It’s no secret, we are in the midst of ongoing turbulent times as many companies throughout Australia and the rest of the world restructure and cost-cut. Hand-in-hand with this, unfortunately comes redundancy. No matter how you cut it, redundancy is a tough ride, emotionally.
The question is: How can you rebound after a career setback? This article will discuss 4 ways to stay centred and get back on track.
#1. Accept Reality
Perhaps one of the hardest things to do, at least immediately after you experience the setback, is to accept the reality of the situation. Many professionals find themselves in a state of shock, and deal with feelings of self-doubt and disbelief. They find it hard to deal with the thought that their company gave up on them - or that they weren't as good as they originally thought.
It may take some time to accept this "new normal," but it's an important first step in your recovery. As you work through this process, don't burn bridges. Stay gracious, even with wounded dignity. It has been said that "a person's character shines brightest during the dark night of adversity;" and if you leave on a good note, who knows what doors may open (or re-open) for you in the future?
#2. Honestly Analyse Your Performance
This may be hard to do in the aftermath of your job loss or demotion, but it is necessary for your professional (and personal) growth. It’s dependent on why you were made redundant but take some time to think about your performance in your role and what areas you could improve on or upskill in whilst you have some time off.
If appropriate, at some point you may want to ask for honest feedback from a former manager or colleague.
#3. Leverage Your Experience for Future Success
Odds are the time spent with your former employer allowed you to gain valuable skills and experience. Even though it may have ended earlier than expected, use that period of your professional life as a springboard for career advancement with another company. Other employers know that layoffs and career transitions are a reality of modern life - but they'll likely be more interested in your profile as an experienced professional compared to less qualified candidates.
#4. Don't Look Back with Regret
This is a big one. It's all too easy for us to fall into the trap of "counterfactual thinking" - i.e., "what if?" Studies have shown that even high-achieving individuals often sacrifice happiness on the altar of "what might have been," even when they are objectively better off than many of their peers. Don't fall into that trap. Remember that the "good old days" had their share of troubles, and that your current situation has its own set of advantages.
While a major career setback may throw you off-balance for a time, there is still plenty you can do to get back on course. If you follow these four principles discussed above, you'll be able to quickly rebound after your fall - and you'll be a better, wiser, and happier person for it.
#5. Consider Temp & Contract Opportunities
Jobs come in all shapes and sizes so open your mind to contracting and/or temping options. Employers may be looking to ramp up their workforces to meet demand in particular areas, so if you are adaptable and open to new ways of working, you could be in a new temp role very quickly. Apart from providing some financial security while you are looking for a permanent position, temping and contracting is also a great way to widen your skill set and create new networks.
As recruiters, we see first-hand that people’s self-esteem can take a blow, but we also know that in taking steps to reframe your mindset, it is possible to bounce back quickly.