Job requirements.

The first thing you look at when hoping to apply for a job.  The first thing that worries you when hoping to apply for a job.

Failure to develop certain key skills will affect your career development and opportunities regardless of any qualifications.  We believe there are 7 key skills everyone needs to develop to kickstart their career and you should be working on them before you leave school!

Learn and develop these skills now so you will be MILES ahead of others.  This can very realistically result in quicker career progression and career success.

Amongst all the skills you possess, there are key skills to develop and apply in practice now.  Today we consider RESILIENCE.

What you can expect: You will be challenged beyond your expectations in the workplace for many reasons  – workload pressures, difficult colleagues, personal circumstances affecting your work, redundancy, being fired, overlooked for promotion and so on.  How you manage these situations and how you pick yourself up is the measure of your resilience.  Of course you can’t be super resilient with every challenge that comes your way – NO ONE is.  But you can certainly develop your ability to be resilient which will help your career and your career success.

I have been resilient when I was pretty much promised a job promotion, only to have been left in the same job when no promotion materialised.  Did I agree with this course of action? Absolutely not.  Did I accept it? Yes, I had no choice.  I needed the job and didn’t have another offer on the table.  People make decisions – bad ones.  People sometimes have a tendency to over-promise and under-deliver.  In this case, I am fairly sure my boss wanted to promise me something as it made him feel good about himself.  Big sigh.   I took the rest of the day off and came in the next day, whilst he was expecting misery or irritation, I was pleasant, said I understood his decision and my focus was on working hard so hopefully I would be considered again.  You can always act – sometimes people don’t need to know how you really feel. In this situation, my boss was flattered and appreciative of my positive attitude and resilience: that promotion then came sooner than I thought.

Process the situation: what has happened, stick to the facts.  What can you do to turn this around?  The quicker you work on the recovery/action plan, the quicker you will feel better.  Avoidance and keeping yourself in that unhappy situation will not help your career.  I would like to point out, I am not suggesting all circumstances can be processed this way.  I recognise some are much more complex.  In my case, bereavement affected my career and I can assure you, I wasn’t resilient then.

Action plan: look, some people are born with more resilience than others but that doesn’t mean you can’t develop more of it.

  1. Positivity: Resilient people are able to find the positive during a negative situation – they can feel balanced about both the good and bad in their lives and keep perspective. Think about the evidence of your emotions, for example, “I’ll never get a good job.” Is this truly a fact or an emotional response? Try and see the ‘silver lining’ in situations and you will improve your resilience.  It will help you plan what you will do next.  Barbara Fredrickson, a professor in Psychology at the University of North Carolina, suggests that as a minimum, we need a 3-to-1 ratio of positive to negative experiences to build resilience and be happy.  Think about this.
  2. Acceptance: you know challenges and adversity are part of life. It’s true that by overcoming challenges will help you face future ones.  To develop your resilience further, start asking yourself “What can I do to fix this? What am I learning? How will this make me a better person?” This will allow you to accept and deal with challenges more positively.
  3. Do something good: the phrase “There is always someone worse off than you” is simply true in most cases. Remember the things you are grateful for and remember those who need your kindness.  Gratitude and kindness to others will build resilience.  Does another student/co-worker need your help? Help them in whatever way you can.   Let others help you too.
  4. Look after yourself: physical and mental health go hand in hand. Sleep well, eat well, exercise and trying to keep your stress levels lowered will all help you become more resilient. Don’t be too hard on yourself as this is self-destructive.

As the great Michael Jordan said:

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games, 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.  I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.”

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