Individual Wellbeing and Career Experiences
New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Kathryn M. Page and Cary Cooper
The most important message in this chapter is that personal resilience can be developed – it is not a single, fixed trait that is present in some people and lacking in others, nor is it something that remains unchanged once a person reaches adulthood. While the developmental view of resilience may seem obvious to some readers, the prevalence and potentially negative impact of the more simplistic ‘fixed trait’ view should never be underestimated. Researchers and people development specialists have been moving towards a better understanding of the complex nature of personal resilience for some years now. However, it is still all too common for both an individual’s career and general wellbeing to be undermined by ill-informed assumptions about resilience. Someone may, for example, be overlooked for promotion because a brief but difficult episode in their home life has led their boss to label them ‘lacking in resilience’. Another person may decide not to pursue a dream career because they believe they will never have the confidence to move outside the comfort zone of the work they are used to doing.
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