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Dealing with setbacks – Moving forward positively

Honesty alert – With any type of career transition there will be highs and lows, rejections, dead-ends, PFO letters from recruiters, to the interviews that don’t quite go to plan. These things can be very upsetting, knock our confidence and can take time to recover from, but ideally, we need to be able to bounce back quicker, stronger and to keep going. Career transition is hard, and you will often have to dig deep to keep going!!

Resilience is a word used to describe our ability to recover or bounce back from difficult situations. The good news is that it can be learnt, practiced, and strengthened. Being resilient is not a fixed state, it is dynamic. It is unique to you as an individual, and involves personal negotiation through whatever circumstance you find yourself in.

To build your resilience it is essential you:

Connect to yourself and be curious about your reactions. Know what you are feeling and why. Resilient people are self-aware, have an optimistic attitude, and pay attention to their physical and mental health. Articulate your meaning and purpose. Consciously connect to your beliefs, values, and what is important to you, and use these to refocus you and your efforts.

Keep Perspective remind yourself to regularly take a step back and realistically appraise the situation. What is the big picture? Maintaining perspective will help you to problem solve. Be perseverant. Believe in your goals and plans and keep going. Consider what you can control and what you can’t, and act accordingly.

Stay connected to the support of your family, friends and your network; as building good relationships is key to developing resilience. You may need additional support or resources, and it is important you seek these out.

It is crucial to remember and remind yourself that the right opportunity is out there for you and that this transition will have made you stronger, more confident and more resourceful for having gone through it.

Some daily tips to try out every day (not just the bad days !!)

  1. When you take care of your mind and body, you’re better able to cope effectively with challenges in your life. Develop a good sleep routine, try out a new exercise or use relaxation techniques, like deep breathing or meditation.
  2. Learn from your mistakes. Every mistake has the power to teach you something important, so look for the lesson in every situation.
  3. Choose your response. Remember, we all experience bad days and we all go through our share of crises. But we have a choice in how we respond: we can choose to react with panic and negativity, or we can choose to remain calm and logical to find a solution. Your reaction is always up to you.
  4. Maintain perspective. Resilient people understand that, although a situation or crisis may seem overwhelming in the moment, it may not make that much of an impact over the long-term. Try to avoid blowing events out of proportion.
  5. Set yourself some goals. If you don’t already, learn to set SMART, effective personal goals, that match your values, and that can help you to learn from your experiences.
  6. Build your self-confidence. Remember, resilient people are confident that they’re going to succeed eventually, despite the setbacks or stresses that they might experience. This belief in themselves also enables them to take risks: when you develop confidence and a strong sense of self, you have the strength to keep moving forward, and to take the risks you need to get ahead.
  7. Develop strong relationships. People who have strong connections at work are more resistant to stress, and they’re happier in their role. This also goes for your personal life: the more real friendships you develop, the more resilient you’re going to be, because you have a strong support network to fall back on.
  8. Be flexible. Resilient people understand that things change, and that carefully made plans may, occasionally, need to be amended or scrapped.