career setbacks

Turn failure into success: How to deal with career setbacks

We all go through career setbacks, whether it is missing out on your dream job or being made redundant. Even some of the most famous and successful people in the world have encountered challenges along the way. But it is how you deal with the setback that is important. How you respond to a challenge can help set you up for future success.

Think Talent and Michael Page have some tips on how to cope with setbacks in your career.

Be honest and don’t let it define you

If you’ve lost your job, don’t let it define you. Often, people will blame themselves when they hit a roadblock in their career. However, setbacks will often be a result of factors outside of your control. Maybe you just came up against an exceptional candidate, or your organisation faces financial difficulties or funding cuts.

In job interviews people tend to over justify. Instead, just be honest and explain your situation.

Focus on the lessons you can learn

Is there anything you could improve on next time? Are there any key skills you could try to develop? How can you grow as a professional? Can you find new sources of motivation?

Use failure as a motivation to work harder

Adopting a growth mindset can increase your ability to learn and adapt. It can also help you build persistence. By adopting a positive attitude, you can frame your situation as an opportunity to do things better next time.

Studies have shown current failure can actually lead to future success because it motivates you to work harder to achieve your goals.

Lean into discomfort

If you can, take some time to reflect and think about what you want from your career going forward rather than rushing into applying for roles.

If you are applying for roles, it is OK to be selective. Try to apply for roles that are the best fit for you.

For example, think about the type of company that you would like to work for or what type of work culture you thrive in. You can also consider what you don’t want from your next workplace.

Keep trying as long as it takes

Sometimes you will only get your dream job after many applications so perseverance and never giving up are important.

Focus on what you can control

Too often identity, self-worth, confidence and our sense of belonging and purpose become caught up in our job title or latest achievement.

After a setback, it can be easy to lose motivation.

It is critical to focus on what you can control, not what you can’t.

When you encounter a roadblock why not set yourself up for the next opportunity that arises?

For example, make sure your resume is up to date.

You could also focus on further developing your skills.

Show yourself compassion

If you are going through a challenging time, look after yourself.  Prioritise your mental and physical health and ensure you are getting enough sleep.

It’s essential that you don’t take the situation personally.

Remember that missing out on or losing a job is rarely a reflection of your skills, personal character, resilience, or value.

Don’t be afraid to reach out

When dealing with career challenges, social support is essential. Explain your circumstances to mentors, colleagues and friends who might be able to help you through the situation. Stay connected with your friends and family.

stressed female

Are you feeling stuck in your career? Do you need some guidance on the next steps to take? Public Service Resumes can help. We are pleased to offer a variety of services including career development coaching