How To: Handle a Career Setback

By Avery Mills | Dec 6, 2018 8:03:00 AM

How To: Handle a Career SetbackIt happens to the best of us. A simple mistake at work snowballs into a much bigger problem that throws your whole job off course. Or perhaps you were passed over for a promotion or raise. Maybe you messed up a major presentation that you’ve been working on for months. It can be easy to let that negativity overshadow your life, especially when it comes to your job. Here are some tips to help you handle a career setback. 


Allow yourself to deal with the situation. Pretending like it didn’t happen or that it wasn’t a big deal won’t help fix your problems. If you are upset, be upset. Bottling up those feelings can have negative, long-term effects. Reach out to friends or family to talk it out. Getting an outsiders perspective can help you refocus and figure out the next step to take. Once you’ve taken this time, prepare to move forward.


What went wrong? Was there a more qualified applicant for the position you wanted? Perhaps your style of presentation wasn’t correct for the intended audience. Did you come up with the wrong plan for a specific situation? Find at least three solid, clear issues and come up with a plan to either fix them or avoid them completely for next time.


Search for the positives within the negative, even if it’s only one thing. Maybe you really stepped out of your comfort zone to give that presentation or perhaps you stepped up and took the initiative to lead a project when no one else would. Use these positives as a foundation moving forward.


Sit down with your supervisor and come up with a game plan so the setback doesn’t happen again. For a promotion, this could be a clear list of goals and objectives that you need to reach. For presentations, look at the positives from your current work and come up with a list of ways to improve.

Topics: career, careers, how to, Lifestyle

Author: Avery Mills