How To Overcome Failure At Work: 11 Ways To Bounce Back

Today you’re going to learn how to overcome failure at work.

Experiencing a sense of failure in the workplace can be overwhelming. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that setbacks are inevitable and part of the learning process.

Taking responsibility for your mistakes, accepting that failure is common, and viewing it as an opportunity to learn can not only help you cope with the aftermath but also facilitate personal growth and resilience.

How To Overcome Failure At Work:

1. It can be anxiety-inducing to inform your manager directly about failing to meet expectations or making a significant mistake at work.

However, avoiding the conversation and allowing them to hear about it from someone else can worsen the situation. Therefore, it’s best to have an open and honest conversation with your boss as soon as you realize something is wrong.

You should briefly explain the issue, take responsibility for your actions, apologize sincerely, and reassure them that you’re taking steps to prevent it from happening again.

In case other individuals were involved, it might be necessary to include them in the conversation. However, avoid blaming others as it can portray you as untrustworthy and fearful.

This approach demonstrates to your boss that you comprehend the severity of the situation, are accountable for your actions, and are committed to addressing the issue rather than covering it up.

2. It’s important to acknowledge that failure is a natural part of life that everyone experiences.

One way to do this is by standing in front of a mirror and telling yourself, “Everyone fails sometimes.” Although failure can be devastating at first, it’s essential to recognize that it’s a common occurrence in most people’s careers. By doing this, you can shift your focus from negative emotions towards personal growth.

It’s crucial not to let a single setback define you as a failure. Even though you may not have achieved your goal or completed a task successfully, it doesn’t mean you’re destined to fail in all areas of life.

If you’re struggling to move on from a failure or feel stuck, consider speaking to a mentor or a professional counselor for guidance and support. They may offer valuable advice on how to cope and move forward.

3. Rather than solely blaming yourself, it’s beneficial to analyze why the failure occurred.

Regardless of whether you were unable to finish a project or didn’t get the job you wanted, there is a reason why you didn’t achieve your desired outcome. Begin by writing down the reasons why you believe you failed, then consider potential root causes or factors that contributed to the situation.

For instance, if you were passed over for a promotion, the reason may be due to the company’s preference for someone with more experience, while you only have two years of experience. The root cause could be that your industry has a high turnover rate, and they don’t want to invest in someone who will leave the company soon after.

On the other hand, if you were fired from your job because you were repeatedly late and failed to fulfill your job responsibilities, the root cause could be that you were not meeting the expectations of the position. By breaking down the reasons behind the failure, you can gain a better understanding of what went wrong and take appropriate measures to prevent it from happening again in the future.

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4. Taking a break from a task or assignment can be beneficial in dealing with a problem or mistake.

It’s essential to redirect your attention to something constructive, which can make the situation more manageable.

If you feel overwhelmed at work, taking a brief break can help. Take a quick walk around the block, grab a cup of coffee, or have an early lunch to clear your mind. If you feel the need to vent, excuse yourself and make a personal call to a friend or family member for emotional support (1). However, make sure not to take an extended period away from your workstation, keeping it limited to 5-10 minutes.

By taking a step back from the task at hand and focusing on something else, you can gain a fresh perspective and return to the work with renewed energy and motivation.

5. Instead of viewing a lack of success as failure, it can be reframed as an opportunity to grow.

As an employee, moments of not being successful can be utilized as a learning experience. Rather than saying, “I failed to write a high-quality report,” try saying, “This is a chance for me to learn more about report writing and formatting for my industry.”

By shifting your perspective and looking at the situation as a growth opportunity, you can identify areas that require improvement and develop new skills. This approach can help you become a better employee and prevent similar mistakes from happening in the future.

6. It is acceptable to seek assistance in certain situations, and additional training or mentorship can be helpful.

If you find that hard work alone isn’t enough to move forward, don’t hesitate to ask for help. It’s okay to request additional job training or support in areas where you may be struggling.

If you are struggling to stay relevant in your industry or feel like you are not making progress, consider finding a mentor. You can explore mentoring programs and professional associations in your area to locate someone who can provide guidance and support as you work to overcome obstacles.

7. Concentrate on things you can influence.

The past is unchangeable, and you can’t go back to alter things. It’s not productive to dwell on things that are out of your control. Instead, direct your attention towards things you can control, such as how you manage the consequences of your failure.

For instance, if a client presentation didn’t go as planned, one thing you can manage is your next steps with the client. Should you apologize? Do you need to schedule a follow-up meeting or reschedule the presentation?

SEE ALSO: How To Network For a Job: 12 Professional Networking Tips

8. If you experienced a failure in a team setting, it’s important to address it with your team.

As a manager, you can schedule a meeting to discuss what happened and how it might impact your team’s goals or project. If you’re not in a leadership role, it’s a good idea to speak with your team leader about how to communicate the situation to the rest of the team.

It’s important to approach the conversation with transparency and without fear or shame. Remember that everyone on the team has likely faced failure before, and being honest about what happened shows respect for your colleagues and allows the team to move forward together.

9. It is beneficial to challenge yourself, but taking on more than you can handle can have detrimental effects on your career.

Your past failures can serve as a guide for determining what you can and cannot reasonably accomplish. It is important to commit only to what you can complete thoroughly, accurately, and on time. Keep in mind that it is perfectly normal to have limitations and not be capable of everything.

As everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, each person will have a different workload. If you lack the necessary skills or time to accomplish a task, it is essential to inform your boss before committing to the work.

10. When approaching new projects or challenges, it’s important to reflect on your past failures and consider what you can do differently.

For instance, if you’re having difficulty finding a job, you may want to review and revise your resume and cover letter (2), or perhaps engage in mock interviews to improve your interview skills. By reassessing your approach and making necessary adjustments, you can increase your chances of success in future endeavors.

11. Expanding your skill set is crucial for personal and professional growth.

However, it’s important to balance this with building on your existing strengths. Instead of diving into new projects without any background or skills, try to find opportunities that allow you to use your current strengths while also learning new things.

For instance, if you’re a skilled technical writer but want to explore marketing, you can offer to write marketing copy for your team. This way, you can learn about marketing while still using your existing skills.

Handling failure at work can be a challenging experience, but there are several ways to navigate it positively.

Firstly, it’s essential to take a break and focus on other things to refocus attention and help deal with the problem or mistake better.
Secondly, it’s essential to reframe failure as a chance to learn and grow by asking for additional training or mentorship.
Thirdly, focus on what you can control, address your failure with your team, and commit only to what you can deliver.
Fourthly, re-evaluate your approach to new projects and build on your current skills.

By implementing these strategies, one can handle failure at work and grow both personally and professionally.

Thank you for reading this article and I really hope that you take action my advice.

I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here