Two Cent Tuesday: Using Disappointment as your Drive

Two Cent Tuesday: Using Disappointment as your Drive

Ever gotten your ass kicked?  Fallen flat on your face?  Gotten egg on your face? (Not literally, but figuratively?)

Come up short?  Finished second?

In my 21+ years of recruiting civil engineers, it has happened often.

There have been times where I have not been able to deliver one single candidate on a search.

There have been times where I have submitted four or five candidates on a search but was never able to close a deal.

There have been times where I have successfully negotiated a great offer only to have a candidate turn the tides and take a counter offer.

As a civil engineer…

Have you ever lost out on a promotion?

Have you ever interviewed for a great job that you were uber excited about only to learn that an offer was extended to another candidate?

Have you ever burned the midnight oil, busting your ass on a huge proposal, only to finish second to one of your greatest competitors?

My suspicion is that you answered, “yes,” to at least one of those questions.

Most people when they fall, get back up on the horse.  So it’s not really about getting back on the horse, but rather how FAST you get back on that horse, right?  This is a concept I first learned from Ed Mylett.

Some people grovel in disappointment.  They complain, they blame, they deflect fault and look outward for excuses rather than within, and the longer they continue that behavior, the longer they lay on the ground.

Personally speaking, I use disappointments to fuel my drive, and I challenge you to do the same.  Look internally.

What did you learn from the experience, and what positives can you take away?

What feedback can you get, good or bad?

What have you learned to do differently so you get different results next time?


You do have a choice.  You can stay on the ground and pass blame and feel sorry for yourself, or you can jump, dust the dirt off your shoulder, and begin taking bigger and better steps forward based upon what you have learned from your disappointment.



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