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How to develop career resilience during a pandemic

14 May, 2021Nadim Choudhury

CareerCovid-19 has exposed the fragility of our current working practices – it’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between work, home, and social life. Now more than ever, we need to develop career resilience.

The pandemic has made us rethink our lives and define what work, home and society should look like.

Those who have been fortunate enough to not be impacted by the pandemic have found time to reflect on their careers. Many people have considered a career change, pursued professional development opportunities, and even started their own businesses.

The Career Development Centre in California described career resilience as "the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, even when the circumstances are discouraging or disruptive."

Here are the top seven ways to develop career resilience.

1) Take time to understand yourself

It's important to understand how you react to specific challenges or feedback. What are your triggers when you feel stressed whilst working or studying?  

Ask yourself why these incidents create a sense of anxiety that you find challenging. The more time you spend understanding what triggers you, you can focus on developing strategies to overcome these perceived setbacks.

 2) Become a knowledge expert

One of the biggest challenges that people face when making a big career change is their lack of understanding of what it takes to be successful in that specific sector.

Take the time to become a knowledge expert and develop your commercial awareness in the sector that you're applying to. The more you know, the more confident you’ll be of what it takes to be successful and understanding the key challenges and opportunities in your sector.

 3) Learn how to communicate with empathy and take time to listen to others

To successfully navigate the future world of work, we must take the time to communicate with our colleagues and peers with empathy.

The next time you're in a meeting, actively tell yourself that you’ll focus on what your colleague is saying instead of thinking about how you should respond. There’s nothing more powerful in communication than the ability to relay to an individual what they correctly think and feel.

 4) Build your network

Developing a strong network of positive relationships that will help you when you're dealing with the crisis.

Make sure that you join active community groups in your sector on LinkedIn and other social networks. When it is safe to do so, attend events which actively encourage networking between professionals.

Cultivating these networks takes time and effort, so do keep in touch with people in your sector at least once every three months.

5) Use setbacks as a learning opportunity

Some of the most successful people have been rejected from hundreds of job opportunities. While it may seem disheartening to be rejected, it’s an opportunity for you to learn where you went wrong.

Asking for specific feedback after a rejection will help you understand what you need to work on. This also allows you to become familiar with the modern process of applying for jobs online and comfortable with video interviews and psychometric tests.

6) Become a lifelong learner

Lifelong learning is a mindset that will allow you to stay up to date with the latest thinking, technology and changes that are taking place in your sector.

Investing in your academic development is one way that you can develop lifelong learning. Why not take a qualification or online course that will help you develop and hone your skills and knowledge?

7) Forgive yourself and be kind to others

We are often our own harshest critics – instead of dwelling on what you could have done to get that promotion or a better grade in your exam, accept that you cannot change the past.

Keeping hold of resentment directed towards yourself or others will only keep you stuck in the past and not focused on the present and future.

Whilst working on being kind to yourself, try to extend this to everyone in your circle of influence. The rewards of practicing active kindness will positively impact your career.

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