Failure Is Just A Stop On The Way To The Finish Line

athletic racer at starting line
Photo by nappy |

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

Thomas A. Edison

After having learning difficulties as a child, Thomas Edison went on to create many important inventions–including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and early versions of the electric light bulb–earning him fame as one of America’s greatest inventors. After many failed experiments while trying to perfect one invention, he was asked how it felt to work so hard with no results. He argued that the opposite was true; he had indeed achieved results. His experiments taught him all the ways that would not work — and he would continue using that information to refine his process until he determined a way that would work. 

As with most things in life, you will most likely experience set-backs and rejections in your job search. 

  • Applications that don’t lead to interviews. 
  • Interviews that go really well…then you realize it’s been a month and you never heard back from the employer. 
  • Months of no job offers even though you’ve applied to numerous positions that seemed like a great fit.
  • A rejection from the employer for the position you wanted the most.

Job searching can be tedious, and it can take a toll on your self confidence. Experts estimate that for every open position, a hiring manager receives hundreds of applications. 

Glassdoor reports it this way: “On average, each corporate job offer attracts 250 resumes. The typical employer will then interview 4–6 candidates for the job, and only one will be successful.”

A couple more job search stats:

  • It takes 100–200 job applications to get one job offer.
    (TalentWorks, 2017)
  • The average amount of time to find a job is 24 weeks.
    (Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 2020)

But don’t throw your hands up in despair! I only provide these stats to let you know that rejection during a job search is normal, especially in a time when so many people are seeking work. Don’t let the large amount of competition for jobs get you down. It will just take time to find the right fit.

And you are in good company. Just like Thomas Edison, there are many other well-known people who endured a season of what seemed like “failure” before finding their ultimate success. 

J.K. Rowling’s pitch for ‘Harry Potter’ was rejected  by 12 publishers before it was picked up.

Stephen King’s novel Carrie was rejected by 30 publishers.

Oprah Winfrey was publicly fired from her first television job as an anchor in Baltimore.

Henry Ford was a part of two failed automobile companies before starting the Ford Motor Company.

Rather than failure, their experiences were just a part of their journey—a stepping stone that got them to where they are today. 

But only because they didn’t give up. 

They learned from their mistakes and kept going. 

How will you handle your current season?

I hope you will take a step back, take a deep breath, and keep moving forward. The world needs everything you have to offer!

Published by Career Coach Belinda

I’ve helped job seekers of all ages and career levels develop résumés, craft cover letters, and approach job interviews with confidence.

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