Resilience is ‘the ability to recover quickly from change or misfortune; buoyancy’ (

Career resilience is about the ability to bounce back from career-related setbacks and learn from experiences so you can keep moving towards your career goals.

‘I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life… Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.’

Steve Jobs, on being fired from Apple in 1984

Being resilient in your career means being able to:

• bounce back from adversity

• adapt to change

• resume your career identity in spite of career setbacks.

6 ways to develop career resilience

1. Accept change as constant – focus on your ability to adapt to change and be flexible.

2. Be optimistic – view challenges as opportunities to learn and grow in your career and see your goals as possible and attainable.

3. Find meaning and purpose – focus on your work values and the contribution you want to make.

4. Take responsibility for your career – only you can take the actions needed to move towards your career goals. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you.

5. Develop emotional intelligence – the ability to understand your emotions as well as those of others. Know how to manage emotions effectively in the workplace to ensure positive working relationships.

6. Balance work and life goals – as your life changes you‘ll need to adapt in order to balance the various aspects. Many workplaces have policies on flexible working hours, job sharing, and special leave provisions that can help you to balance your work and life goals. Knowing what these are and making the most of them can help you achieve greater work-life balance.


Watch Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement address.

What setbacks did Steve Jobs overcome?

How did his response to his circumstances affect his ability to persist and succeed?