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3 Career Mistakes That Were Not So Bad After All

Candice Markham January 15, 2014 Comments Off on 3 Career Mistakes That Were Not So Bad After All

ooops. mistakes to learn fromEver been told off by your boss and thought it’s the end of the world? Relax—you are bound to make more mistakes at work; the best thing about it, however, is that you can always learn from them and be better. Here are a few mistakes that everybody dreads, but may be the best next thing that ever happened to you:

Getting fired. “Anybody who ever built an empire or changed the world sat where you are right now. It’s because they sat there that they were able to do it,” said George Clooney’s character, Ryan Bingham, a corporate downsizer (someone who fires employees for corporations), to a pissed off Steve, played by comedian Zach Galfianakis, in the film “Up in the Air”. Getting fired isn’t really someone’s employment fantasy—who’d like to ever get fired, right? As far as we all are concerned, the option to get out of a company should be our choice, not the company’s. But it could be the best thing that ever happened to you. It was for some of this country’s innovators and leaders.

According to a Business Insider report, Apple fired Steve Jobs during the 80s, who had spent a morose summer and found himself deep in a so-called “midlife crisis.” During his hiatus from Apple, Jobs was able to found a new company called NeXT, as well as Pixar Animation Studios (Finding Nemo?). Come the mid-90s when Jobs was reabsorbed by Apple, he definitely came back with a bang: of course, with the eventual production of the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Overworking. We’ve all heard about how overworking can increase your risks to having a stroke, back pain, thrombosis and a wide range of health problems. We’ve reduced work shifts, prolonged breaks, allowed people to telecommute so they can make most of their days in resting and feeling refreshed, etc. Unfortunately, all these focus on providing workers the “best” working conditions to facilitate their creativity and productivity have become counterproductive. (We’re not generalizing though.) Sam Matla of Passive Productive said that we’ve all been obsessed with shortening our work shifts or planning our work day that when we end up not working long enough—and hard enough. Matla says that as a result, we tend to think that if we can finish our tasks fast enough, then we can always cut corners. Progress also becomes much slower since you only get to finish mediocre work.

Risking Everything. Risk-tasking is often seen as a reckless behavior. It is often associated with burn outs, people who tend to have no shame or inhibitions, or simply do not care about the consequences of their action. But according to recent research, risk-taking isn’t at all bad—it depends on your ability to size up and manage risks. According to Australian consultant Margie Warrell, people often get overwhelmed of the fear of something going wrong when “venturing into unfamiliar turf,” she told the Wall Street Journal. Of course, for her, risk-taking bear fruits—people become more realistic and experienced in handing failure better. “The more often we step out of our comfort zone, the more we build our tolerance for risk-taking,” she said in the article.

The next time your boss tells you to apply yourself, think about the career mistakes above and how they’ve made changes to some workers. You’ll realize that whatever mistakes you’ve made, it’s all for career advancement. Stay tuned for more of our posts on career cultivation. In the meantime, check out our previous blog posts on making career resolutions for 2014, and the top jobs that will become more in demand this year.

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