Quitting on your own terms

    Resiliency in your Career: 3 solutions to setbacks

    Would you be willing to fail 26 times before in pursuit of your dream career, knowing that the 27th would be your big win?

    Probably. But the harsh truth is that we won’t ever know how many times we have to fail before we achieve something great. Another harsh truth is that far too many people quit RIGHT before the finish line. When facing adversity in your career search, the key will always be to keep going and stay focused on WHY you want something and HOW you can get it. 

    Though this explanation sounds rather simple, it translates to a complex journey for almost anyone looking to switch careers. There may be ever-changing explanations for why we decide to pursue something new, and there are endless possibilities for the paths we explore to try and achieve the goal in mind. 

    Here’s a little personal narrative I like to share with my clients

    always knew I wanted to be a VP before I turned 35 but I didn’t have a college degree. I knew trying the traditional route was not EVER going to get me to where I wanted. Regardless of the old rhetoric and the self-limiting beliefs that the world imposes on people without an institutional education, I knew in my heart of hearts that there HAD to be another way to reach my goals. 

    While in pursuit of my dream career- I faced endless rejection, dead-ends and dismissal from employers. At the end of the day, all I had was a dream to hold onto and a determination to get what I wanted.

    “But Tammy, How do I keep up my positivity and momentum when all I’m getting is rejections and bad news?”

    Well, to be upfront: The struggle is real!

    Roadblocks lead to feeling rejected, isolated, overwhelmed, fearful and frustrated, all of which can deeply affect our stress levels, confidence AND lead to burn-out when searching for your dream career. 

    These stressors can cause us to give up on our dreams just before the finish line, abandoning all of the long hours and hard work you dedicated yourself to, which quite frankly- can feel heart-breaking.

    But fear not! There are many ways to prevent burnout when in pursuit of your new career, and by implementing these strategies, you might just be able to fall in love with the process to help carry the weight of change. 

    resilience compass

    3 Ways to Stay Resilient

    1. Activate. Always remember that a career in motion stays in motion. An important aspect of your search is going to be reinforcement. In order to achieve the results you’re looking for, you must be persistent. You don’t have to spend endless nights researching, networking, and applying until 4 in the morning, however, you should spend time figuring out how to make at least one move each day that will get you closer to your goal. Stay active and get what you want sooner! 
    1. Focus on what’s working (and do more of that!) We as humans have a tendency to focus on the bad! One embarrassing slip-up on a phone call, one less-than-perfect interview, and one rejected application can feel like the end of the world! Switching careers can put us in a vulnerable situation sometimes, so it’s important to stay positive! Instead of descending into a shame spiral the next time something goes wrong- try to focus on the last time you received outstanding feedback. Jot down your strengths and find ways to support them! 
    1. Relive your rock star moments.  Can you recall the last time you felt proud of yourself? Think when your colleagues congratulated you on an outstanding job, or a time when you finally got to see your hard work pay off. The truth is, careers are very much a reflection of life: We have our high points when we feel on top of the world, and we certainly have our low points as well (think of the days when you woke up with a sense of existential dread.) There is an ebb and flow of feelings and emotions that surround our professional lives, but the greatest piece of advice I can offer is to surrender to those moments of great success and happiness as they can serve as the most reliable source of inspiration to tap into when the going gets rough. 

    So the next time you hear “no” sit down and remind yourself of these three strategies to get you back on your feet. Remember that consistency is key, especially when we don’t feel like doing it!

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    Tammy Alvarez is a visionary who catalyzes leaders to level up their performance for themselves and their businesses. Her spirited “Break all the Rules” approach blends decades of C-Suite experience on Wall Street with a pragmatic, results-based coaching style that helps business professionals create a big impact and love every Monday morning again.

    Tammy Alvarez

    CEO/Founder, Career Winners Circle

    About The Author

    Tammy Alvarez is the CEO and Founder of the Career Winners Circle.  A coaching firm that helps ambitious leaders in financial services and STEM industries rebuild vibrant careers without compromise, land new roles in 4-5 months, earn 20% more on average, and never hate Mondays again.  Tammy has started the #RemoteCareerRevolution so every knowledge worker can have a voice and benefit from gaining access to the tools and resources they need so they can have a vibrant career and lifestyle. Click here to learn more about the Remote Career Revolution.