Five steps to dealing with professional disappointment

Jeremy Hunt is not going to be the PM, but he can pick himself up again.

Jeremy Hunt isn’t the only person who’ll be feeling down about a missed opportunity this week. Here’s how to cope if life doesn’t go as planned

By Tim Gibson

Right from the start of the Tory leadership contest there has been a clear favourite. Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, or “Boris” as he’s generally known, looked certain to win from the moment he announced his candidacy.

But that didn’t stop notable others from having a bash at the top job. There were 11 names in the running at the start of the contest. And foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt came closest to rivalling the Old Etonian for the keys to Number 10.

Today’s announcement of the winner of the election among 160,000 Conservative Party members confirms what we all suspected: Boris Johnson will be the next Prime Minister. Which leaves poor old Mr Hunt to lick his wounds and plan his next professional move.

    Hearing disappointing news about a job application, could be the impetus you need to think about what you really want in life.   

 

He can take some comfort from the fact he’s not alone. According to some experts, it’s harder than ever to secure a career promotion thanks to tricky economic conditions.

On the plus side, that means there’s plenty of advice on how to deal with the disappointment. Here are five things you can do to get over your missed opportunity.

1) Get stuck into doing what you do best

It may feel like the hardest thing of all, but there’s a strong case for getting stuck into your current job after a professional knock-back, and doing it to the best of your abilities.

Okay, so you know that you’re ready for a change. And you may well feel as if you were the best person for the job you missed out on. But sulking isn’t going to do any good at all.

“The way to show your superiors that you’re a quality candidate who they need to hang on to is to deal with your disappointment and keep on delivering,” says Emma Kershaw, a director at Just Recruitment Group Ltd.

“You’ve been in the running for a bigger job, which means people will be paying close attention to you in the weeks and months ahead. Now is the time to show them just how good you are.”

2) Ask for additional responsibility

For many people, the key incentive for seeking a promotion at work is the promise of an increased pay packet. But that’s rarely the whole story. If you’ve thrown your hat in the ring for a bigger job, it’s probably because you’re ready for a new challenge. Maybe you want to manage a bigger team or develop your business-planning skills.

Whatever the driver, there’s no reason why you can’t up the ante at work even though you didn’t get the new job. Ask your manager if you can take on additional responsibility, even if there’s no short-term increase in pay or status. It will show that you’re keen to develop your skills and profile. And whatever you end up doing for your next steps, it’ll all be good experience for your CV.

3) Take stock of your priorities

For some people, failing to achieve a promotion at work is a catalyst to think more widely about their life choices. It may be that the path you thought you were on isn’t right for you, after all.

Emma Kershaw advises making a list of all the things you hope to achieve in life before retirement.

“Ask yourself if your current career trajectory will help you achieve those things,” she says. “It could be that you’ve got sucked into the progression route because it feels like the right thing to do. By taking stock of your priorities, you may find that the promotion wasn’t actually what you wanted.

“This could be the moment at which you realise what you really want from life and have the courage to pursue it.”

4) Find a distraction from work

Disappointment may not be the end of the line...

Another helpful technique for dealing with professional disappointment is to focus on something other than work.

That’s not to say you should stop doing your current job to the very best of your ability (see above). But it may be that investing your energy in a new hobby or interest is just the tonic you need.

“Perhaps you’ve always wanted to have singing lessons, or learn how to play jazz piano,” says Ms Kershaw. “Maybe there’s a sport you’d like to try, or you want to save for a big holiday.

“Finding a non-work-related focus can help you get things in perspective. It’ll stop you dwelling on what might have been, and may well improve your work-life balance.”

5) Seek a new opportunity elsewhere

If none of these suggestions work for you, you may need to confront an uncomfortable truth: it could be time to move on.

You’ll know within a few months of failing in your promotion bid if you’ll find it possible to stay in your current role. If you feel you’ve outgrown it, or feel even an ounce of resentment towards the person who secured the job you wanted, it’s probably worth moving on.

“Polish your CV and get in touch with a recruitment consultant,” advises Ms Kershaw. “They’ll help you work out the best opportunity for your skills and experience.

“Who knows? It may be that you end up in an even better job than the one you missed out on.”

Jeremy Hunt can take solace from that. And if he needs further encouragement, he’d do well to remember David Miliband. Losing a party leadership contest didn’t work out too badly for him…

First Published 23 July 2019

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: How to establish a presence in the digital age

You may also enjoy: How employers can close the social mobility gap

Jobs currently available

New job
Care Coordinator
Sector: Healthcare
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: BUC-CC
About the role

Back Up Care is recruiting for a Care Coordinator for their Colchester Office to work on the busy Healthcare desk.

Previous experience in scheduling care and support staff would be preferred and a healthcare background is an advantage. You will be extremely confident and well-presented and be able to use your own initiative.

This position will involve working alongside the Office Manager, supporting them with the day to day running of the desk.

The role will include:

  • Registration interviews with potential new candidates, and completion of all necessary compliance documents for successful candidates
  • Booking clients rotas to relevant active care staff, and ensuring that all care staff availability is booked to full potential
  • Service calls to clients that are using service meetings to ensure current clients’ needs are being met by Back Up Care
  • Telephone calls to prospect clients
  • Email and Mailers sent to prospect clients
  • Source leads for possible new business
  • Sales calls to obtain new business
  • Sales meetings to obtain new business
  • Ensure specialist software is updated with carer and client information and all bookings are entered onto the system
  • General administration duties
  • On-call rota duties

This requires you to work at an extremely fast pace, placing candidates into both temporary and permanent placements to match their qualifications, skills and experience.

