Tips to help you feel less worried and more in control during tumultuous times.
The world is an uncertain place. Perhaps you have noticed.
You still need to make a living, however. So it’s a really good idea to build up some resilience.
After all, resilient people — those who can bounce back and roll with the punches — feel more in control. When life throws you curve balls, or fails to throw you any balls at all, resiliency will help you to cope.
Fortunately, resiliency is something you can learn. Focusing on the positive, looking at challenges as opportunities to learn, maintaining good self-care, and hanging on to your sense of humor are all practices you can use to carry you through the storms of life.
When it comes to your career, your best resiliency tool is a strong and vibrant network. Don’t wait for a crisis. Always be looking for ways to extend and maintain your circle of colleagues, friends and potential mentors. Join groups. Attend networking events. Be willing to mentor others.
Not all of your networking activities need be business-related. You can find satisfying and inspiring volunteer work, get more involved in your church/synagogue/mosque, join a bicycling club or sign up for a local theater production. Nowadays, you can meet a lot of people, and perhaps do some good in the world, by getting more politically active. Whatever activity you choose, you will find it is other people who get you through the hard times.
One way to substantially increase resiliency is to learn something new. Challenging your brain makes your mind stronger and more flexible, just the way exercise makes your body stronger and more flexible. Learning is also empowering, and it may even enhance your job security. It’s fun, too.
Finally, a sure-fire way to have a resilient professional life, and even private life, is to build a good Plan B. This involves thinking through what you would do if everything you have right now blew up in your face, and writing it all down. Good Plan B’s also involve keeping yourself marketable (i.e., update those skills and certifications) and maintaining your job search documentation in ready-to-go form. Oh, and don’t forget to make a savings plan and stick to it.
Even in the best of times, building resiliency into your career is a good idea. Because stuff happens.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use and of the novel “The Paris Effect.” Email her at email@example.com.