How Failure Often Becomes Your Career’s Best Friend

failureFailure: When it comes to work, we hate to fail. We become vulnerable. Less than expert. Prone to mistakes. And possibly less competent.

At least that’s what our beady little brains tell us.

But failure is a part of nature and a fact of life. Despite having a mindset of 100% perfect and anything less than perfect is a failure, there is a kernel of wisdom in our perfection-seeking lives.

The nugget I am talking about? Failure itself.

We spend so much time avoiding discussing or even acknowledging it. But the best career strategists out there know exactly what to do.

Embrace Failure

If you run towards and “own” your failings, and include it in your career narrative, this changes the conversation in a number of ways:

  1. You control the conversation  vs. being backed into a corner about it and having to explain it defensively.
  2. The more you run towards something that scares you, the smaller it gets. You are in charge, not the failure.
  3. Speaking directly about it means you have gotten over it and moved on.
  4. Failure is a powerful tool in interviews as you can show how you have learned from previous mistakes and can apply that knowledge – and potentially open new doors or avoid big mistakes.
  5. The most successful people have failed, but the magic happens when they grow from those experiences.
  6. You are willing to take some risks. Calculated risk-taking in an organization is where exponential growth can happen; companies don’t grow if they become stagnant.

So owning failure and changing your mindset around how you talk about it and deal with it is an incredibly powerful friend and ally in your career. You’ll be amazed to find out how much shifting this perspective can alter your career management and direction, and shape how people react to you.



For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Pathfinder.




Dawn Rasmussen 3About the Author: Dawn Rasmussen, CMP is President of Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, a provider of results-oriented résumé, cover letter, and job search coaching services. Dawn is also the official “Get the Job” columnist for One+ Magazine distributed to over 26,000 meeting professionals worldwide and, a job resource site for creative and marketing professionals. Dawn is also a recognized career expert on – a top 10 world-ranked career advice blog. Follow Dawn on Twitter!



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