How to Handle a Career Setback

For any ambitious career woman, not matter how hard you work, chances are you’ll encounter some sort of career pause or setback at some point. These dark times can come from a layoff, a merger, a personality conflict with a co-worker or boss, a mistake in judgment, an illness, or personal challenge… Whether it was an error on your part, or just plain bad luck, it hurts.

Whenever you find yourself in a setback situation, it’s normal to face a number of feelings:

  1. Hurt – “Why me?” “What did I do wrong?”
  2. Blame – “It’s not fair!” “This is a glass ceiling issue!” “If only I had…”
  3. Embarrassment – “What will others think?” “I’m stuck” “So humiliated…”
  4. Anger and Defiance – “I wish I could quit and show them…” “I don’t want to work for these people!”
  5. Acceptance – “It can only get better from here” “The past is in the past”

Take some time to be aware of your emotions. Getting to acceptance can take time, but through it all you can demonstrate the most important thing: Resilience. This means that you are going to take the situation and re-look at it for the positive. Don’t make the mistake of letting it fester within you; instead, focus on holding your head high, speaking in the positive, and be an exemplary team player.

Remember, as tough as a setback can be on your emotions, you can control your reaction and take the high road – and that will make all the difference in the world. Looking for more tips? Check out 3 Tips on How to Deal With Difficult Work Situations.

Categories: Inspiration, Work

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