1. Get stuck in a rut
Falling into a workplace rut can happen so slowly it’s more like oozing. Getting your groove back takes work, self-awareness, and discipline. But after you’re back on track, you’ll know you can do it again, and you’ll be able to recognize the signs of its presence.
2. Lose your job
I lost my job three times before I was 30 through “downsizings” in totally different sectors: the federal government, the publishing industry, and then financial services. Getting laid off made me much more resilient and able to see the signs that so typically foreshadow workplace restructures.
3. Lose out when a finalist for a job
This humbling experience can ignite self-reflection. Pros see it as an opportunity to professionally and politely ask for feedback.
4. Take a career detour that doesn’t work
This is risk-taking, and there is plenty of growth in that. If you don’t take the opportunity, you won’t know. (No lingering doubts for me: I’m just not cut out for selling bonds at an investment bank.)
5. Trust a colleague who burns you
Instead of getting bitter about this one, use it to become better at assessing who has your back and who will stab you in it.