As we transition from winter to spring, or at least try to while the weather makes up its mind, we must practice patience, focus, and resilience. Resilience comes in many forms and enters our lives in countless ways, especially when it comes to financial matters. But as it relates to a transition time – whether it’s the weather, a divorce or sending your kids to college – resilience plays a key role in how we function in our daily lives and stay on path towards our goals and success.
I spoke with Founder and President of Inspirent Group, LLC, Nicole Newlin, who had a meaningful and successful career transition from teaching to financial services, to find out her take on the concept of recovering after an unexpected or difficult time. After Nicole decided to start her new career in brokerage/financial services, she began focusing on collaborating with her clients (Financial Services companies) to build the framework for meaningful change. She helps her clients with systems that aide in accurate and compliant practices so they can refine and improve their firm. Here’s what she had to say about the important of resilience in her life and her field of work.
Michael F. Kay: What is resilience?
One definition describes resilience as an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. I don’t know that I would include the word misfortune when I think about resilience. I see change as part of life and the ability to pivot and “make do” with a new direction as basic human growth. I would imagine that since I enjoy change and find it a necessary part of how one develops a career path; I might be overly positive about the concept!
Kay: Where does resiliency come from?
Absolutely from your inner core. I think everyone has it; how much you have just depends on how you react and manage your first experience when you needed to be resilient and bounce back. I see resiliency as something you must nurture and develop. If at your first cross roads you learn that someone will step in and resolve the challenge for you or burying your hand in the sand is a fine reaction; then you will be slower to adapt or manage change and less resilient compared to others.
Kay: Why is resilience important?
Because life is incredibly challenging. At every stage, especially if you are career driven, everything just seems to get more complicated and the world does not stand still. Speaking personally, had I not been raised to be fiercely independent and to be a decision maker who lives with the consequences, I would not have had what I feel is a very successful career so far. At every turn there was a time where I felt out of my element and way in the deep end with no floaties, but you just manage through it knowing that you can.
Kay: How do we build resilience?
First, ask yourself, “what’s the worst that can happen?” Often, it’s not as terrible as you think. Secondly, seek advice and listen to what others have to say, but choose your path –only you can really know. Lastly, don’t be so fearful to give something a try even if you haven’t considered every single option. It’s necessary to consider various sides to a problem but give yourself some sort of deadline as to when you decide enough is enough and make the call. If having a back-up plan in place makes you feel more confident, then develop it.
Kay: How can we increase our awareness and ability?
One specific example I can offer is when I’m met with a decision or situation where I can feel myself second guessing myself. Perhaps I’m starting to wonder if I have all of the expertise needed to lead a meeting or present a plan. When something like this happens, I consider two things:
1- Am I as prepared as I can be? Is there more research or discussion with others I could leverage to bring more value? If the answer is no, then I recognize I’m simply in a situation where I need to trust myself and appreciate what others see in me. If yes, then it’s back to the drawing board.
2- Listen. Listen. Listen. Maybe this comes later in life as I was just terrible at this in my 30’s. But speaking the most doesn’t necessarily make you the smartest person in the room.
Kay: In your experience, do women tend to be more resilient than men?
I don’t believe there’s a clear distinction by gender. In my experience, there are certainly patterns that emerge as to how I have seen resiliency in the work place handled differently. For example, in my suggestion earlier when I consider if have done all that I can to be prepared; in general, I feel like men seem to be more comfortable just stepping in and let the chips fall where they may. I think women like to prepare and possibly over prepare to feel confident, especially in the field I work in. It’s just a basic truth that the expectations are different for women in leadership vs. men. However, resilience starts with how you handle challenges at the earliest stages of life and how you nurture it, regardless if you are male or female.
When we think of resilience, we must engage our courage, determination, and strength in order to fulfill our desires and dreams. By working our resilience muscle constantly and having a positive attitude, we can solidify our direction on the road to success.