I’m sure the title of this blog post alone has you wondering if I’ve lost my mind. But trust me, BIG mistakes on the job can actually be very positive for your career.
Part of growing your career is being willing to challenge yourself. Having a big goal – even if you blow it up on your way to get there – also allows you to learn along the journey. You’ll be enlightened by things you would have never learned if you didn’t put yourself out there.
Making big mistakes is actually one of Marilyn H. Tam‘s four life and work principles that guided her to success. In this article, she breaks down the difference between little and big mistakes, and why big mistakes are actually better for your reputation and career in the long run:
“Small mistakes are the thoughtless things we all do when we’re not paying attention… On the other hand, big, planned, highly organized mistakes are valuable… Making big mistakes is the occasional byproduct of making big strides. Big mistakes can only occur when you’ve planned and thought things through. If your carefully laid plan turns out to be a mistake, it may cost you. But it will also give you exactly the information you need to modify your strategy or change your course. You learn, you adjust, and you come back with a stronger, more impactful strategy that works. In the long run, big mistakes are the best feedback we ever get. The most successful people in life are those who make the best use of their mistakes.”
So there you have it. Have ambition. Aim high. And realize that failure IS acceptable if you make the most of it and move on.
Have you ever made a big career mistake that taught you something that ultimately was good for your career?