Today’s blog is about helping you to ‘move on’, if you have recently experienced a setback in relation to your career. Maybe you didn’t get the promotion and/or job you applied for, you may have received an ‘unexpected’ piece of poor feedback from an appraisal, or you may not have performed as well as expected in a presentation and/or project.
So what do you do when faced with this kind of disappointment? Are you the sort of person to bury your head in the sand or can you honestly and objectively re-examine the situation and look for how you might have possibly contributed? How much ownership are you prepared to take when things go wrong in your career?
How easy do you find it to take a step back and view the whole situation with a little dispassion and objectivity?
I believe that the first step towards recovery is to firstly accept that the situation has happened, accept that you are disappointed, hurt and upset, but your goal for the time being is find your way through. You may not know exactly how at the moment, but it is imperative that you make the decision to find a way, and that part of that will involve ‘mining for gold’. That is taking anything positive that you can find from the situation. There will always be something, some piece of learning that you can save for next time.
I also believe that the way you handle yourself publicly is extremely important, especially if others are aware of your disappointment. No one really wants to listen to people who are constantly whining and moaning about their situation. There will be limited sympathy and perhaps empathy for your plight, if you allow yourself to ‘wallow’ for too long in the ‘terrible situation’. People will quickly tire of this.
But the question still remains how do you pick yourself up and go on to fight another day?
Firstly look for what went well, you may need to dig deep for this but seldom are there situations where absolutely everything went terribly.
Secondly look for what went reasonably well, it may not have been ‘top notch’ but perhaps it was good enough. Consider what you could do to make this ‘average’ performance better. If you can, get feedback from someone you trust and who can offer a constructive and objective point of view.
If you do feel the need to ‘wallow’ then do so for a little while, but limit yourself, scream into a pillow, moan and talk with a friend who will sympathize but remember that this is for a limited time only. The point is to clear the emotion so you can usefully move on.
Thirdly think about what really didn’t go well, what would you do differently if you had the opportunity? Who could give you some helpful feedback? Would having a trusted mentor help, just someone to bounce ideas from. How much of the ‘failure’ realistically belongs to you?
Try and see the situation from a distance, or put yourself in the shoes of the other people involved. I know of people who have revisited a room where a meeting was held and physically sat in the places of the other participants just to see how the meeting might have seemed from their perspective.
Maybe even imagine interviewing yourself, or even better coaching yourself. Allow yourself to accept that you make mistakes; the more realistic option is to learn from the situation and move on.
Recognize that you are part of the human race and as such are likely to make mistakes, from time to time. Best to recognize and accept this fact and put yourself in the best possible position to move on.
As a career coach, not every session flows and has the exact outcome required by my clients. But a useful saying for me is ‘that was not my finest hour’ it’s one technique I use to accept my own frailty; I show myself some compassion (not a believer in self flagellation) look at what the contributory factors were and move on…………