A lesson in career mathematics: Resilience ≈ Opportunity

by Sarah Becker
Vice President at Charles Aris Inc.

In our modern world of rapid change, resilience has become even more important to career success.

Resilience is defined by the ability to recover quickly from challenges. We have to be ready for the unknown, to quickly adjust when the unexpected occurs. By adopting a few simple practices, there are many ways in which we can build or rebuild resilience.

Below are four key areas to focus on when building resilience, along with some techniques to help you hone this critical skill:

  • Physical
    • Incorporate regular physical activity: Work the gym, walking, hiking, team sports, etc. into your weekly calendar.
    • Build intentional activity into your daily calendar: Make it happen every 90 to 120 minutes, even if it’s simply a five-minute walk around your workplace to interact with colleagues.
    • Conduct walking meetings: If a conference doesn’t require a computer or note-taking, consider walking while you discuss matters.
  • Mental
    • Meditation: If you don’t know how, try one of the many mobile applications available.
    • Play games: Spend five to 10 minutes engaging in mental games (sudoku, puzzles, you name it) to recharge.
    • Be optimistic: Hope is a choice. Shift away from negative rumination and focus on more positive thoughts.
  • Social
    • Invest in relationships: Develop strong and supportive connections with individuals who will encourage you to stay positive and support you through challenges.
    • Create social gathering spaces in your workplace: These are areas you and your colleagues can use to promote openness, creativity and productivity.
    • Schedule volunteer opportunities: Enable people to come together for a common cause in your community.
  • Emotional
    • Show admiration and / or gratitude: Consider putting five buttons in your right pocket. Each time you compliment or genuinely thank someone, move a button to your left pocket and don’t stop until all buttons have been moved.
    • Journal: Take time to think about and record the positive moments of your day(s).
    • Write and share “Just Because” notes: Buy a box of notecards and, at the end of each day or week, write a note thanking or complimenting someone for doing something positive for your organization, team, friends or family.

Many of these ideas address multiple components of resiliency. Adopting even a few in your routine can greatly improve your ability to remain focused and effective amid most any challenge!