Working Through Failure at Work


Making too many mistakes at work can shake your boss’s faith in you and shatter your confidence. Before you get worked up, go through our list of tips to help you deal with failure at work

Failure is said to be a stepping stone to success. But the higher the number of failures isn’t necessarily a guarantee of a successful career. To err is human but sitting back in your armchair isn’t going to get you where you want to be. For that, you need to highlight your failing points and work towards making more of yourself to do better in your professional life.

1. What are you thinking?
Sometimes it is all about attitude. Whether you are on the failing path or you are simply stagnant in your position, attitude can make all the difference. If you see yourself as constantly failing, you will be stuck in a rut so you need to change your perception of yourself. A useful exercise is to remind yourself of three successful projects you have managed for every failure that you see happening. Take pointers from your successful projects and make a format to work on your future projects so you can tackle the problems before they happen. The right attitude will help you stay on track to success even if you do have a few slip ups  along the way. Oprah Winfrey once said, “It is not failure if you enjoyed the process”.

2. Don’t be a Radio
If you have made a mistake, chances are your boss knows about it. But there is no need for everyone else in the office to know about it. If you have a confidant in your office that can help you make the best of the situation, then by all means discuss it with them. But broadcasting your mistake might just make you the topic of water cooler conversations, which can be a downer for your morale and stop you from moving on to a more successful career.

3. Success of others is none of your concern
Many people tend to put pressure on themselves if their colleagues are performing better than them. If you are one of those people, you may be putting road blocks in your career without realising it. If the people around you are succeeding with their jobs, it shouldn’t affect you in any way. Thinking that you should match up to the laurels of your colleague, or a parent, or even matching the standards of your boss, may hamper your growth. You should set goals for yourself to achieve and work towards achieving them without being sidetracked by a promotion that went to someone else or a project you thought you could do  letter which is in your colleagues hands.

4. Make a Check-list.
If you are working on time bound projects, it is a good idea to make a checklist of things to be done. This will give you a time frame and a schedule to make sure you complete your project ahead of time. You will also be able to leave yourself wiggle room to smooth out any problems in your initial draft. It is also important to remember that mistakes tend to happen; anything that can go wrong will go wrong. So you could go one step further and make a second checklist of things that could go wrong. This will help you eliminate the chances of mistakes and reduce the possibility of failure.

5. Playing the game of office politics
Office politics is about leveraging people and situations to bring about an outcome that you want to achieve. It isn’t necessarily about the full-blown yelling matches and the behind-the-back criticism; it can be about convincing your colleagues and bosses to use your suggestions in a project and make your voice stand out over everyone else’s. To do this, you must remember to keep a close knit group of colleagues; this will allow you to have support when you face a situation where you will need it. You could also remember that criticising someone behind their back may fall on the wrong ears so be aware of the individual relationships in the office as well as the groups.

Famous Failures

Walt Disney was working at a local newspaper when he was fired for lacking imagination and having no good ideas. He went on to establish one of the world’s biggest production companies and created some of the world’s most recognisable fictional characters.

Oprah Winfrey was an evening television news reporter who was fired for being too emotionally connected to her stories. She was shifted to daytime television from where she made a name for herself and ultimately became a world-famous talk show host.

Steve Jobs was fired from managerial positions at Apple in 1985 after a tiff with a colleague resulted in the board of directors voting him out. Jobs later rejoined Apple and eventually created some of the most innovative products we use today.



Volume 2 Issue 9


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here