Coping with career uncertainty and staying resilient: life lessons from an overachiever

Serial entrepreneur Roberta Lucca has shedloads of resilience. As co-founder of BAFTA-winning game developer Bossa Studios she's made millions by harnessing it and shows you how to do the same

coping with career uncertainty

Serial entrepreneur Roberta Lucca has shedloads of resilience. As co-founder of BAFTA-winning game developer Bossa Studios she's made millions by harnessing it and shows you how to do the same

Can resilience be taught or learned? Is resilience the by-product of a series of difficult situations we have to overcome? The more challenges we face, the better. The less we face, the weaker we are when dealing with uncertainty. The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a curveball at us, with many coping with career uncertainty.

But I rarely remember moments when certainty was present or felt in my life. I was born in Brazil to a family that gained social mobility because my parents worked very hard to give me and my sister a good education. When I landed a job at the world’s second largest TV broadcaster in the world (Globo TV) at the time, I could have settled for a safe and secure career. I'm an overachiever and a natural explorer. So I gave up my secure career and jumped into the unknown. I left Brazil and moved to the UK.

After landing a job at Nokia, the same itchy feet feelings returned. It never crossed my mind that I could play by the rules and drive my career within an organisation. For some reason my drive to do more, and to never take what I was given for granted, gave me an edge. I was highly employable yet daring.

coping with career uncertainty

Roberta Lucca, co-founder of Bossa Studios

Becoming an entrepreneur was the next step and nowadays I’m not highly employable, I’m highly unhirable. Is it a good thing? Maybe that’s the secret to coping with career uncertainty. And coping well. You become the gatekeeper of your own path.

With the current pandemic causing economic chaos and leaving many of us coping with career uncertainty, I'm asking you to change your perspective. From being a victim of a Corona-wrecked economy to becoming the driver of your life and career. You can embrace the change and craft a new life ahead of you. Here are my life lessons.

1. Coping with career uncertainty is a state of being

Seeing your career and the world as a shape-shifting quagmire of uncertainty is perfectly normal. It means you're simply ultra concerned about your future. But hey, we don’t know the future. Full stop. The only thing can control is our present reaction to the circumstances we find ourselves in. So the first thing you must do when your mind tells you that uncertainty is bad and you have to search for certainty is to say 'stop, mind, you’re not helping me'. The only certain thing we have in life is that we will die. Everything else is a book being written as we flip each page.

2. Embrace the change

If you feel life has never thrown really tough situations at you in order for you to build resilience, well, this is your big opportunity. Bad times create strong people. It’s during tough times like recessions and depressions that we revert to what’s most valuable to us. We reflect on how we really want to (and can) reinvent our world, our careers and our lives.

3. Practice being present

It’s proven over and over that humanity delivers the greatest inventions during difficult times. So instead of endlessly scrolling your news feed and social platforms, go outside. Take a walk, a notebook and a pen with you. Sit at a bench in a park and write about what you see. Practising being present will give your mind the space it needs to get you out of your rut of uncertainty.

4. Put yourself in a curious state

Ask questions. Any questions. The more the better. Next time you talk to your team (or colleagues) at work, instead of saying what you think first during a discussion, listen and act with curiosity. Curiosity leads us to learn things we never imagined could be useful in our daily lives.

5. Feel the fear and do it anyway

I’ve been talking to a range of highly successful entrepreneurs, investors and leaders in their industries on my new podcast Hyper Curious. When discussing how they deal with the ups and downs of their careers, I find all of them have this in common. They appreciate life is uncertain, that most things are out of their control. These women feel the fear because they are human - but they take risks anyway. They know overnight success is a myth, instead it's all about keeping moving.

* Roberta’s Hyper Curious podcast is launching in July on Apple, Spotify and all major podcast platforms.

* Roberta was named Forbes Top 50 Women in Tech, Top 30 Women in Games, and nominated by the Evening Standard as one of the Most Influential in Creative Arts

Maria Coole

Maria Coole is a contributing editor on Marie Claire.

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