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Developing career resilience
Developing career resilience

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3.2 Career resilience and personal development

Recent research (Srivastava and Madan, 2020), involving banking staff in India, found that ‘individuals feel more satisfied with their choice of career when they are higher on resilience, resulting in higher self-esteem and better health.’ The authors go on to suggest that employers could benefit from introducing resilience training, teaching their staff ‘the ability and tactics to deal with challenges and uncertainty about the future’.

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Figure 5

While many organisations do provide learning opportunities for their employees, increasingly in the modern workplace, the responsibility for personal development rests with the individual.

If your workplace doesn’t offer you resilience training, you could explore informal opportunities to develop it, such as shadowing someone for a morning at their workplace, discussing someone’s job or career and how they got there, or taking on projects as a volunteer, even in an unrelated field. All of these options can broaden your awareness of the options open to you, enhancing your career resilience.

In the workplace, change is often a catalyst for personal development, whether that is specific training to deal with something new, such as the introduction of a different IT system, or training to broaden your knowledge and enhance your future opportunities.

Activity 5 Change and personal development

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Consider an example where change was required at work. This might have been a change of role, of teams, of ways of working, of technology or something else.

Identify the change and what you and/or your employer did to ensure that it was successful. How did that change help you to learn and develop? How resilient did you feel? Write brief notes below or in your notebook.

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Perhaps your employer or organisation provided support and learning opportunities to manage the change required. How far did this help you, or might something else have worked better?

If your organisation didn’t offer you support through this change – consider what you could have done instead to explore learning opportunities. Do you know someone who has gone through a similar change at work? What did they do? Could you have approached your line manager to ask for support?

Ultimately, your employer will benefit from boosting your career resilience and maintaining your job satisfaction. If you feel supported and involved in the change, you will be more likely to work with commitment and enthusiasm, embracing it with a forward looking approach. Taking responsibility for developing your own learning can also enhance your career resilience – you’ll look at this in more detail later.

Of course, your own career resilience extends beyond learning for an individual job role or your current organisation and can shape the whole of your working life.