3 Savvy Ways to Turn Career Flops Into Long-Term Wins

Learning lessons from loss can ensure you continue advancing and growing

(Image: Thinkstock)

Have you ever experienced a terrible career loss by not achieving the type of results that you had expected?

Well, last week I had the distinct opportunity to shadow and learn from some of the country’s top leaders. The setting was very intimate, so I was able to glean some golden career nuggets from these high-profile leaders.

One theme that surfaced throughout the week was the importance of effectively managing your career losses. The leaders highlighted various instances when they failed as they were rising up through the ranks of leadership and success. Hearing these powerful stories and tidbits of advice was exciting to me because I was thinking, “Wow, young leaders and job seekers could really benefit from these tips!”

Oftentimes, young professionals have great expectations for their careers—and they should! However, a lot of them derail their careers very fast. I’ve personally witnessed some extremely talented young leaders fail miserably in their careers due to a high number of career mishaps. But, you can avoid this by using the tips below that I captured during my once-in-a-lifetime leadership experience last week.

These tips can help you turn a career loss into a career success:

Tip 1: Don’t keep making the same mistakes.

Why? Many leaders don’t expect for their employees to be perfect. Consequently, it’s OK for employees to make mistakes. However, they shouldn’t continue to make the same mistakes because this can convey a message of apathy, carelessness, and even incompetence.

Tip 2: Appreciate your “career losses” by learning from them.

Why? You can effectively manage a career loss by changing your perspective about it. Don’t view it as a failure; consider it as a learning exercise. Take time to reflect on what happened and seek guidance from someone that can help you avoid making the same mistake again.

Tip 3: Ask leaders to share a career loss experience with you.

Why? Although you weren’t with me last week during my exclusive leadership experience, you can create your own experience. You can achieve this by speaking with a good leader (or one of your mentors) and ask them if they’re willing to share a personal career loss anecdote with you. During this time, make sure you find out what lesson they learned from their mistake. I’m confident that you will grow and learn a lot from their career experiences.

Always remember that the biggest career loss does not happen as a result of making mistakes. Instead, it happens when you fail to learn from your mistakes.

Antoine Moss, Ph.D., (@2PositiveTweets) is a nationally recognized resource on internships, early career achievement, leadership and motivation. CEO and founder of CEO Style Consulting L.L.C., Moss empowers professionals and organizations to reach their full potential, and serves as speaker, workshop instructor and consultant. The author of Learn to Intern CEO Style, Moss has been a featured expert on outlets including Fox 8 TV News and George Fraser’s 2011 Power Networking Conference.

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