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Your Stories Don’t Define You, How You Tell Them Will

May 14, 2019

When Bob Musial failed his role-playing test in his first sales job, he was humiliated. He was the only new hire out of seven to fail that session, and that made him even more motivated to prove to himself and others that he would be successful in that job.

He could have given up; it would have been easier in some ways to choose a different path after that dip in his confidence, but he didn’t. Instead, he doubled down on efforts to prove to himself that he could do whatever he set his mind to do. Part of that was trusting his instincts and ignoring a lot of the advice and guidance he was being given. And that aspect of his career resilience, coupled with his sense of humor, stayed with him for his many career transitions through 40+ years.

When it comes to career resilience, some of us take a more zig zag path, what I like to call a “gypsy career.” For those of us who regularly choose to change industries, roles, and environments, career resilience is dependent not only on our curiosity and ambition, it depends on our ability to convey to a potential new employer that we can apply all of what we’ve learned from every experience to be successful in a completely different role or industry.

For people who choose a more linear career path, career resilience depends on an ability to stay curious, and to prove, over and over again, that they will continue to be competent as the organization shifts into the future.

What does career resilience look like for you?

Bob & I discussed this topic and agreed that regardless of your career path, your career resilience grows with every opportunity you take to learn, and to build strong relationships across all parts of your life. As I’ve mentioned before, protecting your future income is critical, and two aspects of that are life-long learning in every aspect of life (personal growth/development, skill building), and building your diverse network of people before you need them.