As part of our blog series Brighton Resilience, alumna Tejal Mistry – HOST Finance Lead, Global Finance Business Partner at HSBC – tells us how she has built resilience and gives her take on what can help us through the current challenges

On reflection over the last few weeks, I look back at my past and think ‘how can I get through these times, and what situation have I been in that I can look upon to give me direction?’ There have been many moments where I have had to demonstrate resilience, whether its home life (caring for an elderly relative), personal life (dealing with unexpected moments), family (working through differences), career (risk of redundancy), external environments and so forth. Some of us deal with things unconsciously in a way that it is expected as a ‘social norm’, others are expressive – we all have our ways and my experience has been built through the below.

If I turn back the clocks to 2010 – I must admit the world has changed a lot! The smartphone wasn’t ubiquitous and today we live through via apps (waking up, exercise, diaries, dating, shopping etc..). When I think of 2010, I remember working at a prestigious US Financial services firm, we were still going through the impact of the global financial crisis. My career being at the heart of financial services dealing with clients, traders, middle office functions etc.. there were vast areas of the bank impacted by firms collapsing, different names, different faces day in day out. Shops closing, high streets changing image, a lot of change in a small vacuum of time! I saw things I never thought of, at a pace I never imagined, it was a matter of what next? Media didn’t help, casting a dark shadow on banks, employees facing backlash many of whom had no involvement of the banking crisis – it made me uncomfortable.

Those who remained in organisations recognised that amongst this chaos, there was opportunity and the saying amongst the leaders was that we’ll get through this. We acknowledged that change and improvement was needed in processes, governance and behaviour and this was not going to happen overnight, it would take time and humanity to build trust back – we would need to ride out the storm. Having faith amongst the Senior Leadership team is one thing that kept me going, as is trust in the people around you and being collaborative. The ‘we need to stick together’ mantra kept me going. I looked upon my elderly grandparent and if they could live through the war – we could certainly get through this by perseverance and having courage.

What we are facing today is worse than what happened ten years ago, nonetheless there are commonalities: uncertainty, restlessness, not knowing what tomorrow will bring – its ok to feel these emotions, we are human. The media can be overwhelming, so limit how much information you absorb and be selective! We all have the ability to look beyond, how can I improve my current situation so that I can be optimistic about my future, accept and acknowledge that the next few months will be different – we need change from what is happening now and build confidence around this, so we are in a better position for our future. Going through something tough makes us stronger, I will get to know myself better, my strengths, weaknesses and I allow myself to be honest with myself!

As individuals we will become more self-aware, perhaps unlocking creativity in our skills, whether through art, cooking, DIY, caring, gardening, or finding a new hobby with limited resources. We are all going through this, we may not be able to control what is happening on the outside world, we can choose what we do inside our homes, what we think, read and of course how you spend your time by learning something new, reflecting, relaxing, exercising etc.. we will find something that works for us.

Tejal is an alumni of University of Brighton and studied BSc Accounting and Finance.