At 30, failure is the biggest achievement I’ve got

It sounds like it does not make sense, right? It will make sense to people who have experienced failure.

To begin my story, let me recap my occupational path.

I graduated in 2010. Then I found a job in journalism and continued to be a reporter for more than 7 years. I was one of the most well-known journalists to the technology startup community in Vietnam. I was awarded ‘Startup Journalist of the Year’ in 2016. I was the source of help for a number of stakeholders. I got some achievements.

In late 2017, I moved on to take charge of corporate communications for Mekong Capital, the best track record private equity firm in Vietnam. But today – 28 June 2018 – is my last day at Mekong Capital after 7 months.

Did I get fired?

No. Everyone at Mekong Capital is so supportive and committed to helping me grow. That is what drives me to highly recommend the firm to my friends if I know they would fit. For my part, it is simply a personal choice to depart.

Mekong Capital has a very strong corporate culture that a person does not necessarily have high grades or extensive knowledge to blend in. The key here is the attitude.

I used to think “I’m capable of doing anything. I have the knowledge and skills to do what I’m involved in.” Now I’ve realized it was a “life sentence” to me: It made me sometimes arrogant and unguarded.

So I failed at being “capable of doing anything”. I also had a lot of questions since I decided to resign.

“How should I publicly announce that I quit Mekong Capital after only 7 months?”

“Should I really admit this failure? It will look so bad!”

But the culture at the company has encouraged me to share this story. And I believe it’s a right thing to do, also to inspire other people not to be afraid of tumbles and falls. My colleagues would not call it ‘failure’, but ‘breakdown’. And as they often say, breakdown is the opportunity for breakthrough.

This breakdown has shown me that I should stop seeing it as a problem. Instead, I am supposed to move on and step up. My mind is clear. I’ve realized I had plans for myself that I did not actually have time to do.

The lesson I learn from my own experience is that failure can enlighten a way to which is possible. It should not be something we try to avoid or are afraid to share. And we can succeed if we do what we love with humbleness and hunger.

So if you ask me what’s next, I’m taking a break to enjoy the moments that I have not experienced. Everyone deserves that after a hard time. I will be back doing what I do best.

So, until next time…

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