Building resilience during challenging times can be difficult to say the least. The turmoil of the past 18 months has taught us that we need to be flexible in the event of unexpected events. The world of work has changed drastically and it is important that we all adapt to new realities.
Interestingly, many of the changes we have seen have been predicted by experts for the future of work. The Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated events that have already started.
The nature of work will continue to change due to the recent move to remote work. Add technological innovations and cultural developments, and resilience has never been more important to Mastering challenges at work.
What resilience looks like can vary greatly depending on where you are in your career and what industry you are in. However, there are important tips for staying resilient that anyone can apply to their careers.
1. Treat everyone crisis as an opportunity to build resilience.
As much as we want our working life to run 100% smoothly, this is rarely the case. Conflicts often arise from communication problems, short-term changes to a plan, or rejection. It can be tiring and incredibly stressful.
However, these moments offer us the opportunity to reflect inwardly, learn and grow. Building resilience requires that we learn from the situations we face.
Failure shouldn’t be a scary word. Failure is a fact of life. Nobody goes through life without experiencing it. By allowing yourself to fail and reflecting on the lessons of that failure, you can avoid making the same mistakes twice.
2. Building resilience requires a supportive network.
One of the biggest challenges people face today is loneliness and isolation. This was a serious problem even before the Covid-19 pandemic, and it’s only getting worse.
As an author, conference speaker and economist, Noreena Hertz argues in her book The lonely century, the loneliness crisis is damaging our health.
Many of the topics Hertz explores in her book require systemic change in order to break them down. However, there are individual steps we can take to strengthen our support network.
Moving the needle can be as simple as reaching out to coworkers and asking them how they are feeling at work. Very often the best way to feel supported is when you start to support others. This type of initiative helps build a community.
3. Be realistic.
We all set goals for ourselves … and so should we! Working towards a goal is vital to one’s career.
However, when we are trying to achieve a goal, we often do too much at once. If you are realistic about your ability to work, you can avoid stress and burnout. In the long run, feeling too busy makes career advancement less rewarding. Building resilience means being careful not to bite off more than you can reasonably chew.
4. Stay organized.
It can be difficult to maintain a sense of order, especially in the modern workplace where tasks pile up at once. Because of this, staying organized is essential to building resilience.
The lion’s share in building resilience is consistently fighting against feelings of stress. A big part of battling feelings of stress is avoiding chaos.
It is true that unexpected problems can always wait around the corner. However, if you’re generally well prepared, dealing with the unexpected can be significantly less difficult. Maintain an organized inbox, mark important files, save e-mails with important information – these simple measures can alleviate any turmoil that arises from a sudden crisis.
5. Breathe … and take time for yourself.
Many experts on the future of work predicted the increase in home work even before the Covid-19 pandemic. However, what few people have predicted is the fact that significant numbers of people will work longer now as a result of this change.
Perhaps that’s not really surprising. Even if we switch off for the day, our personal devices are still connected to our work email or Slack. This makes it difficult to come off completely. Building resilience requires that we create and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
However, taking time for yourself is a key to getting to work with vigor and motivation. Signing off in the evening and setting clear boundaries can completely change your work life. We have all heard the phrase “work to live … don’t live to work”. While this saying may be a bit clichéd, it is something that even the most ambitious should heed.