When HBR asked readers what they learned in 2022, one of the most common answers was “resilience.” It seems fitting as we close out a year marked by economic uncertainty as well as the continued loss of the pandemic. In this article, HBR readers share what resilience means to them in 2022, and what else they’ve learned in the past year.
At the end of each year, we editors like to ask a question HBR readers what are their biggest insights – what did you learn and what will you take away? The main word in many entries appearing in 2022 is stability. It seems fitting as we continue to navigate the fallout from a pandemic that has turned life on its head and continues to do so.
As Bhawna Jha, an HBR reader in Little Rock, AR, says: “While these years have challenged and tested us again and again, what made the mark was our resilience. We came out hopeful, stronger -on, and humble.”
Of course, Covid is not the only reason we need resilience. If the economy, dismissal, woodsor environmental crisis, all kinds of challenges have tested many of us. But some words that jumped to the top of reader responses give hope that we’ve learned to deal with uncertainty: flexibility, perseverance, change, and agility all made the list multiple times. .
This is also the year that “silent pause“(and with it”silent firing”) entered the common conversation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, half of the top 10 most read articles on HBR.org this year are about the job search, from how to answer common job interview questions on write a cover letter.
Here’s more of what readers are saying about 2022 as it draws to a close.
On Jobs, Layoffs, and Quiet Quits
In hindsight, 2022 looks to me like a good change. Many of the people I work with are in tech or tech-enabled scaling businesses. They started the year on a high, bragging about how well they did throughout the pandemic. And rightly so. But things started to fall apart. This experience can drive talented people to reevaluate what they want from their employer, and what it means to the business. People who lose their jobs often quickly find work, sometimes making a pivot that they feel forced, but that confirms a discovery. I think we will find people looking for work in unexpected places, changing the talent maps in 2023 significantly.
– Katrien Nachtergaele, Netherlands/Portugal
Get ready. The only thing worse than being laid off is being separated from – and thus unprepared for – a sudden change in your unemployment status. If you don’t have all your numbers memorized, it’s hard to count things on a resume. Plus, there’s sample work you’ll want, maybe that file of “feel good” emails you’ve been saving…
-Nicole Comeau, Boston, MA
Quitting quietly doesn’t point to mediocrity. It’s about setting boundaries. People are exhausted by doing tasks that involve more hours than they are paid for. Tired of temporarily inheriting other people’s scope tasks with no return. Tired of being expected to increase endlessly, and without praise for excelling at the work they were hired to do.
-Carla Mollica, Sydney, Australia
Covid in the Rear-View Mirror?
The pandemic has shaken healthcare to its core and as a result, 2022 is a year of new beginnings. Many nurses, technicians, and providers are leaving their current jobs for a new start (usually staying in healthcare). As a result, I have worked with many teams at various stages of development, some very new, some more mature. I need to make sure that my team has a foundation of trust, that they feel positive about their work, and that they understand the “why” of it. By focusing on these three things, we can rebuild, transform, and succeed in 2023.
-Amitpal S. Johal, MD, FASGE, Danville, PA
Many of us believe that after Covid, we will return to a way of life easily with the level of comfort that we know. 2022 shook that idea. There is no return and no destination. Things are always moving, in very subtle ways. “Recovering” from Covid requires a lot of work and adapting to change. There is no place to rest. The new normal is becoming more adaptable to change and giving up hope that things will work out. It becomes a constant flow of events and changes.
-Orianne Gambino, Cape Town, South Africa
On Being Ourselves
Finally, readers share how they made themselves in 2022, with lessons in strength and reliability.
I realized that I am proud to be accepted as a working single mom. My acceptance gave me more peace of mind and professional confidence. I know that’s true and a real potential teacher, which I never had even though I’ve always been a social person.
-Donella Tilery, Raritan, New Jersey
Age is my superpower. A lot of people want my opinion and recommendation because I’ve done a lot and been through a lot and have the battle scars and resilience to prove it.
-Lee Caraher, Eau Claire, WI
This year I learned that creating an environment of trust starts with trusting your team with more responsibility. The onus is on the leader to trust first, not for the group to trust the leader first.
-James Bland, Johannesburg, South Africa
Three Words for 2023?
If “resilience” is the word in 2022, HBR reader Daniel Dieso, of Kansas City, MO, has a punctuated suggestion for what’s to come in 2023: “Inflation! Recession? Perseverance. “
An accurate prediction? We will find out next year. Until then, wishing you happiness and prosperity in 2023 and thanks for all you learn in 2022.