Factor in Failure on a Path to Success

Everyone has failed in the interview process a time or two. Even professionals fall into the common missteps of failing to take their own advice. You’re not alone, nor should you be afraid or ashamed if you find yourself in the position of not landing the job. Fear is the greatest paralyzer. It keeps many people from experimenting, taking risks, or even stretching a little further than their own proverbial comfort zones at work or even in making career transitions.

A couple of points from John Maxwell’s book, Failing Forward, drive home the concept that failure is an important part of the process of life and more specifically, your personal career journey. Keep in mind these three facts about failure as you continue to take steps forward to finding your ideal career path:

1. Failure is UNAVOIDABLE. Give yourself permission to take risks and accept non-success along the way as a part of the process of learning. What did you learn from the last interview that did not move you forward? How could you improve for the next time? If you learned something new, than it was not a waste of time.

2. Failure is not an EVENT. Career success is not a destination but it is truly a journey. You’re changing all the time, adding new skill sets to your resume, and constantly aligning your goals with new discoveries about what you’re good at and what you want to do. Success is more of an art than exact science, comprised of constant experimentation, failure, and getting back up to try again.

3. Failure is not IRREVERSIBLE. It is definitely not FINAL. The average entrepreneur actually fails an average of 3.8 times before defining a so called “success.” If you have a few failures on your career path, you are in good company. This should give you permission to use an experimental discovery process as part of your career journey.

For further insight into factoring failure as a part of success, read more on John Maxwell’s blog from the book, Failing Forward.

Kristina Burroughs is a recruiter for the Center for Shared Services. This post originally ran on the CSS Blog.

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