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If you’ve experienced a major career setback, it’s important not to take it personally. Many Americans struggle everyday with being passed over for a promotion or having to make changes to their current job title because of company cuts. The key to moving on is setting goals for yourself and figuring out what your next move will be, whether that’s making changes to the way you perform your current job or striking out on your own to start a business.
Here are some of the best ways you can move on and refresh your career after a big setback.
Take a break
If it’s possible, take a break from everything and clear your mind. Even if it’s just overnight or for a weekend, take a little road trip or turn off your phone and stay at home. Focus on taking care of yourself, first and foremost, because sometimes a setback at work can have an affect on mood, self-esteem, and relationships. Practice self-care, which can be anything from making yourself a nice dinner to getting enough sleep, and think a little about what you want your next move to be. Depending on the nature of the setback, you might be considering changing jobs or even trying a new career, but you’ll need a plan.
Sit down and write out a list of all the things you want to achieve. If you were passed over for a promotion at work, ask your supervisor to be specific as to why you didn’t get it. This might be hurtful at first, but it will help you in the long run. Take those reasons and figure out a way to correct them, or simply use it as a learning experience for the future.
Think about your goals
If you’re ready for a career change, think about the best ways to achieve this and how you want to go about it. There will be a lot of work involved in making such a big change, and you’ll need to think about the best fit for you when it comes to salary, your experience level, and ease of transition.
It might also be helpful to think about ways you can boost your skills for such a change; for instance, learning a new language or going back to school to earn a degree (or add to your existing credentials). In some cases, companies will pay for employees to take classes as long as they are relevant to the job.
Find a mentor
You might find it extremely helpful to talk to someone who is either older than you or has more experience in your field. This person can act as your mentor and give you advice when it’s time to make changes, or when you’re dealing with how to handle a particularly difficult setback.
Start your own business
You may be thinking that starting your own business is out of the question because it seems out of reach, but for many people, becoming an entrepreneur is the best move they ever made. Not only can you set your own hours and work for yourself, you can provide vital services to others and make money at the same time.
Depending on your skill set, you could start your own catering or baking business, make and sell jewelry, clothing, furniture, or art and sell it online, become a freelance writer, offer tutoring services, or start a housecleaning business. The majority of these can be started fairly easily, with very few startup costs, however ample research is necessary to ensure success.
If a tutoring business is of interest to you, talk to other tutoring business owners. Talk to friends and family who may be seeking a tutor to understand the real needs that exist in the community you will be serving. Carefully comb all available online information. For example, Care.com offers a step-by-step guide to starting a tutoring business. You should be able to check off everything on this list before considering taking the plunge.
There’s no question that a career setback can be a devastating blow, but oftentimes, people find that it ultimately leads to a better situation. It’s important not to dwell on the negative aspects of the change, but to look at it as an opportunity for the positive evolution of your career.