Developing career resilience
Developing career resilience

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Developing career resilience

1 What is resilience?

You may have heard the term ‘resilience’ used in a variety of ways – individual or personal resilience, emotional or psychological resilience and even financial resilience.

Most people have a common-sense understanding of the word ‘resilience’ and use it to refer to the ability to deal well with problems, challenging situations and difficulties of all types. We sometimes refer to the resilience of other people by talking about their ability to ‘bounce back’ or to ‘weather storms’, and may have our own personal metaphors for resilience.

Activity 1 Picturing resilience

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Spend a few minutes thinking about what resilience means to you, how you picture it, and considering your own definition, image or metaphor for resilience. Note down your thoughts in the box below or in the interactive toolkit. As mentioned in the Introduction and guidance [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , there are places for you to make notes in the ‘Activities’ section of the toolkit.

To open the toolkit (which we recommend you do in a new tab or window) click on the thumbnail or click on ‘View’.

Interactive toolkit

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


You may have come up with phrases like ‘Get back in the saddle’, ‘It’s a new day and a new start’, or ‘Getting my mojo back’. You might have thought of an umbrella holding off the rain, or a plant pushing through the soil. You will have thought of something personal to you. There are no correct answers here and you will build on your initial thoughts as you work through this course. What is important and meaningful varies for each individual.

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