Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Practising resilience in the workplace 

By Ellen Statham, Digital Account Manager at The Kite Factory

Welcome to Factory Settings, a content series from some of the women in digital at The Kite Factory.

This series aims to myth-bust misconceptions about the digital industry by showcasing the journey and talent of some of our fantastic women in digital. You’ll hear from women with a wide range of experiences and career paths – from Mohini Lakhani (Senior Digital Account Manager), who quickly made the switch from a career in neuroscience to Digital Marketing when she realised the lab life wasn’t for her; to Maria Tudor (Planner Buyer), who studied a masters in digital marketing and has tried her hand at PR and comms before settling on paid planning and buying.

They’ll share their perspectives on some of the most important things they have learned in their careers.

Resilience has become something of a buzzword in recent years, with businesses increasingly investing in resilience training for employees. As lucky as we are to work within the advertising industry, any role has highs and lows, such as challenging stakeholders, a stressful campaign, or not being successful at a pitch. Resilience is the ability to bounce back in the face of adversity and challenging circumstances. A resilient employee is someone who gets through a challenging situation and comes back ready to go again the next day. 

As with most worthwhile skills, resilience comes only with experience, overcoming challenges and facing difficult situations head-on. In addition, improving resilience takes time and effort, and great courses such as the NABS Resilience Programme can help.

Some of the ways I’ve worked on my resilience within the workplace are as follows.

Building Strong Relationships

Having a supportive network of colleagues is essential for overcoming workplace challenges. Nurturing strong relationships at work will make you feel more confident in the face of adversity but, crucially, can alleviate stress through humour and shared responsibility. A colleague and I recently discussed that we feel stress more acutely when at home than when in the office. We theorised that in the office, it felt like there was a support network around us, but at home, we can feel isolated with a problem. Additionally, when working from home you can feel as though you’re bothering a colleague with a problem, but collaborative problem-solving is much more natural in person. 

Focus on the Positive

When facing challenges, it can be easy to focus on the negative. Instead, look for opportunities for growth and learning, and remind yourself of the success stories within your current situation. According to a Positive Psychology article, optimism is a key attribute of the resilient mindset “Looking toward the future with optimism can help us recognise that setbacks are usually temporary and surmountable, helping us feel more hopeful and positive about what lies ahead.” Additionally, even in situations where there is no discernible silver lining, at least you are flexing your resilience muscles, paving the way for a more resilient mindset for your next challenge!

Look After Your Well-being

When we are in periods of high stress, it can be easy to neglect our own well-being, but building in time to look after ourselves is foundational to building resilience. Make time for activities that help you relax and recharge, such as walking, exercising, or even stepping away from your computer screen. 

A problem is likely to feel less intimidating once you’ve given yourself a chance to clear your head and return afterwards. 

Stay Flexible

Being flexible and adaptable is an important part of resilience. In our industry, this might mean being willing to take on new tasks or responsibilities, being open to constructive criticism, and being ready to pivot a media approach or response. When you’ve worked hard on a proposal for a long time, we can be a little protective of our work, but having an open mind and being ready to pivot will enable you to deliver stronger client results and foster a collaborative environment.

Ask For Help

Practising resilience within the workplace is not just about facing challenges alone. When you’ve exhausted all obvious avenues, there is no shame in asking for help! Whether it’s seeking guidance from a mentor or simply asking a colleague for assistance, reaching out for support can help you overcome challenges and build resilience.

Fundamentally, in this industry, it’s very important to have a supportive base that empowers its employees to grow and learn, allowing us to develop quicker and advance in our careers. 


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