Those of us who have worked long enough have almost all experienced a career glitch. Maybe you were “let go”, made redundant or you got fired – it happens. Maybe you have had a change of heart about the career that you want to pursue. Maybe you stopped working for a few years to care for family. What do you do if you happened to experience a career glitch?
When life throws you lemons
I recently read a post on the Humans of New York about a man who got laid off 5 times within the last 11 years. I know of a friend who was fired from a sales job he was not really suited for. One of my colleagues who had worked abroad went back to the Philippines and did not work for 3 years. And there are a lot of registered nurses who are currently working as call center agents but would like to go abroad as nurses. Whatever career stumble you have experienced, you can recover from it. As Aaliyah said, “If at first, you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.”
It can be hard starting over after a career glitch. What you can do is come to terms with what you have gone through. Give yourself time to process it and come to grips with the psychological effects of the experience. If you’re angry, you don’t want to come into a new job carrying that baggage and then lashing out at co-workers. If you’re afraid of the change and your capability to cope, talk it over with a friend who can build up your confidence. Applying for work after a career hiccup can also be an ego-reducing exercise. Expect lowball offers for your salary. What matters is that you set your sights on your goal and let nothing stand in your way.
And a delicious lemon pie
Finally, I asked a professional headhunter what applicants who start over can expect from interviews. What you have experienced is not necessarily a black mark on your career. What they want to find out is what motivates you. Why do you want to change careers? They also appreciate your transparency. What was the cause of your redundancy? What led to your separation from the company (read: why did you get fired)? And lastly, changing careers is not really a bad thing since you will be adding a different dimension to your work that others will not have.
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