In this article, you will:
- learn more about resilience;
- know why women need an extra dose of this competence;
- discover 4 ways to develop it.
In the work environment, changes are constant. Whether due to market pressure, new projects, transitions in hierarchical structures or even changes in society itself (the COVID-19 crisis is an important example), resilience is one of the most required survival skills in the corporate world.
Professional women, for having to assume most of the household chores in addition to their work in the famous “double journey” (sometimes triple, because it continues when the daily paid tasks end), among other difficulties we will discuss, find themselves in very challenging situations in which they need to exercise the ability to face extreme fatigue caused by this particular condition, in order to resist discouragement and continue to pursue career growth.
In this article, we will tell you a bit more about this skill and suggest some actions for you to practice it as a way to not give up on your professional goals.
Let’s start with resilience. What does it really mean?
In physics, resilience is the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity. In human psychology, we use the term to describe the capacity of those who adapt well to bad situations, changes or misfortunes. It is the natural tendency to easily recover, overcoming problems that arise.
In contexts where the social, economic, financial and institutional scenarios vary at an increasing speed, demanding progressively more from companies and, as a result, from their employees, resilience becomes a necessary skill to face corporate challenges. According to the article “5 Ways to Boost Your Resilience at Work”, from Harvard Business Review:
Resilience and women
Although the market is already a space of strong female presence, most of them are in subordinate positions and there are still certain sectors and activities in which women are a minority (to read more about this topic, check out our article: The loneliness of women leaders : 3 Ways to Warm Up Your Leadership Experience). As a result, there is a stronger need for these women to demonstrate they are competent and efficient as a way to validate their technical and command skills.
“If the doubts that are imposed on their ability to take on strategic projects were not enough, women can also be – in extreme cases, but unfortunately still recurrent – victims of moral and sexual harassment. This is not common to happen to their male colleagues“.
Thus, to the normal difficulties of life in the labor market for everyone, for women, there are extra hours of care at home, prejudice about their intellectual and strategic capacity, their lesser presence in management positions and consequent lack of empathy management, in addition to exposure to criminal moral situations. That said, it is crucial that women develop resilience as a way to bypass the additional barriers placed on their career advancement journey.
4 ways to build resilience
In order to stay economically active and pursue new achievements, we suggest you practice the following ideas:
- Remember your purpose
Constantly try to remind yourself why you are where you are and what motivated you to take this path. By evoking what inspired you, you get back to believing in what you do and gain extra energy to move forward. Consider putting an image, a word or phrase on your desk that refers to this purpose.
- Take notice of your achievements
Rescue the moments when you’ve won an award, recognition, or something you’re very proud of. As you recall these memories, reflect on the skills you used to achieve these results. By digging through your past accomplishments, you celebrate your strengths and come to trust yourself more, even in times of adversity.
- Analyze your problems phase by phase
A mistake or a complex project can be seen as impossible to face if it is observed in a global and hasty way. A more effective way to deal with challenges of this nature is to compartmentalize their resolution in stages, executing or addressing them one by one.
A challenge can take on bigger dimensions iif you don’t have feedback from bosses, colleagues and employees. Seek their advice and be sure to express your position. Understanding the point of view of others involved and letting people know your own opinion on a particular topic can save you time and, eventually, reduce your stress level.
Resilience is a useful skill for professionals who feel defeated facing the first set back or unexpected change of plans. Sometimes objections arise precisely to assess who has the greatest passion for doing the unthinkable and working constantly to leave a legacy behind, whether in business or in the lives of those they work with. Even if leaders, peers, teams, suppliers, government, foreign policy or diseases seem to conspire against them.
Let’s talk chat about this
Have you ever found yourself having to deal with situations in your company where resilience had to come into play? If yes, what did you do? What were the results?
We want to hear your story, please share it with us on the comments.
*Co-authored with Sandra Milena Acosta
Sandra has worked for more than 12 years in the strategic planning and risk management of global financial institutions. Master in Economics from UFPR, graduated in Economics from UNICAMP and post-graduated in Digital Marketing from Kellogg Executive Education, she recently went through a career transition and is now a Writer of Chronicles, Children’s Literature and Poems. All of her work is available on her Instagram page (@sandramtca) and on Medium.