If you work full-time in a fast-paced office, chances are you regularly encounter many challenges leading to either triumph or defeat. While most of us welcome the chance to have others applaud our successes, many of us feel quite threatened when our best efforts lead to either disappointment or failure.
Fortunately, maturity tells us that our failures teach us far more than our successes. Therefore, we all simply need to learn how to weather defeat with dignity, while making sure we avoid repeating past mistakes.
In a recent Inc.com article entitled, “Five Major Work Disappointments and How to Handle Them,” the author reviews common workplace errors that can actually teach us important lessons for the future. Here’s a quick review of what this article says about learning how to “bounce back” quickly from career mistakes. A few additional insights have also been included.
Common Problems Experienced at Work and Positive Ways to Respond
- One of your most productive workers leaves suddenly while providing little notice. This type of event can prove very upsetting, especially if you’ve worked on this person’s team or served as his/her supervisor. While in some ways it’s healthier to not take such events personally, this Inc.com article suggests that it’s actually to your advantage to view such events as teachable moments. After all, had your bond with this person been tighter, he or she might have spoken to you about receiving a tempting job offer -- before readily accepting it. When this type of event happens, ask the departing worker to sit down and talk with you about the various factors that contributed to this exit. Try to be humble and request some constructive criticism regarding your own management skills – what you may learn may help you avoid losing other top performers in the future;
- A job that was promised to you was suddenly given to someone else. First of all, this should remind you in the future to keep doggedly pursuing all of your leads until the ink has dried on a new work contract. Companies always have excuses for this type of behavior – although it is quite rude and disrespectful;
- Your supervisor or boss has refused to grant you permission to take a business trip or has denied your request for a promotion. Although these types of apparent “slights” can make a subordinate feel very upset or angry, keep in mind that it’s always in your best interest to try and remain calm when given bad news. Keep in mind that unless the decision was made arbitrarily, you may actually need to improve your daily work habits or achieve new goals to get what you want. Always politely ask what motivated your boss to make his/her decision. If you really are deeply interested in going to a particular conference, explain your reasons and maybe ask if you might go on your own dime – on company time;
- Getting fired. Unless you were already planning to leave, this event never feels good. In fact, it often launches many people into a very deep depression. Always try to respectfully find out why you are being let go. Never just assume that this was done arbitrarily. Be honest with yourself and think about all that you might have done wrong, especially when there hasn’t been a huge layoff that includes most of your co-workers. Hopefully, the company will honor you with the truth and not just a statement purely designed to placate you and make you leave in good spirits;
- Someone owes you or your company a lot of money and won’t pay up. Unfortunately, there will always be dishonest people in this world who refuse to honor their debts when they can afford to do so. After making several direct attempts to collect the debt, tell the person or debtor company that while you do not want to turn the debt over to a collection agency or file suit in small claims court, you’re prepared to do so if agreeable payment arrangements aren’t immediately made and honored.
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