We've seen it happen so often. We lose our jobs after a few great years, and we think that they're stories of immense failure. Never mind that the economy is bad. Never mind that we have the gig economy that's disrupting full-time employment on a scale never before seen. We failed. We failed ourselves, and we're just not good enough.
Or are we? Many times, we look at failure through a negative lens and we seem to forget that failure is actually an ingredient for us to get the next job. In fact, failure can be one of the greatest sources of inspiration for us to get our next job; and a better one at that.
In this article, I'll lay out 3 ways that your stories of failure can help you to get a better career in your job hunt.
Failure is your chance to be honest with yourself
Mention the word failure and it seems like most professionals simply flock away from the word immediately. But meanwhile, we seem to love to indulge ourselves into believing that we hold jobs that will last a lifetime. That is often untrue.
In fact, we live in one of the most volatile job markets in human history and showing otherwise is simply being ignorant. That being said, when you are open and honest with your failures and open up about losing your job, or even your daily failures to get your work done, you are opening yourself up to see the real you.
When we are open about our failures, we enable ourselves to have the chance to embrace failure, and we know intuitively the next steps forward. Compare that to when we blame our losses or failure on others; we find that it was "not our fault" that we got fired or let go. This, in turn, blocks us from what has really happened - we got let go.
Instead, we blind ourselves in that manner and we slow ourselves down in the pursuit of a better opportunity.
Failure is the door to empathy
Most professionals tend to think that failure is something shameful to be talking about whenever they go for their job interview. For this reason, very few professionals dare to put their side projects or side hobbies onto LinkedIn, for fear that they might get called out for failing and hearing, "that's why you need this job."
However, what these professionals fail to realize is that headhunters and HR managers thrive on spotting these short bursts of entrepreneurial spirit because it means the company has the opportunity to leverage these mindsets.
Being able to acknowledge failure and accept that it is necessary for you to get to this stage is vital if you want true empathy from others. Once people are able to see that you acknowledge your fears, they know that you're more confident and that increases your chances of getting hired.
Failure gives us something to talk about
Though failure is something that most of us don't want to show on our Resume or LinkedIn Profile, it is often a great conversation starter in any interview or even small talk among professionals.
When you're speaking about your failures, be sure to always link it back to why you struggled with the failure in the first place, and how you managed to overcome the odds to become who you are today.
When crafted well, stories of failure can be weaved into powerful stories of struggle and success, and can often captivate audiences. Needless to say, do it well, and you'll have your next job faster than you can say Fired.
Mastering your failure and success is not too far off
Being an entrepreneur, and a professional once, I’ve seen stories of too many people who failed. But as with succeeding in life, it’s not enough to just crawl up and dust yourself off.
Being able to accept that you’ve failed in the past, but you’re back at it working harder than ever gives you the emotional edge that few seldom have...and that can be your ticket to a better future.