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18 “Mistakes” You Should Make And Never Apologize For

18 “Mistakes” You Should Make And Never Apologize For

Ask any business owner and they’ll tell you that the only way to improve is to try and fail until you get things right. And believe it or not, life works the same way! Here are 18 “mistakes” you ought to shamelessly make, and never apologize for.

1. Not giving your job 100%

There is more to life than work. Sure, it’s what people say you need to do if you’re going to be successful. But it comes with a lot of side effects, not the least of which are burnout and general empathy.

Make the mistake of working for the weekend. Enjoy life outside of work. Who knows, maybe what you enjoyably pursue outside the office will be the key to your hefty and steady paycheck.

2. Staying out late the night before work

Ted Mosby says nothing good ever happens after 2 am. Nay, we say! How in the world are you supposed to find out when good things stop happening until you find the end? You have friends you need to spend time with, right?

Go build those lasting friendships and write those stories you’re going to tell your kids one day. Eventually you’ll settle down and you won’t want to stay out late anymore, so enjoy it while you can. A few rough mornings in the office are worth it.

3. Going after that risky opportunity

Ask any entrepreneur how they became successful, and their story will begin with taking a massive risk. It’s scary. People will tell you you’re wrong or naive all day.

And you very well might fail more royally than the prince himself, but in doing so you pursued something to its end with passion and fervor. That’s what matters.

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4. Ending a friendship or relationship that doesn’t let you pursue your dreams

You’re a strong independent woman that don’t need no man! But seriously – people come and go; your mind stays. Do you really want to live constantly thinking “what if”?

Let’s answer that for you. You don’t. It doesn’t matter if you achieve great success. What matters is that you made a commitment to yourself, to fulfill your dreams, and you might find success along the way.

5. Spending all your money on experiences

Not everyone wants to work hard for 30 years, then settle down in a little house with a white picket fence. And that’s okay. It’s also okay not to save all your money. It’s okay to travel around the world with no certainty about where you’ll find income.

Spending money doesn’t mean you’re wasting it. You’ll only find out what’s really valuable to you by investing in yourself, so go have that unique experience!

6. Blowing off friends for some you time

Introverted or extroverted, everyone needs alone time. Even if your friends are going to some big party, don’t worry about missing out. Blow them off! You’re valuable, and time with yourself is important.

Indulge in some guilty pleasures. You deserve that bubble bath with a glass of wine and a Nicholas Sparks novel! You go, Glen Coco.

7. Treating Yourself

Money is a fickle thing. You, however, are invaluable. Splurge on yourself! Neglect responsibility and indulge in your hedonistic tendencies, because yes, those shoes do look great on you, and  yes, you will have a paycheck coming in later that week.

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Life isn’t always about making the “right” financial choices. Yes, you’ll get older and feel the need to spend less. But don’t you dare feel bad about treatin’ yoself. You deserve it.

8. Neglecting to keep up with the latest trends

When was the last time that keeping up with Kardashians provided you with any lasting value? How bad will you really look at family gatherings if you didn’t hear the latest political banter? You can only learn and be interested in so many things everyday.

We recommend spending that mental power on topics you actually find interesting. Migration patterns of the Brazilian Horned Frog? Fascinating!

9. Quitting your job without knowing what you’re going to do

Your parents may kill us for saying this, but, psst – it’s okay not to have a plan. Really. Yes, quitting your job is relatively serious. So is paying rent. But what’s the worst that can happen? Couch surfing while you live the bohemian lifestyle? Big deal.

If you’re completely unhappy in your current place of employment, quit! Figure out what you want to do later. Try for a bunch of odd jobs. Quit your job and moved to a new city with no plans, and you may just be all the happier for it!

10. Moving to a new city with no plans

Live a little. Experience the country, or different countries. Everybody grows up wondering what it would be like to randomly move off to New York, L.A., Venice, or London. Take the leap and go for it!

Worst case scenario, you meet a few sketchy people and have to freelance write to get by. Isn’t the potential pay-off and enjoyment of a world of new experiences worth the risk? Wrecklessly, go!

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11. Dating that one person you know is terrible for you

You’re attracted to them for a reason. You know the situation won’t end well, but does that really mean you have to lose out on weeks or months of a good time?

Besides, it’s much easier (and more meaningful) to learn what you do not want in a significant other than it is to really conclude what you do want, day-in and day-out. Future you will be thankful.

12. Using free time to accomplish personal goals

You don’t have to feel bad about bailing on friends. You don’t have to get ahead on work. Maybe you simply want to read one book a week for a year, or build a business on the side, or visit every major city in the U.S.

People will say to use that time to boost your career. Nay! Pursue your goals! Achieve your dreams! And don’t look back.

13. Making a complete fool of yourself in public

Acting out probably isn’t going to be in anybody’s best interest. But making a complete fool of yourself teaches you one of two things: either you definitely need to never do anything like that again, or that it’s okay to come out of your shell a bit.

Sure, people will feel uncomfortable for a moment. But what if that one ridiculous moment is the key to relieving your social anxiety, enabling you to experience more things in life and achieve more of your goals without constantly worrying about failure? Would you say that’s worth a few laughs at your expense?

14. Taking an awful job

Something’s got to pay the bills, right? However admirable it may be to wait it out for your dream job, or for that one position you really deserve, sometimes you just need to take a lesser position.

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Pros? Because you enjoy your job less, you’ll find more distractions throughout your day (usually other friends also unhappy with their jobs), and you’ll be more inclined to pursue things you love outside the office. Those little moments of friendly distraction will turn into tight bonds, and that time you spent on your dreams will become invaluable.

15. Trying something new

You’re right, raw squid does sound like a terrible idea. So does working in an industry you have no prior experience in.

But even just one try, just one attempt at something new, can do more than simply broaden your horizon. It could be a crucial next step to how you live the rest of your life. Fear not, and try often.

16. Getting a pet

They cost money, poop everywhere, and take up way too much of your time and energy. But aren’t they just the cutest? Taking care of a pet actually teaches you a ton, and not just if you’re ready for kids or not.

It teaches you to be considerate of another, how to organize your time, and to get into a routine (like when your cat jumps in your bed at 6 am every morning, meowing in your face to feed it).

17. Doing something for yourself despite others telling you not to

Your friends are right. Doing that one thing will end badly. But maybe you need to go through that to understand what’s bad about it, or if it’s really a bad choice at all. You can tell someone not to write a book all day, but that it will only be a waste of time and a failure.

Listening to you doesn’t bring them closure and understanding. People have to “waste” that time and try their hardest before they can come to grips with their poor choices. And then, they will know how to better handle things in the future.

18. Trying to live a life separate from your family

We all have to go through this at least once. Yes, we love our families. But dang, are we sick of them! You have to prove to yourself that you can make a go of it on your own and not end up in a van down by the river.

You’re going to make a ton of mistakes, and it’s likely going to be really difficult. But if you don’t try to do things on your own, you’re never going to learn about yourself, your place in this world, and all the wonderful things you’re capable of.

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Kenneth Burke

Director of Marketing

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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