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Learning from failure – how you and your career can bounce back!

30 Sep 2019


Everyone fails sometimes. It's how you deal with it that will define your success!

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”. Henry Ford.

Take a close look at any successful business leader and you’ll quickly discover that their careers are littered with failures. The difference between them and their less successful peers however is that they have learned from their mistakes and haven’t let fear of failure hold them back. Failure shouldn’t stop anyone, instead it should be a lesson to learn from and carry forward on both a professional and personal level. So if you’ve gone through a career setback (which may feel like a complete and utter failure), take heart and learn from your experience. Here are a few ways to view your failure in a more positive manner.

Don’t let it stop you: It can be very easy to focus on all the negative parts or comments and let the positive aspects of the situation slide on by. Unfortunately, that sometimes can mean letting a single failure define you on a professional level. A small change in approach could make all the difference. Don’t let one failure steer you away from your ultimate goal.

View it with fresh eyes:  When a failure happens, it’s easy to immerse yourself in doubt and negativity. Take a step back for a short while to reinvigorate yourself. Goals are never reached all the time. You are constantly going to face challenges and obstacles so when failure does happen, be a little kinder to yourself. It’s tough to remember your original goal and your own abilities in the face of defeat but a little time away will allow you to view the defeat as a learning tool and go forward.

Learn from others: Every successful person has failures behind them. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and plenty of others in the tech sector all failed before they ultimately developed the product that was to be their global success. Netflix’s initial business model was in DVD sales / rental but then redirected to streaming media. Every movie star has at least one movie that bombed at the box office but they never stopped acting.  When you experience your own failure, it’s always helpful to look at other people in your field and see how they coped with defeat. Sometimes it just takes a reminder that you’re not the only one who’s gone through this.

Handling failure or defeat in a productive manner can be just as beneficial as a major success to your career development and reaching your ultimate goal. 

If you would like career advice, please contact our team in Brightwater for a confidential discussion. You can reach us at [email protected] or [email protected]