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Why You Need Painful Career Moments

Rough Day at Work

Sometimes, life sucks so hard.

One minute you waltz along, lah di dah and everything is perfect. The next, a 10,000-pound weight lands on your chest, knocks you flat and changes everything.

That must be how Eric Cantor feels right now. A rising star in Congress, the politician lost June 10 in a shocking Republican primary to David Brat, a little-known economics professor.

What will Cantor do now? Exactly what he’s supposed to.

The roughest moments of our careers are secretly the most pivotal ones. They sharpen our focus and may even change our life’s trajectory.

Isn’t that true for you… after these days happened?

1. You lost your job only to find one with more purpose and meaning. Who needed the last company in the first place?

2. You just missed out on your ‘dream’ job and swore it was the one. Lo and behold, an even better scenario came up right behind and you never looked back. Going with the flow? That’s the secret of your 20s.

3. Your boss reamed you out for a mistake on a big project. I mean, chewed your head off. Humbled, you picked yourself up and went 10x harder. Pretty soon, the boss considers you a top performer.

4. You couldn’t retrieve a HUGE document in Microsoft Word after your computer randomly restarted. Bet you never forget to hit “Save” again.

5. You completely spaced out and didn’t attend a critical client meeting. Yea, the one where everyone was there. From then on, you maintain a Google calendar with religious devotion.

6. Remember when you hit “Reply All” and made the inappropriate comment about the manager — and the manager was on the email chain? Now you review work emails (seven awkward ones here) like your job depends on it — because it does.

7. Oh, and then you had that one awful boss who made life miserable. Good thing for him or you may have never left. Can you imagine if you were still there?

8. The incredibly annoying coworker. You know, the one you couldn’t stand to be around. So you began to spend more time outside the office and, thanks to a face-to-face meeting, landed the company’s biggest account in five years. That damn coworker: burden or blessing?

9. The time you had no job or direction and read the column about how a personal blog can make all the difference. And then you acted on it.

10. When you showed up for a job interview with way-too-casual clothes and not a single question for the employer (ask these). Plus, the employer told you straight up, “You should have dressed better.” Wow, did you learn a lot that day or what?

11. First-round job interview at a Starbucks. You were dressed to impress, ready to shine. Twenty minutes went by and the employer didn’t show. You sent an email to check in. Employer responded, “So sorry. We filled the position and meant to email you. Truly, we apologize.” From that day forth, you are Mr. Reconfirm Meeting.

12. Still at the Starbucks. You cursed the world for such a devastating moment and stared out the window numb to it all. Just then, someone asked “Can I use this table too?” Turns out, he’s building a startup and can use an extra hand. It must be your lucky day because you walked out of Starbucks with a potential new job.

Sometimes, life hurts so good.

Those days when your career can’t be any worse… that’s exactly when opportunity knocks.

Here’s to the bitter, gut-wrenching moments of our professional lives.

We owe them everything.

How did a terrible career moment (ultimately) help you? Share below!

(This content was originally posted at News to Live By.)

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More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of NBC Universal’s Live Digital with Shelly Palmer, a weekly half-hour television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.