stressful work

How to Deal With a Setback At Work

Unfortunately, there will be times in our life where we will not always get what we want. And we’re not just talking about that designer handbag…! Whether you’ve been passed over for a promotion, rejected for a pay raise or have had something you’ve worked hard on cancelled or unappreciated, there are plenty of setbacks we could suffer at work.


Whilst getting over the initial disappointment can be tough, it’s important that we get back on the horse and try again. In this article we show you how to deal with a setback at work gracefully.


Don’t Let It Out At Work

Showing your emotions at work, especially in the aftermath of the incident, can be damaging in the long run. Although it may be tempting to react angrily, to tell your colleagues how you feel, this will not put you in a good light and could have some serious consequences regarding your conduct. The best thing you can do is talk it over with your friends and family, outside of work, where you can let it all out in private.


Try To See The Positives

Whilst it may not feel like it at the time, there are some good things that can come out of a setback. Just because your friend got the job or you’ve received some negative feedback – it isn’t the be all and end all. Once you’ve gotten over the initial shock and upset, think of how you can turn your experiences around into something positive.


Asking for feedback for example, or working out how you can improve will help you in the future. There may be some things that you’ve learnt from a project or a job interview that can be put to good use for other work. Don’t dwell on the negatives for too long, pick yourself up and think about how you can move forward.


Don’t Be Resentful

It’s normal to feel a bit bitter or angry towards those who have done well where we’ve failed. Being rude, or not being congratulatory will not make you feel any better and will damage your relationship with your colleagues, as well as make you come across in a bad light.


By being nice to your colleagues and giving them praise where it’s due, you will show that you are a supportive colleague and a team player, and people which be much more inclined to help you achieve your goals.


Create a New Plan

Maybe you weren’t ready for the next step or you were setting your sights too high, which is why you didn’t get what you wanted. Break down your plan into more manageable steps, working out ways in how you can get there. Asking for help and advice along the way as well will help ensure that you get the best support available to help you succeed. Bouncing back and throwing yourself into your work will help to take your mind off the disappointment and make you enthusiastic about your work once more.


Whilst it may be difficult, the important thing about dealing with a setback is that you don’t let it consume you. It’s far more productive to work harder to get what you want and finding ways to get there rather than moping with self-pity. Use the support around you when you’re feeling a bit blue and always try to find some positives in your achievements, no matter how small they may be.