When we set out on our life paths, we typically strive for success. We focus on accomplishing our goals, and work towards them. Even when you don’t have a specific set of goals, most, I assume, would just try to be better than where you started. But in all of this effort to accomplish our goals, we fail… a lot.
Failure usually has a negative connotation associated with it. We beat ourselves up for not accomplishing what we set out to do. How many times has it just gotten you down, failure after failure? But I believe all of this failure has the potential to get you closer to achieving your goals. Failure doesn’t have to be all bad, does it?
I am far from successful, in what I believe success is. I have a decent job, and I really like what I do. Not a whole lot of bad, as far as jobs go. I still don’t see this as my long term career. But if it turns out it is, I wouldn’t have a whole lot to complain about. It has me in a position to take care of my family and enjoy time with them too. But I wouldn’t be in this position without some failures along the way.
I moved to the area I moved to with almost nothing. I had a car, and a few clothes. I made the decision to leave the comforts of my childhood hometown to a place where I knew 3 people. The three people were my now wife, her mother, and my first born. I took a chance, because I had it in my mind I had to do better. And better wasn’t going to happen doing the same thing. My potential was minimal. So, in a quick decision that I put very little thought into, I packed up and left.
This was not easy for me. I have always had my family around, and now they were over 3 hours away. I had to change how I approached things. My small town mentality just wasn’t going to cut it. I got some work, and at one point I had 3 part time jobs. It was really hard to get full time work when your resume and job applications suggest you are a shitty employee, most managers aren’t willing to take a chance on you. I didn’t have the connections to line me up with a decent job. I was going to have to do it completely on my own.
In the 3 part time jobs I had, the hours started to pick up at one. Though this was not going to be consistent, I saw an opportunity, and I quit my other two jobs to dive in to this one and give it all I got. I picked up any extra hours that were available and busted my ass, no matter the time of day the shift was. This paid off, I was moved into a full time overnight position after a couple of months. I did this with very little complaint for about a year. Still picking up extra when available. An opportunity came available for a promotion.
I have never been in a situation a promotion was available, and thought I had a chance to apply and get it. Honestly, I never stuck around long enough to even have the opportunity.
But here we are, there is a spot available, and I feel confident in my chances. After interviews and conversations with the other employees, I wasn’t so sure any more. It was just taking too long, and I wasn’t sure how these things work. But after all of that, I had gotten the promotion. I was excited, my wife was excited, and it was a sense of relief.
I held that position for about a year and a half, with a few issues, but nothing major. I did well for myself. But another promotion was becoming available. This one was at another location. I went into the interview sick as hell, but I killed it. But I had to miss the next day of work, first time I had missed in almost 3 years. I got the promotion though.
I couldn’t express how happy I was. Everything was coming together. All of those things you here about sticking to it and things working out, it seemed true now. I felt I had come from nothing and was making something of myself. I also got news a few weeks later that my wife and I were expecting our 2nd child. Looking back, I couldn’t have planned it any better. This, however, was short lived.
I was young, and didn’t know how to bite my tongue in certain situations. I ruffled some feathers, and upset some important people. A couple months of doing the job well, but pissing the upper management off, they decided to make a change.
This had to be my biggest failure. I had worked so hard to get here, but I couldn’t keep my damn mouth shut. But I had impressed enough people, they didn’t want to lose me as an employee, and they sent me to another location. I no longer had a title, and I was an hourly employee again. I was making less than I did when I first started. This was hard. I had another kid on the way, and I am barely making any money.
I work at the new location for a couple of months. Its ok, but I make it work. The location I started at has an opening come available, and I almost beg to go back there. My old boss considers it, and has me back. I am back on overnights, almost exactly where I started. This still isn’t the best situation, but at least I can go back to where I made it work the first time.
This time around, I have more knowledge. I’m more patient, and understanding. I learned how to keep my mouth shut. I came to work, and helped where I could. The thing I always really enjoyed about this location was the team atmosphere. And even though I may have been able to find a job that paid a little more, I chose to stay here. I still felt I could make something happen here.
I made my way back up. Two promotions, and I was back at the position I failed at before. This time, I am at the same location through all of this. I was doing really well. My employees respect me, and know I have their back. I took care of them the best I could, and they busted their ass for me.
But the upper management had been watching me. Apparently they were impressed with my work. I was then approached about taking over another department and assuming a lot more responsibility. I didn’t even know what to say. I told them I would entertain the idea if the details benefitted me and my family.
They interview me, and officially offer me the job. I accept the job, and couldn’t be happier I did. This job is the job I currently have. This position has been fun, and I have learned a lot. But I wouldn’t have been here without failure. It took me working my way up, and failing to really appreciate the opportunities I have. I was humbled, and I take a lot less for granted. I learned the team around you really determines your success.
What is your biggest failure? What good has come out of that failure?