No professional journey is immune to obstacles and setbacks. These career breakdowns, often perceived as daunting roadblocks, can occur irrespective of one’s gender, age, or field of work. The impacts and challenges posed by these downturns can be particularly pronounced for women, who frequently encounter distinct barriers when seeking to overcome career setbacks. However, these challenging times are not definitive. Instead, they are opportunities in disguise, paving the way for transformative experiences and empowering you to excel in your chosen path. Here’s a five-step approach that aids women in navigating career breakdowns, enabling them to turn adversity into opportunity, and redefine their personal and professional success.

Step One – Build Resilience

Resilience is the ability to bounce back swiftly from setbacks and persevere in adversity. To overcome a career breakdown, cultivate resilience within yourself. Begin by shifting your perspective, cultivating a belief that an even better opportunity awaits you. Reframe the breakdown as a temporary setback rather than a permanent failure. Acknowledge your emotions, process them, and allow yourself to grieve if needed. However, avoid dwelling on the setback and focus on moving forward. Check out Dr. Joe Dispenza, who says, “You have to believe it to become it.”

Practice self-care, including exercise, meditation, time in nature, and being with loved ones. Engage in positive self-talk and set realistic goals to maintain motivation during challenging times. Celebrate small victories and trust your intuition to make the best choices. Visualize yourself in your ideal situation and carry that feeling with you. The energy you give out will inevitably attract positive outcomes.

Step Two – Enlist Support

No one succeeds alone. Building a strong support network is crucial when overcoming career breakdown. Seek help from professionals, family, friends, and colleagues. Remember that most people derive personal satisfaction from helping others, so don’t hesitate to ask for support. Seek mentors, both male and female, who can provide guidance and share their experiences. Engage with professional networks and attend career development events. HealthAssured states that women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety than men and more likely to be affected by depression. Online platforms and communities can also be valuable sources of support and advice. Cultivate relationships with peers who offer encouragement, accountability, and insights from their journeys.

Step Three – Cultivate a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset affirms that abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort and perseverance. Embrace setbacks as opportunities for learning and growth. Write down all your achievements and challenge your own limiting beliefs and self-doubt. Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations that reinforce your skills, strengths, and desired state of being. Take calculated risks and embrace new opportunities. Seek continuous learning experiences to enhance your skill set. Consider hiring a coach to support you. Remember, growth often happens outside the comfort zone, even though only 38% of people feel comfortable venturing there,  according to LeadershipIQ. 

Step Four – Strategize and Reinvent

Turn your career breakdown into a breakthrough by reassessing your goals and aspirations. Reflect on your values, passions, and strengths to identify potential career paths that align with your authentic self. Consider pursuing further education, changing industries, or starting your own venture. Partnering with a professional coach can accelerate your progress. A Harvard Business Study found that the 3% of graduates with their MBA who wrote their goals down earned ten times as much as the other 97% put together just ten years after graduation. Create a strategic plan to bridge the gap between your current situation and your desired career path. Set realistic timelines and milestones, and adjust your plan based on feedback and new opportunities.

Step Five – Redefine Success

Traditional notions of success often revolve around external markers like wealth, status, and power. However, a more holistic approach to success is gaining popularity. Redefine success by shifting the focus to internal fulfillment and aligning your goals with your values and passions. For most people, finding their purpose in life is not obvious, reports Frontiers in Psychology. Success encompasses finding purpose and meaning in your work, cultivating fulfilling relationships, prioritizing well-being, and contributing positively to the world. Understand that success is a personal journey and challenges societal expectations. By redefining success, you can live a more authentic and fulfilling life aligned with your own standards and values.


While career breakdown can be challenging, it can also catalyze personal and professional growth. By embracing resilience, leveraging support networks, developing a growth mindset, and strategizing for reinvention, women can overcome setbacks and succeed in their careers. Remember that setbacks do not indicate your abilities or worth; they are merely stepping stones to a fulfilling and prosperous future. Embrace the journey, celebrate your achievements, and stay committed to your vision. You have the power to rise strong and achieve greatness.

About the Author

Karen Floyd is a Transformational Coach helping female executives worldwide turn personal and professional breakdowns into breakthroughs with the Inner Compass Program. Available one-to-one and in groups, the 8-week program combines coaching, exercises, techniques, tools, and ancient spiritual practices for long-lasting transformation and a strong inner compass and intuition so that you can always find your north star. She brings 25 years of global leadership experience, 25 years of personal and spiritual development, and 50+ years of her own personal and professional reinventions to the Inner Compass Program. Karen is an international best-selling author, an ICF Certified coach with a diploma in Integrative Coaching, a Certified Peernovation Coach for high-performing teams, a Chartered Public Relations Professional, a Certified Teacher of Active Dreaming, and a Certified Shamanic Practitioner.