Denied a promotion?
Failed to land your dream job?
Stalled on a career transition that’s proving more difficult than expected?
Laid-off or terminated?
Congratulations!....huh? Wait...what? How can this possibly be good news?
Career set-backs, like the ones I described above, tend to happen to driven, ambitious, dedicated, and goal-oriented professionals.
More simply put: You can’t miss a goal you never set.
Achieving success in your career invariably means having the strength to set goals, to pursue advancement, and risk failure.
And, the courage that put you in a position to fail, is the same courage that will propel you forward at times of set backs.
Here’s how to channel your drive during your set-back so you can rebound even stronger. Hey I even made it super easy to remember - each step begins with 'R' 🙂
You need to start with reflection to gain some perspective. This will help you avoid missteps and repeating past mistakes. Here's an example.
I recently suffered a running injury that derailed some seriously ambitious goals I had set for myself. During the first few days of being unable to run, I spent some time fretting about missing my goals. I kept thinking about where I should have been in my training plan, and how those milestones were now slipping away from me. It seemed, briefly, that my entire, upcoming racing season, would be lost.
But then I let myself reflect and gain perspective. Only then, I was able to recalibrate my goals, move forward from where I actually was (not where I thought I should have been), and learn some tools to make myself stronger to prevent future injuries that would only make me a better runner in the long run.
Having a positive perspective and outlook is critical for a successful reinvention. And it can take a lot of reflection (and seeming non-action) to get to that place.
Be patient with yourself. Your resolve to move forward, better, stronger, and wiser, will eventually arrive. When you’re armed with insight into what went wrong and what happened, you’re be better equipped to tackle future challenges and accelerate your career goals.
When you fail to achieve an important career milestone, or get diverted from a goal, it’s common to feel as though you’ve lost something. But, perhaps, you’ve gained more than you’ve lost.
Seeing a set-back like an advantage, is a herculean perspective shift. But, try and see your position objectively.
Look at the whole picture.
Were you genuinely happy and fulfilled on your previous career track?
Were you forcing yourself to pursue an outdated goal – one that you may have set years ago and never revisited or questioned?
Are their talents or strengths that you’ve left dormant because they didn’t fit in with your existing career goal?
Set-backs provide opportunity. Opportunities to add to your repertoire, expand your vision for your career and life, open your mind to new possibilities, and perhaps encourage you to capitalize on your natural strengths and skills.
This is the best part! I promise.
Do the two steps above and now you get a blank slate, a fresh page, an open road (or whatever metaphor appeals to you).
You get to create a brand new, exciting, inspiring, and motivating career plan.
While possibly the most fun part of dealing with a set back, this can also be the most daunting. It’s hard for anyone to jump back in the ring after losing a fight. Here’s where an outside perspective – someone other than yourself – can be invaluable.
I often work with clients who can’t see their own value. What’s not obvious to my client, usually becomes quickly obvious to me, because I don’t harbour their biases and internal stories. If you’re contemplating a new career path, or a step up from where you have been, a chat with a career professional can help you uncover possibilities you may not have considered, or job search/career marketing strategies you may have overlooked.
Most importantly, career coaches are experts at restoring confidence and helping clients reconnect with their natural talents and strengths – the very ones that will power your epic comeback.
I want to hear your career set-back and comeback story! What helped you the most? If you’re in the middle of a comeback and need some guidance (or a personal cheerleader), don’t hesitate to reach out.
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