Setbacks are inevitable in life. Be it a career setback or a tough time in your personal life, it happens more often than we care to admit.
Recovering from such experiences is a process, and it doesn’t happen overnight. However, for it to happen at all, we must keep going.
Whether you’ve just got fired from your job or your startup that cost you your savings failed, do not give up. Believe it or not, it’s not the end of the world.
Take Time to Reflect and Accept
If you just got fired, you’re probably in shock and in no condition to start pursuing jobs immediately. As with all losses, we need a little time to grieve.
This step is, therefore, necessary. You need to go through all the stages: shock, anger, despair, etc. Give yourself a little time to process what just happened and to accept it. Acceptance is key to recovering from a setback, regardless of its nature.
Many people will blame someone for their setbacks and never stop to examine their own role in all of that. Instead of focusing on external factors, focus on you. What you could have done and what you can do in the future to avoid it from happening.
Once you do accept what happened, start thinking about what led to it and whether you could have done something differently. If possible, get some feedback from people you worked with, find out what they think about your performance.
Regardless of how good you thought you were at your job, there must be areas in which you could use improvement. Perhaps not regarding your skills but your personality. Take a deep breath and face that fact.
Perhaps your leadership style was too aggressive for the company, or the management didn’t like how you handled certain situations.
Whatever it is, accept it and work on yourself. Let it be your lesson for the future. We all experience failures, but it’s what you do after that determines your future success.
This Could be an Opportunity in Disguise
Falling into despair for a moment is normal. However, if you don’t pull yourself out of it, you will only sink deeper and prolong your recovery. You need to be reasonable and act logically.
Think of this career setback as a new opportunity. This could be your chance for the career change you’ve always secretly desired! Maybe you weren’t happy doing this job, and this setback was life’s way of giving you a chance to find something more enjoyable.
If that was the case, then it was only a matter of time before you quit the job yourself!
Often we hold on to jobs with steady paychecks because we are afraid to quit and pursue our true passion. Maybe now would be a great time to turn that side-hustle into a full-time job or start that business you’ve meant to for years but couldn’t because of your 9 to 5 job.
Motivation and inspiration are essential when rebounding from a career setback. Talk to your friends who have gone through a similar situation. Do not stay at home and avoid people because that solves nothing.
After all, you’re neither the first nor the last person who was fired from their job or whose business hit bottom. There are many great leaders who have experienced failures, too, but managed to turn them into success. Both Steve Jobs and Oprah were once fired from their jobs, and J.K.Rowling was turned down by 12 publishers before her famous Harry Potter finally came out. Just like you, they were once broke and at the bottom and look at what they have managed to achieve!
If this isn’t inspirational, what is?
Create an Action Plan
Once you’ve stopped feeling sorry for yourself and accepted the failure, it’s time to start thinking about jobs you would like to apply for. Your first instinct would probably be to apply to similar positions, but if you were unhappy with the job, then what’s the point?
A career change might invigorate you and change your life entirely. If you’re thinking about changing your career but don’t know where to start or what to do, perhaps it’s time to talk to a career counselor.
Once you define your goals and potential new careers, come up with an action plan. Also, be prepared for rejection letters, especially if you’re applying to different jobs you lack experience in.
Stay Enthusiastic About the Future
It’s all about shifting perspective. A career setback is not a failure but a chance to learn and grow. Each failure is a lesson. It’s a way of showing us that we’re not doing our best and that we could achieve more, but we need a different approach. That is why you should embrace that newfound knowledge and use it to excel in your new job.
Remember, there is a world of options out there waiting for you to explore them, so try to stay positive about the future.
By Michael Deane
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.