Resilience: How to ensure you make good career decisions.


How do you ensure you make good career decisions?


It’s the secret weapon to making sure that every turn you take works out for the best. 


Because resilience is the ability to bounce back when things go awry, and as we’re all humans, living this thing called life, things are going to go awry. When it comes to wanting a more fulfilling career or purpose led life, you’re going to be making changes and decisions in the hope that they’ll work out. You may also feel stuck, afraid that you’ll make a bad decision, or wrong choice. 

There really is no such thing, because when you have resilience, you always have the skills to bounce back, adjust your path, learn and become stronger, clearer, more focused. 

So here I am in this week’s blog, exploring what resilience is, why it’s important and how you can build your resilience, because, unlike what you may be led to believe, resilience is a skill and we all have it within us to develop that skill.

If you want to be sure to make good career decisions, or you feel you’ve taken a wrong turn, then read on. Seeking more passion, purpose and fulfilment in life might be peppered with set backs but when you have resilience, it doesn’t have to hold you back. 

For me, resilience is about being able to trust yourself.

If you know, that no matter what decisions you make you’ll be able to work it out, then it makes change a whole lot easier to deal with and if you follow my blogs, you’ll know that I often talk about the fact that we like to feel in control.

We like to think that life is a series of decisions, that cause equals effect and we can, with some certainty, predict what’s going to happen next. AND often times this turns out to be the case.

The times when our resilience is tested is usually when things don’t turn out as you think they might……

So if you knew you could always find a way to deal with the outcome of the career decisions you make with relative ease, wouldn’t you feel more confident? More prepared to take risk or put yourself ‘out there’. Of course you would.

Resilience is what helps you to shift out of a helpless mindset to a helpful mindset. It’s what moves you from stuck to unstuck and from inaction to action. It is an essential component to career success – however you choose to define it. 

So how do you become resilient?

What are some of the things you can do to develop your resilience and be confident in the decisions you’re making about your career. Let’s explore…..

Where do I find my resilience? 

When we need a dose of resilience the first place we go searching is inside. We all have an inner voice. It can be our biggest cheerleader and our biggest critic. For those of us with resilience to draw on you may be met with your inner cheerleader…

  • “It’s OK, dig deep, we can do this”
  • “Next week we’ll feel differently about this, just keep putting one step in front of the other” 
  • “It’s hard, but we can do hard things”
  • “We’ve been here before and we’re OK, let’s keep going”
  • “It’s not the end of the world, let’s learn from it and move on”

You may also recognise this…

  • “What do you think you’re doing?! You’re crazy! You couldn’t possibly …..”
  • “You’ve never been good enough, what makes you think you can be now”
  • “Showing yourself up again, I should have known”
  • “As if anyone would ever have faith in you”
  • “Might as well not bother, you’re doomed to fail” 

You’re not alone in that latter camp, having worked as a coach for over 10 years I can confidently tell you that we are horrible to ourselves, particularly when we need to show up for ourselves the most.

The problem with a nasty inner critic is it will keep us stuck. Ultimately we want to ‘stay safe’ so our critic will achieve that in any which way it can. When it comes to deciding what to do next about your career, gripping your inner critic is important. 

What can you do about this? 

One of the simplest and easiest things you can do is to talk to someone. 

Get out of your own head, find someone you trust and get a different perspective. 

Being listened to is great help. You don’t need someone to fix your problems for you, you just need someone who is willing to help you work out your thoughts. 

Resilience isn’t about being strong and doing everything on your own. Sometimes it’s about knowing when to ask for help. 

Share your career intentions with trusted confidants, talk about the concerns you have, the fears you’re met with, after all, they’re normal, understandable concerns. Making good career decisions is in part about due diligence and talking about your career direction is a simple place to begin. 

What can help me to be more resilient? 

1. We are more resilient together.

Who we surround ourselves with impacts how we react in times of difficulty. 

I have heard many times that we are the average of the people that we spend time with, so when you need dose of resilience, check the company you’re keeping and be sure to surround yourself with people who make you laugh and lift you up. Look for people who want to listen and also those who will call your bulls***. 

Seek out people who have made many career moves, find people who took wrong turns and ask what they did about these decisions. Grow your network of ambitious professionals who are embracing more risk, passion and meaning in their career paths. I’m growing a group on Facebook of these exact people, come and join us over there! Join here

2. Practice!

I know this might sound a bit nuts so stay with me here. 

How do you practice being more resilient? This comes down to what you’re doing when life is ‘settled’. Do you stay in your comfort zone and keep things plain sailing and safe, or do you push the boundaries of your comfort zone and keep trying things that you find uncomfortable? 

If the only time you face discomfort is when you have big decisions to make then you’re going to find these times difficult or challenging.

The key to resilience is to keep testing out a mild degree of discomfort and anxiety. So that’s about stepping outside of your comfort zone and doing something you wouldn’t normally do, for example, going on a course to learn a new skill, attending a networking evening to build some new relationships, setting yourself a goal to run a half marathon when the furthest you’ve ever ran is a 10k. 

It doesn’t matter what it is, what matters is getting used to the feelings of discomfort that accompany doing something for the first time. This will enable you to grow your resilience and you’ll have more experiences to draw on when you really need it. 

3. Focus on what you can control. 

We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react. 

Your mindset is a powerful tool. 

When we focus on what’s happened, we stay stuck. 

In the context of making good career decisions focus on all the things you can control, your research, your planning, the conversations you can have with people, the ideas you can explore. You can’t control whether it will all go to plan. You can control how you’d react if it didn’t work out and this might look like mitigating the biggest risks as part of your planning process. 

When you focus on what you can control you open up options. 

What if I really struggle with resilience and already do all of this? 

It’s true that resilience comes easier to some of us than others. And that’s ok, we can’t all be good at everything. It says nothing about you other than you want to learn to be more resilient. 

The reason you may find it harder than others is resilience is closely tied to how we see ourselves and the beliefs that we hold. Your life experience plays a big part. 

This is where my specialist skills come in. Using a range of tools and techniques across multiple coaching methodologies such as Neuro Linguistic Programming, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Transactional Analysis and Gestalt I work with clients on the deeper issues that are holding them back. Maybe you know what these are, maybe you don’t. My role is to help you to understand the challenges you face, why you face them and design the right intervention for you to unlock your way forward. 

You don’t have to stay stuck. There are always options and if you find yourself in this latter camp, I’d love to help you. Check out the ways that you can work with me 

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