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Developing career resilience: 6 steps to building career resilience

22 November, 2016Nadim Choudhury

The concept of the lifelong career is over! Gone are the days of when companies were actively managing the careers of their employees. It is now up to the individual to manage their own careers - if you don’t manage your own career, no one will do it for you. 

One of the most important skills that graduates need to develop is career resilience as jobs and offices constantly change. Businesses are continually evolving and job security is scarce. Graduates who are more resilient can adapt to this change and are more likely to be more satisfied in their careers.

So, how can you build your career resilience?

Develop resilient characteristics

Psychologists tend to agree that three core characteristics of resilient individuals are those that demonstrate the Three Cs - control, commitment and challenge. Understand what is in your locus of control at work – what influence do you have to change your current circumstances?

Make sure you are committed, present and give your full attention when at work – this will allow you to gauge your strengths. Resilient individuals also like to be challenged. The more challenges you seek out at work, the greater the chances of being able to have the inner strength in dealing with adversity. 

Assess your current role

Are you clear that your role is something that you truly want to do? Do your values align with the values of the organisation you work for? How does your role fit in with other aspects of your life? Does it have any meaning for you?

Taking some time to reflect on these questions will allow you to gain a clearer idea of how happy you are at work, and whether small or large changes are needed to be made.

Creating a supportive work environment 

We spend a significant amount of lives at work and the relationships that we develop with our colleagues make a substantial impact on our well being. Make sure you actively seek supporting relationships at work, especially from those outside of your immediate department. Seeking out a mentor within your organisation is also a good idea.


Practice reflexivity in gaining a positive outlook

When things don’t go your way, take some time out to reflect on what went wrong. Speak with friends and colleagues and try and get a different perspective on what could have gone wrong. By discussing situations with others, you will be able to get a new perspective on situations that may seem one dimensional. 

Find a balance

Most good employers will invest in making sure that their employees are taken care of at work. Make sure you take advantage of all the flexible working conditions and employee benefits that your company offers. Doing this will help you manage your other life goals in a more balanced way. It's also important to think of creative way in how you can incorporate aspects of your hobbies and interests into your work environment.

Accept that change is constant

Once you truly accept that change is constant in organisations, you will find it easier to adapt. Security and stability at work is not something you should take for granted. Focusing on your strengths and investing in personal development activities will provide you with more options in managing your career future.

Nadim Choudhury is the Head of Careers at The London Institute of Banking & Finance.

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