Career Trends: The best way to turn a professional loss into a career gain

3 min read

Edition: September 30th, 2021
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

When you’re dealing with a professional loss, perspective can help you turn it into a career gain. (Image Credit: Alamy)

None of us are immune to workplace challenges, but focusing your energy on the one thing you can control — your perspective — can help you deal with them better. Depending on how we view a situation, it can be seen in a positive or negative light.

Psychologists call this “reframing” because it helps create a different way of viewing and experiencing events, ideas, concepts, and emotions to find more positive alternatives, influencing your thoughts and behaviours. Said another way, your thoughts become your words, which become your actions.

When you’re dealing with a ‘professional loss’, perspective can help you turn it into a ‘career gain’. Here’s how:

1. Reframe to view the ‘loss’ as a change

  • The most valuable tool in dealing with workplace challenges is your mindset.
  • Reframing a situation as a change rather than a loss means that you accept that things will be that different (and possibly even okay or better).️

2. Understand that your ‘loss’ may not necessarily be negative

  • As nerve-wracking as it might be to part ways with a longtime client/job, realise that it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
  • With that client gone, perhaps now you can focus your core offerings to appeal to fewer, more targeted clients at a premium price point.
  • This also frees you up to try something new. 

3. Acknowledge the ‘misalignment’ highlighted by your ‘loss’

  • When we experience a professional loss, it almost always can be traced back to a level of incongruence or misalignment.
  • May be, you were not the right fit for that job/client/deal.
  • Having a deal fall through or an employee resign are red flags that something was off in terms of alignment.
  • Though it may be difficult to embrace, this information can be a gift.
  • The loss may highlight an area you’ve neglected or need to explore, improve, change, etc., to prevent a similar situation in future.

4. Look ahead to spot the growth opportunities

  • Without change, growth is impossible.
  • Though losses are tough, they can force us out of ruts and complacency.
  • Sometimes we cling to situations out of comfort and routine, but there is no growth in the status quo.
  • In your professional world, you’ll no doubt face challenges that require you to deal with losses.
  • Use these as opportunities to spread your wings and move out of your comfort zone.

5. Remember that change is inevitable

  • As much as we try, we can’t control change; it’s inevitable.
  • But we can control how we respond to it.
  • Rather than have a loss throw you into a spiral of doom, you can come to view it as a chance to see new possibilities emerge.
  • When you acknowledge and reframe your new reality with a different perspective, you’ll be better equipped not only to deal with it but to use it to your advantage.

Remember, the bottom line is this: it’s not a loss if you gain something in return.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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