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10 reasons why people fail in their career

Update on 2024-04-15

10 Reasons Why People Fail in Their Career

We (College Disha) are a 6-year-old career guidance company. Till now we have mentored more than 14000 students and graduates to find their career paths. In our long journey of 6 years, we counseled so many students, graduates, and grown-up professionals.

At the end of each closing session, we tell our candidates the top 10 reasons why people fail in their careers and how can you overcome failure. So, We finally decided to write an article about “Reasons why people fail in their career?” and “Ways to overcome failure in your career”.

If you are anxious about your career and overthinking about career failure, this article can help you to understand why most career dreams fail. and how you can overcome the fear of career failure.

10 Reasons Why People Fail in Their Careers

Reason 1: You don't have a clear vision or goal

We all know that it is kind of impossible to aim in the dark. If you want to hit your aim, you must know what it looks like and where it exactly is. Working in a job where you don't have any vision or goal is like taking a shot in the dark. In most cases,  having no vision or goal is one of the key reasons for career failure. This is the main reason why most career dreams fail. Most of our youth lack vision and clarity about their career goal.

Just think, Are you working in your job just to pay monthly bills? Do you see yourself moving up the ladder of hierarchy anytime soon? Ask these questions, if you are just working for a monthly paycheck and do not see yourself getting promoted in the coming years. You need to realize that you are lacking a vision in your life and this could adversely affect your career in the coming years.

Reason 2: You are not Consistent with your career goals

  • Inconsistency is one of the major reasons for one's career downfall. There are many individuals who jump from one job to another too quickly. This inconsistent employment experience appears negative on your CV. Reputed companies look for employees with an adequate amount of consistent experience in one or more companies. But when the employer sees a  history of rapid job changes on the CV, they see the risk of the same inconsistency following you in their company too. A candidate might have adequate knowledge, skills, and the right degree but inconsistency can be the reason why even qualified candidates fail to get a good job.
  • Some individuals also end up switching their career paths because their career field is hitting rock bottom. For eg- a lot of engineers have switched from engineering to marketing as their respective career fields are not providing well-paying jobs or any job due to which they end up working in sales or some other department. But due to the lack of interest and expertise, they become a half-filled vessel in that job as well and end up losing their original meant-to-be career. Remember “Consistency” is something that makes you a pro player and lacking it is the reason why most career dreams fail.

Reason 3: Lack of Persistence

Most people do not fail in their careers because they lack skills, knowledge, and talent but because they just quit too soon. It is due to the lack of persistence and it may be one of the main reasons you are failing at your job. To achieve your career goals you must be persistent towards what you wish to achieve and where you want to reach. Persistency is necessary and so is resistance. You must know when to keep repeating the same actions and when to give up the old ways of doing something. Figure out why you are failing to do a task repeatedly and then change your strategy. Be persistent and experimental to achieve your goal.

Reason 4: You are Afraid of Standing out of the Crowd

Success comes to those who hold the courage to do something that makes them different from the rest. Taking risks, trying some new strategy, and coming forward to do a task everyone is hesitating to take responsibility for, are some things you can do to prove yourself different and significantly better than others.

You can only stand out of the crowd if you decide to step out of your comfort zone and take responsibility for something new for you and everyone else in your study place or workplace.

 At some point in time, maybe people will think you are weird, foolish, shallow, stupid, obnoxious, or arrogant, but you will have to remember that people don't like it when they see you doing some task that they think is impossible for them to do, this will make them feel insecure and they will try to demotivate you.

But you must remain confident about your intention to complete the task. If you are not confident in your ability and potential, then you are not going to make it far. If you don’t have the courage to stand out and do things differently, then you will always be stuck in mediocrity.

Reason 5: You have a habit of Procrastination

This is one of the major reasons for Career Failure. Most of today's youth have this habit of leaving important tasks undone, which leads to unnecessary delays in achieving the objective of the task. Procrastinating results in the loss of time, blowing useful opportunities, delay in achieving career goals, poor and impulsive decisions, Reputation damage, and last but not least ruining your career.

Procrastination is the Reason Why Most Career Dreams Fail. To avoid procrastination, start making a to-do list, schedule your tasks, start with the most important ones, try to do the most difficult tasks in your peak-active times, set deadlines, use task and time management apps, and reward yourself for each completed task.

Reason 6: You don't think you deserve that Job, Promotion, or Project

This is one of the key reasons for Career failure and why even qualified candidates fail to get a good job. We reject ourselves without even trying and giving it a shot. "Believing that you are not deserving enough" is another statement of low self-esteem and this can unknowingly affect your career in many ways.

So, it is very necessary to have faith in your capabilities. There can be multiple reasons for this low self-esteem, it could be childhood trauma or past failures, but such a mindset needs to be overcome in order to build a healthy and successful career.

Reason 7: You Always want to be in Control

People feel confident when they have authority or control over the situation. But sometimes being a control freak can become unfavorable for your career growth. They believe that they cannot start a task until and unless they don't have all the answers to every question.

