Northeastern Univeristy Graduate Program
By Shayna Joubert

What is Career Resilience?

In general, resilience is the ability to cope and persevere in times of stress and change. It is a skill that can be learned and developed.

Career resilience, by extension, refers to one’s ability to adjust and adapt to career changes as they occur. Developing career resilience means taking charge of your own career path and continuously developing new skills to remain in-demand. Professionals can adopt behaviors, attitudes, and processes to help facilitate ongoing growth, despite any setbacks or challenges that may occur.

Developing career resilience means anticipating potential challenges and actively preparing for them. By doing so, you can reduce your risk, strengthen your mental fortitude, and position yourself effectively for future opportunities.

Four Strategies for Building Career Resilience

Leverage these four tips to help you weather unexpected challenges throughout your career.

1. Embrace Lifelong Learning
Staying up-to-date on emerging technologies and industry trends is a key component of career resilience. By taking online courses, enrolling in professional development workshops, and attending industry conferences, you can keep your skills sharp and remain in demand. Furthermore, you’ll increase your self-confidence and appear more competitive to employers along the way.

2. Cultivate a Robust Professional Network
Having a strong professional network can help stem the tide against changes in your career that may extend beyond your control. But don’t wait until there’s trouble to start fostering relationships. Start looking for opportunities today to connect with like-minded individuals in your industry and beyond.

Leverage your alma mater, participate in online discussions, utilize social media, and attend industry events to help build and strengthen your circle. Additionally, take the time to mentor others and to be mentored yourself. Focusing on building relationships with professionals in your industry can go a long way toward helping you advance your career, even amidst uncertainty.

3. Actively Manage Your Career
No one else is better prepared to manage your career than you. Take charge of your career trajectory by first reflecting on your strengths, development opportunities, past experiences, and current role. Next, determine (and write down) your short- and long-term professional goals. Revisit these goals over time, regularly assessing and revising them as needed.

From an external perspective, develop a personal brand to give others a clear sense of the value you can bring to organizations. In your current organization, keep looking for new ways to add value, be sure to creatively communicate your ongoing value to others.

4. Look Toward the Future
The most resilient professionals don’t get mired in the past; rather, they look forward to the future. Try to view each change you face as an opportunity for growth and improvement. Stay optimistic, tuned in, and ready to embrace potential opportunities as they arise.