Everyone faces tough times at some point in their career. And most of the challenges that we experience are ones that we can share with each other at some point in our lives.
Here are a few examples of some major career challenges you may have experienced. Which ones can you relate to?
1) You've been a loyal employee at your company for a couple of years and are ready to take the next step to a promotion. One of your colleagues who is in a higher position is leaving, and you're hoping to step up to that role. Unfortunately, the promotion was given to one of your co-workers who is in your same position, and has even been at the company for a shorter period of time.
2) You have interviewed for a job you're really excited about. You met multiple times with people at the company, and have done all you can do to put yourself in a position to receive an offer. However, you received a call letting you know the company was going to hire another candidate.
3) You've been a job for about 6 months, but it's never felt like the right fit. In fact, you've even started looking for a new position. You're called into a meeting with your supervisor who says that it hasn't been working out, and informs you that you're being laid off.
4) You're going on the 5th year at your job. You're feeling bored, burned out, unmotivated and it's showing in your performance lately. You are ready for a new challenge, either at your current company or at a new job but don't know how to make that happen.
While these are common challenges that many people face in their careers, what sets everyone apart is how they are dealt with. Each one of these situations are difficult and don't have an easy solution to overcome.
The first thing to do to move forward in these tough situations is to acknowledge them for what they are, and understand that it's normal to feel upset and frustrated when they happen.
But, to move past them, you should remind yourself that all experiences are opportunities for growth.
The road to success in your career is never a straight line, and there will always be detours, wrong turns, and bumps along the way. The question is how will you handle those obstacles when they come along.
In tough times we can't always explain, or find the reasoning behind what happened. All we can do is move forward. And the best way to do that to learn, grow and move to the next step is to ask yourself this one question:
WHAT'S THE OPPORTUNITY?
When you accept the circumstances and are ready to move forward after a setback, asking yourself where the opportunity lies within the challenge will allow you to see the situation in a different way, ask yourself empowering questions, and open yourself up to new possibilities.
Let's look at the scenarios above again and possible opportunities that can come from them:
1) Passed over for a promotion. What's the potential opportunity?
Schedule a meeting with your supervisors to review your performance, and express your interest in moving up in the company.
2) Didn't get the job offer. What's the potential opportunity?
You've expanded your network through the contacts you made from the interview process.
3) Laid off. What's the potential opportunity?
Pursue a new direction in your career that you've long wanted, but have been putting off for years.
4) Bored at work. What's the potential opportunity?
Take a class to develop new professional skills and explore a new field of interest.
Of course it's not always easy to see the benefit from a difficult situation, but no matter how tough it can get in your career, there's always an opportunity to learn, grow and move forward in both good and bad times. It may not be in the direction you expected, but it may lead you on a path towards something bigger and better for you in your career.
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