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3 Reasons You Should Release the Weight of Failure When You Have No Job

3 Reasons You Should Release the Weight of Failure When You Have No Job

One of the best things you can do when you feel like a failure is challenge your perception.

When you have no job, feeling like a failure isn’t uncommon. The problem comes in when you give too much thought to your “lack of success” and failure becomes your identity. When this happens, failure weighs you down. The weight becomes so heavy, you find it hard to do what you can to better your situation and look ahead.

If you’ve been carrying the weight of failure while you’re unemployed, then here are 3 reasons you should release it.

1. The Weight Of Failure Makes You View It Negatively

You think failure is who you are when you carry this heavy weight. As a result, you go through a cycle of negativity. This negativity is destructive. Why? Because you forget an important truth: failure shows you tried.

You planned and executed your plan. Determined a university. Declared a major. Went to class for years. Graduated. Looked forward to getting a job in your field but haven’t yet accomplished this goal.

On the other hand, you might’ve gotten a job after college but now find yourself out of a job for some reason. You’ve been applying for jobs, but what’s been happening? So far, you’ve failed to land a job offer.

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But guess what matters more? You took action along the way and continue to do so. You didn’t let thoughts of failure stop you from embarking on your journey to professionalism. And still don’t despite rejections and let downs.

It’s a disappointing experience, no doubt. However, it shows how courageous you are. All you can do is give the job search your best efforts. From there, you learn, better yourself, and start over — with the wisdom acquired.

2. The Weight Of Failure Makes You Forget You’re On Your Own Journey

Unemployment not only brings feelings of failure, but it also brings the comparison temptation.

How often do you compare yourself to others (online or offline) and feel discouraged? How often do you question how others are securing job offers and you’re not? How often do you wonder why others are advancing professionally but you’re failing?

If you answered “often,” then you’ve most likely fallen into the comparison trap. This isn’t a healthy activity because this type of comparison increases the weight of failure. It leaves you feeling worse than others.

In an article on the Coloradoan, Dr. Lloyd Thomas, a Licensed Psychologist, states:

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“. . . As adults, when we compare ourselves to others, it is usually to evaluate ourselves as “worse than” or “better than” or “equal to” other people. When we measure ourselves against others, it causes us psychological harm.”

So, instead of engaging in unhealthy comparison behavior — and forgetting you’re on your own journey — consider the following tips:

  • Adjust Your Thoughts. Pay attention to your thoughts, take them captive and replace them with truth. This is an important tip because your thoughts affect your actions. If you believe you’ll never make money (again), then you’ll never explore every legitimate opportunity available.
  • Accept Your Life And Career Journey (Including Your Failure). There might be similarities, but everyone has their own unique journeys in life. Don’t focus on the journeys of others. Instead, focus on your own and move forward courageously. Keep believing you can still succeed — or succeed again — at the right time.
  • Be Grateful For Your Achievements To Date. Take time regularly and do the following: remind yourself about your accomplishments. Think about the compliments you received in previous roles and jobs. Think about the people you’ve helped along the way. When you do this, you’ll be grateful for what you’ve done without a focus on what you haven’t done yet.

3. The Weight Of Failure Makes You Forget (And Reject The Possibility Of) Other Successful Outcomes

Failing hurts. Rejections sting in the job hunting process. But please don’t forget your other accomplishments.

Sure, you haven’t yet met your expectation of quickly landing a job offer. But remember, you’ve been successful in other things along the way: entering and graduating from high school, college, and for some, graduate school. You’ve acquired knowledge and valuable skills along the way. You have natural talents, which allows you to help yourself and others.

Please don’t take these things for granted because you’ve failed to find a job.

It’s easier to focus on the negatives when you’re dealing with unemployment challenges. I know. Yet, the better choice is to focus on your past and present successes with gratitude.

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You might’ve noticed I also said “present successes.” Here’s why: you can accomplish things while you’re unemployed. You know this, right?

In my case, if employers hadn’t rejected me, then I wouldn’t have started blogging. I wouldn’t have learned content writing, online marketing, and other skills.

I took the stings of rejection personally, but I didn’t let them stop my quest for professional knowledge and growth.

So to you: don’t let unemployment stop you from remembering past accomplishments. Additionally, don’t let unemployment leave you blinded to your accomplishments now. If you haven’t yet accomplished something because your failure has you down, please know failure isn’t the end unless you allow it to be. So, do what you can each day to move forward. Professionally, this might include:

  • Determining your strengths and the ways they’ll benefit an employer
  • Focusing on what you want to achieve in your career
  • Tailoring your cover letter and resume (for a job you want) to better your chance of interviewing
  • Trying something new (learning and applying a new skill, for example)

These steps are small, but this isn’t a problem. What matters is you’re moving forward with action and hope.

Professor Johannes Haushofer’s CV of Failures proves you can succeed after failing. Refuse to let your failure define your future. Boost your resilience and keep it moving.

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Conclusion

If you’ve been feeling like a failure while you’re looking for a job, then please believe this: you’re not a failure. In the words of Zig Ziglar,

“. . . failure is an event . . .”

It won’t negatively impact your career without your allowance. So, though it won’t be easy, make an effort to let go of this weight. Consider its benefits. Use it as a learning opportunity. Better yourself, do what you can to move on from your “lack of success,” and look onward.

Take things one day (and step) at a time, with your head held up high.

Featured photo credit: Milada Vigerova via unsplash.com

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Published on January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

Reference

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