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Career Help: Fail Forward and Fail Often

This is a continuation of my response on the Wall Street Journal article, written by Dilbert, creator Scott Adams, How to Get a Real Education.

Fail Forward. If you’re taking risks, and you probably should, you can find yourself failing 90% of the time. The trick is to get paid while you’re doing the failing and to use the experience to gain skills that will be useful later. I failed at my first career in banking. I failed at my second career with the phone company. But you’d be surprised at how many of the skills I learned in those careers can be applied to almost any field, including cartooning. Students should be taught that failure is a process, not an obstacle.

In career transition, failure is a requirement. You’re going to look into and research jobs that aren’t a fit for you. You’re going to forget to bring your business cards to a networking event. You’re going to take a class that turns out isn’t interesting.

The key is to try new things, and don’t be afraid to do so. In doing so, you will find your way. If you don’t try new things, you’ll never get to there. So go ahead and fail, as long as you’re moving forward, by making sure you’re learning from each of those failures. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Don’t be afraid to talk to a stranger about what they do to learn more. It’s all part of the process. Good luck, I hope this is helpful to you!

Hallie Crawford
Career Help Coach