The art of failing: your ticket to success

29 July 2016

WBS Career Manager, Fay Watkin, discusses three reasons why we shouldn’t hide our career flaws, but instead celebrate and learn from them

When it comes to achieving career goals few great leaders have made it to the top without some setbacks and struggles, yet, as society is increasingly fuelled by instant gratification, we tend to only focus on what the individual achieved at the end of it all.

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However, by ignoring a whole middle narrative of ‘pain before gain’ are we in danger of portraying unrealistic legacies which are almost impossible for others to try and attain?

Career Manager Fay Watkin discusses three reasons why we shouldn’t hide our career flaws, but instead celebrate and learn from them, recognising how they make us stronger in the long run.

Lose the fear and fly!

Fear of failing is a major cause of career stagnation. Arguably no one should set out with the sole intention of failing but by channelling an over apprehensive psyche in the work place you risk limiting your career options - trying something new almost always involves a risk of failure, but is so vitally important to personal  and professional development!

Build resilience

One of the most important skills to add to your career toolkit is a rubber ball approach to adversity-the ability to bounce back and move on! Demonstrating resilience by sharing your failures, and how you have dealt with them, is repeatedly cited as one of the top global skills looked for by employers.

The key is to learn from your mistakes so be prepared to take a surgical approach when things go wrong and take the time to dissect your efforts.

Related article: Top five skills employers look for around the world

You’ll often find that with every failure there will be elements of success to draw upon, which will help repair your confidence and keep you motivated to pick yourself up and try, try again.

Form a career story with substance

Many of us feel embarrassed about our past work failures and aren’t always forthcoming when asked to share these with potential employers.

However by creating the faux impression of having moved through your career completely unscathed, you will most certainly be in danger of leaving a risk averse employer with little or no faith that you will fare well in a less temperate environment.

You will also be painting a rather two dimensional breadth of experience as failures make us who we are and undoubtedly showcase our appetite to learn and develop.

Related article: Failing never felt so good

In order to make sure we treat failures as learning curbs, and aid our ability to not repeat the same mistake twice, we need to invest in self-reflection, but equally learn to not chastise our failures, instead learning to see them as vital pit stops on our journey to success!

 For more advice and guidance on career planning strategies take a look at some of the great resources on my.wbs, available to support current student and alumni alike!

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