• March 19, 2018
    Last updated 6 minutes ago


Handling hiccups in your career

Pain is part of your professional growth

13:23 February 16, 2018

Careers don’t go as smooth as people hope. There are often disappointments, changes and tough decisions that are often have to be done.

If your career is going too smoothly, it could be because you’re lucky. But you must pause and ensure that you are not settling too much into a routine that is holding you back. If you’re challenging yourself, you must something go through changes that might not always be comfortable.

It is important for you to be able to know that the pain is part of your professional growth. It is not something that you need to fix. In fact, you should embrace it and try your best to keep your eye on the end goal rather than on the daily inconvenience.

Here are some situations that requires resilience.

Learning curves

It is not easy to go through new learning curves, but if you find an employer who is invested in you and patient for you to learn, you should certainly stick with it. A learning curve requires humility and the ability to ask questions and build new knowledge. It is not easy for anyone to move from being an insider in a job to a learning a new job, but that phase of learning is what makes it all worthwhile.

Your learning curve will also set the tone for your employment. So instead of dreading them, be the best person you can be in terms of asking questions, helping others and learning from the rest. The good news is that is the period when your mistakes are teaching opportunities. So make the best out of this opportunity.

Role changes

Employers often look at how to utilise the skill sets that they have to the best interest of the organisation. That means your job could change during your employment to something you like less — or more. These changes are often more common early in your career. When you’re trying to build your expertise, you’re likely to switch seats and hats often until you find the best path that works for you and your employer.

Although these role changes are inevitable in any workplace, it is important that you stay clear on what you want to pursue. If the organisation shifts too much in a direction that doesn’t work for your end goal, you probably should consider looking for a new job.


At many junctures in your career, you might find that more education is necessary to stay on top of your game. Adding education to work can be daunting, but it is a phase that is likely to pay off handsomely. An additional certification can be all you want to keep your job or advance.

Make sure that you don’t stretch yourself too thin, however. If you’re combing work with learning, you might not be able to find time for your personal life. Adding too much to your plate can impact every aspect of your life. Education can be great for your professional prospects, but be sure that you pick the right time when you’re financially and emotionally ready to take on this challenge.

Job loss

Losing a job can really tough. If you’re fired for a mistake you have done or you are laid off, the consequences can be too many. To start, you will have to find a new job and explain how you lost your past job. Then you will have to bandage your wounded self-esteem and figure out whether there is a lesson there to learn.

Job losses can shape one’s career. They could be an eye opener for being on the wrong path or adhering to wrong standards. As long as you walk away with a lesson, your next career move with be stronger. Just be sure that you address the roots of your problems and be ready to face some hard facts.

The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor.

Professional growing pains

Be patient through learning curves

Monitor how your role evolves

Add learning with moderation

Learn from job setbacks