5 Reasons Why You Will Fail To Have a Great Career

Anh Le

“If you’re not failing, you’re not pushing your limits, and if you’re not pushing your limits, you’re not maximizing your potential” — Ray Dalio.

At the beginning of my career, I have definitely had my share of failures and learnings. I am an ambitious individual who is curious about how the world works, but I cannot stop feeling like I am not good enough and will not be able to achieve my greatest ambition.

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However, I have to remind myself that pain and failures are part of the learning process. It is the tenacity and grit to get up after you get knocked down that matters. It is easier said than done, but the pain that comes from failure never feels good. And sometimes, people let that take their confidence away forever. The homeless people, the drug addicts, used to have families and have dreams too.

Although there is a sense of risk-taking and failing to get a great career, there are certain mistakes you should avoid making in the long term and not get knocked out of the game completely.

My career has been filled with ups and downs, however, what I have learned is that you cannot allow your failures to make you stop. Not all careers are meant for everyone especially if it does not match the individual’s ambition. The best way of leading a career is by taking one step at a time and doing everything in small increments.

It is important to live in the present and appreciate the career you are having right now. I have learned that it’s okay not knowing what your career goal may be, as long as you enjoy where you are at this very moment. It may take time for me to feel more confident about my career goals but until then, I will keep pushing forward.

  • Career is important to be happy in life
  • Career goals should not be achieved overnight
  • You may find success by taking it to step at a time
  • Appreciate where you are right now — a career does not have an end goal, as long as the person enjoys their career.
  • Career goals should not be rushed, as it will take time to feel successful.
  • Career success is about being happy with your current career and appreciating where you are at this moment in time.

If you’re not failing you’re not pushing your limits, and if you’re not pushing your limits you’re not maximizing your potential.

The career path is filled with ups and downs, however, what I have learned is that it’s okay if my career goals are unclear right now; as long as I enjoy where I am at this moment in time. It may take some time for me to feel more confident about my career goals but until then I will keep pushing forward.

All career goals are meant for everyone, as long as the individual is ambitious about their career path. No career goal should be rushed in order to find success; it takes time and patience in order to feel confident with your career choice. The best way of leading a career is by taking one step at a time and doing everything in small increments.

If you’re not failing, you’re not pushing your limits, and if you’re not pushing your limits, you’re not maximizing your potential. I am an ambitious individual who is curious about how the world works but I cannot stop feeling like I am not good enough and will not be able to achieve my career goals. The career path is filled with ups and downs, however, what I have learned is that you cannot allow your failures to make you stop. Not all careers are meant for everyone especially if it does not match the individual’s ambition.

1. Meaning

A meaningful life certainly relies on the pursuit of one’s passion. BUT this doesn’t have to be in the form of a career (e.g. a person could be incredibly passionate about raising children as such and therefore not be bitter about their children’s dreams later on because they DID pursue their own passion by having children).

In other words, finding and pursuing one’s passion is vital, but the concept of what constitutes “meaning” is more general. It might not always be in the form of what we commonly regard as a “career,” although it may well deserve that name in terms of the effort and skill that people put into it. I say this not because one shouldn’t pursue the kind of great corporate or artistic career that many might think of when watching this video, but to argue that the points of Mr. Smith should not be viewed in a restrictive sense.

2. Passion

If you have found your passion, pursue it relentlessly, but don’t expect that you will be able to make a) money right away, b) a lot of money c) money at all. Pursuing your passion may come at the price of having to work odd jobs until you can monetize your passion, or it may involve pursuing your passion (e.g. painting) privately as a hobby if the market currently doesn’t value your work a lot. Still, the most depressing thing you can do is remove your passion from your life completely, just because it doesn’t make money or doesn’t make money yet.

Passions are at the center of a fulfilling life, and so they HAVE to be pursued if we want to live a life that we won’t regret in the end. But rather than to think that our passions will either a) lead to an amazingly successful career right away or b) lead to nothing, we should focus on how we can incorporate our passion into our life under all circumstances. That way, our lives will always contain what is most meaningful to us, and we still give ourselves a chance to grow into something bigger.

3. Fulfilment

A “great” career might include high status and wealth, but in the end, it is the fulfillment that matters the most. The rest is a bonus. Hence, if a person realizes that they are most passionate about being a kindergarten teacher, gardener, or nurse, they might not make the most money or have the highest social status.

Still, they will be able to claim that they followed their passion and that they would not have wanted to choose a different career just because somebody told them that their’s wasn’t “great.” (Of course, if you settle for a job that you don’t really want and you try to rationalize that “this is really an honourable career, you know!”, then you might want to reconsider if there isn’t another thing that you would rather like to do, but haven’t dared to pursue yet. Also, given the importance of certain jobs, we should certainly reconsider the wages of those who are actually willing to do those important jobs.)

4. Pursuit

In the same sense, a “passion” doesn’t have to be an incredibly extroverted affair. A person’s greatest passion may be to work as a forest warden, taking care of the local environment etc. Again, if that is fulfilling for this particular person and if that person, in their heart of hearts, would not want to be anywhere else, that would be a “great” career based on the pursuit of personal passion, even if it doesn’t look like a spectacular, high-energy thing from the outside.

5. Fear

Indeed, fear is probably the greatest obstacle in pursuing our passions: Fear of disapproval, fear of social isolation, fear of poverty, fear of uncertainty, fear of injury. But, while this is true, we should not think of this issue as a personal failure. Mr. Smith’s comment should not be understood as an accusation of weakness, even though that’s how many people might hear it (and how some people may actually say it).

Instead, we should recognize the obstacle of fear as a neutral fact because once we have recognized it as an obstacle, we can now work on how to overcome it. We should not think of fear as something successful people don’t have, and the rest is unlucky. We should realize that emotional health and the ability to not stand in our own way is a matter of personal fitness & development and that personal development is just another part of striving for a great career (e.g. we would never “accuse” a person, like: “You know why you will never finish a marathon?!?! BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT IN SHAPE!!!”. Well…duh! Instead, we would regard it as an obvious fact that anyone who wants to run a marathon has to improve their fitness to a sufficient degree first.)

So, instead of treating your current emotional/cognitive configuration as an unchangeable fact, treat it as something that can be developed in such ways as to enable you to pursue what you’re passionate about.

Be honest when you fail.
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Failure is inevitable. But being able to face it directly and honestly by communicating it to others and yourself will allow you to learn and move forward. Apologize when it does happen. Shave your ego down and learn as much as possible.

Career Success is about being happy with your career and appreciating where you are at this moment in time. I have learned that it’s okay if my career goals are unclear right now, as long as I enjoy where I am at this moment in time. It may take some time for me to feel more confident about my career goals but until then, I will keep pushing forward.

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As an Asian female immigrant, I want to break out of the stereotypes and believe in myself to make a difference in the world. And to make a difference, I want to understand how the world works through the lens of research, insights, and data. Having had a natural talent for science and arts since I was little, I joined science competitions to hackathons from school to university. I am currently a data scientist with a keen interest in developing insights. I love learning about how the world works. I believe a great data scientist must have the speech of a diplomat, the curiosity of a scientist, and a business mindset of an entrepreneur. With a background in Biotech, Engineering, and Finance from the University of Waterloo (both a Bachelor and a Master), my insatiable curiosity and a strong desire to make an impact beyond myself have allowed me to step outside my comfort zones. My blog on finance, data science, and blockchain on Medium @thisisanhle (also on other socials) has over 10,000 views a month. Follow me on Medium for my insights.

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