It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie to the workforce or a seasoned pro, facing setbacks in your career can be devastating and hard to bounce back from. Whether you didn’t get the promotion you wanted, had to take an unexpected leave of absence, or were just plain let go- no one is ready for their career to shift downward. You may feel confused, scared, angry, or an overwhelming combination of all three, but I am here to remind you that you are a badass and you can and will snap back from anything that is thrown your way!

It’s Not a Setback- It’s a Reset

You most likely had a plan or at least an overall idea of how you wanted your career to go and now your plans have changed and your career has been put on hold. It may feel like you have to start completely over or that your career is moving backwards, but you’re not moving backwards at all; you’re standing still so you can leap forwards, aka resetting. This change could be the start of something wonderful. It’s a good thing you’re resilient as heck and you can do anything you put your mind to!

Resetting can go a lot of ways, but mostly consists of taking what you know and applying it to your next step. Kind of like taking a new direction from a route you usually take: instead of going the same way you’ve gone before, you use your experience of the surrounding area to venture into new territory. It might seem a little scary at first, but you got it. You can also reset again if you need to. Take a moment to think it all over and see what you can do next for some positive forward movement. 

Ways You Can Recover From Setbacks

First, take a moment to BREATHE and just stop for a second. Yes, we all have bills to pay and mouths to feed (even if it’s just our own), but going through a change like this, especially if it blind sides you, deserves a moment (or moments) of stillness to calm your mind and body. 

​​Next, reflect on what happened and acknowledge that you’re frustrated or hurt or embarrassed. Owning your emotions will help you work through them and understand yourself better. There is no need to dwell but if you want to throw yourself a quick (no more than 48 hour) pity party you go for it!

Then, decide how you want to come out on the other side of this disruption. You can choose to focus on “non-work” aspects of your life like taking this time to be with your family or traveling or volunteering. Or you can take this as an opportunity to finally pursue a career or job opportunity that you’ve always wanted! Whether that’s working for a specific company or in a certain field or becoming your own boss, you now have the freedom to take your life in any direction you want.

Here are some starting ideas:

  • Light candles
  • Do some yoga/meditation
  • Read a book that will take you away from reality for a second
  • Rearrange a room or two
  • Binge through your favorite show
  • Work on your garden

You Are More Than Your Career

There really is no “right way” to handle a setback, but there are a handful of productive ways to navigate any disruptions you may face in life. You have to remind yourself that you are a strong, independent, intelligent woman and you have the power to decide what your future holds. Just because your career plans were interrupted does not mean you are a failure. You must acknowledge the change, accept it, and press on because you are more than your job title. You are you, and that is more than enough.