How to Deal with Career and Employment Setbacks

businesswoman covering her face with angry mask isolated grey wall background. Negative emotions, feelings, expressions, body language-1A friend of mine recently had to let go of several employees. Although this was part of her job, that fact did not make it any easier. This made me think about the reality of employment and job security of employees everywhere.

The truth is that no one is indispensable at a company. Even if you are one of the top contributors to your organization, there is no 100% guarantee that you're job will always be secure or devoid of obstacles along the way. This is the reality that every employee has to face. Career setbacks are part of jobs, whether we like it or not. Some are just lucky enough not to experience this (if there is anyone lucky enough). But, for those who do, it can be truly frustrating, to say the least.


Dealing with career and employment setbacks

Career setbacks can include not being given an expected promotion or a well-deserved raise, being given a demotion or, much worse, being let go. Of course there are other instances. But, suffice it to say, a setback such as these can derail anyone's career plans tremendously. In such cases, how do you deal with the employment setback?


Keep youR cool

The initial shock can devastate anyone. As much as you might want to draw and quarter your boss, you need to fight the urge. No good will come from lashing out at everyone at the office. Take the news like a professional and avoid making any rash actions. Simply acknowledge the fact that a career setback has occurred. Accepting is a powerful tool to help you move on and become proactive.


Unload the pressure

Talking to someone is a healthy way to unload the pressure. Family and friends are good support groups to vent your bottled up emotions to. They may be able to help you get to the root of what happened and offer constructive suggestions. In other cases, you might want to talk to a professional, especially if it is really bogging you down emotionally. If it begins to affects your work and your daily life, you should seek out professional help.

If an employment setback has you back on the job market, click here to learn how to get a job you deserve.


Tracing the cause

One productive way to handle professional setbacks is to find the root cause of the problem. Try to be objective when you look at your work performance, office relationships and other key factors. Review your key results areas and your key performance indicators; go over your outputs and contributions; take a look at your job evaluation. Scrutinize your work performance and find areas where you can improve.

Finding what happened does not mean trying to find faults in the decision of the company. Rather, it is finding ways to improve yourself so that employment opportunities will not pass you by again.


Reassess your goals

Every employee has a goal in mind. Whether it’s getting ahead in the office or better financial security, you need to first assess where you currently stand. Ask yourself how this setback affects your career goals. More importantly, decide how you intend to achieve these goals in light of this new circumstance. Remember, any career move is life changing (sometimes for the better, sometimes for worse) so set your goals properly.



There are practically 2 choices that you can consider. First, continue working with the company and simply focus on the next opportunity that may come along. Or secondly, move to another company and start over again. But remember that building a career from scratch can be difficult.

Regardless of what you choose to do, you need to maintain confidence in spite of a setback. Moreover, learning how to overcome such hurdles as you build your career will improve the way you approach work and make you a smarter, more resilient person overall.



Having a job offers a certain level of security to your wellbeing, but, as we've seen, it is by no means a guarantee. In addition, your career goals and employment plans may not be the same as that of your company. So, if things go south, remember to deal with the situation with a clear and rational mind. The opportunity may have passed you by but you still have control over how you react to the disruption and how you let it impact your life, positively or negatively.


About Author: Terry Stone is an independent business analyst, consultant, and co-founder of Buy Essay Club. I am results oriented and throughout my career I have gained many business skills.

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