This year has already seen its fair share of senior professionals realize they were in the wrong job, especially in government positions. Plenty more in high-ranking slots will decide to leave for a better environment. The spectrum of rational behind why the person doesn’t fit the role can vary widely.
Can you bounce back after choosing a bad job? Will this effect my progeress?
Whether you’re able to bounce back often hinges on the nature and severity of the departure and whether it was self-inflicted or politically induced.
Whether you’ve decided to leave your role because of a poor fit, or some other reason there is light at the end of the tunnel. With the right strategy, you can navigate your way back to the path you want for yourself. Here are some tips that can take you from surviving to thriving.
Your job search after a bad career move
Acknowledge what has occurred. Take responsibility for any faux pas or errors under your watch. Apologize, make amends and move on. If you were an innocent bystander, make your case the powers that be. If the glove just does not fit, take it off, give it back, and move on.
Don’t let the mistake define you
We all take the wrong job at some point in our career. The mistake was just that, a bad choice, a road ill taken. Do not let it define you. It is not who you are or want to be. Separate your motion from the emotion. Do not be consumed by your emotions or let them morph into depression.
Learn from it
Whatever occurred, learn from it, and grow. Looking for the encouragement instead of the injustice in a tough career situation can focus you on staying positive and keep the ball moving forward.
Don’t try so hard
When you can’t see the forest for the trees it’s time to step away. Get out of the metaphorical forest and go to the beach, the country or at least to the park. Clear your mind. Enjoy nature and get the monkey off your back. Studies show that going for a walk in nature while listening to classical music is better for combating stress than Xanax. Long term, it’s good to build balance into your life by exercising, reading or whatever gives you pleasure. Don’t let the bad career move take over your life.
After Action Review
In the military, they take a minute after every operation to discuss what worked and what didn’t. Look at what created your “wrong” choice. One technique is by creating a matrix of all the pluses and minuses and how your skills and abilities intersect with the job’s responsibilities. Looking at the required deliverables can give you insights into what you may have missed. Do it again and again over several days so that you can be sure your thinking is clear.
Pitch a change up
If you ask most people to tell you about themselves, they lack a short, crisp, clear response. A powerful elevator pitch can be a sea change in your search for a way out.
People need to be able to carry your message, so make it your truth Take stock in yourself, discover your purpose, passion and promise then use the technique I teach my clients;
Hi, I’m (your name) from (place, company, career field) looking to (where you want to go) .
If you don’t have the tools to do it, hire a coach.
Remember, successful professionals can rattle off concise statements of who they are, their purpose, and value. That’s part of why the will win more often than those who cannot. Self-knowledge is self-confidence.
It takes a village
Mentors and coaches are a wonderful tactic for using the experience of others to manage your career. However, given the dynamics of today’s complex employment environment, the best advice is building a diverse village of advisors. Canvas your peers, former bosses, friends, mentors and yes, even family. Structure a group so you’ll get varying perspectives, opinions, and counsel.
Give your cabinet assignments. Allow them to vet and validate who you are and what they think you bring to the table. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
By now you have to know the benefits of networking. But everyone still hates it and avoids doing it. If you are recovering from a bad career move, there is no better move than to network. Growing the number of loose connections you have with once you meet someone new, connect with them within 24hrs, and stay in touch with them. We will talk more about tools that make this easier later, but for now an excel spreadsheet should be enough to track your points of contact.
If you can’t be found online, you don’t exist. Chances are that you already have some accounts on Facebook or LinkedIn, but how you look online can have a lot to do with how you are able to get others to support your effort to get past a bad career move. In my post on 7 Tips For Addressing Unemployment on LinkedIn, you can read more about how to represent yourself online professionally. Read more about this from my article,