A Princeton psychology professor has come up with a way to show people that that their “invisible” failures and setbacks are as important as their successes.
Johannes Haushofer, a princeton professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, posted a CV of failures in an attempt to “balance the record” and “provide some perspective”. He was inspired by a 2010 Nature article by Melanie Stefan, a lecturer at the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.She suggested that keeping a visible record of your rejected applications can help others to deal with setbacks.
The document is divided in six parts including: “Degree programs I did not get into”, “Academic positions and fellowships I did not get”, “Research funding I did not get” among others.
Our setbacks are “invisible” but they happen much more often than our successes, he argues.
“I have noticed that this sometimes gives others the impression that most things work out for me,“ Haushofer said.
“As a result, they are more likely to attribute their own failures to themselves, rather than the fact that the world is stochastic, applications are crapshoots, and selection committees and referees have bad days,” he added.
If his resume of failures is short, it might be because his memory is failing him, the professor said.
Haushofer post about his CV on failures was retweeted and liked more than a hundred times as users created their own #cvoffailures.
One user said “For every paper accepted in Science and Nature, I have seven rejections from them #CurriculumMortae #CVofFailures.”
Another one tweeted: “Rejection is part of life & proof of being creative, driven and stubborn.”
In fact the CV of failures idea grew so popular that Haushofer included it in his own resume as a “meta-failure”.
“This darn CV of failures has received way more attention than my entire body of academic work,” Haushofer said.
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