They always stay in doubt of the "What If" scenario.  Such people carry a fear of failure in their minds which makes them take wrong decisions. It is very necessary to base your decisions and answer your doubts with a hope of a positive outcome rather than trying to find answers to "What If". You cannot control everything, just start working for your goal and things will eventually fall into the right places themselves.

Reason 8: You don't want to do anything extra

Sometimes going the extra mile is what makes you deserving of that job position. Many of us think that professionalism is doing only what we are supposed to do, but sometimes putting in a little extra effort is all we need to get that promotion or get that project you are eagerly wanting to work on.

Helping your colleagues, taking extra responsibilities, going beyond the limits to make your work a piece of perfection, and putting extra effort to improve the organization's operations, such things can increase your promotion prospects if done in balance.

Reason 9: You always get influenced by a Naysayer

You will meet a lot of people who have a negative perspective about your plans or goals. In your everyday life, you will meet at least one or more people who will try to influence you by shedding light on the negative aspects of your ideas, plans, or goals.

All you have to do is ignore them and focus on the brighter side. Getting influenced by negativity is one of the main reasons why people fail in their careers. A naysayer can be anyone, a family member, friend, colleague, boss, or close acquaintance. Maybe they will try to influence you because they care about you or are concerned about you, but that doesn't make them right.

If you have persistence and a clear vision toward your goal, you have to ignore the cons and focus on the pros only. Never say “No” to opportunities and better ideas just because you are scared that you will fail. Don’t get influenced by the words of a naysayer and neither become one!

Reason 10: Unhealthy Lifestyle and Health Issues

Agree or Don't! Your lifestyle and your health affect your career a lot. In a survey, it was found that 51% of people with experience gaps in their CV had health issues that made them quit their job. Referring to "Health issues" here we are talking about physical as well as emotional ailments.

For your career, Your emotional well-being is as important as your physical fitness is. Most emotional and physical ailments are due to bad thinking, imbalance and toxic work environment,  unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise, and particularly the overthinking habit. All these things can make you sick for a  long time and leave you bedridden.

So these were the 10 Reasons Why People Fail in Their Careers, we hope most of you can relate to the above-mentioned situations. Believe us, if you want to become successful in life, you need to improve your mindset, lifestyle, and your approach towards your work style. After taking the above-mentioned tips into consideration, you might fail one or more times but at last, you will definitely start succeeding in your job.

10 Ways to Overcome Failures in Your Career

Everyone in our schools, colleges, and workplaces gave us many tips on “how to become successful in our career” but it would be much easier for most of us if somebody would have told us about “How to overcome failures in our career?” Today, most people of our generation are struggling emotionally as they don’t know how to overcome career failures.

Advice 1: Don't feel scared of failure

Many people have a fear of failure, it is also called atychiphobia, which is an irrational and persistent fear of failing. This fear is usually a result or response to a specific situation and sometimes it might be due to some mental issues such as anxiety. But to become successful in life, one needs to let this fear go! Your mindset affects your performance and a mindset with the fear of failure will not let you win.

Many individuals give up so many good opportunities because they hesitate to try as they are scared of failing. You can never give your 100% at a job, task, competition, or exam if you are afraid to fail. Fear of failure is one of the most common reasons why people fail in their careers.

 You have a fear of failure if:

  • You resist trying new things and accepting a challenging project.
  • You self-sabotage yourself due to anxiety, inactivity, procrastination, etc.
  • You have low self-esteem or confidence to perform a task.
  • You only get involved in those tasks that you know you can do perfectly.


  • Don't fear the "unknown', Research the problem/task you are going to deal with
  • Analyze the pros and cons
  • Think positively and hope for the best
  • Look at worst-case scenarios and prepare a Plan B accordingly
  • At last, but not least, educate and prepare yourself to perform the task efficiently

Advice 2: Feel Bad About Your Failure But Don't Let it Consume Your Self-Esteem

It is ok to feel bad when you fail to achieve your goals. Emotions like anxiety, sadness, embarrassment, shame, and disappointment strike when you fail. These are just human emotions. You don't need to suppress these feelings and live in denial, nor should you let these feelings consume your self-esteem and confidence. Instead of that, you should use them to your advantage. Use them as your drive and zeal to improve and become successful when the next opportunity comes across your path. This is one of the best ways to overcome failures in your career.

Advice 3: Reach out to the experienced people who survived failure

After a failure, don't let yourself sink in self-pity. Instead, try to talk to someone who inspires you, someone who has failed multiple times and then finally tasted the fruit of success. We are surrounded by such people who've failed at some point in their lives but then bounced back to succeed. Trust us! No one can guide or inspire you better than a person who faced failure before they finally became successful.  That person could be anyone - a friend, a family member, a teacher, a mentor, a colleague, a senior, a boss, a career guide, or a counselor. Anyone!  Learn from them, talk to them about your failures, their failures, how they overcame them, how they rebuilt them, and talk about everything you want to know about their journey to success.

Advice 4: Analyze your actions and identify the root cause of your Failure

Consistency and Persistency are two very good behavioral qualities one can possess. But it doesn’t mean that you keep on doing the tasks/job in the same mediocre ways. Practicing mediocrity results in continuous failures. You need to analyze your ways of performing the tasks and identify what you are doing wrong? Learn from your mistakes and change your working patterns and habits accordingly and keep trying to achieve your goals. By digging deep into the process, you will definitely find the root cause of your failure and in addition to this, you will also get life lessons that will certainly prepare you for the upcoming opportunities.

