It can happen to any of us. You may have been through it, you may going through it or it may be waiting for around the corner for you. Career disappointment will almost inevitably occur at some point in our lives, for some, more than once. It can come in many forms – being passed over for a promotion, not getting the new job you were resting your hopes on or even getting that new job and finding it is not what you thought it would be. How you deal with career disappointment has a direct effect on what happens next in your professional life.
A knee-jerk reaction to career disappointment can be to place blame and then dwell on it. You might blame yourself and focus on your apparent shortcomings, or you may blame your boss, your company or even an interviewer or recruiter. The fact is, this serves no useful purpose. What is far more useful is to put things in perspective and seek out the reason for the disappointment in order to assess it and correct it. Are you missing experience in a certain area? Is there a qualification that might strengthen your CV for the jobs you want to go for? Did you prepare poorly for the interview? Has there been a communication issue? If you don’t know what went wrong then talk to your manager or even your colleagues. If you were going for a job and you use a recruiter – talk to your consultant.
Be proactive and plan
When you know what went wrong (or is going wrong) do something about it immediately. You will feel so much better if you are actively working on something that will positively impact your career. Make a plan and set goals to work towards.
Remember it’s not just you – talk to people
Having the right perspective is crucial in overcoming any productivity-destroying disappointment. As easy as it can be to think the universe is against you, remember that you are not alone. Almost everyone has gone, is going, or will go through what you’re going through. You will find that if you talk to others about it, they will have experienced similar situations.
Career disappointment is almost certain to happen to you at some point. What matters most is not what happened, but how you decided to deal with it.