Skip to main content

Global Insights Hub

The Value of Resetting Through Setback

Reevaluate career goals and consider what skills might be needed for new opportunities.


For millions of workers around the world, jobs have come to an abrupt halt, either through temporary furloughs or permanent layoffs. This painful process has led to some workers to, understandably, rush out to look for other work. But it can also be a window to take a deep breath, reevaluate career goals and consider what other skills they need to pivot into new opportunities. If you find yourself in this position, here are ways to reset and reconsider the future. 


Evaluate your situation 

For many workers, financial and timing considerations will be paramount. It helps to start with determining how much time you need before you have to find or start new work, so you can spend your available time productively. If you are furloughed with partial pay or have unemployment benefits, you may have more time than you think to take a step back and consider next steps. Make a schedule of when you need to make decisions whether day by day or week by week so you can prioritize actions like making an inventory of your skills, job searching, interviewing or taking on a new job to receive a salary.


Take stock of career goals 

Perhaps you had previous career goals that took a back seat as you got caught up in the daily grind of work. Now is the time to ask yourself that if and when you could go back to work, would you want to do the same thing? Make a list of what you truly want to get out of work, which may include managing a team, acquiring new digital skills, or transition to a new field where you find meaningful work for your abilities and goals. 

Upskill and develop your education  
While the future of work feels uncertain, we do know that versatile soft skills will pay off in the long run. The ability to project manage, relate to colleagues, speak in public and other human skills will be consistently relevant over time even amid changes. If you have time to bolster your education, you can spend time nurturing and developing these soft skills. Currently, ManpowerGroup is offering 60 days of free access to Percipio, for those interested in online learning. 

Cultivate your digital presence  
Once you have decided on a new direction, you can start to look forward -- including how you appear to prospective employers or recruiters. You can help control your digital image by cultivating results with a blog, online portfolio and updated LinkedIn profile. Setting up a robust online presence will help to build your reputation and raise your profile. Use this time to showcase your expertise, expand your network remotely and give prospective employers an opportunity to see your work. 

Prepare for the next step 

Finally, if you do find you are ready to take a leap into a new role or field, be prepared to do so in this current remote environment. Preparation to adapt to the new medium will show another layer of skill and can work in your favor. Practice and learn video interview skills and best practices, and be ready to take the next steps to a career that best fits your needs, goals and talents. 

During this time of uncertainty, it’s easy to think of jobs and careers in terms of endings. But instead, consider positive reframing of this period as a breather or a time out. Changes were already underway in the world of work for years, and this disruption is accelerating areas that were already evolving. Using this period productively can help you get ready, retool and relaunching into the next phase of our world of work.