Sometimes, Things DON’T Work Out for a Reason

A huge obstacle that many of the clients I counsel need to overcome is their disappointment with not having landed the kinds of jobs they applied for that seemed “just right” for them. A phrase that I often use in these situations that these clients have found to be resonant is: “If the train doesn’t stop at your station it’s not your train.”

Renewed Perspective

This morning I read a post on this very topic by Lizbeth Romero, the founder of an excellent career guidance  site, “” (I know, the name doesn’t inspire much confidence, but it often contains excellent advice). Here it is, in part:

“Ever hear the phrase “things work out for a reason?” This morning I was thinking about some of the things that didn’t seem to work out in my career, and the emotions around each failure, and then think about where I’m at today. Where I’m at today is not wildly successful, or even where I want to end up. But I’m doing better than if some of those things actually had worked out.

What are your things that aren’t working out right now? Trust me when I say I feel the pain, discouragement, despair, etc. that you feel when things don’t work out. Things you’ve worked hard for. Things you’ve invested your time and heart in. But for some reason they just don’t work out. The pain you feel is deep, but TEMPORARY. If you keep working, keep trying, stay creative and hopeful, then you might get to work on Plan B, or Plan C, or Plan D.

I’m not encouraging you to hold out and find your success, however you define that, until you are in your sixties. I am encouraging you to look at why things aren’t working out with a renewed perspective. Each time the thing I planned for, worked for, and counted on didn’t work out, it led me to a time of questioning myself and my future. But, I pushed through it, kept working, and something, somehow, worked out. 

I can definitely say that some of the Plan B things were much, much better than some of the Plan A things. Keep on it, work through it, exercise your creativity, and just wait to see what Plan B or C or D will bring!”

-Lizbeth Romero

Another take on failure comes from Oprah Winfrey in an address she gave at Harvard’s 2013 commencement, who believe it or not has encountered many failures on her way to becoming one of America’s richest, most successful and influential figures:

“At some point, you are bound to stumble,” she told the crowd of thousands of graduating students and their friends and families. “You will at some point fall, and when you do, I want you to remember this—There is no such thing as failure; failure is just life trying to move us in a different direction.” -Oprah Winfrey

Just keep moving!!!