02 maart 2023

Dealing with setbacks in your career

Setbacks in your career: almost everyone faces them from time to time. They can be doubts about your current job, things that went wrong, maybe you have been rejected for your dream job or, in a few cases, you may even have lost your job. Tricky, but also a good occasion to learn from. Here I give you some tools to (successfully) deal with disappointments.

Accept the situation for the moment
Perhaps one of the most difficult things to do, but at the same time the most important step in this process. After all, how often do you find yourself in a situation beyond your control? What you do have a say in, is how you deal with this setback. It saves a lot of frustration and energy if you can accept the situation as it is. Energy you can use to look ahead and take action to get back on track.

Social support
Talking about it is always good. It provides relief and moves you forward. When faced with adversity, it is important to have people around you who support you. Sympathetic, reliable colleagues and a positive work atmosphere are an ideal environment to dare to make mistakes and learn from them when things go wrong at work. Didn't get your dream job? Or did you lose your job? Talk about it with friends and family. People who know you well and support you and who can also help you move on to the next point: trying to learn from your setback.

René van de Pas

Try to learn from your setback
Once you have managed to accept your situation to some extent, you can see if you can learn anything from your setback. When all the emotions surrounding the setback are gone, make another rational analysis. When did it go wrong? What would you do differently next time? See the setback as a learning moment and take it into the future. Remember Dalai Lama's famous quote, "When you lose, don't lose the lesson".

Every setback creates stress to some extent. This will go away at some point and then you can put things into perspective. It is important to keep faith in yourself and your qualities. Take care of yourself during a setback. Do things that will help you relax. Reward yourself when things go well and find the mental strength to come out stronger.

Adjust goals and keep going
When the time is right, jump back into the saddle with new energy and go full steam ahead. Take another good look at the goals you have set for yourself. Do the goals still suit you? Are your career goals not getting in the way of your private life? If necessary, adjust your goals so that they suit you again and you can actually achieve them! It is also important to check whether your career goals still match your career values. What career values exactly are, I will soon explain in my next blog.