Reinventing Your Career After a Setback

CareerCast - Life-long Career Development

Tad Waddington Career setbacks can send individuals into a tailspin, and some never recover. Yet others use obstacles to reassess, recommit, and re-establish themselves in a new and often more rewarding career. In this Career Cast, Tad Waddington, PhD, director of performance measurement at Accenture and author of Lasting Contribution: How to Think, Plan, and Act to Accomplish Meaningful Work, shares his global research, insights, and wisdom.

Aired October 15, 2010

Tad Waddington, PhD, is a global senior advisor to the Asia-Pacific CEO Association Worldwide. Winner of the 2009 World Human Resources Development Congress HR Leadership award and the 2008 International Business Award (Stevie Awards) for Best Human Resources Executive of the Year, he is the author of Lasting Contribution: How to Think, Plan, and Act to Accomplish Meaningful Work (Agate, 2007).

Lasting Contribution has won the following awards:

  • USABookNews National Best Books Award
  • Axiom Business Book Award
  • Independent Publisher Book Award Gold
  • Eric Hoffer Award
  • Pinnacle Book Achievement Award
  • National Indie Excellence Award

Waddington is director of performance measurement at Accenture and is the coauthor of Return on Learning: Training for High Performance at Accenture (Agate, 2006). The book tells how Accenture’s training organization revitalized training and proved its value. To prove the value of training, Waddington performed an in-depth statistical analysis of detailed records on the 261,000 people who have ever worked for the company. These records include information such as cost rates, bill rates, total time with the organization, and promotion date. Accenture factored out the effects of personnel level, experience, inflation, and business cycles.

Waddington has been with Accenture since 1997. He is a former Gallup Organization research director, a writer at English Digest (Taipei, Taiwan, where he published over 300 articles), and a former translator and interpreter (Chinese/English).

Waddington received his BA in psychology and Chinese from Arizona State University, where he graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA, was inducted into the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa Society, and won the Moeur Award, ASU’s highest academic honor. He also studied at the Beijing Foreign Language Institute and the International Chinese Language Program (ICLP, formerly known as the Inter-University Program). He received an MA from the University of Chicago’s Divinity School in 1990 and a PhD from the Department of Education’s Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistical Analysis program at the University of Chicago under Larry Hedges. He is also a graduate of the Chicago Management Institute at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Bounce Back: Overcoming Setbacks to Succeed in Business and in Life by John Calipari (2010)

Comebacks: Powerful Lessons from Leaders Who Endured Setbacks and Recaptured Success on Their Terms by Andrea Redmond and Patricia Crisafulli (2010)

Rebound: A Proven Plan for Starting Over After Job Loss by Martha I. Finney (2009)

Firing Back: How Great Leaders Rebound After Career Disasters by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and Andrew Ward (2007)

Career Comeback: Eight Steps to Getting Back on Your Feet When You’re Fired, Laid Off, or Your Business Venture Has Failed—And Finding More Job Satisfaction Than Ever Before by Bradley Richardson (2004)

Why Smart Executives Fail: And What You Can Learn from Their Mistakes by Sydney Finkelstein (2004)

Great Failures of the Extremely Successful: Mistakes, Adversity, Failure, and Other Stepping Stones to Success by Steve Young (2002)

The Power of Failure: 27 Ways to Turn Life’s Setbacks into Success by Charles C. Manz (2002)

Tad Waddington Lasting Contribution

Read an excerpt from Lasting Contribution: How to Think, Plan, and Act to Accomplish Meaningful Work by Tad Waddington

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