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Have You Experienced a Career Setback? Here's How to Rebound

Career setbacks happen all the time, for many reasons. Perhaps another person was chosen to head the new division, rather than you. Maybe the migration to cloud computing meant that your department needed to be downsized, and unfortunately your number came up. Perhaps the new digital strategy initiative at your company wasn’t as successful as hoped, and its implosion affected the career of everybody who worked on it — including you.

What separates people who succeed from people who don’t isn’t so much whether they’ve had a career setback, but what they do after it. If you’ve had a career setback, you need to rebound. Here are the best ways to do it.

1. Review the situation objectively

When a career setback happens, something went wrong. You need to review the situation objectively to find out what that something is. Then, whatever it was, you need to fix it.

If it was performance, find out why. Ask your manager for a candid assessment of why you were passed over for a promotion. Sometimes it’s based on depth or breadth of knowledge. If it was, upgrade your skills and knowledge base. But sometimes it’s because of style or corporate fit. If either of these was the cause, you need to change your style or look for a new position where your style and methods will be more appreciated.

If it was company a direction or initiative failed, don’t cast blame. Be enthusiastic about new assignments, and put distance, both psychological and actual, between you and any perception of failure.

2. Create a new path

IT is a field in which new fields, new knowledge and new approaches are a constant. If you need a new position or are bouncing back, you need to ensure your skills and knowledge of the field are up to date, and as cutting-edge as possible. Enroll in courses. Invest in new certifications.

If you’ve ever thought about striking out on your own as a consultant or business owner, now could be the time. Think strategically about where you fit in the field and the contributions you have to offer. That can help you position yourself for consultancies, new business, or to be an employee at a new firm.

3. Think “When one door closes, another one opens”

A large part of bouncing back effectively is conceptualizing what has happened to you, in the right spirit. Do not look back and think about what could have, would have, or should have happened. When people do that, they tend to get mired in the past.

Instead, look forward to the new opportunities you have unexpectedly been granted. There’s an old adage “when one door closes, another one opens.” The new one can’t open until the old one is closed.

What would you like to do with your career for the next stage? Where do you want to be in 10 years? Start networking. Prospect new places, whether you’re actively looking or simply want to know the state of the field.

Are You Thinking About New Opportunities?

As you’re considering new opportunities, let Nesco Resource help take your career to the next level. Contact us today to learn more.

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