In work, as in life, there inevitably will be failure along with success. Some failures are more spectacular than others, ones we think we may never recover from.
Losing a job could fall into this category. Perhaps you lost a job because of a major mistake. It may seem as if you’ll never recover from it.
But there is a road back. Regardless of how big the mistake or how steep the fall, you can resurrect your career. It is more a matter of attitude than anything else. In fact, it’s more about you than your circumstances. It’s about your resiliency, your ability to bounce back from a setback. Studies of leaders, including corporate leaders, have shown that it wasn’t their successes that made them, but how they reacted to and recovered from failure. It is really this recovery from failure that is key to molding and defining leaders.
Life, as Walter Lippmann has said, is elastic, not brittle. Your error does not cause things to shatter, but to bend. The key is not giving up. You are not a failure when you fail, only when you quit. Or, in other words, fall down seven times, get up eight, as a Japanese proverb has it. You will have to contend with your past as you work your way back, as it is likely to come up, but you cannot let that stop you.
It is also important to understand why you failed, so that you can take steps to remedy the problem.
You want to assess your strengths and use them. You need to put the knowledge and the skills you have to use, according to Suzanne Lucas, a human relations counselor.
You should also be willing to make big changes, Lucas says. You may have to go in a different direction. You may have to try things that are completely new.
And this ability to start over will be a test of your energy and purpose and resilience. You will need to realize that the climb back up will not be easy. It will require a lot of hard work, and it won’t happen overnight.