I have just been attending a forum on the growing concerns of employability. I am certain that you will not be surprised to hear that work experience featured quite strongly as something employers look for when recruiting graduates. But there was something else which came up several times during the course of the day – employers wanted to know how students coped with failure.
Employers view failure as part of success. This is because some failure in life is inevitable – it is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all. One of the things employers look for when asking students about their work experience is to see if students can acknowledge their failure, take responsibility for their actions and learn from their mistakes. They also look to see if the student is prepared to take risks in order to be innovative and try something that may never have been done before.
Our culture is not very good at accepting failure. Expectations can be unrealistic and the word ‘success’ overused. If you’ve never failed, then you probably haven’t taken enough risks. Most successful entrepreneurs will readily admit to a few failures along the way.
Don’t let a fear of failure stop you from pursuing your dream. You might like to listen to this speech given by “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling at Harvard graduation on ‘The fringe benefits of failure‘.