Nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, but learning from those mistakes is the only way forward. However hard you try and however much of a perfectionist you might be, at some point you’re going to blunder or slip up during your working life, but what matters is that you find a way to move on. After all, it’s only through being a little less hard on your past self that you’ll improve and become better at what you do.
Here are just four career failings you might have suffered, and some helpful advice on how you move on from them.
Not Being Good Enough Early in Your Career
Nobody enters the workplace as a fully-formed expert in what they do. People who excel at their jobs later down the line do so because they know that the learning curve never ends and that there is always room for improvement. Many of us will enter the workforce with more confidence than competence, but we all get better as we mature and pick up new skills over the course of our careers. Forgive your younger self for not being brilliant at what you now do so well. Remember, you’ve only got to where you are with many years of practising to make perfect.
Not Finding Your Perfect Job Soon Enough
The vast majority of people will work in some really rubbish jobs before they finally alight on the one which is their perfect fit. Don’t waste so much time regretting the dead-end jobs and wasted time. Sometimes taking a while to find your dream job means you can appreciate it all the more now you’ve got it – all those poorly-paid positions and hours of boredom and frustration have come good in the end, and you probably needed to do some jobs you hated to find out what you really love.
Rejection is a part of life, but that doesn’t make it any less painful when it happens. Whether it’s being turned down for what looked like a dream job or being passed over when it comes to a promotion, nothing stings quite so much as being told you’re ‘not good enough’. Just remember that everyone has been rejected at some point in their working lives and in a good proportion of those cases it didn’t do them any harm in the long-run. In fact, it may even have done them some good. We won’t wheel out the cliché that ‘rejection makes you more resilient’, but some of the biggest success stories are those who got kicked out of their day job and were forced to become more resourceful and creative.
Not Being Assertive Enough
Are you the sort of person who meekly rolls over and says ‘yes’ to any request, however unreasonable? Sometimes you probably feel that those who shout the loudest and kick up the most fuss tend to get their way, and maybe you wish you could be a little more like them. Maybe you should have been more assertive, but there’s no point in regretting the times you didn’t open your mouth and have your say. Many employers respect the quiet ones who demonstrate diplomacy. Not being too quick to shout means people are more likely to listen when you do have an opinion, so use that to your advantage and be assertive only when it really matters.
Many of the most successful professional people have only got where they are today because they have learnt to forgive their past selves and use their mistakes as an opportunity to learn. Don’t be too self-critical. Nobody is perfect or infallible, so, be forgiving and you’ll find you enjoy your career all the more for it.