Feel your feelings

When facing a career setback, if you feel anger or despair, recognize those feelings as a deeper need for something else. It could be growth, change, or a new challenge or purpose. 

You may not be able to control whether those needs manifest in the form of a pay raise, promotion, or job title, but you can control other aspects of your journey. Recognizing this is the first step to recovery.

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Let’s Talk About Our Career Failures

hbr.org

Give yourself 30 minutes every few days to call up a close friend and yell about all the things holding you back. Get angry about systemic injustice. Shout about the work that needs to be done. It can cause more harm than good when you keep these feelings locked inside. Be careful, though, not to spiral into endless negativity.

Just like you need to fully feel your difficult emotions, you also need to let yourself feel joy. Watch a comedy show every day. Laughter is good. It relieves stress, boosts engagement, and well-being.

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You have control over what you do next. Once you have honored your feelings, it’s time to move through self-recrimination. The best way to silence your inner critic, in my experience, is to focus on what you would like your future to look like.

Grounding yourself in your values and your vision is a powerful way to climb out of the dark hole. Work with purpose will offer fulfillment for years to come, and not just temporary happiness.

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If you are determined to climb the ranks, say yes to tasks that fit your new metric of success and say no to the ones that don’t.

There are going to be tasks you find personally rewarding that are not rewarded by your organization. Hold strong. The more we say no to service that goes unrecognized in the promotion process, the more pressure we put on leaders to update their reward models.

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