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
Electrical Wireman
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Braintree
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910175
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for an Electrical Wire person on behalf of a company based in Braintree, Essex.

The role will involve mechanical and electrical assembly, wire and electrically test distribution and MCCB boards, cabinets and cable harnesses. The role also has the potential for new product development by building prototype boards and testing boards before product launch.

Duties:

  • Build and test distribution and MCCB panels to the standards specified by the latest electrical regulations: BS EN 61439 and BS7671 including energy metering and surge suppression devices.
  • Read, understand and work from technical electrical CAD drawings and wiring diagrams.
  • To pick and check all component quantity and quality before each job.
  • To build and assemble wiring loom kits using a variety of cable crimp hand tools.
  • Electrical testing, fault finding and resolution.
  • Production of Test Certificates.
  • To work using own initiative with limited supervision.
  • Maintain manufacturing records including: copy test certification, wiring diagrams, layout drawings and production sheets.

Requirements:

  • Previous strong experience in Low Voltage panel building environment.
  • Knowledge of metering requirements and installation.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Flash Testing Certified.
Read more
Graphic Designer
Sector: Marketing, Advertising and PR
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910168
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Graphic Designer on behalf of a company based in Colchester, Essex.

They are looking for an enthusiastic and skilled Graphic Designer to join their team.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join an exciting company as they rapidly expand nationwide.

Duties will include:

  • Designing and producing marketing material for nine businesses across the UK
  • Each business has their own distinct brand identity, so you must be willing to adapt as the situation demands
  • Manage the production of their 300 page brochure
  • Design other promotional material; for example posters and flyers; for use in their sites
  • Liaising with 3rd parties to design and produce physical promotional materials
  • Negotiating prices
  • Experience with website design is preferable
  • Experience with running business social media accounts also preferable

Experience in a similar role or relevant qualification is a must for this opportunity

  • Relevant extensive experience in design programs - for example, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dreamweaver - is required
Read more
Designer
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: discussed on application
Location: Chelmsford, South Woodham Ferrers
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910167
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Designer on behalf of a company based near South Woodham Ferrers.

This is a fantastic opportunity if you have a Product Design background and can offer Retail or POS Design experience.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Create new products, including 3D designs, prototyping and testing
  • Execute robust design process and continuous improvement
  • Take client brief either from Account Manager or Client
  • Time management and planning workload with Head of Design
  • A ‘can do’ attitude

Qualifications:

  • Excellent level of knowledge using SolidWorks
  • Good level of knowledge using Adobe Suite
  • Experience with the POS sector would be advantageous
  • Product Design degree would be preferred
  • Good problems solving skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good Word & Excel skills
Read more
Administrator
Sector: Public Service and Administration
Salary: £16,500 - £17,000 per annum
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910164
About the role

Just Recruitment is working with one of Suffolk’s most promising mortgage companies. Established in 2014, this company is looking to take on a skilled Administrator to support its rapid expansion.

Your duties will include:

  • Supporting the mortgage brokers in their day-to-day activities
  • Electronic Filing and record-keeping
  • Checking and submitting mortgage applications
  • Progressing cases
  • Speaking to members of the public, both in-person and over the phone

Ideally, you will:

  • Have experience in an administrative role
  • Possess an excellent telephone manner
  • Be diligent and detail-oriented
  • Be highly computer literate, including familiarity with Microsoft Packages
  • Have a great sense of humour

Working hours:

35 per week – Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm, with an hour off for lunch

Read more
Warehouse Operator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: To be discussed on application
Location: Sudbury
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910163
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Warehouse Operative on behalf of a company based in Sudbury Suffolk.

Your daily duties will include:

  • Ensuring that the warehouse is kept tidy and organised
  • Unloading and checking of deliveries in
  • Checking in goods
  • Putting away products within the warehouse
  • Picking products as per customer orders
  • Checking orders, ensuring accuracy
  • Packing orders to ensure safety in delivery
  • Loading deliveries
  • On occasions take responsibility for the locking up procedure for the Warehouse/Site

Working hours:

Split shifts: 6.00am – 2.30pm / 2.00pm – 10.30pm

You will have the following skills and experience:

  • Suitable applicants will ideally have current Forklift licences for Counterbalance, Pallet Truck and Flexi
  • Good level of Numeracy and Literacy
  • Intermediate PC skills
  • Preferred NVQ Level 2 Warehousing or equivalent
  • Prior knowledge of Warehouse Management Systems
Read more