark reminder of how unpredictable our lives can be.
Uncertainty as the New Normal
In the past few years, many people’s career expectations have been turned upside down. Expectation of secure employment disappeared, catapulting individuals into a job search, sometimes for the first time in many years.
Even as the economy recovers, continued uncertainty is being discussed as the “new normal”. What does this mean for your future career? It’s likely that being able to navigate frequent changes will be more important than ever. Personal resilience skills will be crucial for your success.
What is Resilience?
Resilience is not about being immune to, or unaffected by, events. It’s about finding a way to bounce back from the setbacks. A metaphor that is often used is the elastic band. You can stretch it and it will bounce back, but if you overstretch it will break.
What can you do to help yourself recover? In his book, Career Contentment, Jeffrey Garton suggests that we should be intentional about recharging our resiliency strengths. This is a big topic, but read the 3 R’s below for ideas on where to begin.
As we’ve already said, events can be unpredictable. So does it even make sense to talk about readiness? Anticipating things we can’t control is generally not helpful. But you can control some of the daily decisions you make. Have you taken time to consider what is most important to you? What are your top values? Are these reflected in your everyday choices?
At some point, you have probably experienced the disorientation that accompanies major change. Being clear about your personal values can act as an anchor that helps you reorient more easily.
The people around us can have a significant impact on how we handle challenges. We know from decades of research that social support is associated with better health and well-being.
When did you last take time to review your social connections both within and outside of your workplace? Where are the gaps? If you lose your job, you can suddenly lose most of your network.
Are there people you want to reconnect with? Are there new people you want to add? By making a conscious effort to build and maintain social connections, you are building an essential resilience strength.
Uncertainty is often stressful. Over time, the cumulative effect can have a negative impact on health and well-being. Do you have ways releasing stress on a regular basis? How do you take care of your physical and psychological health?
Sometimes this is a matter of training ourselves in new habits. If you practice these skills when life is going smoothly, it will be easier to draw on these resources at times when you need them most.
Questions & Comments
How do you build your personal resilience strengths?
What advice can you share based on your experience?
Add your comment in the box below.