5 Steps to Surviving a Career Crisis

Cathy Goodwin
3 min readOct 19, 2022

“We interrupt your career to bring you this message…”

You’re watching a baseball game. Bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, score tied … and then a voice comes on. “We interrupt this program …”

The same thing can happen when you’re feeling really good and comfortable about your career. Out of nowhere, you get an interruption.

For instance:

… Your performance review was less than stellar for the first time since you’ve been with the company

… A recruiter called and you realized you were extremely marketable

… You get two offers at the same time and now you have to choose

… You probably heard that the Chinese word for “crisis” is a combination of danger and opportunity. And that’s exactly what you’re facing now.

Tips on Managing Your Career Crisis

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer and you should not interpret these tips as legal advice.

(1) Avoid discussing your decision with anyone connected with your current job or business.

Most likely they won’t understand. They won’t have your perspective. And even if they’re honorable people who want to keep everything confidential, it’s all too easy to let something slip at the wrong time. It’s hard because you’ve got friends but it’s rarely a good idea to get them involved.

(2) Recognize that you need to take action quickly.

Offers tend to come with deadlines. A sudden change in performance reviews — positive or negative — needs to be explored immediately. Those nagging feelings of,”I’m in the wrong place,” can grow over time.

In particular, if you suspect your crisis may lead to serious consequences, or you’ve been accused of something illegal or unethical, do not wait to seek out legal advice. If your HR department mentions seeking advice from their lawyers, you need to find our own support. Many attorneys in the US (and possibly elsewhere) offer free 15–30 minute consultations.

Cathy Goodwin

Create a compelling marketing message that attracts your ideal clients through your unique selling story. http://cathygoodwin.com