Make us your home page
Instagram
Working | Career development

Take steps to be a career-resilient worker

Today, with all the mergers, acquisitions, downsizings and other changes in the workplace, it is more important than ever for employees to take steps to be more self-reliant and career resilient.

Workers should not simply worry about holding on to a specific, narrowly defined job, but they should make sure they have developed the competitive — and portable — skills needed in the marketplace. Career-resilient workers are more employable because they have positive and flexible attitudes, they are adaptable to change, they are willing to take risks, and they engage in continuous learning.

Having career-resilient workers is not just good for the employees, it is also critical for employers if they hope to be successful in tomorrow's rapidly changing competitive world.

In our upcoming book on human resource management, John Bernardin and I outline some actions individuals and employers can take to build a career-resilient workforce.

What can employees do?

Employees need to take control of their careers now more than ever, developing new and better personal skills of self-assessment and career planning. Organizations do not have the resources to completely plan individuals' careers.

Here are things you can do:

• Set career goals and clearly define what talents, preferences or passions interest you.

• Develop your collaboration and teamwork skills because organizations are increasingly relying on project teams to get work done.

• Develop multiple networking and peer-learning relationships. This will also help you find new jobs during difficult economic times.

• Be a continual learner. You need to be adaptable to changing job requirements.

• Periodically solicit feedback to appraise how you are doing relative to your career goals.

• Keep your skills relevant, whether through additional schooling or taking on new assignments. You can use sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Meetup and YouTube to learn new things and explore your interests and passions.

• Be prepared to undertake a "career makeover." Many employees and executives that I coach find that they need to periodically reinvent themselves if they are looking to make a career switch or transition. That means being willing to experiment, recognizing you don't have to perform perfectly the first time.

What can employers do?

Employers should work in partnership with their employees. They need to offer opportunities for professional growth and development and engage their employees in challenging work. Thus, while it is the employee's responsibility to manage his or her own career, it is the employer's responsibility to provide employees with the tools and opportunities to enhance their skills.

Here are some suggestions:

• Be honest about challenges facing the firm so employees understand what new skills they might need in the future.

• Allow employees opportunities to shadow workers or cross train in other departments.

• Encourage employees to consider lateral moves to enhance their knowledge of the firm.

• Create an environment for continual learning by supporting and rewarding employee development and learning, offering, for example, training programs or tuition reimbursement.

• Provide opportunities for self-assessment. Have career counselors and career resource centers available.

• Have managers trained as coaches and mentors to assist employees.

• Encourage employees to create individual development plans that meet their personal career needs and the firm's strategic goals.

• Assist employees with striking balances between their work and nonwork lives.

• Before going outside for help, try to redeploy existing workers to teach them the new skills needed.

The success of our future workforce depends on employees' ability to adapt to changes in their careers and to remake themselves, as well as how willing employers are to support and nurture their efforts.

Russell is the director of the Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Program at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. She is a licensed industrial and organizational psychologist and has more than 25 years of experience coaching executives and consulting on leadership and career management.

Take steps to be a career-resilient worker 03/03/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 3, 2012 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. The Iron Yard coding academy to close in St. Petersburg

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Iron Yard, a code-writing academy with a location in downtown St. Petersburg, will close for good this summer.

    Instructors (from left) Mark Dewey, Jason Perry, and Gavin Stark greet the audience at The Iron Yard, 260 1st Ave. S, in St. Petersburg during "Demo Day" Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, at The Iron Yard, which is an immersive code school that is part of a trend of trying to address the shortage of programmers.  The academy is closing this summer.  [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  2. Florida's unemployment rate drops for fourth straight month

    Markets

    How low can Florida's unemployment go? Pretty low, according to the state's latest unemployment numbers. The Sunshine State's unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent for June, down from 4.3 percent in May, state officials said Friday morning.

    Florida's unemployment level dropped to 4.1 percent in June from 4.3 percent in May. |  [Times file photo]
  3. Is sinkhole damage sinking Tampa Bay property values?

    Real Estate

    On a scale of desirability, the house for sale on Whittner Drive in Land O' Lakes would rank fairly low. It's a short sale; it sits on an unstabilized sinkhole and it's within a few miles of two houses that collapsed into a gargantuan hole July 16.

    A gated community in Hernando's Spring Hill area, Pristine Place has long been susceptible to sinkholes with nearly a third of its houses with documented sinkhole damage by 2012. Today, however, many houses with repaired sinkhole damage are selling for more than houses without any issues. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times file photo]
  4. The real estate pros in charge of Tampa's $3 billion makeover are younger than you think

    Working Life

    TAMPA — Brooke May, a 36-year-old senior construction project manager, knew she wanted to work for Strategic Property Partners the minute she met some team members involved with the group's massive downtown Tampa makeover.

    Matt Davis, Vice President of Development posed for a portrait in the Strategic Property Partners office in Channelside on July 12, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
  5. St. Pete Beach may loosen beach drinking rules for hotel guests

    Local Government

    ST. PETE BEACH — Drinking a beer, a cocktail or a glass of wine may soon be legal on this city's beaches, but only for hotel guests in and around their hotel's beachfront cabanas.

    Registered hotel guests would be able to drink alcoholic beverages at their cabanas on the beach under a new rule the St. Pete Beach City Commission is considering.