188. Embracing failure: A job hunter's shortcut to successMay 29, 2023
Navigating the tumultuous seas of job hunting is an experience familiar to all career-oriented individuals. The aspiration for a seamless pursuit of employment often motivates us to steer clear of failure. Nevertheless, my years of traversing the corporate landscape and now coaching clients through it have led to a profound realization – failure, rather than being an enemy, can be a powerful propeller toward success.
Here are three tactical strategies that transform failure into a potent instrument of victory in your job hunt.
1. Launching a Lean Job Hunt Strategy
One cannot deny the power of action when it comes to job applications and interviews. Often, it illuminates the path more brightly than meticulous planning could. A common pitfall among job seekers is the tendency to delay action until they feel fully equipped. This inclination stems from the misconception that any failure could be detrimental to their career trajectory. The reality is starkly different – even minor hiccups can become instructive experiences if we are receptive to the lessons they impart.
Embracing the possibility of unexpected and adverse outcomes is crucial in your job search, but it doesn't imply setting sail without a map. An effective career plan must incorporate room for spontaneous exploration, enabling you to embed new concepts as you evolve, learn, and unravel insights about your professional journey. We do not exist in isolation – our career plans need the fuel of feedback and inputs to truly shine.
Failure can also be viewed as an experimental phase, a trial-and-error method in your career path. It's always better to try and move on than to be haunted by regret. For example, my tenure as the CEO of a nonprofit allowed me to realize that it wasn't my calling. Despite performing well and relishing the role, I chose not to pursue a similar position in the future. The same principle applied to the university degrees I pursued but did not complete.
2. Cultivating Curiosity
Job searching need not be a purely transactional process. Instead, adopt an investigative mindset and view your job hunt as a personal development project. By treating each job application or interview as an experiment, you not only make the process more enjoyable but also unlock doors to lessons and opportunities that may have otherwise remained closed.
3. Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity
Failure can serve as a lens through which to examine the job market, different sectors, industries, and organizations, or even your own preparation for high-pressure situations such as interviews. It's an opportunity to build resilience and master the art of persistence – traits that are closely tied to success.
It is essential to understand that successful professionals have faced their fair share of rejections and setbacks. However, hitting rock bottom isn't a prerequisite for harnessing the power of failure.
Approaching your job hunt with a success-only mindset can lead to premature surrender, potentially hampering your earnings and career advancement. As someone who has mastered the art of job hunting, I can confidently attest to the importance of adopting a growth mindset, taking calculated risks, and understanding the transformative power of failure.
If you're looking for guidance to navigate potential pitfalls in your job search and career planning journey, consider working with me as your career coach. Visit this page for more details on my services.
Timestamps to guide your listening:
- 04:00 - 1. Go to market with a minimal viable pitch and job search strategy
- 17:03 - 2. Be curious
- 23:50 - 3. When you fail, pay attention
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Rate and review this podcast on iTunes
- Episode 60 - Career change: Switching sectors, industries, and countries - Karen James shares her story and tips
- Episode 161 - You did not get the job: How to move on and regain focus
- Episode 147 - Job searching: How to safely step into the unknown - with Janet Sernack