“Career resiliency is the ability to remain employable in the midst of the constant changes in today’s job market,” said Devin Ryder, senior consultant for career management at Harvard’s Office of Human Resources. “It’s a person’s ability to adapt and change in the workplace as needed, including a willingness to keep updating one’s skills,” she added.
According to Ryder, staff members with career resiliency develop diverse skills and knowledge that can help them climb the professional ladder, move around an organization, or assume a new role in their current job. Such employees keep up with trends in their chosen career, are curious about new knowledge and opportunities, and make the effort to network and build relationships.
To help employees cultivate this flexibility, Harvard is holding its first Employee Career Connection event April 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Graduate School of Education’s Gutman Conference Center, 6 Appian Way.
Harvard career consultant Laurie Stickels explained that the Employee Career Connection is designed to give employees tools for managing their own careers: “The event isn’t only about looking for another job. It’s about growing in (your) current job, developing skills, and establishing relationships for future career efforts.”
The event is open to all benefits-eligible Harvard staff with an ID. It will feature workshops on such topics as “Interviewing for Success” and “Career Roadmaps”; human resource professionals explaining the hiring process; and panel discussions with professionals and staff who have navigated successful career paths at Harvard.
“The Career Connection will provide information and, most importantly, will help employees meet other people from around Harvard – which is becoming more difficult with online recruiting methods,” said Stickels.
While events like Career Connection offer valuable resources and can give employees a welcome boost, Ryder said there is much an employee can do to build career resiliency on his or her own. “[Employees should] start by making sure they know what skills are required for them to do their jobs well,” she said, “then make sure they have those skills.”
Ryder also recommends reading up on career choices, regularly analyzing job descriptions on HIRES and externally to identify needed skills and experience as well as assessing how current skills compare, reading professional journals, and doing informational interviews to build knowledge and connections.
“The workplace of today is different even from the workplace of just five years ago. It’s important for us to realize that constant change is the new ‘normal’ for most American workers, and not to take it personally when things change around us,” said Ryder.