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5 Ways to Manage a Career Setback

5 Ways to Manage a Career Setback

Anuradha Mayer | Excelle

Having setbacks in our career is part of life. We have all been there at one time or another. Perhaps you didn’t get the promotion that you were working towards. Or you received a performance review that was not as perfect as in the past. Or maybe your job changed as a result of a re-organization and has become less interesting. Then there are the major career setbacks like a sudden layoff.

The reality is that major career disappointments happen even when we seem to be doing all the right things. And they happen to the best of us. These are all-too-common realities that we need to be prepared for particularly in today’s economic times. We do, however, have choices in how we deal with a career setback. Here are five steps to consider:

1. Get Some Space

A career disappointment often comes as a shock and takes some time to fully absorb. Take some time away from the office to step back and get some perspective. When we focus intensely on work, we sometimes forget other priorities like our family or taking care of ourselves. Some time away (and a little chocolate!) will help us deal with the feelings of disappointment whether it is anger, sadness, betrayal, etc. Time away also helps us continue to be professional at work and handle this disappointment gracefully.

2. Ask For Support

We all need to vent from time to time. Reach out to friends, family, a trusted colleague or mentor. These supportive people around you can lend a sympathetic ear and can offer important perspective on reconciling what happened and why. Peer networks like Excelle, online discussion groups or a career coach can be additional sources of support as you think about options and how to move forward.

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