After a life-altering event such as a layoff, it can be all too easy to over-analyze where it all went wrong. Life becomes full of what ifs. However, spending too much time reflecting on the past can mean disaster for your future.

In his article “Life in the Slow Lane—Lessons Learned for the Bumpy Road Ahead,” human resources expert Ian Ziskin discusses what he refers to as “shouldacouldawoulda syndrome.” Some job searchers can’t stop themselves from mulling over the choices they made or didn’t make that landed them in their current situation.

Ziskin, who sits on the RiseSmart Strategic Advisory Council, suggests reflecting in the same way a driver looks in the rearview mirror. “Do it periodically and for very short periods,” advises Ziskin. Focusing too much on what’s behind you can cause you to miss what is ahead. This can end in missed opportunities and, possibly, a crash. 

RiseSmart, the leader in next-generation outplacement services, includes elements in its Transition Concierge offering designed to help workers to evaluate themselves as employees and focus on their future careers. 

“Stop wasting your time. Learn from your past experiences,” advises Ziskin. Taking brief looks back to assess your past performance will help you implement changes. But beware of lingering too long. You’ve got a future to plan.

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