4 Surprising Benefits of Failure

Got that sinking feeling from an interview that you just know went badly, or received another ‘thanks, but no thanks’ letter? Don’t worry – it could be the best thing to happen to you.


We have 4 surprising benefits you can gain from failure.

Increase Motivation

Did you know that having your ego bruised a little bit will actually motivate you to work harder in the long run and who doesn’t want more motivation?  It works because pride is actually an important factor in staying motivated towards long-term goals.  Abraham Lincoln famously went to war as a Captain and returned demoted to a Private but he didn’t let it deter him from eventually becoming American President.

Abraham Lincol quote.jpg

Gain Focus

Failure can help focus your goals.  If you fail a few times but are still passionate about trying again – you’re on the right track.  After all Elvis, fired after his first gig, was told “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.” Steven King had his first book rejected 30 times, Sir James Dyson had 5,126 failed prototypes before creating the vacuum cleaner we know today which lead him to a net worth of £5 billion.  Persistence and passion do pay!

Improve Performance

So the interview didn’t go well this time, but now you have a goldmine of keyword search terms and interview vocab in your hands, you have a list of current questions to refine some answers for, not to mention first hand experience on which to draw.  So if you suffer a setback use it to up your game for the next time. Don’t forget your friendly E&CC team have resources and events to help you perfect your skills and negotiate the job market.


Also, you got an interview in the first place -they didn’t interview just anyone – your application showcased your talent. Own it!

Chance to Review

Sometimes frequent failure is trying to tell you something and it might be time to sit back for a moment and have another look at your long term goals.  Why not take the opportunity to really look at who you are, what you’re passionate about and what role might suit your skills and personality?

Try our career planning resources – who knows where it might lead!


Follow our blog for more relevant and entertaining features.


Our thanks go to Lifehack and Hubspot for their articles that inspired this content.

Photo credits:

Sundar Pichai – Facebook

Oprah Winfrey, J.K Rowling, Bill Gates – Lifehack.org

Abraham Lincoln – Alexander Gardner

Michael Jordan – Pinterest



One thought on “4 Surprising Benefits of Failure

  1. Pingback: Job rejection?- pick yourself up and build resilience! | Employability and Careers at the University of Essex

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