🌼 6 Ways To Recover And Rebuild After A Career Fail



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Chances are you’ve had a setback in your career at some point, because few people get through their career unscathed. The experience can be gut-wrenching and it can be tough to know where to turn or how to recover.

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But whether you’ve been treated unfairly, survived a toxic experience or made your own terrible misstep, you can rebound, repair and rebuild for a brilliant future.

It’s natural to have career failures—for lots of reasons. Things are moving fast, and the landscape of work is shifting all the time—making it tough to avoid career setbacks. In addition, people are stressed and increasingly polarized—making it difficult to avoid conflicts or issues which can derail your career progress.

In this context, it’s important to build your career resilience and figure out how to move forward proactively.

Read also: How to develop a powerful personality 

Career Fails Are Painful

There are plenty of setbacks you may experience at work, but perhaps the hardest are these.

When you were treated badly. There will be times when you’ve done your best, you’ve performed admirably, and you’ve still lost. Perhaps you’ve been fired or downsized, or you’ve left because you had to. In this case, you may feel betrayed or sold out.

When you weren’t at your best. There may also be times when you haven’t been at your best. Perhaps you were just learning—and could have done better because you were naïve. Or perhaps you made poor decisions about how you treated others or the way you behaved. In this case, you likely feel shame or regret.

When you took a wrong turn. There may also be times when you felt like you were going in the wrong direction—having taken a job that wasn’t a fit, or having worked with a team or in a company that didn’t align with your values. In this case, you may feel disoriented or bereft.

All of these situations can leave you feeling sad, angry, depressed or even hopeless.

But you can take positive action to recover.

How to Recover from a Career Fail

1. Reflect

When things are hard, your instinct may be to steer clear of the pain and negative thinking. But when you allow yourself to feel the emotions of loss, you’ll enhance your resilience and capability to deal with challenges in the future, according to research from Ohio State University.

Consider what went wrong, and focus on the factors that were within your control. Give thought to what you could have done differently. Even if it feels like you got a raw deal, lean into the learning you can take away. Remind yourself about your strengths. Make plans to develop new skills or enhance places you might be weak.

In addition, take stock of your priorities—and what’s most important to you both personally and professionally. A bump in the road of your career can be a chance to redirect your path.

2. Connect

When you’re going through a bad time in your career, you may feel isolated, but know that almost everyone will go through tough times in their work. In fact, 40% of people report they’ve lost a job at least once and 23% say they’ve lost a job thee or more times. In addition, 73% of people feel anxious because of being fired or laid off. All of this is according to a survey from Intoo and the Harris Poll.

Confide in a close friend or colleague, sharing your concerns. You’ll open the door for them to be transparent as well. And bonding happens when we go through hard times—so you will likely deepen your relationship, just when you most need support and compassion most.

Also reach out to your people. Finding your next opportunity will depend on the strength of your network, so let people know you’re on the market and what kind of work you’ll be looking for.

3. Stay Optimistic

You don’t want to delude yourself or engage in toxic positivity, but staying optimistic is tremendously healthy. When you are able to accept failure and see it in a positive light, you’re more likely to maintain your happiness and motivation, according to studies at the University of Kent.

This is better, according to the research, than disengaging or denying the challenges you’ve faced.

4. Be Constructive

Another key element of working through a career fail is to be your best and demonstrate a constructive response. You’ll likely want to vent with a close friend or family member—but then be sure you’re managing your emotional responses. The ability to self-regulate is a signal of maturity.

Ironically, difficult situations can be important moments to build your credibility. Other people will see that you’re maintaining a positive attitude despite poor treatment, or they’ll notice you’re sustaining momentum despite negative situations.

You can be authentic about what you’re going through, but also demonstrate grit, perseverance, a mindset of growth and a proactive stance. All of these will speak volumes about your strength and your character.

5. Take Action

Also know that failure can actually lead to greater success. Learning, trying again, sticking with it and building your resilience works for your future achievements, according to a study at Northwestern University . Repeated effort really does result in positive outcomes.

Ultimately, when you’re able to keep going and persist—when you persevere—you’ll get to your next career opportunity, and also enhance your mental health, based on research in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Read also: 12 books you should read before starting a business 

6. Move On

One of the most difficult elements of rebuilding is to let go and move on. You may feel ashamed of your own failure, disoriented by a wrong path—or you may feel angry about what happened. But you’ll be more likely to succeed when you can acknowledge the issues, take a deep breath and keep moving forward.

Even if you can’t forgive colleagues, leaders or the company—or even when it’s difficult to forgive yourself—focus on letting go of the weight of your frustrations so you can take positive action.

Know that setbacks are part of life—and if you’re not failing sometimes, you’re probably not stretching enough.

Embrace Setbacks and Career Fails

Embrace challenges, keep trying and learn from failure. Know that each time you lose or fail to get what you want, you’re building your muscle and your resilience to succeed the next time.

The job market is strong, and you can create the conditions for a happy career. Reflect on what’s most important to you, shore up your support, take action and remind yourself of your capabilities—as you move toward.


Contributed By Tracy Brower

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