Life can change in an instant. And sometimes a sudden job loss or a severe drop in your business is the manifestation of that hard reality.
Along with a significant loss of income, getting fired, being replaced in a company restructuring, or losing your business can cause one to feel a lost sense of identity and purpose. Feelings such as sadness, fear, powerlessness, anger, resentment, and confusion can be overwhelming and make it difficult to move forward. The next step might be difficult to see, let alone take.
It all came crashing down on me when I was fired from a lucrative job that seemed to be going well. The next few years were a roller coaster ride to a better place – my own global consulting firm in the healthcare industry. Along the way I learned lessons about how to get up and move forward when life is knocking one down.
Everyone has peaks and valleys. But from the small business CEO who’s struggling mightily to the dedicated and long-valued employee who’s suddenly shown the door, the valleys can be very hard to pull themselves out of.
From that personal pain, however, can come an amazing growth experience that allows you to overcome difficult challenges, embrace vulnerability and transparency, and feel the joy of becoming a better you.
Here are three ways to rebound when your career knocks you down:
1. Don’t let losing your job or business define you.
Don’t take it too personally. What you do, or did, is not who you are. People who consider losing their job or company as a sign of inadequacy are less likely to forge ahead quickly and with conviction than those who viewed their loss as a chance to grow in self-awareness and build resilience. Make a list of your strengths and accomplishments to rebuild your confidence. Potential employers will be attracted to people who have shown they can stay positive and confident despite a setback.
2. Develop positive daily rituals.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, especially when tough times happen. But what you do every day can bring change over time.
Instead of worrying, take action. In place of doubt, have faith. Focus on the future; get small but important things done each day that advance your cause for a new job or new business plan. A small part of your life is decided by uncontrollable circumstances or mistakes you made, but the majority of your life is decided by your responses to those circumstances or mistakes.
3. Plug into your network.
The best-fitting jobs sometimes aren’t advertised. Finding those jobs that are often filled by word of mouth require tapping into your list of contacts.
Reach out to people you know and who know your capabilities well. Enlist their support in making connections that could help you. They may know of openings that you wouldn’t find on a job board. The old adage, ‘It’s who you know,’ can be the key to opening the next door.”
When one door closes, another door opens, although the hallway in between can be very long and filled with obstacles. It takes patience and perseverance, but what you can learn along the way definitely leads to a better place.
Chuck Crumpton is the founder and CEO of Medpoint, LLC, a global consulting firm serving medical device and pharmaceutical companies in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He is the author of “The Jagged Journey: A Raw & Real Memoir about the Non-Perfect Path of Life & Business“. He’s a featured keynote and session speaker at multi-industry events in the U.S., Europe and Asia for global organizations.