How to make lemonade out of sour career moments

How to make lemonade out of sour career moments

“We’re considering a restructure and a possible outcome could be the disestablishment of your role.”

Salt, a global digital recruitment agency’s APAC CEO Jacqui Barratt shares her thoughts on how to make lemonade out of sour career moments.

These aren’t exactly words anyone wants to hear at work.

But these are real situations that are happening, and we are very rarely prepared for them. I am not going to sweep under the carpet how you will be feeling, but I do want to highlight that what is most important is how you react and what actions you take afterwards.

When life throws you lemons, make lemonade! Be smart about how you approach career turbulence and squeeze all the goodness you can out of a sour situation.

You’ve just been handed a chance to re-evaluate your career path. Think hard about what you want in your next role — if you’ve been toying with the idea of a change, there’s no better time than now! Is this what you’re really passionate about and love, or do you wake up every morning dreading the office? It’s scary to think about, but don’t overlook the possibility of a new career path.

If you’d like to try something new that takes your experience into consideration, look at roles with transferable skills, forget what the title says, drill down and look at what you actually are required to do, or consider a move into a different industry.

Money talks — if you need more time for career soul-searching, look into contracting or temping, and gain exposure to new environments. To make this work, keep an open mind that this is not your career destination, but a road on the journey — along the way you are making contacts, learning and giving yourself time to find the right role, not just any role.

On the flip side, if you’ve decided to take a bold step in a new profession, get in touch with an expert career coach to visit your options, and work with career specialists to retrain.

Take advantage of any help you can get from your company. This might sound like a crazy idea given they have just restructured your role, but take a moment and ask for feedback from your managers and colleagues. Listen to how you’ve been performing, and what they consider your strengths and your areas for development to be. Ask your manager what they believe your biggest achievement has been whilst in the role. These insights form part of your toolkit to sell yourself. Ask your manager to be your referee and check in to see if they would be happy to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn.

Your company might have disestablished your role, but your manager might have contacts elsewhere that they can set you up with — all you have to do is ask. Some companies will also help with career transition by paying for career experts to review your resumes and/or portfolio. Free help should always be welcomed.

Hunt for the right recruiter for you. One that will proactively work on your behalf and provide you coaching and support. I can’t guarantee that they will find you a role, but a good consultant will be a great sounding board, provides constructive feedback and helps you on the road to finding the right role.

While you’re feeling your way around, don’t stop upskilling and always continue to take charge of your learning. No one is more concerned about your learning and development than you and this doesn’t need to cost money. There is a wealth of free online courses and content to help you stay relevant and market ready.

My final tip, might be the hardest yet, stay positive and don’t go for interviews unless you are in the right headspace. I know your natural instinct will be to get back on that horse as soon as you can, which is all great in theory; just make sure you are capable of being the best version of yourself in the interview. This comes down to your body language, tone of voice, how you speak about your previous employer, and being restructured. An interview is a sound bite of the complete you, but as we all know people make judgements in that time, so give yourself the best opportunity for success.

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How to make lemonade out of sour career moments

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