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Developing career resilience
Developing career resilience

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3 Career resilience

While personal resilience describes your ability to adapt and respond to changes throughout your life, career resilience focuses more specifically on your resilience to change within your work-life and career – whether that is within or outside your control.

Watch the video below to find out how Rebecca Fielding, an experienced leader on recruitment and talent management, defines career resilience.

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Video 2 What is career resilience?
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Rebecca reflects on career resilience as a need for lifelong learning, agility and flexibility as we change roles and organisations, but there are other definitions too.

A review of the literature undertaken by Mishra and McDonald (2017, p. 216), found little agreement on how to define career resilience, with some studies describing it as an ability to recover from career-related setbacks and others seeing it as more of a developmental process. Their own definition aims to combine both of these elements as follows:

Career resilience is ‘a developmental process of persisting, adapting and/or flourishing in one’s career despite challenges, changing events, and disruptions over time.’

Another way to look at it could be maintaining equilibrium in your working life over time and in the face of organisational change and stress.

Career resilience is developed throughout our lives and embraces elements of:

  • the challenges and changes that people seek out and respond to
  • regrowing a sense of personal control
  • a clear focus on goals for the future.

In this course you will learn about career resilience and explore strategies for developing it. Our approach is about more than weathering stress, change or redundancy. Strategies to develop career resilience look at the bigger picture and focus on your longer-term career development. Career resilience is not about maintaining the status quo, but about maximising control over your own personal goals for the future.

There is a growing body of research linking career resilience with other important areas of career development, including the personal development and learning suggested by Rebecca in the video, as well as career change. You’ll explore these ideas in more detail in the next section.