The F Word

Failure – A word most try to avoid at all costs and that is woven into numerous proverbs, with one of the most notorious being ‘failure is not an option’. However, I am of the belief that failure is an option and one that is unavoidable. A key aspect which links those individuals deemed as successful, apart from drive and work ethic, is how they have dealt with their failures.  We all fail at some point in our working life, the important thing is how you then react to it.  If you start to shy away from challenges for fear of more disappointment then the likelihood is that you won’t achieve long term success further on down the line.  Conversely, if you use the experience as a learning curve and as motivation for future endeavours it can prove to be priceless.

I spoke with a candidate recently and they referenced an entry on their CV that they weren’t particularly proud of.  Unfortunately, their tenure at this job ended due to redundancy and they felt it was a blot on their resume.  After talking through this period in their career though it became clear that they had taken some important lessons away with them, and it had proven extremely helpful in how they approached other aspects of their working life.  Saying it out loud made the candidate realise that it was in fact a watershed moment for them as it proved how resilient and determined they remained in the face of adversity.

My own personal failures are many and I will no doubt continue to make mistakes from time to time, however I do not let them define me and instead use them as motivation.  So my advice is when you fail at something (and you will) that you dust yourself off, assess what went wrong and take these learnings forward for a successful future.


Adam Williams

Technical & Engineering Consultant

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