Advice 5: Stop doing Time-travel-thinking

So This is a new term we just discovered. Time-travel thinking means overthinking past mistakes and future threats. This overthinking can raise your stress levels, cause anxiety or depression. Wandering in the past or getting too worried about your future can result in unproductivity and makes you inefficient to perform even the simplest tasks. You need to quit overthinking about the past and future if you want to outgrow your failure. Instead of that, try to perform the activities that will take you closer to your success. Split your success into small steps, set milestones, and try to reach one milestone at a time. By doing this, you will be able to achieve your goal slowly but steadily.

Advice 6: Accept Criticism and Channel it properly for better results

Criticism triggers almost everyone, most of us struggle when it comes to accepting negative feedback and being criticized for our efforts. It is not necessary that the criticism is honest or not but it hurts us when we hear someone criticizing our work. Sometimes people criticize you just to make you feel bad about even trying, this kind of criticism usually comes from your haters (or secret haters) and your competitors. We know that criticism sounds too insulting to hear and bear. But to become successful in your career you need to understand that getting feedback and being criticized allows us to see things from the perception of others and it widens the scope of improvement from us.

But still, there’s a question- How can you get benefitted from the criticism?  Well, it is simple! Ask for suggestions from your critic, remember that a good and honest critic will always give you some advice about how it should be done whereas a bad critic will only point out the mistake just to make you feel bad.

Whenever you feel bothered by criticism, remember these words:

“If you are never criticized, you may not be doing much that makes a difference.”

Advice 7: Don’t use an Unhealthy Coping Mechanism

Disappointment and sadness are the remnants of failure and every person copes-up with these negative feelings in different ways. But it is alarming when you start practicing unhealthy habits to relieve this sadness. Some people distract themselves with habits like overeating, drinking, smoking, oversleeping, drugs, and similar activities. However, these activities damage you physically as well as mentally. You cannot fill the void of failure by distracting yourself temporarily. The best way to overcome failure is to practice self-healing activities. Calling a friend, practicing deep breathing, going for a walk, spending time with your favorite person, getting career counseling, or engaging yourself in a creative activity is what you can do to heal yourself and leave the trauma of failure behind. Practicing healthy healing activities is the best way to overcome failures in your career.

Advice 8: Try To Learn New skills that will help you to succeed next time

You might've heard this famous quote "Failure is the best teacher". Do you know why? Because it gives you a second chance to upgrade yourself. Instead of giving up on your career goal after failing, you should take it as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Find your strengths and weaknesses and focus on improving these areas. Learn a new skill that can help you to get that job or promotion. It is true that reflection of past failures is essential but so is planning your next step. Move on from your failure gracefully and become a better version of yourself, so when the right time comes again, you can ace it with all the strength and potential you have developed in this meantime. Rise like a phoenix!

Advice 9: Do not speak badly about yourself even in your mind

There's a famous quote - "Don’t Speak badly of yourself, for the warrior that is inside you hears your words and is lessened by them" said by David Gemmel. This quote refers that you should never speak badly about yourself because what you tell yourself becomes your reality. It might sound weird but your subconscious mind listens to what you speak to yourself and it starts believing what you say. Sometimes our success and failure get affected by how we talk to ourselves and how we think about ourselves. So, Be careful while talking to yourself. Many people have a habit of cursing themselves whenever things go wrong because they messed it up. And believe it or not, it affects you in some or another way. Instead of this, You should start using "affirmations" to develop a positive perspective about yourself. It will help you to reduce stress, tension, anxiety and will drag you out of the negative loophole of negative self-esteem.

Advice 10: Consult a Professional Career Counsellor

There’s always a point in everyone’s career when they ask themselves questions like "what should I do next? Why am I failing again and again?" and many other similar questions. This is a common phrase that comes in everyone’s life and you can overcome this phase by making the right move at the right time. A professional career counselor can help you to make the right move. If you are struggling in your career and want answers to your questions, then a professional and experienced career counselor can help you to find answers as well as solutions. A counselor can help you to decode the success strategies. They analyze your past career decisions, your performance, your personal life and then help you to figure out “where you are lacking” and “what is the root cause of your continuous failed attempts”. A career counselor is a professional who holds a qualification in psychology and career guidance. They are very well aware of different aspects of career development and therefore they can give you the best advice for your career growth and success. Consulting a counselor is one of the 10 ways to overcome failures in your career

Signing Off
So, The above-mentioned tips were the  10 ways to overcome failures in your career. These tips have been quite effective for most people. But sometimes people struggle too much to cope up with failure and start self-harming themselves emotionally or physically. In such cases, it is best to reach out to a professional career counselor and take their help to rediscover and rebuild your confidence, self-esteem, and success path. You can also contact us (College Disha) to talk to the best career counselors who can help you to understand the Reasons You are Failing at your Job and great tips about how you can overcome failures in your career and become successful in your life.

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