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Challenge your Mindset

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Why people fail at work


Inextricably linked with the workplace is challenge. Setbacks, obstacles, goals, targets and competitions are there waiting, and sometimes we fall short. Failure can be a minor or major professional casualty, from a learning curve to being let go. Struggling with the burden of failure can be tackled before it manifests into something worse. The fact that we fail isn’t always a bad thing, but some failures can be prevented and dealt with in better ways.

In the wrong job

Be honest and candid with yourself: is your heart in your occupation? [Where does your drive for work come from] It’s harder to succeed and progress in a profession if your passion has waned or it doesn’t fit with your attributes and talents.[5 ways to discover your hidden talent] You might be trying in earnest to stay ahead or in line with the others, but another sector of work might serve you better. Trying to persevere with your job could result in the situation getting worse, as your self-esteem decreases from seeing others do well. Comparing yourself and trying to do what others do will not help you because it encourages you to think and behave like a failure. Don’t force a circle peg into a hole that’s square; find the correct fit.

Not knowing your strengths and weaknesses

Self-assessment is important. In a busy work environment, where you can’t rely too much on the critique and perspective of peers and management, it’s important to identify what’s good and bad in what you do. Schedule times to review and evaluate your performances and achievements.[How to benchmark your own performance at work] A good idea is to ask who your work affects for feedback instead of who you work with. Put a system in place for customers to share their experiences of you. You can then change your working habits to maximise your strengths and minimise your weaknesses. Often, success doesn’t come from hoping things will turn around. You get what you give and learning your strengths and weaknesses is an effective method in striving for success.

Not speaking up with your ideas

It’s hard to figure out how to slot into a hierarchy. Knowing your place means knowing what includes and excludes you, which makes you hesitant to act in certain situations. When it comes to ideas and trying to make a positive contribution to the workplace, you should never be hesitant even if on the bottom rung.[Learning to be assertive] By phrasing your ideas in an optimistic way and critiquing current systems without attacking or blaming others will reflect better on your attitude and is more likely to engage your colleague. It also makes you known to people.

Not being a team player

It’s easy to fall in the habit of keeping your head down and getting on with work, but at the expense of socialising with others. Interpersonal connections are important. It makes it easier for people to recognise you and will put you in good stead to progress because your successes will have a personal brand. Your work might be for the greater good, but if everyone’s work stayed anonymous, nothing would change. Your career would stall and you are more likely to fail as a result. Engage and collaborate with others’ ideas and what they want for the workplace and you may find you learn more and improve your performance. For advice & strategies on improving your relationships at work visit our Video Moods series.

Failure will get in the way of you if your attitude allows it. Moving on from failure requires willpower and openness to change, because nothing owes you something if you fail. You need to embrace the idea that the status quo is down to people’s choices. It is not just the way of the world. Make the changes yourself and make the successes you want happen. If you feel that you are in the wrong job don’t panic, download our guide to help you find a job you really want. However, if you feel that you are failing at interviews and are not sure why, read our eBook on a journey to your dream job for some top tips to get a job you will love.


This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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