Fail to Succeed by Rebecca Summerfield

Dear Food Grad,

Normally I would write about a solid tip, or concept, with regards to job searching.  But this article is more of a philosophy that has served me well in my career life.  This is inspired by a friend of mine – Sunil Godse (Author of “Fail Fast. Succeed Faster” and “GUT!” and President of Radical Solutions Group Inc. – find him on LinkedIn).

Failure.  It’s such a dirty word.  No one likes to fail, we all want to succeed.  But without failure, there can be no growth.  As a baby, we all learn to walk.  But didn’t we all fall, a million times, before we had more steady footing?  Didn’t we all fall off our two wheeler bicycles before we could ride in a straight line?

But what did we learn from falling?  We learned how to better position our individual feet…we learned how to find our centre of balance on the bike.  We learned from our failure and went on to become mobile individuals.

Job searching, and our careers, are very much like learning to walk.  Sometimes we hit a home run out of the park and land the very first job we interview for.  Sometimes we bomb our first interview and go home to lick our wounds.  Giving ourselves a pity party from failure only holds us back.  When you fail, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why did I fail? (and be honest with yourself, because none of us are perfect)
  2. Was the failure due to a direct action on my part, or lack of preparation?
  3. What can I do next time to ensure I’m successful?

We do learn from our successes (and how to replicate that) but it’s only when we fail that we can learn how to develop something new about ourselves.

I’ve failed a thousand times in my career……and I’ve grown a thousand and one times.

Recently, I had the opportunity to learn from a failure of mine, reflect on my part, and come out of the gate stronger and more focused than ever.  I could have sat home, licking my wounds, yelling about how unfair the world can be.  But instead, I reached out to Sunil Godse and a myriad of other positive people I’ve surrounded myself with, to motivate myself to continue my career journey.  I’ve reflected upon my strengths and weaknesses, and created a path for myself that speaks to my strengths while giving myself an opportunity to become self-aware of my weaknesses and limitations.

You can do this, Food grads.  Don’t let a failure, or a lot of failures, hold you back or hurt or your self -esteem.  Einstein failed.  Thomas Edison failed.  Bill Gates failed.  But they all succeeded as well.  We may not become an Einstein, or an Edison, or a Gates.  But we can all succeed in our own rights and make a positive contribution to our society.

Next up…..keeping your on-line presence professional

Rebecca Summerfield, President of Summerfield Staffing