Just when you thought you were gaining momentum and making progress, you face a setback. Your project was far from achieving the projected results. Your performance review was not what you expected. Or worse, you got fired.
Roadblocks and obstacles happen to all of us. They can be a soul-crushing experience, leaving us feeling devastated and questioning our self-worth.
While it’s okay to let yourself feel disappointed and numb for a while, it’s important that you don’t spend too much time dwelling on a (temporary) failure. Here are some tips for how you can bounce back from a career setback.
Accept that setbacks can happen to anyone at any time, even when you think you’ve done everything to avoid them. Remember that any setback is temporary and that you can move past it. Think of it as if it’s the last paragraph in a chapter of a book you’re writing. Find comfort and excitement that you’re about to start writing a new chapter.
Find a friend
Talk to trusted friends, colleagues, or family to talk about what happened. Find someone who can be supportive and objective about your problem rather than someone who’ll enjoy hearing that you’re down. The right people will give you the right emotional support, and perhaps give you a much-needed new perspective on the situation.
Reflect and learn
Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.
While it’s important to move forward, you shouldn’t forget to extract lessons from this setback. Resist the urge to blame someone. When you place blame on someone or something else, you lose the opportunity to learn from your experience. Take an honest look at what happened and what you could’ve done differently to avoid the problem.
Remember your strengths
When you’ve received negative feedback, get looked over for a promotion or get fired from a job, you may find that you suddenly have zero belief in yourself. You may start to think that you’ll never be good enough. Stop. Think of the things that you did right, note the lessons you’ve learned since you started, and congratulate yourself for coming this far. Don’t beat yourself up too much and remember that this is just a bump in the road. Most if not all journeys to success are bumpy and rough rides.
Focus on the future
Instead of getting stuck regretting your mistakes, but you’ll be better off focusing on what you can do from now on. Plan your next steps, think positively about what’s to come, and move forward. You might have failed this time, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t ever succeed in the future.