What Are Resilience Skills? And How to Improve Them

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 26 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

In the workplace, there may be many types of problems to solve. Managing issues and prospering in the face of adversity necessitates resilience. Understanding how to cultivate resilience traits may help solve problems at work. In this article, we define resilience skills, present examples of resilience abilities and explain how to enhance them to excel in your professional path.

What are resilience skills?

Resilience skills entail the capacity to solve and adapt to problems to overcome them. A person with great resilience abilities can manage disappointments because they don't allow setbacks to prevent them from growing professionally. Like everyone else, they face obstacles and stress, but they can approach these challenges more positively and don't allow challenges to slow their progress. For instance, a resilient individual who receives a job rejection email may feel disappointed but also motivated to apply what they've learnt from the experience to the next job application. These are three types of resilience:

  • Natural resilience: This is something that you're born with. It often refers to a passion for life and a willingness to try new things.

  • Adaptive resilience: This stems from adversity, which forces you to adapt and evolve, leaving you stronger than before.

  • Restored resilience: This is the result of purposeful study and practices to increase your talents.

Resilient individuals often have an optimistic attitude and self-image, the capacity to adjust to changes, a predisposition to see obstacles as opportunities and an awareness of one's own limitations. Patience, optimism, a sense of humour and a tolerance for negative emotions are all important characteristics of resilient individuals. Developing resilience abilities necessitates encountering discomfort and persevering through it. The tougher situations you encounter, the better you may be able to withstand and adjust to them.

Resilience skills examples

There are a number of talents that contribute to resilience. The following are some examples:


Optimism enables you to focus on the positive and envision the good that can come from adversity. For example, you may take a substantial amount of time and effort to prepare reports. If you're optimistic, you can have the perspective that you're still in the process of honing your report writing skills. You can remain aware that with more experience, you can hone your abilities and make progress.


Resilience entails being aware of your emotional reactions to situations, which may lead to a better knowledge of what gives you happiness and what frustrates you. Another aspect of resilience is being conscious of your own flaws and either avoiding them or finding methods to work around them. This self-awareness may prompt you to look for methods to improve yourself and your capacity to work under pressure.


Flexibility, as a professional talent, refers to the capacity to cope with stress without causing harm to one's health. When you're adaptable, you can work in difficult conditions. For instance, if a customer unexpectedly requests large adjustments to a fully completed project plan, flexibility allows you to accommodate them and better manage the stress of more work and probable work loss.


Patience enables you to overcome obstacles and it also helps you to control your emotions. A patient individual knows the value of delayed gratification, understanding that bearing discomfort now can result in future rewards. By being patient, you can wait and look forward to a more positive outcome in the future. This helps you to stay positive and stress-free as you can have a strong belief that you may solve your problems soon. It also keeps you focused on your personal and professional goals. In turn, others around you may see you as a valuable asset on whom they can rely.


Self-confidence is the belief that you have the ability to achieve your goals. It helps you overcome difficulties with confidence in your capacity to succeed. Self-assurance may be beneficial in a variety of professional scenarios. For instance, if you're in charge of a huge project at work, self-assurance might keep you focused on completing it properly rather than getting distracted by what might go wrong along the way. This skill can help you emphasise your own strengths in job interviews rather than comparing yourself to others.


Because resilience is an ability to tolerate pressures, resilient people feel that their activities can offset their circumstances. This feeling of accountability for their own actions adds to a strong work ethic. It drives people to work hard since they know that their actions and reactions to events are among the things they can control.

Problem-solving abilities

Solving challenges might help with resilience as you keep trying to overcome issues that may be beyond your abilities. Similarly, being a proactive issue solver seeking to prevent prospective barriers may naturally complement resilience. This often emerges from past experience of solving difficult problems inventively. For instance, if you've ever been short-staffed while working on a deadline, you may be aware of the need of having work allocation contingency plans in place so that you and your team are more likely to meet the deadline.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills Examples (With Steps to Develop Them)

Collaboration and cooperation

In the workplace, people often use crucial communication skills such as listening and questioning. When encountering a challenge, you may benefit by understanding all of the specifics and asking clarifying questions so that you may adjust and recuperate as swiftly as possible. Working with and confiding in people may relieve stress and avoid more aggravation. Thus, resilience may include knowing when to ask for help or reach out for support.

Related: 9 Examples of Attributes to Include on Your Resume

How to boost your resilience abilities

You can take the following steps to strengthen your resilience:

1. Have a goal

Having a cause to be resilient might provide the motivation you need for practising resilience. In moments of crisis, having a sense of purpose can help you recover quickly. Your purpose can be anything that motivates you to enhance your strength and endurance in the face of adversity, such as a desire to be a trustworthy colleague, an aspiration to a promotion or opportunities to upskill. To improve your resilience skills, it's important that you create small achievable goals and set a timeline to achieve these goals.

Related: What Are Some Common Career Development Goals Examples

2. Boost your self-esteem

Believing that you can handle challenges and prosper against them can considerably boost your resilience. Constantly remind yourself of past successes so that you may gain confidence to succeed in future tasks. To gain self-confidence, be more aware of the thoughts you have towards yourself and challenge any negative thoughts. You may then want to replace those negative thoughts with positive and hopeful statements about yourself. You can even verbalise these statements in front of the mirror to increase your self-esteem.

Related: How to Self-Motivate at Work (With Steps and Tips)

3. Improve your problem-solving abilities

Knowing that you can discover answers might help you feel more prepared and confident the next time you confront an issue. That sense of readiness and confidence is critical for enduring or recovering from adversity. To improve your problem-solving skills, it's important to plan the process of solving the problem in stages. Try to look at every small issue individually and solve them one by one.

4. Acknowledge and accept change

Flexibility is a necessary component of resilience. You can be more ready to respond to a crisis if you learn to accept change readily. When faced with changes at work, remain optimistic about the situation by trying to see the benefits those changes could bring. For example, the company may want to downsize the office space and implement hot desking instead. Even though you may lose your permanent working space, you can think about the benefits of this arrangement, such as stronger working relationships with colleagues and improved teamwork.

5. Have faith in your loved ones

People who have close ties at work are less prone to stress and are more satisfied with their jobs. This also applies to your personal life as the more genuine connections you cultivate, the more resilient you may be since you may have a solid support network to rely on. When you're feeling overwhelmed, having a strong support network of friends and family can help you feel comforted. Your loved ones may express their faith in you and urge you to persevere, which may provide what you require for maintaining your resilience in difficult times.

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