Mary-Ann Owens and Associates

Resilience Blog

Reaching your goals with Grit

How Taking Responsibility for Our Lives and Careers Leads to Resilience

How Taking Responsibility for Our Lives and Careers Leads to Resilience

When I taught a class this month at our local university on the topic of Career Renewal and Resilience I had participants look at lists of fears and blocks that get in the way of their career success. I noticed some of the participants reacted to the topic of taking more responsibility in our lives and career. So this topic has been on my mind over the past week.

If you feel in charge of your life and work, possibilities can open up for you. When you take the time and effort to create your life, you become empowered and are not just a passive recipient of circumstances.  

What goals could you set if you dove into the following topics?

a) Ensuring you are doing some activities that make you happy?

b) Noting what you could be grateful for and demonstrating a great attitude?

c) Ensuring your thoughts are as positive as possible?

d) Noticing what is going well and letting that carry you forward?

e) Realizing what you are good at and interested in?

f) Acting on your goals?

g) Understanding other people’s perspectives?

h) Noticing others humanity and forgiving offenses?

i) Being involved in meaningful and important activities?

I don’t know about you but sometimes I don’t have a way to bring myself into a more positive state. I notice that people who are growing and on a spiritual path can offer me suggestions on different ways of looking at things from a broader perspective. This helps me learn to use my whole self in getting better outcomes.

The internet and reading material can also help us to gain new methods of dealing with things that are limiting us. We can google any topic and learn more about it. Our local public library has numerous books, videos and online resources that can help me be more resilient. A couple of books I have enjoyed lately are No Fears, No Excuses: What You Need to Do to Have a Great Career by Larry Smith and Flourish by Martin Seligman.

Often what might be getting in our way are ingrained patterns of thinking and behaving. Diving into a topic and investing some effort to learn and potentially become an expert on a topic can help you remove blocks and move you into your full potential.  

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How to Stay Resilient

How to Stay Resilient

This poster represents ways to stay encouraged and resilient. When we use our courage to get up and move forward in our day, good things will eventually happen. 

There are a number of ways to create positive actions in the poster.

  1. Asking ourselves what went well today, helps us to see our skills and the skills in the network of people we have around us. Asking this question generates positive momentum as well. 
  2. Giving ourselves and others the benefit of the doubt is such a positive action. When we see the negatives in ourselves and others the world around us shrinks. However, when we see the positives within ourselves and others the world opens up. 
  3. Network with others and don't be afraid to meet and talk with others. I remember reading somewhere that it only takes one person to change your life. One person can bring another person or opportunity to you. So reach out to others and they will, in turn, reach out to you. Building community is also building support in your work and life. 
  4. Being prepared for meetings and being lively or passionate with others you spontaneously meet leaves a positive impression with others. This can lead to more contact and opportunities. 
  5. Sometimes we dwell on what went wrong in the day. A good way to work with this is to redo the scenario in your imagination making the situation a success. By doing this you are practicing how you want to handle a similar situation in the future. 
  6. In a difficult situation, you can be generative with it by seeing the cup half full. What can you learn and how can you keep working on or trying in this situation? The only time you need to label this a failure is if you quit trying to learn or improve. 
  7. Dive into new areas in your field. What new trends are affecting your field? How can you dive into learning more about them? In this way, you stay on top of areas as they develop. 
  8. Volunteering to do things helps you develop your skillset. Often doing things others don't want to do, like taking notes at a meeting, can help you learn important information that others aren't privy to. 

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How to Advance Your Career Even If You Don't Have a Job

How to Advance Your Career Even If You Don't Have a Job

Many people think they need a job to make progress in their career. You don't need a job to make progress. Over time doing things that create forward momentum may create the work you need. So don't wait to start doing these career advancing moves. 

  1. Promote your progress. Let those with the authority to spend money and make decisions know the advances you are making in your learning, networks, and knowledge of their industry.
  2. Do your homework. Research the leading organizations and individuals in your field. Learn what they are doing to stay ahead.
  3. Have your finger on the pulse. Know what the emerging issues and trends are within your industry.
  4. Put your hand up. Volunteer within your industry association or on the board of an organization with a cause you are passionate about. Volunteering is a way you can expand your network and build your skills.
  5. Broaden your network in your field. You can attend industry events with a goal of meeting 3 new people at each event. You can let your current network know that you want to expand your network. Ask yourself are there people you should get in front of? 
  6. Find a mentor (or two). Spend time with people in your field who are further along the career path or considered experts in your industry.
  7. Polish your online profiles. Keep the information current on these public profiles, so that your contacts can be up to date on your progress.
  8. Push your passion forward. Advance your knowledge and abilities in areas of your career where you are truly motivated. This will be fun and rewarding as the learning and knowledge add to your skill sets.
  9. Take a risk. Put more skin in the game by putting yourself out more. You could organize an event, write an article, or offer to do a talk. Your efforts and learning can open doors, allowing you to meet new people, develop new opportunities, and give you new information and energy.
  10. Chart a career path for your career progress. What skills do you need as you round out your experience and move forward on your career path?

You can learn the skills you will require through;

  • taking a course,
  • researching and learning on your own,
  • writing an article and posting it,
  • volunteering, or
  • finding an expert or mentor.

These actions will advance your process, add to your knowledge base and network. Even if you don't have work, setting goals and carrying out some of these actions will move you closer to getting work that you would enjoy and shine at.

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