Professional Difficulties, Overcome.

7 comments | November 8th, 2011

(story submitted by Goshawk, a 25 yo Chestist)

Work can sometimes be, well, work.  Whether it's office politics, finding the time to be great at what you do and still have a life, or dealing with career  challenges, it ain't always a bowl of cherries in and around the office.  Here's one reader's story:

I just worked through a really difficult time professionally – I failed a professional test. In my line of work, you only get to do that once before you're standing in front of a review board deciding if you're worth keeping.

As you can imagine, the upcoming training and re-test ate my life, and every day I seemed to have less and less confidence in my abilities. It was awful. I doubted my work ethic, my competence, my capabilities. I cried myself to sleep – I love this job and I can't think of anything I'd rather do with my life. The idea of failure was crushing, yet every day felt like it brought me closer to that finish.

But when it came to the re-test, as soon as I sat down to begin…I remembered that I am good at this, that I'd worked hard and prepared thoroughly, that one bad day doesn't make me a failure, and I felt myself relax and even enjoy myself. The tester said it would have been a superior grade if it hadn't been a re-test.

It was a really difficult thing to get through, but important, too. Failure isn't the end. It's just a pause, a readjustment, a wake-up call. Even if this had resulted in losing my job, I would have gone on to do some other worthwhile thing. And the end result is a stronger, more focused me.

Every step is a first step if it's in the right direction. {end story.}

Oh how we love this, let us count the ways.  We love her candor, her connectiomn to her fear and frustration and her perspective – despite even the triumph.  While we love a happy ending (hey, hey, none of that), we love lessons learned and shared even more.  So what about you, what lessons have you learned – professionally or personally – through failure, difficulty, or success?  Share em, won't you? 




  • Lucky First Job

    Posted on November 8, 2011

    My first job was with a (non-tech) company that was growing super fast. I was one of the first people in, and everybody did everything. One of the best parts of it was that no matter what we did sales kept increasing. The best part of that was that it was like a safety net on mistakes because even if we screwed up, sales still went up.

    The lesson from all that was never to fear a good mistake made for a good reason. As long as you’re learning you’ll be contributing. It helps to have a great boss who sees the world through that lens too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted on November 8, 2011

    I failed the NY Bar Exam 3 times. I doubted myself, my decision to be a lawyer, the time and money I spent on Law School. For me, I guess the 4th time was the charm. I am very happy I stuck with it. Most days:-).

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  • Chelsea

    Posted on November 8, 2011

    I want one of those jobs where people say things like “if you do something you love you’ll never work a day in your life.” Do not have it yet.

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  • HP

    Posted on November 8, 2011

    I love this part: “as I sat down to begin…I remembered that I am good at this”. We really are so hard on ourselves!!! I wish I had better ways to remind myself that I am worthy and competent. I am going to work on it. Thanks for sharing this. Made me think…

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  • Not That Girl

    Posted on November 10, 2011

    Every morning I wake up with a pit in my stomach, wondering if today is the day I get fired. In my personal life I feel such control. At work I feel like such a fraud.

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