How To Turn Failures into Success

By Katie Corbett


When I got fired from my data entry job at the end of 2013, it could have been easy for me to think my career—and my life—was over. Luckily, I picked up “The Magic of Thinking Big,” by David J. Schwartz, and found some ways to overcome this challenge and move forward. No matter what setback you’re facing, I know these suggestions will help you, too.


Step 1: Study Setbacks to Pave Your Way to Success: After I lost my job, I thought long and hard about why that happened. One thing I regretted was not approaching supervisors sooner when I was struggling. I continuously remind myself that it’s OK to ask for help and that I don’t have to do everything on my own. What lessons can your failures teach you? How can you do things better next time if you find yourself in a similar situation? Are there ways you could avoid putting yourself in a similar situation altogether?


Step 2: Have the Courage to Be Your Own Constructive Critic: When I’m trying to do something and it’s not working—or I wish there was a better/easier way to get it done—I take the time to stop and think about why things aren’t working out. I give an honest assessment about the parts I’m responsible for, what else is going on in my workload, and how I could do things more efficiently. What things are you doing now that could be done better? What would it take to improve on your processes?


Step 3: Stop Blaming Luck: When I lost my job, it was important for me to remember that everything happens for a reason. Blaming my job loss on chance or fate wouldn’t take away from the people—including me—that caused my job loss. Why do you think your setbacks happened? Who is responsible? (Be sure to take on any blame that’s yours. None of us is perfect.)


Step 4: Blend Persistence with Experimentation: Sure, I’d lost one job, but that didn’t mean I was doomed to fail. I realized that data entry wasn’t for me—three months into the ten months I was in that job, if I’m being honest. I’ve since tried many other career paths before finding coaching: camp counselor, freelance writer, DoTerra Wellness Advocate, Web Content Specialist, Administrative Assistant. There are tons of career paths out there. If one doesn’t work out, what else are you good at? What else do you enjoy doing? Don’t be afraid to try!


Step 5: Remember There Is A Good Side In Every Situation: After I lost my job, my first realization was, “Yay! I don’t have to enter another purchase order ever again!” Then, I realized this experience gave me something in common with other people who had been fired. I could empathize with them and help them on their journey toward healing and a new career. Throughout my recovery and job search process, I learned many tips and tricks I can now share with other people—hence this blog. What are the bright sides to your most recent failure? What can you do differently or better because of this failure?


I hope that by following these tips you can see your failures as opportunities to learn, grow and keep trying. I know I have, and I wish the same success for you! You can do it!


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