From Career Setback to Opportunity: How to Make The Most Of Being Let Go

P. Smith had an experience similar to many others: She was laid off.  Determined not to let her situation define her, she quickly started her job search.

“I immediately engaged a career counselor at my local employment center,” says Smith. “I also visited several centers, re-engaged associates through LinkedIn, and professional organizations as well. I was granted an unemployment grant for a project management and technical skills program.”

As she looks back on what many people would consider a dark period in her career, she now views it as an opportunity. One door may have closed, but it led to many others opening.

“What seemed to be a career setback was actually an opportunity to change careers and to refresh my technical skill set,” she recalls. “Now I am a project manager working in health care. I was able to regain the income lost during that time and am making more money now as a result of the training and career counseling that I received during that time.”

In fact, without her steadfast dedication to education and finding a new job during her time laid off, she would not have met her current boss.

“I met my future manager during one of the training sessions,” she says. “I worked with him for a year as a junior project manager. It helped to jumpstart my project management career.”

Having not only survived, but to have thrived through the recession, she offers some rich advice for others who may feel down on their luck in their career. “Stay active, but offer to help instead of asking for help. Leverage your local career centers. There are some great career counselors and resources available there. Don’t be afraid to take chances and try something new.”

Bottom line: Believe in yourself and never give up.

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