Table of Contents

Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers

Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers

Individual Wellbeing and Career Experiences

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Kathryn M. Page and Cary Cooper

Happiness in one aspect of our life can positively impact upon our satisfaction within other domains of our life. The opposite also rings true. Today’s generation of working people have often been called the generation who want it all. But can we really have it all? And at what cost to our and others’ happiness? Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers explores ways in which contemporary working people can thrive in a complex, volatile and uncertain world. Combining both research and practice, the contributors of this book cover all bases from individual wellbeing, family, work and career experiences, to leadership. They conclude by providing the reader with tools to combine what they have learnt and apply it to their own lives.

Chapter 4: Understanding and developing personal resilience

Jill Flint-Taylor and Alex Davda

Subjects: business and management, gender and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour, social policy and sociology, family and gender policy


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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