How to be resilient in recruitment

Kristen Buckheit

Failure – when it happens – can be devastating. We’ve all been there – whether it was a programme that failed to hit its numbers or an excruciating client presentation that you wish never happened. It’s easy to let failure define us rather than refine us.

Our career is a collection of successes and failures, and we’d be short-sighted to only focus on one or the other. In a fast-paced environment like recruitment, we are unkind to ourselves when we let failure supersede all the other successes we’ve accomplished. When we solely focus on the negative, we forgo any lesson we might learn from failure itself.

When things don’t go as planned, try and remember a few of these thoughts, so you’re not caught up in the mire of fear and failure:

  • Reflect on what you’ve done, and what you can do
    Park that inner voice that’s telling you that you can’t, shouldn’t or you’re not meant to. We’ve all had crises of confidence in our personal and work lives and have failed to identify them. You have to go back to your own personal arsenal of what you’ve done and who you knew that helped. When you can take a step back and have an objective view of yourself, your accomplishments and your obstruction – you’ll see that there is a way forward.

  • Go plan A to plan B to plan C
    If the first plan went awry, how can you improve next time? It’s not about throwing your hands in the air and giving up. It’s like a child learning to walk; they pick themselves up and try again and again. Resilience is an important trait to nurture for anyone who’s aspiring to grow their professional career. Life – both at work and home – rarely goes as planned. What you learn when you have to go and make up your plan B, C and D will arm you for what’s next.

  • Lean on your support network
    Surround yourself with a group of people who support you. They won’t allow your confidence to fall to a place where you feel like giving up. When you have a healthy network of peers and mentors, they’ll be the ones you can ask for help and get an objective view of situations. Quite often, we work in isolation. Just because it’s your own career trajectory doesn’t mean you can’t have colleagues, mentors and peers weigh in on your journey. Your network will keep you grounded and help you make well-rounded decisions when you’re feeling stuck.  

  • Barriers only exist if you put them up
    If you start to perceive that there are barriers at work, then you start working towards them. For me, I don’t want to acknowledge that they are there. At Resource Solutions, I’ve been given opportunities to start new teams, move to different countries and move from Robert Walters – and my sole focus has often been to deliver best-in-class programmes so that everyone involved wins. There are no blockers to what we can do. Failure doesn’t have to be a barrier – it’s a learning opportunity.

Remember, it’s the totality of your career – the wins and losses – that end up teaching you resilience. Before you know it, you’ll be many years in – recalling the moments that you learned from the most.