One of the lesser rated but most important traits of a senior financial executive is his/her ability to take a punch. I say lesser rated because many of our members who I have talked to over the years feel that having had a punch thrown at them and not having the good sense to duck is something they should somehow be embarrassed about.
Let me be clear that everyone has punches thrown at them and inevitably you are going to be looking the other way and get hit by one of them. You can’t be alive for any significant length of time and not be caught off guard from time to time. That doesn’t make it your fault.
Being hit from time to time is something that happens. Life throws you a curve or pitches a ball at you that is SO big that no one could reasonably be expected to get out of the way in time.
Getting hit is one thing. Not getting up is another. That IS unforgivable and is something I would suggest you not mention.
Perhaps you have been right sized, down sized or just plain fired. Friends, these things happen. Perhaps you have suffered a major illness, the death of a spouse, fallen from a ladder (which you probably shouldn’t have been climbing anyway), needed to take care of an aging parent (Is this list long enough yet?), or some other NORMAL thing that happens during what we jokingly refer to as our lives.
The important thing is that you have gotten up and kept on fighting. Frankly, I am not a big fan of giving up, nor am I familiar with why someone would.
So, if you have had a few setbacks over the past several decades that have “thrown you off your game” for a period of time that somehow has to be accounted for on your resume, find a way to be up front about it to those you meet in that position we call the “hiring authority.”
As long as you don’t make it into a two hankie tale of woe, you will more often than not find a great deal of understanding and admiration coming from across the table.
To take a direct hit to your ego, your income, your sense of well-being and to pick yourself up, keep your sense of humor and drive on is a quality that any employer I am aware of would be more than happy to have on their staff.
As was said about a wrist watch in a commercial from 100 years ago: Takes a licking and keeps on ticking.