📚 A Bookish Chat with 'How To Be Resilient In Your Career' Dr. Helen Ofosu | Author Interview | #AuthorInterview #BlogTour #Interview


Today we welcome Dr. Helen Ofosu to The Writer's Life e-Magazine! Helen is the author of the new business and careers book, How To Be Resilient in Your Career: Facing Up To Barries at Work. This interview is part of her Blog Tour by Pump Up Your Book. Enjoy!

In good times and bad, resilience is one of the major keys to success – including career success. Dr. Helen Ofosu believes this applies to employees and entrepreneurs, individual contributors, subject matter experts, leaders, and executives.

That’s why her approach to career and executive coaching is to help people get ahead in a way that insulates them from future setbacks – or recover if things have gone sideways. This is also why, as a consultant, she helps organizations become stronger and more resilient, so they are ready for both the anticipated and the unexpected challenges that all organizations face at some point.

Part of what sets her apart from many career and executive coaches is her experience on the inside, as an HR and professional development professional, within large corporate workplaces and her intimate knowledge of typical HR processes and systems.

Clients come to her when the stakes are high. They can count on her to share insights and customized services that few others can deliver. They love that she has developed countless hiring tools and helped to resolve many HR problems over the years.

Her “insider” experience gives her clients an edge in getting hired and promoted in the public (and private) sector, and in managing their careers as they progress.

And as an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist (her field is more commonly known as Work and Business Psychology), she takes an evidence-based approach by using the latest research and best practices to increase the odds of her clients’ success.

Author Links  

Website | Brainz Magazine | Podcast Interviews | X (Twitter) | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram


On writing:

There are many books out there; what makes yours different? 

That’s true. There are tons of career and leadership books out there. Mine is unique because of my experience and personal backstory. 

I have a doctorate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, a specialization within Applied Social Psychology known also as Work and Business Psychology. In addition, I have 20+ years of experience in creating assessment tools used by hiring managers to select and promote employees. These are things like structured interviews with scoring criteria, competency profiles and assessments, and role plays. In addition, since 2012, I’ve been offering career and executive coaching, often infused with equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism. My holistic approach brings all of this together in a practical, plain language and concise package. The book is available in print, as an eBook, and as an audiobook.

Where is your book set, and have you ever been there?  

My book is non-fiction, but definitely linked to three critical areas and my own experiences: what I have learned (1) in graduate school while earning my Master’s and doctorate degrees, (2) as an Industrial and Organizational psychologist working as an employee for 16 or 17 years, and most recently (3) as a career and executive coach and HR consultant working through my own company, I/O Advisory Services Inc. 

So, in important ways, yes, I’ve been there!

Do you have another profession besides writing? 

Yes. My full-time profession and passion is Industrial and Organizational Psychology, which I use as the foundation for career coaching, executive coaching, HR consulting (e.g., executive search, corporate mentorship programs, supporting equity-deserving employee networks, etc.), and  speaking, training and presenting.

I believe that career resilience is a worthy aspiration. I love that achieving career resilience means we don’t need to over-rely on our personal resilience. As a result, my approach to career coaching and executive coaching is to help people get ahead in their careers in a way that insulates them from future setbacks. As an HR Consultant, I aim to help organizations become stronger and more resilient against the inevitable ups and downs. This preparation helps organizations remain ready for both the predictable and unforeseen challenges that all organizations face at some point.

How long have you been writing? 

I have been writing consistently for over 30 years. I had to write a lot while I was a graduate student pursuing my MA and PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. 

Then, when I started my own company, on the advice of my business-minded sister-in-law, I started a blog. My blog became a place where I consolidated thoughts and messages that I thought would benefit anyone interested in career development, leadership, HR, and EDI/AR (equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism). Now, my blog has over 250 articles, and it’s evolved into an “AudioBlog.” This means folks can listen to or read all these articles, and the voice sounds pretty close to mine!

What is your next project? 

I don’t have another book project planned, but I do have ideas for future books. For now, I am lining up some larger HR consultations that will take the next six to eight months, plus some ongoing career and executive coaching.

In one sentence, what was the road to publishing like?  

The road to publishing has been humbling since I faced my share of rejection before getting a “yes” from Routledge, a very established and credible publisher.

What is something you had to cut from your book that you wish you could have kept?  

From the beginning of writing How to Be Resilient in Your Career: Facing Up to Barriers at Work, I worked with an experienced editor. He helped me create an outline that captured the key pieces that I wanted to include in the book. This was an incredibly efficient approach, and I don’t recall cutting anything important from the book. Thanks to his efforts, the book covers a lot of terrain, but it’s concise.


On rituals:

Do you snack while writing? Favorite snack?  

Now that I’m getting older, I try to stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water. In addition, I typically snack on fruits and nuts while writing.

Where do you write? 

Ninety-nine percent of the time, I write in my home office on my main desktop computer. This is my preferred setup because of my ergonomic keyboard and mouse and comfortable video game chair.

Years ago, when I spent a lot of time in “soccer mom” mode, I wrote using a Chromebook or a MacBook Air (depending on which device was charged and the weather conditions).

Do you write every day? 

Yes, I write every day, but my writing consists of emails, content for training and keynote speeches, blogs, and responding to comments and messages on social media.

In today’s tech-savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper? 

I never wrote parts of my book on paper, and I never printed out my entire manuscript. The closest I came to printing it was reading the PDF version on an iPad while narrating it for Audible.


Fun stuff:

Favorite travel spot?   

My favorite travel spot is Negril, Jamaica. It’s beautiful and tranquil.

Favorite dessert?   

 While listening a podcast recently, I remembered that I am fond of pie but it’s been months since I had any.

Any hobbies?  

I enjoy taking long walks while listening to podcasts, audiobooks or music. When the weather is conducive, I also enjoy spending time on the water with my husband, and often with our friends and family.

What song is currently playing on a loop in your head?  

According to Spotify, “Bank On It” by Burna Boy has been taking up a lot of my headspace.

What is something that made you laugh recently?  

I’m grateful that people send me hilarious videos all the time, so most days, I get a good laugh from something off Instagram, TikTok, or even a streaming service (e.g., Netflix or Apple TV).

What is your go-to breakfast item? 

My go-to breakfast is a smoothie with chia seeds, berries, and protein powder.

What is the oldest item of clothing you own? 

I have a Patagonia fleece that I’ve had since the 1980s! It’s still in good shape and it kinda fits … but it doesn’t get much wear these days.

Tell us about your longest friendship. 

I still have a group of friends from my years as a summer camp counselor in the 1980s. Several of them came to support me at a book signing in Burlington, Ontario. We also have a group chat. 

Aside from that group, I have a dear friend who I met during my first year at university. We haven’t lived in the same city since graduation, but we see each other periodically and talk regularly.

My life has been so much better because of these kind, loyal, wise, and fun-loving women.

What advice would you give to a first-time writer?

Get into the habit of writing often/daily and find ways to say what you mean in a way that others will understand your key messages. As you get comfortable expressing yourself in writing, you should also establish a following on social media. A wise book agent told me that these days, having an online following or platform is almost as important as having a good book. She was right!


Title: How to be Resilient in Your Career: Facing Up to Barriers at Work

Author: Dr. Helen Ofosu

Publisher: Routledge

Publication Date: February 23, 2023

Pages: 196 (7 hrs. 30 min. on Audible)

Genre: Business / Careers / Management / Leadership

How To Be Resilient in Your Career: Facing Up to Barriers at Work shares vital career advice to help professionals navigate common "internally disruptive" career experiences such as harassment and bullying, imposter syndrome, membership in an underrepresented group, toxic workplaces, discrimination, and more.

Dr. Helen Ofosu draws on twenty years of helping employers acquire talent and coaching professionals through difficult career choices to unpack these layered and complicated issues in an easy-to-follow way. Dealing with the dark side of management, the book outlines various issues that can occur in the workplace, or during a person's career journey, and offers practical advice on how to overcome these obstacles and setbacks. Using her considerable HR experience, Dr. Ofosu also offers coveted insights from the employer's point of view. For people who have already tried other options to resolve their complicated career issues, this book offers an essential guide that equips readers with a knowledge base to make informed decisions around building and sustaining a thriving and resilient career.

How to be Resilient in Your Career: Facing Up to Barriers at Work is a reliable resource presented with nuance, depth, and specificity. Psychologists, psychotherapists, social workers, and HR professionals who are looking for effective advice when supporting people struggling with these issues, will greatly benefit from this book, as will early career professionals, and established earners looking to resolve their career issues.

You can purchase your copy at Amazon at https://t.ly/_rspc.

Other Buy Links:

Audible | Barnes & Noble | Indigo

The Writer’s Life

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