Career Resilience

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Career Resilience

Change in the workplace continues at a rapid pace, affecting careers and career development. Mergers, acquisitions, reengineering, and downsizing are influencing employment patterns and altering the career directions of many. No longer are individuals advised to think in terms of spending their entire careers in one organization. Rather, they are being led to recognize the temporary nature of all jobs and the need to prepare themselves for redefined career paths that require resilience and an ability to be self-reliant. This Digest defines the concept of career resilience, including the characteristics of individuals who are career resilient and the characteristics of organizations that support career resilience.

Definition of Career Resilience

Collard et al. (1996) present several definitions of career resilience. One of these is "the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, even when the circumstances are discouraging or disruptive" (p. 33). Another definition of career resilience is "the result or outcome of being career self-reliant" (p. 34). Although career self-reliance and career resilience have been used interchangeably, there is a slight difference in the focus of each term. Career self-reliance refers to individual career self-management taking responsibility for one's own career and growth while maintaining commitment to the organization's success; career resilience refers to individual career development developing the knowledge and skills required to make a visible and personally motivated contribution to the organization and its customers.

The Need for Career Resilience

The emphasis on the self-management and self-development of one's career is a reflection of the shift in the ...

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