Browsing the archives for the career bounce back tag.

5 Steps to Passive Career Bounce Back

Career Challenges, Geek 5, Org savvy

In the last post, we covered crisis management – responding to a specific, negative career event. There are also Career Bounce Back strategies for passive issues. In this case, a legacy of passive problems like having no visibility or being underestimated have added up to a career setback. Here are five steps for passive Career Bounce Back:

1. Accept where you are – Let the past go. Don’t waste a lot of time mourning the fact that you have arrived at a bad spot. Be honest with yourself and where you currently stand.

2. Diagnose what happened – Although you shouldn’t dwell on your state (see step 1), you do need to diagnose the behavior that got you to this point. What have you done or not done in the past? Think about specific actions and behaviors – you can change behaviors. For more tips about diagnosing the problem, check out previous posts about under-political behavior.

3. Seek input from key influencers – have a future focus not a blame focus. Ask co-workers and key stakeholders to give feedback on your strengths and opportunities. What could you have done differently to be more successful in the past? Don’t be defensive about the past, be open to feedback for the future.

4. Develop a plan – create a thoughtful approach to overcoming your career setback. Focus on behaviors that you can control. It may need to be a multi-step plan that plays out over time.

5. Be transparent about intentions – let your coworkers know that you are working on some changes to your style/ behavior. That warning will prepare them for changes. It will also put them in a good position to continue giving feedback and support.

Hopefully these five steps will get you back on track to a healthy career. Don’t expect to fix everything overnight. After all, it took you time to get here and it will take time for your Career Bounce Back.

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Six Steps for Active Career Bounce Back

Career Challenges, Geek 5, Org savvy

As discussed in the previous post, sometimes a mistake leads to damaging career situation. How you address the situation influences whether you successfully bounce back from the issue or not. In this case, we’re talking about how to react to an active career issue.  Something bad has happened (like you made a performance mistake) and you need to fix it.  Fast!

For Career Bounce Back, consider the following six steps:

1. Assess the damage – Figure out how serious the problem is. Does it impact key customers? Is the issue visible to key stakeholders? Does it derail important work?  This is an important step, so you understand the sense of urgency for correcting the problem. Also, you don’t want to overreact to something that is not actually a major issue.

2. Stabilize your emotions – Get your own emotions under control. Make sure that you are thinking clearly and that you won’t explode at a coworker or your boss.

3. Be humble – Accept responsibility for your mistakes. Don’t waste valuable time and energy trying to point fingers at others. Admit your role in the problem and then you can focus on fixing the issue. There will be time to debrief the cause of the problem later.

4. Fix what can be fixed – Pretty self-explanatory – correct as much of the issue as you can as quickly as possible. Over time, you’ll work through to the final fix to the problem and implement those changes.

5. Do a post-mortem – After the issue is corrected, sit down with any other involved folks and discuss what happened and why. Also discuss the reaction and the fix to the problem.

6. Prepare a prevention plan – Once you know what happened and why, you can put a plan in place to prevent similar problems in the future. This might be a process for double-checking work, getting additional training or many other things.

These six steps should get you through the immediate crisis. Later, you’ll need to work to re-build your damaged reputation.

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Career Bounce Back

Career Challenges, Geek 5, Org savvy

Sometimes work just sucks! Pardon my language, but you know it’s true. You try to do all of the right things, but a situation still gets out of control. Or you make an error and suffer the consequences. Or the political winds shift and you end up on the losing team. Or the company hit’s a rough spot and everyone feels it. You get the idea – sometimes work just sucks.

So what do you do when you hit a career setback?

We all hit career setbacks. The difference between success and failure after the setback is how you deal with it. To survive and thrive, you must be resilient. You need Career Bounce Back.  Career Bounce Back is related to the Geek 5 risk of Organizational Savvy.

Career Bounce Back involves finding and executing a strategy to fix a career setback. To develop a Career Bounce Back strategy, consider whether you a dealing with a passive issue or an active issue.

An active career issue is one that is caused by a specific, negative incident. Maybe you made a serious performance mistake or you made an influence or relationship mistake. In any case, you are dealing with a hot issue and need to do damage control.

A passive career issue is not necessarily related to a specific trigger event. Passive issues are likely to be related to under-political organizational savvy behavior. Being under political often leads to being underestimated, losing credit for work and having limited visibility. A passive career issue might develop over time, but eventually gets recognized as a career setback.

In the next few posts, we’ll cover how to orchestrate a Career Bounce Back from active and passive career issues.

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