Sooner or later, virtually every executive gets thrown off the career horse. Very rarely are you completely to blame for this career crisis. There are usually external factors. “It may be an unwanted separation from a company, a career sidetrack, corporate bankruptcy, failure to deliver a major deliverable or other major career crisis,” explains John Decker, Executive Vice President at MDL Partners (www.mdlpartners.com).
What you do after the career crisis is what is really important. What you do to take stock and rebuild confidence will determine your future career trajectory.
Here are MDL Partners’ top tips to help rebuild confidence after a career crisis.
- Look at the big picture. Realize that virtually everyone has a setback (or two or three or four) and that most people recover and move forward with their careers.
- Analyze what happened. Look at the experience from a “lessons learned” perspective and tuck these lessons away for future reference as you move forward.
- Get back out there. Nothing rebuilds confidence as quickly as getting back on the horse. Refocus on your work if you have it available, start projects with a high probability of success and if necessary, charge forward in your search for a new position. Focus on taking action and moving forward.
- Look at your career history. It is probably one of multiple accomplishments and successes. Spend some time building a list of accomplishments then read them regularly for motivation.
- Focus on your strengths. Determine from your list of accomplishments and your experience the underlying strengths you bring to the table. If necessary, solicit and listen to feedback on your strengths from people who know you.
- Network. As you are doing the above, work to refresh and expand your network, particularly people whom you think will provide moral support and networking connections.
- Learn something new. Identify skills or knowledge that you would like to develop, set a plan and get to work. If this new skill is marketable, so much the better.
- Behave confidently. Watch your body language, maintain your appearance through exercise and dress for success, and record your voice to make sure it expresses energy and enthusiasm.
- Banish negative thinking. Listen for, identify, and isolate negative thinking.
If you do all of the above, and do it diligently, you could be back on the horse and charging forward in record time. If none of this helps and you are still bedeviled by a lack of confidence, it may be wise to seek professional career help.
MDL Partners works with you to help you stand out from the crowd and to achieve your career goals, as well as to broaden and deepen your network. There are plenty of times in your career that you will use MDL Partner’s services – and once you are a client, you are a client throughout your entire career. MDL Partners works with clients on their immediate needs today, with an eye towards the future.