This has certainly been the year for testing how well we all deal with (and bounce back from) adversity, uncertainty and bad news.

Resilience enables you to tap into deeper resources to meet the world head on – and in so doing, it changes the way we deal with difficulties when they arise. Resilient people don’t dwell on failure but rather acknowledge the situation, learn from their mistakes and move forward.

Some people are naturally more resilient than others. But the good news is that there are things you can do to boost this trait, and apply it successfully to your life and your career. You can build resilience over time by changing how you process negative situations and events. Overcoming adversity, instead of being defeated by it. Reframing your perspective. Feeling stronger.

There are a few key attributes that resilient individuals share. These include:

  • Focusing their energy and effort on things they can control
  • Avoiding catastrophising: looking at challenges as something to overcome, rather than disasters to endure
  • Seeing crisis situations as temporary
  • Believing in the power of collaboration: we are stronger together
So how do you measure up?

Take a look at our top tips on building resilience to deal with setbacks in your career as well as difficult situations in a wider context.

Cultivate a sense of purpose

Depending on what’s going on in your life, this might mean getting more involved in your community, volunteering time to help good causes or creating meaningful structure to your day if you’re currently navigating the world of job-hunting.

A sense of purpose gives you the drive to work hard for your goals – this then turns into a strategy for success. If you’re currently at a crossroads, tailored coaching can help you identify and define what gives you purpose.

“The sessions we had opened my eyes to who I really am. It was such an insightful course about myself and the things that matter to me. I was going through a difficult moment at work where I felt broken, demotivated and full of self-doubt. These sessions not only helped me to regain my confidence and motivation but also put in front of my mind what really makes me happy and that it’s important to seek that happiness on everything I do in my life, not only at work. It felt like therapy! Thanks again for showing me the kind human being I am but never noticed.” ES, Advertising Executive

Elevate your sense of self-belief

Covid has stripped away confidence and security for many people. It’s vital to believe in yourself, to remind yourself of your achievements and reinforce the positives. Tell yourself that you’re great at your job, that you have a wide circle of friends, that you’ve overcome adversity. Quieten that negative voice in your head – and find out how to rid yourself of unproductive worry which can erode your confidence and affect your self-belief.

Take control over areas that cause you to doubt yourself – for example, if you struggle at interviews, get some help on winning techniques to boost your confidence, and therefore your performance.

Embrace change

Possibly one of the most important parts of building resilience is the ability to be flexible and embrace change. Being adaptable means you’ll respond better to a crisis or a stressful situation. You then store that experience in your ‘bank’ and can draw on it in future. We’ve all learned just how uncertain the future can be, so the only way to move forward is to accept the need for change… and believe in our ability to see it through.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin

Develop problem-solving skills

This is closely linked to the previous point – and often comes as a result of negative experiences.

Reframe the situation. Find new ways of looking at old problems. Break down crises  into manageable steps. There is often a way of unpicking and reframing situations that will enable you to move forward.

Part of our Career Refinery Portal & App is dedicated to fortifying your skill set and delivering real life scenarios and valuable resources to help you develop the right skills for success in work and life – so that you can handle rejections, cope with redundancy and adapt to new circumstances.

Stay socially active and engaged

Surround yourself with like-minded people. Friends and family are important stress buffers. Build your career network and nurture professional relationships – LinkedIn is so brilliant for this. Make the most of this platform to keep connecting with people, swap advice and best practice. There’s a swing towards more personal posts at the moment with members sharing their top tips on mental health as we approach the end of a momentous year.

While we can’t control what happens in the world, we do have control over how we respond and react to it.

As part of our series of weekly Career Refinery webinars, we’ll be covering ways to build resilience and apply it to challenging situations, to help you succeed in work and in life. For more details, call us on +44(0)20 7100 6656 or get in touch.