How failure can benefit your career

Think your early career failure will ruin your future? Think again, it could be the making of your success!

December can be a trying time of year for anyone who isn’t where they want to be in their career. This could be due to missing out on a promotion, not getting invited for a second interview, or even accepting the wrong opportunity.

It’s one of those months where you’re more likely to be meeting up with people you haven’t seen in a while – and answering all sorts of questions about your life and work!

Don’t let this play on your mind. Instead, think about how your recent failures could benefit your future.

How failure can lead to success:

A University study has found that early-career failure can lead to greater success in the longer term. Providing as the person who’s experienced the setback makes the effort to give things another go!

The research pool consisted of scientists about to embark on their careers. Each participant had previously sought funding and the pool was divided into two groups based on their outcomes. One group had just missed out on funding, while the other group had only just achieved the funding.

Each group was followed for a 10-year period, which greatly enhances the validity of these findings.

The ‘near-miss’ group went on to publish as many research papers as their ‘just-made-it’ counterparts. However, most impressively, the near-miss participants also went on to have more hit papers.

Even though this study focused on early career failures, we hazard a guess (from many years of working with clients and candidates!) that the findings will apply broadly throughout the work context.

What is failing forward?

We learned of this study via Stylist magazine, who also explore the concept of ‘failing forward’. This is when you use your failures as a chance to ‘learn and progress’.

As the article suggests, we’ll all fail at something at some point in our career. We just need to learn how to keep going. Hopefully, you can keep this in mind throughout your Christmas conversations.

Struggling to get over a spell of job rejection? Here’s another must-read post.

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