Some employers will ask you this in an interview, and it’s a good personal exercise to think about this, too.
So in this article, we’ll look at some good answers to what you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail.
If an employer is asking this in an interview, they don’t need to hear that this is your absolute dream job. But they at least want to hear that this job you’ve applied for is in-line with your overall interests.
If you don’t seem to have any reasons for wanting their job, they’re not going to hire you.
The same is true when answering, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” FYI.
So when you come up with your own answer, think honestly about what you’d like to be doing, and then think about how the job you’ve applied for might help you get there.
For example, maybe you want to be a CEO someday. You could say, “You know, someday I’d really love to found my own company and run it as CEO. I know that’s a long way away though, and I’m focused on building a strong foundation in my career first.”
You’d then want to finish your answer by explaining what you noticed about their job that caught your interest, or how you think their job will help you build a foundation for what you’d really love to be doing in the long term if you couldn’t fail.
This is a way to make sure you’re giving yourself a shot at what you really want your life to look like.
You don’t have to take insane risks to achieve most goals, but you do have to take action and keep yourself on the right track.
If you don’t attempt something, you’ll never have a chance at succeeding. This is 100% guaranteed.
If you don’t pursue your dream job because you decide you’re not qualified or other candidates are better, or the process is too selective (all common excuses someone might make for not applying to a very attractive job), there is absolutely no chance on earth you’ll ever get this job.
Not everyone who applies is going to make it. But nobody ever got the job by not applying.
This same concept holds true if your dream is to start a company and work for yourself.
If you want to be a photographer… I can’t guarantee you’ll succeed and make a living at it. That depends entirely on your efforts, the quality of your photos, and your business skills when it comes to selling photographs.
But if you don’t make a serious commitment to at least trying- buy a camera, spend a few hours every week taking photographs and find ways to sell them- you will never have a chance at reaching the dream of supporting yourself through photography.
Be prepared to overcome a few hurdles along the way too. You won’t achieve anything challenging or worthwhile without breaking through a couple of obstacles or setbacks. Most failure occurs because people give up too easily or too quickly.
Another helpful technique to overcome your fear of failure is to write down what the worst-case scenario would be if you do fail. Suppose you left your job to pursue photography. Could you get this job back if you left on good terms? Could you get a comparable job in a year if necessary? The answer is almost certainly ‘yes’. Fear of failure usually become a lot less intimidating when you really outline what exactly would happen if things don’t go according to plan.
Life is short and your time is valuable. Remember to periodically ask yourself: what do I really want to be doing right now? And what would I attempt if I knew I’d find success at it?
Biron Clark is a former executive recruiter who has worked individually with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions.
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