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Overcoming Career Failure

Overcoming Career Failure

LincolnI just finished writing two resumes for a Presidents’ Day feature on – the resumes of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. While these presidents won’t need to use their shiny new resumes, I enjoyed learning more about their fascinating careers. One fact that particularly struck me was the level of failure experienced by “Honest Abe,” our 16th president.

Early in his career, Abe lost his campaign for Speaker of the House of Illinois, and lost his run for Congress twice (after he did make it to Congress, he lost the re-election). He lost two more runs for Senate as well as a vice-presidential election.

Yet Abe hung in there, overcoming his failures to become one of the greatest U.S. presidents. We have all faced failures in our lives and careers – some failures have knocked us right off our feet. But there’s always a chance to do better, to find a new way to overcome and succeed. Maybe you’ve been fired, or are dealing with a bad performance review. Or you blew that important sales meeting. Whatever you feel your failure is, do what Abe did — dust yourself off and move forward with your eye on the goal.

Abe said it best: “I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” — Abraham Lincoln