Resilience is a sought-after skill in today’s job market as it can help you navigate successfully work environments that are constantly changing. However, although it is a key employability trait, most job seekers lack it or do not know how to showcase resilience. Too often, we focus our attention on documenting and describing our task-based skills, experiences, and achievements rather than how we navigate and overcome workplace challenges and add value by taking initiative.
Resilience is often defined as the ability to quickly recover from difficult circumstances and tolerate stress – i.e., to “bounce back” no matter what life throws at us. Those who are resilient believe that their failures present opportunities to learn and develop new skills.
The reality is that each of us will experience disappointments and failures on the job, and will have to pick ourselves up and try again. In my 20+ years of experience working in human resources and as a career coach, I have never met anyone who got every job they applied for.
So, what makes the difference between someone who bounces back and someone who doesn’t? And what can you do to become more resilient?
Here are five practices you can start today to build your resilience and help land your next job:
Build a strong support network
Instead of trying to cope on your own, surround yourself with people who are optimistic and resilient. A good social network will support you and have your best interests at heart. Choose your company wisely, because resilience rubs off.
In these uncertain times, it’s vital to adapt to situations and circumstances that are beyond your control. If you have always struggled to process and adapt to change, try taking one small step at a time. For example, try taking a different route to the supermarket, or order a different meal from your favourite restaurant. Changing your habits on a small scale will have a positive overall impact in the long-term.
Leverage your experience
Think back to a time in the past that was tough and apply what you learned to this new phase of your life. How did you cope? What did you learn? What would you do differently if it happened again?
Build your self-awareness
Do you know what’s important to you and what you’re good at? Having a clear sense of your purpose, core values, drive, and direction will help you to persist and work through setbacks. Of course, this requires taking the time to discover what makes you tick.
Prioritize your well-being
When the going gets tough, we tend to focus on finding immediate solutions to our problems rather than thinking about our mental health and well-being. The mere act of quieting your mind and taking time to reflect can help you to build resilience. For instance, the next time the phone rings, focus on breathing deeply in and out for three rings and then pick up. Make this and similar exercises a habit, and you will see the immediate and long-term benefits.
Life is full of ups and downs, and our circumstances are constantly changing. Trust that you don’t need to have all the answers. Take time out to slow down and prioritize by tapping into your values and what gives you a sense of meaning and purpose. As the saying goes, as one door closes, another opens. Keep looking for doors that are ajar, so that you are not so blinded by the situation that you walk straight past it and miss out on a great opportunity.