There is a large amount of telephone calls liaison with candidates and clients, therefore excellent clear communicational skills are a must and excellent interpersonal skills are essential.

Other essential skills are:

  • An ability to work as part of a team and as a lone worker
  • A proven ability of effective time management and organisational skills
  • Excellent administrational skills are vital and attention to detail ensuring all candidates are compliant prior to assignment
  • Due to the requirements of the role, a driving licence and access to a vehicle for work purposes is essential

Holiday entitlement:

28 days holiday including public holidays, increasing to 33 days after 2-year service.

If you wish to apply for this role, please forward your CV to emma.brown@back-upcare.co.uk

Read more
New job
QA Manager
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Saffron Walden
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910873
About the role

Our client is seeking an experienced Quality Assurance Manager to join them on a permanent, full-time basis. This opportunity offers stability, longevity and professional development.

Reporting directly to the MD, the Quality Assurance Manager will be responsible for:

  • Maintaining and improving the Company's Quality Management System and ensure internal compliance
  • Working with all departments to ensure their procedures are being followed and to improve their internal and cross-functional processes and procedures
  • Ensure that the quality of current and newly introduced products is compliant and traceable
  • Coordinate Quality activities with all over departments
  • Develop and improve quality relationships with all customers of the Company
  • Responsible for all Quality activities and personnel in the Quality Department for the Company
  • Provide strong leadership in the day-to-day operations of the Quality department and mentor the members of the team
  • Establish performance goals for all departmental employees and monitor performance on a continual basis
  • Oversee all hiring, appraisal, training and discipline of Quality personnel
  • Member of the Company's Management team
  • Produce the Quality element of the company's annual Budget
  • Formulate the departmental strategy aligned to the overall Company strategy
  • Embed a Continuous Improvement culture within the Quality Dept and contribute to the Continuous Improvement programme across the site

Requirements:

  • HND or equivalent qualification in Engineering or a related technical field required
  • Minimum 5 years experience in a Manufacturing environment
  • Ability to articulate (verbally and in writing), defend and negotiate Quality expectations with internal and external customers at all levels of management
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to guide and educate/train at all levels
Read more
New job
Customer Service Administrator
Sector: Customer Service
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910871
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting a well-regarded organisation at the forefront of its sector that is looking to add a Customer Service Administrator to its team, due to growth – based on the outskirts of Halstead.

The main purpose of the role is to service current and prospective customers by receiving and processing orders, enquiries and general information in a timely and courteous manner.

Key tasks include:

  • Answering incoming calls, giving product information, lead times, dealing with general enquiries and queries, redirecting calls to relevant departments
  • Raising and inputting orders and proforma invoices
  • Raising quotations
  • Amending orders, as required
  • Scanning documentation
  • Liaising with Areas Sales Managers and responding to their requests
  • Arranging couriers and/or carriers as required
  • Any general office associated duties

Key requirements for the role:

  • Excellent computer skills
  • Good eye for detail
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Courteous

Previous experience requirements:

  • Previous Customer Service Administrative experience gained within an office environment
  • Excellent telephone manner with the ability to communicate at all levels
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office and experience of in-house systems
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritise own workload
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Understanding of the importance of data protection and adherence to the process

Offering free parking and an excellent working environment, this is a great opportunity to join a growing team.

Working Monday to Friday 37.5 hours per week - offering a competitive salary and company benefits.

Read more
New job
Production Operative
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £8.91 per hour
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 910811
About the role

Want to work in a safe, clean environment?
And have the possibility of ongoing work?

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Temporary Production Operative to be based in Needham Market.

Duties include:

  • Ensure all final and completed products are packed to the customer specifications                               
  • Informing Line Leaders of defects found in the products
  • Keep machines supplied with packing materials and labels
  • Assist the Line Leaders with handovers and changeovers
  • Responsible for general cleanliness of the production area and removal of production and general waste
  • Check products on the line for quality and defects
  • Basic production duties carried out in a fast-paced environment

Working hours:

8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday

Read more
Logistics Coordinator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £24,000 per annum
Location: Ipswich
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910869
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting, a well-regarded, family-run business on the outskirts of Ipswich.

You will be responsible for assisting with the loads out operation of the business by ensuring that the process from collection to arrival at the final destination is fully supported by the relevant goods in haulage documentation.

You will also be supporting the sales function of the business by dealing with customer queries in terms of both sales and operations as well as assisting with various ad-hoc marketing campaigns. This is a very varied role and requires flexibility, commitment and a substantial desire to learn and grow with the flourishing business.

Duties will include:

  • Process orders and oversees the order to completion of paperwork
  • Facilitate the shipping of products from one destination to another
  • Arrange transportation with outside hauliers
  • Receive paperwork from the Weighbridge department and check and complete the paperwork within the allocated time allowed
  • Answer calls and emails relating to customer queries and log them on the CRM system and resolve any outstanding issues raised
  • Keep CRM records up-to-date
  • Work with the sales and operations team to ensure that high customer service levels are achieved and delivered to all customers you are responsible for at all times

Skills required:

  • Good Microsoft skills including Word, Outlook & Excel
  • Ability to work proactively on an independent basis as well as be a good team player
  • You will have the interpersonal skills necessary to develop and sustain effective relationships with team members of other departments and with all customers
  • Good attention to detail and analytical skills
Read more