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Getting on track from a career setback

3 October 2016

Most of us have been there – that is, putting your heart and soul on the line for a job interview only to be rejected in the final stage, or dealing with a redundancy from your dream job which you didn’t see coming. And for business owners, facing the reality of your project not meeting expectations or delivering success.

It’s common and only natural to experience these types of setbacks throughout your career. There are forces at play larger than you, and they cannot be controlled. No matter where you are in the career lifecycle, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. To stay motivated and move forward, it’s important to consider a number of factors to help you overcome a career setback. This will put you in a better position for the next turning point in your career.

A setback shouldn’t define you

It’s critical to acknowledge that in some cases, career setbacks are not simply a reflection of you and what you could have done better, but of a broader situation. If you take a setback personally, you allow negativity to define you and the way you approach tricky situations moving forward. With a little bit of perspective, we often find that those seemingly negative experiences ultimately make you stronger.

Accept, learn and move forward

Acceptance is not just understanding that you hit a roadblock, it’s about being able to absorb constructive criticism and ploughing ahead in a productive, innovative manner. Handling failure, rejection or disappointment in a positive way can be as beneficial to career development as it is a huge accomplishment.

Re-evaluate your definition of success

You may be defining success in a way that doesn’t make you happy or allow you to reach your career goals. Is it more important for you to get a promotion or seek knowledge? Do you value job title or job satisfaction? Do you live for the little wins or strive to carve out a long-lasting legacy? One way of approaching this re-evaluation is to think about what you believe is the true meaning of success. From there, the process becomes a whole lot easier. You’ll be able to move past your setback and set more sustainable goals for your future.

Go the extra mile to improve your outlook

Your future is what you make of it. Whenever there’s a setback, there’s always another opportunity around the corner. Whether that be another job with even more professional development potential than the opportunity before it, or a chance to develop your skills and knowledge through further study.

Postgraduate study can not only strengthen your current position in the workplace but open up new career pathways, leading you into another industry or broadening your experience. It can give you that extra leverage and confidence after a career setback to get you to where you want to go.

If you’re interested in studying online, find out more about our online courses. You can complete any of these courses while you continue to conveniently work and kick career goals. Alternatively, speak to one of our friendly Student Enrolment Advisors today on 1300 589 882.