Professional resilience once meant having a recession-proof career, meaning that your work could sustain extenuating circumstances out of your direct control. But since the COVID-19 pandemic began, it is now difficult to think of any line of work that did not bear the brunt of the public health crisis. Instead, University of Phoenix Community Manager Brandon Ethridge encourages the public to perceive professional resilience as a way of thinking that encourages embracing transitions and adapting to change.

What does it mean to build resilience in the workplace?

According to Jamie Johnson, a career counselor at the University of Phoenix, building resilience and maintaining gratitude in the workplace go hand in hand. Johnson explains, “When change happens in our lives, we either have the option to embrace it or to run and hide.” Professionals should view their career choices as options they have complete control over. Whether satisfied or dissatisfied with one's journey, Johnson believes that resilience comes from genuinely believing in oneself as the driver’s seat. From Johnson’s perspective, that mentality can empower you to decide to get where you want.

Even when the commitment seems exhausting, resilience in the workplace stems from having a goal in mind that you picture yourself fulfilling. The more you believe in yourself and precisely how your choices will help you achieve an intended outcome, the more likely you will be able to sustain the twists and turns life throws your way.

To design these habits, Johnson recommends reflection during times of adversity. Ask yourself how you can look at a situation differently or what you can do better the next time instead of letting negativity and self-doubt consume you. You can also ground yourself during challenging times by reminding yourself what you are grateful to have achieved during your career and how learning from mistakes or inconveniences can prepare you for new endeavors.

What are the traits of a resilient careerist?

When considering a resilient careerist’s personality, University of Phoenix Career Advisor Carla Hunter says, “The words that come to me are having grit, determination, focus and clarity.” These individuals maintain all of this despite circumstances that can seem chaotic. On the other hand, Hunter lists adaptability to change as a top trait of a careerist because “change is the most consistent thing in life.” Hunter affirms, “Change happens, and may feel even painful, but later on, it proves to be for our good.”

From her tenure offering career advice to University of Phoenix students and alumni, Hunter has seen firsthand how flexibility can empower a successful careerist to remain positive despite living in a sometimes very chaotic world. She also names “building up your emotional reserves, especially at work” as a critical characteristic of resilient careerists. Admittedly, Hunter knows that these features can seem out of reach. She recommends that professionals strive toward them by starting “being quiet and mindful” each day as an imperative to “taking care of yourself.” From personal experience, she notices that being mindful helps “erase the clutter” of her mind to focus on her daily responsibilities as a career advisor.

Creating a plan for job search resilience

The job search process can take a toll on your confidence and your free time. By creating a strategic plan, you can stay focused and goal-oriented with your eyes on the prize of landing the perfect role for you. University of Phoenix Career Advisor Carla Camerino agrees with her colleagues that resilience encompasses the “ability to adapt and react to challenges.” She concludes, “Most people would put job searching up there as a challenging situation.” From her perspective, “There’s no one way to grow resilience” that works for everybody. The strategies to build resilience work, but their success and preferred adaptation can look different from case to case.

A resilient job search requires more than only spending time on job boards for hours on end. One strategy for building job search resilience can include writing down everything that is part of your job search to develop specific action items aimed toward your goals. Doing this exercise can also help you determine which job search tasks must be completed daily, weekly or monthly. As a result, you will notice that you can take complete control of your job search. Along the way, remind yourself that you are doing everything you can to welcome the opportunities that fit well with your career goals.

About University of Phoenix

Founded in 1976, the University of Phoenix is explicitly designed to break down the barriers standing in the way of a student completing a secondary degree program. That mission inspired the University to become one of the first to offer online education modules. These empower non-traditional students and adult learners to earn a degree with the flexibility needed for their busy lives on their chosen terms. University of Phoenix reviews are excellent. The University of Phoenix offers over 100 online programs including associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in popular areas of study such as business, education, healthcare, nursing and technology. For more information, visit