Whether you’re new to your career or a seasoned professional, the chances are you’ve likely experienced a few professional setbacks. Add to that the effects of the global pandemic and uncertain market conditions, and it’s the perfect storm for career frustration.
Here are the 3 best ways to deal with career disappointment when nothing seems to go your way:
1. Mitigate it before it happens
You can’t stop disappointment from happening, but you can soften its effects. One of the best ways to do this is by setting realistic expectations and remembering that progress beats perfection.
It is great to set challenging goals and go after them, but be sure to break them down into manageable chunks. For example, breaking your goals down into manageable quarterly, monthly and even weekly milestones can really help. If you see things through an “all or nothing” lens, you’re setting yourself up for inevitable heartache. Aim for progress over perfection, tracking your smaller wins along the way. Even if you fall short of your long-term goals, you’ll still have made fantastic progress that should be celebrated.
2. Shift your perspective
Didn’t get the promotion you’d hoped for? Lose a client? Yes, it’s disappointing, but it doesn’t mean you’re worthless and the universe is out to get you. Sometimes a lack of progress simply means you’re going in the wrong direction.
If you’ve been at it for a while and haven’t made headway, is the time right to consider a new path? or reevaluate your strategy. Instead of viewing the incident as rejection, shift your perspective and consider it a redirection.
3. Use the “failure” as fuel for further growth
Failure and success aren’t mutually exclusive; they’re connected. As counterintuitive as it sounds, you’ll grow far more from a supposed failure than when everything goes your way. The key is your ability to adapt and understand that a failure is only a mistake if you fail to learn.
Remember, there is no growth in your comfort zone. To achieve personal and professional development, you must take risks—even if that means you might fail. By adopting a growth mindset, you view every interaction, every project and every failure as a chance to improve. By reframing failure as an opportunity to learn and an ingredient of success—rather than a negative alternative—you’ll adjust your mindset to a more positive one where you see failure as a necessity.
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