Failing up. Nope, that isn’t a typo. I am talking about failing and using that failure to help you move up in the world. Inventors do it all the time. They get an idea for an invention, refine, patent it, and along they way they find a whole new invention.Not letting a temporary setback set you back.
That’s more like what I am addressing here. The kind of failure I am writing about today isn’t the kind where you show up two hours late for an appointment, or don’t ever manage to complete your work assignments. That’s a different kind of failure. I am talking about the situations where you accept a position within a company, and realize it’s just not a good fit for you. While you’re there you make the most of the opportunity, learn everything you can, and then hone the skills, take the parts of the job you did like, and turn it into opportunity. I call that failing up.
This is an excerpt from a post in Forbes Magazine about a woman named Dorie Clark. She had graduated college with a degree in Theology, tried her hand at different careers in Journalism and Politics, and ultimately found her ideal career after what she calls failing in those others:
“….On her own career transformation:
“Mostly I ended up where I am now because of an abject string of failures which I ultimately turned to my advantage, but that were very depressing at the time. I thought I was going to be an academic, but I got turned down from all the doctoral programs I applied to. I thought was going to be a journalist, but I got laid off from my job. And I thought I was going to get involved in politics, but I managed to choose campaigns that did not win. So I kept reinventing myself and reinventing myself until I ended up with my current career.”
On failure and “blaming out”:
“My adaptive strategy to failure was I did what I called blaming out, rather than in. There’s a tendency to view negative feedbacks or setbacks as a personal shortcoming, like ‘oh, I must not be not be good enough.’ I actually think that it is a lot healthier to take the opposite approach. So I’ve been very able to be persistent—I really believe these other people aren’t seeing my potential; they’re not getting it. So I’m going to keep going and keep persisting until they regret it and cry themselves to sleep much like all the people that turned down Harry Potter.”
If you think about it, most of us who are now successful in our careers have done much the same thing. I have had a few different careers one of which was a Payroll Company of my own. I tried other careers, tried other businesses, and ultimately circled back around to co-found Complete Employee Solutions here in Vero Beach. It took trying out other ways of earning my keep to come to the conclusion that this is where my passion is.
What is your Failing Up path? What jobs did you try out before landing where you are now?