Turning a Career Setback to Your Advantage

CareerCast - Life-long Career Development

Rick Smith There are some people who seem to take obstacles and transform them into opportunities. This is concrete, measurable, actual proof that goes way beyond mere positive or wishful thinking. Author and founding CEO of World 50 Rick Smith turned a major setback into a new trajectory that produced greater wealth, opportunity, and career satisfaction than he had ever imagined. In this CareerCast, Rick shares three findings from his latest book, The Leap, on how you can turn any career setback to your advantage, too.

Aired October 15, 2009

Rick Smith is the founding CEO of World 50, cited as one of the world’s most influential senior executive networking companies in the world. Members include C-level executives from more than 200 of the Fortune Global 500 companies. Prior to this, he worked in both consulting and executive search.

He is the coauthor of the Wall Street Journal and Business Week best seller The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers, which has been translated into 13 languages. His second book, The Leap, was released in September 2009. 

A leading commentator on careers and professional and personal success, Rick has been featured by more than 50 media outlets, including CNN, Time, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Sirius Satellite Radio, Financial Times, Bloomberg, Forbes, Fortune, and Chief Executive.

Rick has amassed an incredible and eclectic personal Rolodex, having worked or collaborated with dozens of world, business, and cultural icons, including: Bono, Alan Greenspan, Robert Redford, Francis Ford Coppola, Magic Johnson, Lance Armstrong, Larry Bossidy, Martha Stewart, Jon Stewart, Norman Schwarzkopf, Senators Robert Dole and George Mitchell, Steven Colbert, Russell Simmons, Sir John Major, and many others. 

A serial entrepreneur, he is currently working on the launch of several new companies. Rick currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and three children.

The Leap: How 3 Simple Changes Can Propel Your Career from Good to Great, by Rick Smith (2009).

The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success, by Nicolas Lore (1998).

Career Empowerment: Executive Recruiters on Leveraging Your Talents and Making the Right Decisions Around a Rewarding Career, by William McCormick, Douglas Walker, and Inside the Minds Staff (2003).

The Ultimate Guide to Getting the Career You Want: And What to Do Once You Have It, by Karen O. Dowd and Sherrie Gong Taguchi (2004).

Getting Unstuck: How Dead Ends Become New Paths, by Timothy Butler (2007).

The Job-Loss Recovery Guide, by Lynn Joseph (2003).

Change Your Job, Change Your Life, by Ron Krannich (2005).

We Got Fired! ... And It’s the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Us, by Harvey Mackay (2004).

Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You through Secrets of Personality Type, by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron (2007).

Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1997).

Career Bounce-Back: The Professionals in Transition Guide to Recovery & Reemployment, by J. Damian Birkel and Stacey J. Miller (1998).

Coach Yourself to a New Career: A Guide for Discovering Your Ultimate Profession, by Deborah Brown-Volkman (2003).

Now, Discover Your Strengths, by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton (2001).

The Authentic Career: Following the Path of Self-Discovery to Professional Fulfillment, by Maggie Craddock (2004).

I Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know It’s Not This: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Gratifying Work, by Julie Jansen (2003).

Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance, by Marcus Buckingham (2007).

Rick Smith Leap

Read an excerpt from The Leap: How 3 Simple Changes Can Propel Your Career from Good to Great, by Rick Smith


Read the Excerpt