Resiliency is the ability to adapt to change, adjust to challenges and continue to remain positive in any situation. In today’s demanding workplace, however, it can be hard to bounce back from the many setbacks and difficulties we face. Being overlooked for a promotion, dealing with difficult working relationships with peers or your boss, or receiving unexpected feedback on your performance can make it hard to stay productive, healthy and happy.
To thrive in challenging situations, you need resilience to cope with stress, remain focused, and continue to perform well under pressure.
How to Tell if You are Career Resilient
Before we can even begin to determine your level of resiliency, it’s important to understand exactly what makes one “resilient.” Here are a few of the attributes of a person who is able to handle the challenges and changes that come their way: optimism, confidence, adaptability, community minded, personal mastery, self-awareness, meaning and purpose, stamina and perspective.
Some people are born with a number of these characteristics and are naturally good at stress-management. Read more in: Stress: How is it Impacting Your Job Performance? For most of us, these are skills that must be learned and practiced. If you have a few of these traits, good for you! If you’re lacking in other areas, it’s time to get to work.
Is Your Career Resilience Low … and is it impacting your performance?
“Resilient people do not let adversity define them.”
Source: Hara Estroff Marano, respected author and Editor-at-Large for Psychology Today.
The key to becoming resilient is to first identify the stressors and challenges you face in your daily work. These can seriously put a damper on your attitude, productivity and even your ability to advance in your career – that is, unless you find a way to change how you react and respond to these external factors. That’s where resiliency comes into play.
Where are you at today? What’s stressing you:
- Lack of time
- Too many tasks
- Looming deadlines
- Lack of clarity/direction
- Difficulties with boss and/or colleagues
- Lack of knowledge/training
- Lack of control
- Fear (of making a mistake, of being downsized, etc.)?
People who are resilient do not let external circumstances dictate how they will react and respond. If you are the type that tends to let one bad meeting ruin the rest of your day, it’s probably time to start making some changes.
The first step toward becoming more resilient involves figuring out your current status. Are you able to roll with the punches, remain positive and continue pushing forward without letting things get you down? Or, are you performing from a place of being overwhelmed, stressed and frustrated?
If you’re not sure either way, it may be time for a quick assessment of whether you are Above or Below the Line to determine whether you are on the right track, or if it’s time to make some serious changes.
If your self-assessment has revealed that there is work to be done, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dig in.
4 Steps to Becoming More Resilient
The good news is, even if you currently lack many of the characteristics of strong career resiliency, they can be learned and developed.
To achieve this, here’s what you need to do:
1. Engage in self-reflection
You can’t expect to experience real change until you’ve adequately identified what the issues impacting you are. Spend some time reflecting on and identifying what’s standing in your way. Ask yourself when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed:
- Who, What, Where, When and How were your buttons pushed?
- What was going on for you at this time? What were you thinking/feeling?
- What was your reaction? Then dig deeper: How did you feel?
- Was this the best reaction to help you maintain your ability to cope and find a solution?
- What could you have done better?
2. Identify your sources of workplace support
Next, remember that you aren’t alone. While you are working through your own personal challenges don’t be afraid to get help when and where it’s available. Identify the people and things that can help you stay on track when you’re facing a stressful moment. If you don’t have one already, consider getting a mentor.
3. Devise tactics to deal with roadblocks or obstacles
Whether it’s taking a quick coffee break with a co-worker, sitting down for a talk with your boss or just taking a walk outside to blow off some steam, know in advance what tactics and activities will be effective in keeping you level headed in the midst of adversity, and be prepared to launch that plan into action whenever necessary.
4. Develop a Career Resiliency Action Plan
Once you know what’s standing in your way, the final step is creating an action plan to boost your work performance and career growth. Start by identifying the areas of your life, both personal and professional, in which you’d like to see some positive changes and list the steps necessary to achieve those changes.
If one of the things you’re struggling with is fear of losing your job, don’t wallow in it. Take action and be proactive. Find ways to make yourself more valuable to your organization. You’ll find that as you list your obstacles and devise solutions, you’ll already begin to feel a positive shift in your outlook. Read more in my article: How to Avoid Being Downsized.
The bottom line is, if you want to move forward in your career, and in your life, you have to take the necessary steps to take back control. The goal is to move from feeling like work is happening toyou to feeling confident and having an inner sense of stamina to address whatever challenges comes your way.
Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional. She has a reputation as a highly sought after Career Consultant and she has been referred to as “an absolute expert at navigating the complex territory of career advancement.” Copyright JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.
Improve Your Career Resilience
Are you struggling with workplace stressors or feeling stuck in a career holding pattern? Let’s connect for a complimentary 20-minute telephone consultation to determine what’s holding you back and get you on the right track toward developing the resiliency you need to bring your career to the next level.
Wishing you much career success!
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc