Failing is good – it means you are trying

failThis week, the Law Society of England and Wales announced the winner of its recent election of a Deputy Vice President. He is Richard Atkinson, a criminal defence solicitor. He will spend a year as DVP, then a year as VP, before becoming P in 2 years’ time. IP Draughts’ preferred candidate, Laura Uberoi, came second. Laura is a finance lawyer at Macfarlanes, and will surely succeed in a future election.

Yesterday, one of the other candidates, Paul Singh, was brave enough to discuss on LinkedIn that he had failed spectacularly, getting only two votes (one of which was him voting for himself). Meanwhile, on Twitter, Mindy Chen Wishart, Dean of the Oxford Law Faculty, asked readers how they coped with a “deep disappointment”.

These publications prompted IP Draughts to think about the times he had significantly failed or succeeded in academic or career-related milestones. The tally so far is:

Failed

Aged 13, 19, 24, 32, 58, 62

Succeeded

Aged 18, 27, 36, 53, 57, 61

Some of the failures have led to deep disappointment, particularly at the start of IP Draughts’ career. Some have turned out for the best. Willingness to fail, and resilience following failure, are, in IP Draughts’ view, important ingredients of success.

Of course, one has to be realistic, and not waste time in applications that are very unlikely to succeed. For example, IP Draughts is unlikely to apply to become a Supreme Court Justice. But if your skills and experience are broadly in line with what you think the interviewers are looking for, it is worth applying. If you don’t try, you won’t succeed.

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