How to recover from a career crisis | by Raquel Piqueras | Dec, 2023


As a tech professional, you know that the industry is constantly changing and evolving. You also know that this means that you may face some challenges and difficulties along the way. You may encounter a career setback that can shake your confidence, challenge your skills, or threaten your reputation. How can you cope with that? How can you turn a career setback in tech into a career success?

This month, my Harvard Business Review Women’s group at Microsoft discussed an article by Octavia Goredema: “A 6-Step Plan to Prepare for Any Career Setback”. This led to a very raw conversation about career challenges that some in the group or their loved ones faced. We agreed that a career crisis can hurt your self-esteem, paralyze you, and impact your life beyond work. It was inspiring to hear others share their experiences and how they bounced back.

What is a career crisis or setback?

A career crisis is an event that negatively affects your professional progress or reputation. Examples of career setbacks in tech are:

  • Not delivering a project on time, on budget, or on quality
  • Getting laid off due to downsizing, restructuring, or outsourcing
  • Getting demoted or passed over for a promotion or a raise
  • Receiving negative feedback from your boss, clients, or peers
  • Losing a key client, partner, or investor
  • Facing a legal, ethical, or security issue

A career setback is not the end of your journey, but the beginning of a new one.

With the current volatility in the tech industry, where layoffs, hiring freezes, budget cuts, and drastic changes in business priorities are common, a career crisis could happen to anyone. We all have seen the LinkedIn posts or know of someone impacted by the layoffs. But how can you build resilience and get back on your feet? Here are some things we brainstormed about:


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