People have – and always will – fail from time-to-time. It’s just a fact of life.
It might suck, but failure is important and often necessary.
Without sounding too preachy, failure isn’t the opposite of success: failure is part of success.
Failure’s a teacher. After all, it enables us to rethink, reconsider and find new ways and strategies to achieve our goals.
Especially when it comes to your career.
Unless you’re incredibly lucky, there are going to be bumps in the road. But what’s important is that you keep going! Because, one day, with the right attitude and approach, you’ll get to exactly the place you want to be in your career.
Don’t Fear Failure
It’s no secret that some of the most successful people who have ever lived have experienced significant failures along the way.
People just tend to focus on the triumph of an individual, thereby overlooking the journey they took to get them there.
Before his world famous show, Jerry Seinfeld was a young comedian travelling around the stand-up circuit. His first time on stage didn’t go so well – he was constantly heckled before eventually being hounded off.
He said that his choices were to either pack it in and accept that comedy isn’t his thing or return to the same stage the following night and do it all again.
Seinfeld, of course, chose the latter. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Listen, not a lot of you reading this are going to be performing live comedy on stage, but the sentiment is still the same in ‘normal’ jobs.
Interviews are a lot like performing. You are the centre of attention. Sometimes, your ‘performance’ will go well, and other times it won’t. The important thing isn’t to be fearful of things going wrong.
All you can do is keep putting yourself out there – and eventually you’ll bring the house down.
Let Go Of Your Ego
We’ve all had moments where we’ve misjudged or overestimated our own abilities. That’s your ego talking!
Our ego always wants to be right, but don’t let it be.
Take charge of your own ego. Only after doing that can you grow and develop.
How do I do that, you ask?
Arguably, the best thing you can do to help you grow and develop is to request feedback from people with more experience of your intended industry than you.
For job seekers, feedback from employers after a rejection is invaluable. Contacting a hiring manager or the person that interviewed you gives you the opportunity to gain valuable insight into why you fell short… and how to become a stronger candidate for your next job application!
Maybe It’s Not The Right Career For You?
If a pattern of rejection remains, there may be a disconnect between your aspirations and your abilities.
Unfortunately, not every dream is attainable. And if you’re sitting there after yet another rejection, it may be time to think whether your career goals align with your strengths.
Searching for a job can be a long and difficult process, with the best outcome often coming through trial and error.
But be realistic! Persistence is great – it shows motivation and commitment – but it only works if your goals and abilities are aligned.
Use your rejections to fine tune your job search, understand what each role requires and if you possess the correct skill set to fill it.
Get Back Up!
We all feel an emotional low when something doesn’t play out the way we wanted it to.
But what often separates the most successful people from others is how they respond to it.
The list of famous individuals who got back up from their failure is endless.
Steven Spielberg, once rejected by the University of Southern California, now has a building named in his honour on campus.
Oprah Winfrey, one of the most globally recognised faces on TV and a billionaire to boot, was fired from her first TV job as an anchor in Baltimore.
Oprah herself said in a speech at Harvard that: “There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us into another direction”.
Listen, not everyone is going to direct Jaws or give away cars on live television, but it’s important to understand that everyone goes through struggles. The difference between people is how they react to those struggles.
This might be learning a new language for a job, going back to university, or simply just dedicating more of your time to your dream.
To quote Rocky Balboa: ‘It ain’t about how hard you can hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward”.
It’s cheesy but true!
If you want a successful career, don’t be afraid to fail.
Now, that’s easier said than done. Failure is scary. Being unable to achieve a goal you’ve set yourself is a hard pill to swallow. But failure and rejection, like most things in life, are all about perspective.
All it takes is one shift in perspective and soon you will look at failure differently.
Instead of looking at the success of someone you respect, turn your attention to their journey to the top and the challenges they overcame.
Translate that into your own life. Was that really your ‘dream’ career – or was it simply a stepping stone to get you to where you were supposed to be.
Failure isn’t just important: it’s necessary. You’ll get there in the end, even if the path you end up following might not be the one you first envisaged.