View Delays and Denials as Opportunities

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I am a firm believer that setbacks are opportunities in disguise. During her talk to Stanford Graduate School of Business students, Oprah spoke about how she was demoted from news anchor to work on the station’s talk show. It was when she was interviewing the ice cream guy that she knew she “found a home for herself”.

Denials can also be blessings in disguise. For example, I was interviewing for a middle manager position at a major electronics company. The process seemed to be going very well as I completed three interviews and was told that everything looked great and that they will be contacting me very soon. I was elated. However, that was short-lived. About a week later, the recruiter called me and said that the company had chosen to go with someone else. I was crushed, but little did I know that a little over a year later, the company will shut down the division which included the department I would have been working. Hundreds of workers were laid off. I could have been one of those workers and would have been financially devastating for me as I found out that I was pregnant with my first child around that time.

I’ve learned to be thankful for all situations as there is some lesson to be learned; whether that was an action I needed to take, a new perspective I needed to gain, a new direction to take in my journey called life, a new skill to learn or to re-focus on what’s really important.

It’s easy to feel like a failure when things don’t go as you planned. But don’t be so hard on yourself. Instead of dwelling on what did not happen, look for the message (and the blessing) in the experience. Find the nugget of wisdom, be thankful for the experience and keep it moving. You’ll be wiser and stronger because of it!

Have a great week!

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Nancy Kirk-Gettridge is founder of Phenomenal Image, an executive development firm focused on helping her clients gain confidence and take control of their careers. Confronting workplace challenges and her own limiting beliefs, Nancy is committed to helping her clients see themselves as qualified leaders and risk-takers. Nancy frequently writes about resolving gender bias in the workplace. Key topics include career management, leadership training/development, succession planning and overcoming workplace issues.
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