Stacey Clark
July 14 2022
So Wimbledon has ended for another year, Djokovic gained his seventh Wimbledon title in the men’s final on Sunday and Rybakina captured her first Grand Slam title with a three-set victory over Jabeur. And to be honest with you, I was relieved. A few days into Wimbledon and, asides from any hard-core tennis fans, I felt like the novelty had already worn off for a lot of us. I was up there with the most enthusiastic at the start, cracking open the Pimm’s and piling my bowl high with fresh cream and strawberries…we even invested in a new office projector so we could all enjoy watching Murray on the big screen (our MD claims it’s for meetings and workshops, but we all know the real reason behind the purchase was Wimbledon excitement…) But after this initial Wimbledon frenzy, I felt like it all just started to drag a little. I mean, there’s only so many Pimm’s a gal can drink! If we were all experiencing the Wimbledon exhaustion though, how must our athletes have been feeling? After all, a serious game of tennis is no sprint…
A quick google search soon revealed the longest game in tennis history was a ground-breaking 11 hours and 5 minutes long. Contested over three days between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut at the 2010 Wimbledon, even the electronic scoreboard stopped working at 47-47 during the fifth set, as it hadn’t been programmed to keep scores beyond that point! But the grit and determination of the players kept the match going and provided on-the-edge of your seat entertainment for the millions watching, both on the court side and at home.
The record of the John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut encounter is unlikely to be broken, as tennis matches now employ the tie-break rule to decide the final set. But tennis is still viewed as a sport of resilience, compiled of players with incredible physical and mental endurance. Arguably the tensest moment during a tennis game is at the point of a deuce. For any non-tennis watchers out there (or people like myself, whose main tennis education stems from playing Wii Sports as a kid…) when players reach a score of deuce, either player needs to win two consecutive points for the game to conclude. At this point, advantage scoring kicks in – with the game concluding when the player who holds the advantage wins the next point, otherwise, the score returns to deuce. This can often go on for a lengthy period, keeping everyone simultaneously tense and pumped with adrenaline.
To me, this isn’t too dissimilar to the world of recruitment, and I think any fellow recruiters reading this would be quick to agree! Have you ever reached that point during a placement where you’ve got an amazing candidate, a job that suits them, but a salary that doesn’t match? The backwards and forwards between the candidate and client and constant negotiation can feel like Groundhog Day and it can take a truly determined recruiter to get that placement over the line. But we do, because we love our jobs (and we’re good at them!) But this resilience is itself a skill developed over time and a result of years of experience within the industry - just as with seasoned tennis players: such determination doesn’t develop overnight.
As such, we decided to compile a few helpful tips on how to grow resilience. It’s an essential skill for such a wide range of jobs and can often be the make or break at different points in a career. After some thought, these were the recurring themes that stood out when discussing resilience in the workplace:
  • Failing is bad: It seems there’s often this misconception that failing is a bad thing. In fact, failing can actually be one of the best ways to build resilience. By placing yourself in a challenging situation, you’re able to learn from the outcome and gain so much from the process. Think of the amount of tennis players who suffer injuries that have a huge affect on their performance, or simply just have a bad match. Does that mean that we never see them on our screens again? Take our very own Andy Murray for example: the Scottish tennis legend was on the brink of retirement in 2019, before undergoing a second bout of hip surgery and securing himself a place in this year’s Wimbledon. Murray is a prime example of how failing doesn’t indicate the end of something: we must be prepared to fail, and to learn as much as we can from the process.
  • Lack of exposure: To build resilience, it’s crucial that we expose ourselves to challenging situations. Building resilience is like practicing and improving any skill. If we are not working on it, it won’t get better! We need to expose ourselves to situations that challenge us physically and mentally and be prepared for them. In tennis, parents, coaches, and trainers should be exposing young players to a variety of situations and encouraging them to embrace new challenges. In the world of recruitment: phone the intimidating client or candidate, ask the awkward questions, push yourself out of your comfort zone – you never know what may come of it!
  • Balance: Individuals can also build personal resilience at work by achieving a healthy work-life balance. This is especially challenging in the modern workplace, where working from home means that employees may have access to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, to be able to bounce back from stressful situations, workers need to have energy: which be easily depleted if a healthy work-life balance is not in place. Employees need time to relax and recuperate to ensure they feel fully resilient and ready for any challenge that may be thrown their way.
Resilience is no easy skill to learn (or maintain). But whether you’re on a Wimbledon pitch, working in a fast-paced recruitment environment or in a different job entirely…resilience will help you overcome those workplace challenges and grow stronger as a result. On a completely different note – who else is missing the excuse to crack open a cheeky mid afternoon Pimm’s?! Next summer suddenly feels a very long way away, bring back the tennis please!


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