These quoted from “On Mental Toughness” by Harvard Business Review.
Rebounding from Career Setbacks
Step 1: Figuring out why you lost
High achievers usually take too much credit for their success and assign too much external blame for their failures. It’s a type of attribution bias that protect self-esteem but also prevents learning and growth. People focus on situational factors or company politics instead of examining their own role in the problem.
Those who rebound from career losses instead of getting stuck in grief or blame, they actively explore how they contributed to what went wrong, evaluate whether they sized up the situation correctly and reacted appropriately, and consider what they would do differently if given the chance. They also gather feedback from a wide variety of people, making it clear that they want honest feedback, not consolidation.
Step 2: Identify New Paths
Reframing losses as opportunities involves hard thinking about who you are and what you want. It’s useful to take time to test out some ideas for what to do next. One option is to speak with a career counselor or engage in therapy, both to clarify goals and to work on personal development. Another is to take a temporary leave from your job to go back to school or test-drive a career interest at a start-up or a nonprofit. Pausing a bit can allow you to find new meaning in your setback.
Step 3: Seize the Right Opportunity
Needs and Priorities can change dramatically over time – as children are born or grow up and move out, after a divorce or parent’s death, when early dreams fade in midlife and new ones emerge, and when perspectives and skills become outdated and new growth challenges beckon. So choosing the right opportunity has a lot to do with the moment when you happen to be looking.
If you’re not able to dig into your current work with renewed gusto, you might decide to put more discretionary effort into family life, volunteering, or hobbies, recognizing that having a rich personal life can compensate for not being number on your team or in your organization.