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Why Adversity Is Good for Your Career

The path to success isn't always an easy one. We’ll show you how the "bumps in the road" can be beneficial for your career and make you a more well-rounded professional.

fall seven times, stand up eight

(Photo Credit: davidmpacey/Flickr)

The ancient Japanese proverb "fall seven times, stand up eight" is easier said than done, especially when the "fall" affects your career. However, adversity doesn't have to be a negative thing -- it can also be used to advance and strengthen a person’s career.

Many people fear failure, especially in their careers, but what most people are missing are the blessings in disguise that such adversity begets. We can't appreciate the good without the bad, and true success cannot be appreciated without a bit of disappointment along the way. Many of the greatest leaders, innovators, and business gurus of our time all got where they are thanks to many failures -- or lessons learned.

Albert Einstein, for instance, was deemed mentally handicapped and slow due to his delayed development, and he was eventually expelled and refused reentry back into school. Adversity followed Einstein later in life as he was denied job after job, eventually being awarded an entry-level job in a government patent office. If Einstein were to have given up at any stage in his life because of the many hurdles he faced, then he would have never went on to become one of the greatest minds to have ever lived.

Likewise, Michael Jordan attributes his career success to the many disappointments he experienced along the way, including being cut from his high school basketball team. Jordan reminds us that adversity can be your best friend as he states, "I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions, I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

What does this mean for professionals? The many hiccups along your career path are meant to teach valuable lessons that cannot be understood otherwise. Instead of allowing failure, disappointment, or adversity to deter you from your career dreams, use those situations to pick yourself back up and forge forward on your path to success as a wiser and more prepared professional than before. 

Tell Us What You Think

How has adversity positively shaped your career? Our community on Twitter wants to know, or feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.

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