Major career obstacles are different from bumps in the road because the former leave with you a gobsmacked feeling as though a truck came out of nowhere and ran you over. They’re the kinds of things that seem insurmountable, making you wonder how on earth you’ll ever get past them. But with this article, not only will you be able to put a name to those obstacles, but you’ll also be able to handle them like a champ.
Career Obstacle #1: Being Downsized or Fired
Finding out your company is getting smaller and there’s no longer a need for you is devastating. You’ve put blood, sweat and tears into your job, and it feels like the thanks you’re getting is a pink slip. Our jobs are what we build our identities around, and losing it feels like losing ourselves. And one of the worst things about being let go is we’re not given time to pre-emptively find another job, padding the time in between to be an easier transition.
How to overcome this: Keep moving. The longer you stand still, the worse it’ll be for your ego, mindset and resume. Employers are unfairly wary of gaps in resumes, even if the job applicant is highly qualified. Being let go is horrible, but there’s no sense in prolonging the feeling. Hit the pavement running every day and knock on doors until someone lets you in.
Career Obstacle #2: Injury or Illness
You’re going along swimmingly at your job when suddenly, out of the blue, you get really sick. And it’s not just like having a bad flu, but a crippling injury or illness that makes it almost impossible for you to get up and go to work at the same time each day. On top of that, you’ve got bills and expenses to worry about.
How to overcome this: Your only priority right now is on getting better, that’s it. Without your health, you don’t have much of a leg to fight on, so take care of that as best as you can first. There are always going to be jobs — they may not be the same as what you had before — but you only get one body. This is more important.
Career Obstacle #3: Huge Mistake
So you’ve taken a big risk for the company and not only did it not work out, but it ended up going completely the other way. Now what? The spotlight’s squarely on you for this gaffe and the company has to figure out a way to right itself. Depending on the size of the company, this could either be a very big headache or a game-changer.
How to overcome this: Think back to every other time you made a big mistake. Did your life suddenly end the day after? No, and it won’t this time, too. The world is far too big a place with too many pieces for your one mistake to halt it in its tracks, and things will eventually get better. Be accountable for your actions, do better next time (if given the chance at that company), and take note of everything that needs to be changed next time. It’s rare to only get one chance at anything in life, but you don’t get nine lives for everything, either.
Things that happen in life are rarely as good or as bad as they seem at that moment, but the ones that happen at work seem different. Partly it’s because you spend so much time there, and partly it’s because so much of your identity is built around it. So, when something goes wrong, it can feel like you’re entire life is falling apart. But with these three scenarios, you now have the tools to take it all in stride.