Career setbacks, whatever the cause, can often have a long term detrimental effect on us. Studies show that individuals suffering from a sudden career setback, often go through the same stages of grief that is also associated with loss. As first we experience a period of shock, anger and self doubt, before moving onto depression.
Understanding why you experienced the setback is the first step in the right direction for recovery. But this requires a level of honesty that high achievers can struggle with. Whilst they are quick to claim the successes in their career, they are also very quick to blame external influences when things go awry. Being introspective, often leads to a new awareness of oneself, which inturn leads to new possibilities and new opportunities. Being able to recognise your own failings and limitations will ultimately lead to a better role match down the line.
The studies also show that the worst sufferers are those individuals who are unaware of the reasons for the setback, such as those that have gone through a company restructuring / acquisition and as a consequence the reasons for dismissal is unclear. This can often lead to shock and anger towards the company or manager, before the individual goes on to suffer from severe and long term depression with no clear way of getting themselves back on track. But by learning to accept a situation for what it is, will mean that you will recover and move on much more quickly.
Letting go of what you cannot control is difficult for most of us, but it is this key step that enables some people to move forward with their life, whilst others are left floundering. Being angry and upset only uses up energy on actions that are futile, but by accepting the situation for what it is, it enables us to refocus energy on something that is ultimately going to be more productive and more rewarding.
Those people who bounce back from career setbacks quickly, often end up much more resilient and fulfilled in the long term, as they would have explored their abilities (see below) in more detail and looked at what they could have done differently, enabling them to adjusted their career objectives accordingly.
Steps to identifying your abilities and capabilities:
- Know what your main skills are
- Understand the difference between these skills
- Make a list of your skills in order of strength
- Identify what motivates you
- Identify what are your dependable strengths
- Identify the skills your employer will want, for the role you want
- Work at turning your weak skills into strong skills