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Let’s get started

Watch this video from Associate Professor Marcus O'Donnell to find out what you'll be learning in this course.
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SPEAKER 1: Hello, and welcome to this two-week course on developing professional resilience. Over the next two weeks we’ll explore a number of ways, a number of very practical ways, that you can develop a greater sense of happiness and well-being in your own life. Just being outdoors like this, having a sense of openness, sends signals to our mind and to our body that immediately make us feel more buoyant. Scientists in the UK recently set up what they called a nature challenge. They asked over 18,000 participants to do something wild each day. Everyone chose something different where they went out and connected with nature every single day of that month.
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And no surprises, at the end of the study, participants reported an increased sense of health, happiness, and well-being. This course isn’t a nature challenge, but we will be challenging you to do something different, to choose new things, to experiment in your life. And one of the insights from neuroscience is that we can train our brain by doing new things. And we’ll explore some of these practices that help us change our mental models as we go further in the course. Something that I will be stressing in this course is that no single strategy leads to resilience.
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It’s about you knitting together a set of practices, a set of strategies, that make sense in the context of your own life and the things that give you meaning. And I really look forward to hearing what you figure out about resilience for your life in the comments that we’ll share at the end of every step.
Contemporary life is stressful, and we all need to become more resilient both personally and professionally.
Given the current outbreak of COVID-19 and many people’s rising concerns, about their health, their families and their jobs, preserving and building our personal and professional resilience supported by practical, digitally enabled strategies is more important than ever.
Resilience is commonly thought of as the capacity to ‘bounce back’ after stressful life events, but it’s also far more complex than that.

What you’ll be learning

In this course you’ll:
  • explore different definitions of resilience
  • discover how you can learn to become more resilient
  • investigate how resilience contributes to career success
  • explore the role of organisations and communities in building resilience
  • produce your own resilience plan.
The big question we’ll be working together to answer is: how can we learn to be more resilient?
While responses to COVID-19 are not the focus of this course, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with other participants from around the world about this topic that affects everyone, everywhere.
Many of the strategies that have allowed us to grow and nurture our capacity for resilience in the past, will apply just as well today. But we may need to adjust some of these strategies to the current situation. Sharing with one another in this course will enable us to build new approaches to resilience and adapt old ones as we move together in very uncertain times.

Meet the team

Your lead educator for this course is Associate Professor Marcus O’Donnell (Pro Vice-Chancellor, Teaching and Learning, Deakin University). Marcus has over 30 years experience in education, health and community development, and currently researches connections between education and wellbeing.
Also on hand to join you in conversation for the first few weeks is Warren Summers. As a psychotherapist, communications manager and community worker, Warren’s research explores the interaction between narrative, social justice and wellbeing.
Dr Bianca Frost from our course design team will also be on-hand in later weeks to support discussions and help answer your questions.
If you haven’t already, make sure you follow Marcus, Warren and Bianca for course updates, feedback and discussions. You might also like to follow our conversations using #FLResilience on social media.

Your learning outcomes

By completing this course you should be able to:
  • define and explain resilience
  • apply resilience frameworks to your professional career
  • create your own personal resilience plan.
View the to do list to see how the next two weeks will unfold.

Plan your time

Depending on how long you engage in conversation with other learners at each step, this course should take you about two to three hours each week to complete.
You’ll also notice that many steps include additional links under ‘see also’. While not included in the overall course time, these provide an opportunity to further explore particular topics you may be interested in. (Note: YouTube links to TED Talks may not be available in some countries.)

Build your professional portfolio

This course has now been accredited by The CPD Certification Service, a UK-based body that recognises a wide-range of activities critical to the ongoing development of skills and practices that complement your academic qualifications and/or work-based experience.
Should you elect to upgrade and meet the standards required for a Certificate of Achievement, you can use this as evidence of your commitment to continual professional development.

Your task

What are the key words that come to mind when you think of resilience?
Add two or three words to this word cloud*, which we’ll refer to later in the course.
In the comments, share with other learners why you chose these words and what they mean to you.
(Liking and replying to comments that interest or challenge you is an important way of contributing to the conversations that will make this course a vibrant experience not only for you, but also for other learners.)
When you’re done, select mark as complete and move to the next step.
* This link is to a third party website that requires a JavaScript-enabled web browser.
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Professional Resilience: Building Skills to Thrive at Work

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