Developing career resilience
Developing career resilience

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Developing career resilience

1 Employability skills and skills for career resilience

In Week 3 you looked at labour market information and explored changing needs in your chosen occupational sector. All jobs require broad-based skills, for example communication skills, but these will have different flavours in different sectors and settings.

For example, good communication skills for a primary teacher might be about encouraging, explaining clearly and listening carefully, whereas good communication skills for someone in car sales would include these elements, but would also involve painting pictures, negotiation and closing deals.

Activity 1 Thinking further about sectors

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes

Review your notes from Week 3 and locate the notes you made about a sector that interests you. You are now going to look in more detail at specific skills and experience that are currently needed in roles that interest you.

Now take a look at the ‘skills, interests and qualities’ requirements and typical work activities for roles that might interest you. The National Careers Service [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] website has a wide range of roles, while Prospects is written more specifically for graduate applicants.

How close is your current experience to what these roles require?

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This could be a good opportunity to use your positive self-talk to encourage yourself! Which next step could you take to develop ever closer expertise? Note down your thoughts.


As your answer to this question will be personal/only applicable to your own circumstances, there is no discussion for this activity.

During this course you have learned that some skills are particularly helpful to support career resilience. These are:

  • problem solving
  • communication skills
  • interpersonal skills
  • planning.

Activity 2 Using skills for resilience

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Looking at the skills that support resilience, how much do you use these skills to progress your best hopes at the moment? For example, you might use lots of problem-solving skills at work, or on behalf of your elderly parents, but not be drawing on them to further your own dreams.

What one action could you take, today, to try something new with one of these skills? Note it down. Or take 10 minutes to do it now.

Listen to this final brief video from Charlie Reeve. He is suggesting an innovative approach that people can take to prepare for challenging times. What do you think about this?

Download this video clip.Video player: An innovative approach
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Transcript: An innovative approach

I think the single best thing to do would be to try and practise failure. So, try and simulate the things that you know you might encounter in a particular place of work, or a particular experience, and go through the motions of practicing that, so that you start to build the coping mechanisms that will help you be more career-resilient. Now, for every single job and every single sector, that’s something slightly different. So, resilience is very, very context-specific.
But only through that process of simulation and training yourself to learn the coping mechanisms can you then become more career-resilient and confident about when you actually face a situation, that it isn’t a shock, that actually you can face it with some kind of balanced approach and confidence that you have dealt with it before in some way, shape, or form.
End transcript: An innovative approach
An innovative approach
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Charlie suggests that one tactic people can have is to imagine failure in advance, to build up the coping mechanisms so when things don’t go to plan, it isn’t a shock. Is this something you might build into your action plan?

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