Many of us have experienced a failure of one kind or another at points in our lives. Sometimes it’s an interview that did not go well, a job offer that went to someone else, or a promotion that did not materialize.
The reality is that whatever the failure, its initial impact is never pleasant. But, because most of us tend to wrap our self-worth around our jobs or careers, when we experience a failure or we are rejected, we tell ourselves that we don’t have what it takes to succeed.
Last week, soon after I sent out the Monday Rx, I received the following note from a client:
“Daisy, I have a job now…I am working with xxx as a Client Supervisor and Foot Care Nurse. My boss is great, and I really like my job. Very little stress and lots of fun. Thanks for all of your help. I will keep in touch.”
One would not believe that, at one point, this woman was near to giving up on herself, and she had several reasons to prove it: Her original resume wasn’t marketing me well; her age was going to preclude her from consideration; she was crippled by nervousness when it came to interviews. “I just cannot conduct a job search anymore”, she said to me then. One of my first questions to her was, “Are you a great nurse?”
Having said all of that, did she find overnight success? Of course not, but she changed her perspective about herself, and something about her changed!
As a job seeker or career changer, realize that a few failures do not mean the end of your career journey. When you embark on such a journey, you have to believe in yourself and your abilities. You have to dig deep to uncover your success stories and own them, then learn to articulate them clearly and convincingly in your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn Profile, and your other marketing documents. Your goal with this exercise should always be to make sure you are seen as the only candidate for that job.
Your job search failure is not fatal. Learn from your failures and setbacks, but don’t allow them to take over and cloud your ability to tell a convincing story to get hired.
Just in case you believe you will never rise from the ashes of a failure, consider the following individuals who faced rejection and failures in their lives, but went on to achieve great things:
• Oprah Winfrey was told she wasn’t fit for television.
• Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen received 144 rejections from publishers for their book Chicken Soup for the Soul.
• Jay-Z had big dreams to become a rapper, but couldn’t get signed to any record labels. He created his own music empire: Roc-A-Fella Records.
• J.K. Rowlings got fired because she spent her time writing stories on her work computer.
• Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. He went home, locked himself in his room and cried.
While your story might not be as well-documented as these celebrities; while you might not aspire to such heights, you could change the direction of your life if you view failure as an opportunity to start over. Bob Marley, in one of his songs, says, “As one door closes, another one opens.” Don’t continue staring at the closed door of failure that you miss other doors of opportunity.
Your job search failure is not fatal. Make a decision today to learn from your failures, and spring forward to success.
Note: Sections of this post have been excerpted from my new book “Tell Stories, Get Hired”, which will be coming soon to a bookstore near you.