Career Success: The Upside of Failure
When we first start out in our careers, most of us hope never to fail—and the most confident among us are sure we won’t. Of course, we all fail occasionally—perhaps even in a spectacular fashion. The important thing is how we recover from failure and what we learn from it.
Many experts in the business world will even say that failure is an imperative part of career growth. As the old saying goes, we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. In fact, there is even a national conference devoted solely to studying failures (your own and others’) and see how it can help you succeed.
J.K. Rowling once gave a Harvard commencement speech entitled, “The Fringe Benefits of Failure.” As Rowling said, failure can often help you discover things about yourself you never knew—such as how strong and resilient you can be when faced with hardship or obstacles. Failure can also help you identify your true areas of interest, your hidden strengths and weaknesses or places where you may want to improve.
Of course, failure at its most basic will at the very least help you learn what strategies or tactics won’t work, so then you can shift your energies into coming up with more efficient or productive alternatives.
One thing that’s important: you can’t let failure rattle your confidence or make you so discouraged that you are afraid to try again. Remember, everyone—even very successful people—have survived failures, probably many of them. So pick yourself up, dust yourself off and set off on search of a new path that just might take you to a huge success.
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