Top 10 tips to build your career resilience

Resilience is defined as the capacity to withstand or recover quickly from difficulties - and it is a key skill which employers value. So, how do you know if you have it?

Sue Mason from the NUBS Postgraduate Careers team shares 10 ways in which you can learn to build your resilience.

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Think about difficult times that you have faced. Did they knock you off balance? How long did it take you to bounce back? Resilience is a really useful skill in your career journey because most people don’t get offered the first job that they go for.

Gaining employment or promotion often takes time and the ability to keep going.

If you would like to build your resilience, it can help to learn some strategies, here are my ten:

  1. Set clear career goals. If you have your eye on the prize, it can carry you through the tough times. A Careers Consultant can help you with this.

  2. Remember how well you have done so far at school, university, and work. You are a successful individual.

  3. A failure is an opportunity for growth. Think about what you could do better next time and learn from every experience. Did you ask for feedback? Did you reach out for careers support? If not, why not try?

  4. You can embrace change. For example, redundancy can be the push that someone needs to reassess their career and start again in a different direction toward something more fulfilling.

  5. Build your confidence by practising for employer tests, interviews, and assessment centres. We have tools available to help you.

  6. Ask friends and family for support. Try buddying up with someone who is in the same position for mutual support. Have you tried mentoring? Is there someone who could guide you who has faced similar issues?

  7. Tell yourself that if an employer doesn’t recognise what you have to offer, then they are not the right company for you.

  8. Remember that it is a numbers game. The average number of people who apply for a job is 118 and only 20% of job applicants get invited to an interview. So, next time you're not selected, it’s not personal, just statistics. (Forbes)

  9. Practice visualisation techniques, recalling previous successes and imagining yourself succeeding again. It can also help to remember when you were not resilient and consider what you did differently that time so that you can avoid repeating it.

  10. Just go ahead and apply for that job or ask for that promotion. You can't win if you don't play, so what have you got to lose? If it doesn’t work, don’t worry. Everyone gets knocked back at some stage.

Once you have developed resilience, it is great to articulate it to employers. Demonstrating that you can adapt to change, be calm in a crisis, and problem-solve effectively under pressure will serve you well.

Employers appreciate self-awareness, adaptability, and emotional intelligence, often asking interview questions about when things have gone wrong to get real-life examples of how you managed.

Think of some anecdotes which best demonstrate these skills and use the STAR technique to explain the Situation, Task, Action, and Result of a problem that you faced. Employers may also assess your resilience in role plays at assessment centres, in situational judgement tests or even using gamification.

Your career journey may be a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows and will be affected by external changes such as those brought about by Brexit, Covid-19 and technological advancements.

Building your resilience will help you to navigate future change with confidence and success!

For support, contact our Careers Consultants at: