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The many uncertainties and challenges during an employee’s career journey have stimulated growing scholarly interest in developing employee resilience to cope with them. Adopting an intrapersonal perspective, we extended self-determination theory to the resilience-building context and explored the means by which proactive personality influences employee resilience. Using data obtained from a sample of 650 adults employed in workplaces in Mainland China, we found that proactive personality facilitates employee resilience via increasing work-related promotion focus and perceived insider identity. Our results provide insight into the development of employee resilience from a personality perspective through two different types of work-related motivation. The findings also have practical implications for managers of organizations seeking alternative elements for future employee resilience interventions.