• Monique C. Johnson, Ed.D.

6 Tips to Help You Recover After a Career Setback


Setup, setback or disappointment, call it what you want but we’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives. It happens to the best of us. Sometimes situations do not work out as planned. You get laid off, overlooked for a promotion, or you realize it’s time for a career change.


Situations arise in our lives that can rock our world and cause us to question ourselves and lose confidence. Some of us can relate to that feeling especially with the onset of Covid-19 and the job loss experienced by millions. That’s a normal human reaction but the key is to not allow yourself to stay in that place. It’s challenging especially when you don’t see it coming or you believe you’ve done everything right. You have to forge ahead to create the life you want. If you don’t, then who will?


Here are a few practical tips to help you stay focused when you’ve experienced a setback. These basic tips can have a huge impact if you believe that better days are ahead. You have to believe that everything is going to work out.


Surround yourself with the right people. Our natural inclination is to retreat to those closest to us when we’ve experienced a setback. Be selective about who you share with. Everyone will have an opinion and advice for you both good and bad. Seek those out you trust, who know you, are honest and want the best for you.

Reflect on your situation. Reflection means different things to different people. Do it in your own way whether its praying, meditating, writing, exercising or talking it out. Take the time to think through the situation and what you could have done better if it applies. Identify the lesson in the experience and move forward.

Release yourself. You’ve heard it many times. Don’t take it personally. This can be tough because you may ask yourself, “why me and not her or him?”. Organizational restructure or downsizing is a modern-day thing now, it happens often. In most cases, it’s not about you and more about business and fiscal responsibility. Sometimes people are tactless but maintain your dignity through it all. Regardless of your situation, be confident in knowing what you have to offer and more than anything – know your worth.

Define yourself. When situations throw us off course, we can’t let it determine our fate. You know yourself better than anyone. This is a good time to determine if your current line of work is where you need to be. Is it time for a transition? What are your interests, abilities and values and how does that translate to a job or career? What are your transferrable skills? Create your next steps.

Create A Plan. What’s next? You have to decide on your next move and create a timeline. Create a job search plan which includes types of organizations, positions etc. In the midst of the job search will you also be engaging in career exploration? Working with a career professional can help you gain clarity.

Work Your Plan. In order for your plan to work, you have to work your plan. You may need to make adjustments along the way. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself what you can do better. Sometimes weeks turn into months and months but you can’t lose focus. Stay engaged and join meet up groups in your local area. The right opportunity is just one phone call, or one networking event away.

There will be bumps along the way but that’s part of the journey. Keep your spirits up. Embrace it and go discover your next opportunity.

If you need job search, career exploration or transition help, schedule a complimentary session with Dr. Monique here or email info@drmcjconsulting.com. She can help you open doors and break barriers.

855-643-1494

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