AS A PROFESSIONAL UNDER 30, I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND MY FELLOW MILLENNIALS THAT DURING YOUR CLIMB TO PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS, YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN YOUR FAILURES.
When you first encounter the failure and when you are still in the failing moment, you almost don’t want to accept it— “it wasn’t that bad” I told myself, yet the thought of processing that event caused me to turn my music up to drown out the stinging thoughts. I realized I had to accept the fact that I did a terrible job.
I had plans to visit a community college where I really wanted to teach. My plan was to speak with the Dean and blow him away, considering that I had already applied for the job, I would at least get an interview.
The opposite happened, I was lost for words and questions, I just wasn’t prepared for his stiff demeanor. I had relied on my last encounter with the Dean where I currently work, in which I used the exact same strategy. However, that experience went smoothly and I was offered two classes to teach later that week. I thought for sure this would be that easy.
Success only teaches you to ‘keep doing what you’re doing’. There is nothing like failure that receives the ‘teaching excellence’ award. Failure is tough to deal with and even tougher as a professional adult, because you think that you have the ability along with the capacity of resources, education and coping mechanisms to deal with almost anything. You’re no superhuman, but you can productively deal with the jabs of life, I mean you’ve probably given career advice to people about dealing with failures, but there are times that you just forget that you too my friend can choke.
SUCCESS CAN LURE YOU INTO COMPLACENCY—THIS IS THE GREATEST FOUNDATION FOR FAILURE.
Needless to say I completely embarrassed myself in front of the Dean and walked out of his office with my tail in between my legs. I felt like everything was set up for my success to speak with him— finding helpful staff willing lead me to his office, no administrative assistant blocking me at the door and he was in his office shuffling papers with the door open! I had the perfect situation. I tried to rationalize and process what I did wrong during my long walk to my car and suddenly I sped up my walk, I no longer wanted to think about it!
I knew the purpose of failure and I also knew what opportunities could possibly develop for a person who wasn’t too fragile to look for the seed of good. But, gosh, that initial feeling was hard to accept. I chalked it up as a bad day and tried to find comfort in the idea that I had another college to try. I had another chance.
Heres the thing about the second chance. I was almost too scared to jump again, to take another ambitious leap. Instead of letting failure teach me a lesson, I let it whip me into a corner; I wanted to hide under a rock. However, the fact that I had another chance to redeem myself sounded much more appealing than hiding under a rock. The redeem would come in two days and I was determined to be prepared this time, aided with fruitful questions, a genuine smile and all the charisma I had to offer. I had to face my fear of being embarrassed, but I also knew if I had the courage to do this, I wouldn’t let that happen again.
I THANK THE UNIVERSE FOR ALLOWING ME TO FAIL AT SOMETHING I REALLY WANTED.
It forced me to acknowledge the mistake and search for the lessons that required my immediate attention. It also forced me to try again—I would of cared less to find the good in this adversity if it didn’t mean much to me, instead it did and in the words of my favorite author Og Mandino—
“The prizes of life are at the end of each journey,
not near the beginning; and it is not given to me to
know how many steps are necessary in order to
reach my goal. Failure I may still encounter at the
thousandth step, yet success hides behind the next
bend in the road. Never will I know how close it
lies unless I turn the corner.”
Want to know how the second chance went? Can’t wait to share it with you in my next blog! Stay Tuned.