Once Kelly Clarkson said “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and yes, we all agree with it. It’s our mistakes that make us become who we really are (of course, if we learn from them). Let’s take a look at these 4 examples that women share about their biggest mistakes in life and career.
The one benefit of mistakes?
They can become valuable career lessons.
Mistake #1 Not knowing how to say NO.
“The biggest career mistake that I have ever committed was saying YES to everything. I was assuming doing lots of things will make me successful so I started helping colleagues in their tasks even when I had no actual knowledge of them. I would offer to organize events even when I knew I didn’t have the proper time to commit to them. I stayed longer at the office doing other secondary tasks that I couldn’t refuse. In the end, all became overwhelming and I started to fail at some of these tasks. Now when I learned to say NO and choose which tasks are more important to my career, I have grown my skills in all kind of areas.”
Mistake #2: Accepting the first offer.
“For my first job in NYC, as a young person desperate to start working already, I would have taken any salary if it meant being employed. But, as I learned later, you should always negotiate. When you don’t negotiate, you shoot yourself in the foot. I now make it my personal mission to empower every woman I talk to with knowledge about salaries, negotiations, raises, etc.; to help them walk into those meetings armed with the confidence to demand what they deserve; and to be ready to ask for more than what they want to end up with—since most employers expect you to do just that. If we don’t value ourselves highly, no one else will.”
Mistake #3: Abandoning a passion project.
“I started blogging back in 2007, when blogging was a thing. I mostly worked on beauty and fashion. At that time I got a job at a major fashion retailer, and I heard how they expressed concern over other writers working in any other capacity (personal, non-paying blogs included). I felt very bad to give a pause on my personal blogging, but as I was a rule-follower, I stopped.
Now I understand that allowing an employer taking away my creative side project, was the greatest mistake I ever made. Later, when I left my job, I tried to go back to blogging, but I already lost the momentum. I realized I didn’t want to be a professional blogger. Learning this, I wouldn’t allow anyone else to dictate my passion projects. If I feel passionate about something, nothing will stand my way. “
Mistake #4: Staying put for too long.
“I received my MBA when I was 28. At that time I was also working in a company. I wanted so much to change my work, even though I had the best colleagues, normal salary, I could work from wherever I wanted. Right after I graduated I thought about leaving my job, but as I kept looking for a few months for new opportunities I decided to stay put. I didn’t leave for five more years. After five years, I received an offer that I couldn’t pass up, so I left my previous job. Now when I look back, I understand that staying longer at the old job made it much harder to break into a new industry. I had to take a step down and accept a position that was much lower than management. It was the only way to move forward in a new industry. “