As a virgin, I often blame my perfectionism for my astrological sign. Ever since I remember, I’ve been a naturally competitive person – whether it’s in class, playing video games, or even choosing which university I attended.
That competitive spirit also moved into my job search.
After applying for more than 100 social media assistive jobs, I was invited to interview only three companies. Only one of which gave me an offer. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t get more opportunities, and I really wasn’t used to experiencing this level of rejection.
The fact is, we all face failures in our lives, no matter how much we all want to avoid that sinking. But with every disappointment comes the opportunity to learn from what went wrong and come back stronger than before – finding a silver mountain requires little formulation.
3 ways to turn failure into an opportunity for growth
Social marketing professionals experience all sorts of failures in their careers from not getting a job to the idea of being shot. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of the following three situations:
When you don’t get a job
As more companies invest in social marketing, the demand for social marketers will continue to grow – meaning competition for these roles will only intensify. If you apply for hundreds of jobs and hear from just a few, your job search can start to cause you a tax.
If you don’t get a job, it may indicate that you may be more qualified for another job or have a culture of conflict. If the job interview doesn’t go the way you want it to, make the most of your rejection by following these steps:
- Identify areas where you will increase your skills. Instead of hanging your head low, use this opportunity to contact the recruiter and ask for feedback on what could make you stand out. Are there certain skills can you focus on development, such as strengthening your written communication skills or your ability to make connections? Interviewer feedback can help you determine the expertise you need to become the strongest possible candidate for any social media job.
- Evaluate whether this work is appropriate. Rejection is the perfect time to re-evaluate if corporate culture was the right choice for you. Sure, you may have wanted a job, but is this a company that values their social media team or treats every social marketer as a “second intern”? This is a great opportunity to evaluate what you are looking for in a potential job and find out if the prospective employer has the best benefits and goals for your career in mind.
- Press pause during job search. If you regularly apply for every available job posting, take a moment back. While it’s good to push yourself, a better strategy would be to seek out roles in the companies you admire. Selection for the roles you play will give you more time to focus on your application and make sure you put your best foot forward during each interview.
When your ideas are shot
Let’s say you have an idea for a new campaign that you think will be Michael Jordan of all the campaign ideas. The presentation day arrives, you give your vision, but the team decides to go with another idea.
In this situation, it can be difficult not to interpret rejection as a personal failure. But this is also an opportunity to ask your colleagues directly what went wrong and why they went the other way. Once you’ve dealt with this rejection, make this experience a growth opportunity:
- Evaluate the strength of your idea. Just because your idea wasn’t chosen doesn’t mean it was a bad idea. It may not have been the right idea for the specific goal your team was trying to achieve. When evaluating the strength of your idea, consider the context in which it was shared and if you focused on your team’s priorities. Timing is everything, and sometimes a great idea is rejected because it doesn’t solve an immediate problem or need.
- Ask for feedback. If you feel comfortable, ask your colleagues what you could have done differently to make your pitch as strong as possible. I know how hard it can be to get negative feedback, but you can’t grow if you don’t know what you need to improve. You can also ask for advice on how to confirm performance skills to make sure you formulate your ideas in ways that appeal to your audience.
When a project doesn’t go as planned
Whether your campaign has met its goals or unexpectedly needs to adjust your social plans, your original idea has been overlooked in a few ways. Instead of marking these campaigns as failures, this is an opportunity to learn what went well and where you can improve your next big project.
First, name the problem. Did your social campaign fall short of your awareness goals, or did you campaign to meet your engagement goals? Once you’ve diagnosed the problem, you can find out where things went wrong and what you can do differently by following these steps:
- Dig the data. When looking at campaign analytics, look for variations in your campaign performance that can indicate where things went wrong. For example: if you notice a decrease in pageviews, consider what other actions may have negatively impacted your campaign during that time period. If you changed your submission time or branding element in Tweet, how did this adjustment affect your engagement or impressions? Looking more closely social indicators and comparing them to your goals can help illuminate why the campaign didn’t work as well as you hoped.
- Share your findings with others. After reviewing your performance data, create a summary of what worked and what could be improved. Then create a social media report full of findings and findings shared by your team members, leaders and even leadership. Sharing this information is a valuable resource for your entire team, even when a campaign didn’t go according to plan, to learn what went well and where strategies or budgets can be adjusted in the future.
Failure to quickly get ahead in your career
Everyone experiences failure or rejection at some point in their professional careers – none of us are immune to it. What matters is how marketers handle this experience and make it a learning opportunity that will benefit their future growth.
When marketers reshape how they experience failure, they not only cope with those experiences faster, but also become much stronger than before. If you’re ready to take your social media career to the next level, download this career development model complete a personal career plan today.