When you didn't get the job, the promotion or blew an interview, don't beat yourself up. Here are some ways to cope with the disappointment and keep your spirits up.
During many points in anyone's life, there are going to be times when you feel like a failure. When you have been laid off, had your hours cut back, were passed over for a promotion, blew a job interview or have been turned down for job after job, it's really difficult to keep your head in the game and not grow discouraged.
Professional failure isn't anything new. In fact, Thomas Edison, when trying to make the incandescent bulb, failed many, many times. So much in fact, that after the 700th attempt, the New York Times reporter asked him how it felt to have failed so many times. His answer was that he hadn't failed 700 times, in fact, he hadn't even failed once. Instead, he said, he had succeeded in finding 700 ways not to make a light bulb.
Failure doesn't have to be a reason for self doubt. In fact, the only way to succeed is by having a healthy level of self-esteem. If you don't think that you are worth the job or the promotion or whatever it may be, there is no way anyone else will.
If you have been trying to cope with feelings of failure, here are 6 tips to help you get back in the game:
- Allow yourself time to learn and master a new skill. If you never fail, then you never took a risk. Be patient with yourself.
- Don't be too proud to ask for help. Sometimes reaching out to a trusted friend, a career counselor or even a life coach can help you see new ways to achieve your goals.
- Look at failure as practice. Remember that in order to practice effectively, you have to give yourself enough time to see the results. Resist the urge to give up after just one or two failed attempts.
- Avoid the temptation to spend a lot of time talking with previous co-workers or friends about what happened or friends who have given up on reaching their goals. The more you focus on and give energy to the negative feelings, the more it will grow and poison your efforts. Negativity is like a cancer. It grows quietly and aggressively. You may not even notice until it has spread to every aspect of your life.
- Don't listen to people who want to give you advice on how you should feel and what you “ought” to do. Mostly these people mean well, but remember that they don't know any more about today's job market than you do.
- Practice being brave. It's tempting to assume that a certain company wouldn't hire you, or that your boss will never give you a promotion and using that as a reason to abandon your efforts. Giving up before you have a chance to win is a coward's way out. Bravery is hard, but taking a chance can sometimes pay huge dividends.
How do you deal with disappointment and setbacks in your career? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer for SalesHeadsBlog, along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.