188. Embracing failure: A job hunter's shortcut to success

job hunting May 29, 2023
Why you need to fail

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:

Are you new to The Job Hunting Podcast? 

Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach corporate, non-profit, and public professionals the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress. 

If you are 1) an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, 2) looking to find your next job or promotion, or 3) you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running – then this podcast is for you. In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients. 

So there is no excuse – I’m determined to help you! I want you to feel empowered, nail your next job, and have the career you want.

Enjoy the episode, and ciao for now!


Renata Bernarde | Job Hunting Expert

[email protected]


I cannot recommend it highly enough.

To my friends and colleagues who are currently job hunting, this podcast is for you. Renata Bernarde and her stellar line up of guests very generously share their perspective, advice, behind-the-scene secrets, tips, and anecdotes. "It's called The Job Hunting Podcast (it is what it says on the tin!) Guests include Anita Ziemer, Michelle Redfern, Mohit Bhargava. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Run. Don't Walk." - LinkedIn post shared by Amber Knight.

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