Career setbacks are bound to happen at some point. As with life, things do not always work out as planned. Therefore, you need to be prepared to handle a career setback, so you can rebound as soon as possible and continue moving forward.
· Determine What Went Wrong
What happened that caused your career setback? Although you may not have had control over the issue, such as a layoff that occurred during a recession, you may have been let go due to inadequate knowledge, poor planning, overly ambitious goals or a combination of factors. Objectively think about your experience. Was the result due to your performance, the company moving in a different direction or some other reason? Figuring out your strengths and weaknesses puts you in a stronger position to handle a similar situation if it were to arise. If you were passed over for a promotion, ask for feedback about how you can improve your performance to move up in the future.
· Seek Support
Go to your family, friends and colleagues for support. Talk about what happened and remain open to advice. Seek insight and direction from a career coach or mentor. Run your ideas by them for moving forward. Be honest about your thoughts and feelings. Gaining support will make you stronger and help you determine what your next step may be.
· Reassess Your Career Path
You may want to update your skill set to remain marketable in your field. You might start targeting other companies, understanding what their needs are, and networking for an interview. Perhaps you will decide to go back to school and change careers altogether. Whatever you need to do to fill the gap between where you are and where you want to be, whether it is learning, gaining experience, establishing a new connection or something else, take action.
· Set New Goals
Use what you learned from your setback, what you want your future to look like, and which areas you need to work on to determine your objectives. Create specific, measurable, time-bound goals to advance your career. For instance, if you need to gain visibility, choose three to five key people you should get to know, then set a deadline to start building a relationship.
· Move Forward
You have the chance to overcome challenges and make things fresh and exciting again. Embrace risks as you move along. Make the most of your experience to avoid repeating the same mistake.
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