Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.

Napoleon Hill

In the face of downsizing, outsourcing, and higher demands on your productivity, would your employer call you resilient? Resilience is a skill more and more companies are looking for in their employees—people who can embrace change rather than fight it. Why is it so timely now and how can you be more resilient at work?

As I speak at major companies around the country, this is a theme that comes up over and over again. Longstanding, stable companies are dealing with more change than ever before, and these changes can be startling to employees. Many are very resistant. The people who are getting ahead, keeping their jobs, and even fielding multiple job offers to steal them away, are the ones who understand this and are a part of the answer companies are looking for to give them an edge in this economy.

1. Embrace what is.

Your company reality simply may not be what it used to be. Quit hanging on to what was and embrace what is. This is a major issue. Companies ask me regularly, “How can we get people to see the reality? Sales are not what they used to be, customers are not spending like they used to, and competition has crept up on us with changes in technology and customer expectations. We need our employees to change with us if we are going to survive.” There’s a good chance that this is your company’s reality too. Remember, your boss is always keeping an eye on the bottom line.

2. Don’t let change intimidate you.

If you work for an employer that’s been the same for decades and decades, it can be frightening when they start to make changes. You wonder if your position is secure. You wonder if you can adjust to new ways of doing things. But don’t let change scare you. Make a decision to embrace it. Be willing to learn. Having the right attitude can make the difference between moving up and moving out.

3. Be a bridge builder.

Can you be an employee who inspires and gets others on board with the changes and new reality that exists at your company? If so, you’re going to be a real asset. Rather than joining in the complaining and resistance, be the person who seeks to understand the reasons behind the change and have a positive impact on coworkers and employees. This doesn’t even mean you have to agree with the changes. Simply accept that some things have changed and be willing to do your part to help the company be successful. Understand your company’s biggest challenges and be a solution.

4. Don’t isolate yourself.

Isolation is a career killer. Relationships are the key to career success. Even if you are in a position—for example, IT—in which you don’t have to manage or interact with a lot of people on a daily basis, make it a goal to reach out, keep your boss and coworkers abreast of your progress, and simply be someone others want to be around. When difficult decisions are made, those with strong relationships at work are more likely to weather the storms.

5. Bounce back—over and over again.

Resilient people think differently. They are optimistic in the face of a challenge. So you’ve got to pay attention to what you’re telling yourself about the things going on at work. “I can’t do this” and “I don’t want to deal with all these changes” must be replaced with thoughts such as, “I’ve never done this before, but I can learn.”

My Challenge To You:

Be resilient at work.

Power Question:

Would your employer and employees call you resilient? Do you make change easier or harder on yourself and those around you? What would it look like for you to become more resilient?

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