Module 04: On the Job Success

Resilience and Success

Three versions of the same man appear. Two men in the background and one in the foreground. It’s raining out and one of the men in the background has no umbrella while the other has a broken umbrella. Both are getting wet and have grimaces on their faces, The man in the foreground is smiling and wearing a business suit and is standing under an umbrella off which raindrops bounce.

When facing a difficult task, are you usually able to accomplish your goal or are you more likely to give up? We all face challenges, stress, and change in our lives and in our careers. Building our resilience can help us to recover and adapt to difficult situations.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” — Maya Angelou

 Herrity, J. (2023) 52 Thought-Provoking Quotes on Managing Change Effectively, Indeed, Retrieved from

Your resilience and your belief in your own capacity to deal with various adverse situations can play a significant role within your career success.

Reflection Questions and Video

  1. What factors do you think contribute to career success?
  2. Watch the video below and reflect on your formula.
  3. Would you change  or add anything to it?

The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance

Achor. S. (2011). The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance. Ted Series. Retrieved from

How would you build resilience?

The table below outlines the factors that contribute to career resilience. You can build your resilience by developing the positive factors (in the right hand column) and reducing negative factors (the middle column). For example, if you approach your goals in a flexible way, changing your path as you learn more about yourself and the world of work, you’re more likely to be resilient when faced with unexpected stresses.

Think about each factor and whether you tend to land more on the positive or negative end of the spectrum.

Mouse over the terms below and/or select the “+” button below the table to view the definitions.

Table 4.2 Summary

Factor Negative Positive
Future Focus Hopeless Hopeful
Expectations Naive Realistic
Responsiveness Blaming Reflecting
Goals Fixed Flexible
Readiness Unprepared Strategic
Social Position Isolated Supported

When reflecting on your future career goals, write down what the following factors mean to you. What actions can you take to increase your resilience?

Below is how Jane filled out the table:

Factor What it Means for me? Action
Hopeful future focus I would like to be an office manager one day I will start picturing myself in this role and talking to my network about my career aspirations
Realistic expectations It might take me a few years to accomplish this goal Info interviews and find a mentor for additional guidance
Reflecting attitude What can I do to increase my chances? What I have already done? Write some success stories to reflect upon my accomplishments
Flexible goals I might decide to do something else later or even change my career. Be open to new ideas, Jane! Do research into other areas of interest such as fashion
Being strategic To plan in advance to prepare for the future Think about possible professional development courses to take
Have social support My network -people who can support me in my career Attend administrative professional conferences

Jane Career, a smiling woman in a business suit, sits at a desk and is writing on a piece of paper. The animation cuts to a chart with 3 columns whose titles are Factor, What it Means for Me and Action.

Career Resiliency Tips 


Start a new job with curiosity and observe how the business operates. Ask questions during the onboarding period. Curiosity also means showing genuine care for your co-workers. Spend time in conversation to get to know your colleagues better.


Being flexible can help you adapt to a new workplace culture. Go with the flow. Are you an employee with flexible attitudes who can take on new challenges on short notice?


Show up at work with a positive attitude. Being optimistic at work will help contribute to your career success.


Starting a new job also involves a steep learning curve. Keep learning. Find mentors. Being persistence will help you master the required skills necessary for your job.


It takes courage to join a workplace, especially one in an unfamiliar country, and to meet new colleagues and clients. The uncertainty during your probation period can cause anxiety. Embrace the uncertainty.

For more assistance, feel free to make an appointment with the Career Development and Community Engagement.


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