A new study published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers at Northwestern University found a connection between those who experience early career failures and success later on in life
Scientists collected data on students who had applied for financial grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) between 1990 and 2005. They were then separated into two groups: those whose scores fell just short of what they needed to get the funding (the ‘failure’ group) and those with scores just high enough to receive the funding (the ‘success’ group). Next, they looked at the number of the studies each group published and how popular these were over the next decade.
While you’d expect the success group to continue their upward trajectory, the results *actually* showed the opposite: students in the "failure" group were 6.1 per cent more likely than the rest of their peers to publish a hit paper.
"Those who stick it out, on average, perform much better in the long term, suggesting that if it doesn't kill you, it really does make you stronger,” the study’s lead author Yang Wang said of the findings. Her colleague and co-author, associate professor Dashun Wang concurred:
"There is value in failure. It turns out that, historically, while we have been relatively successful in pinpointing the benefits of success, we have failed to understand the impact of failure.”
Something to remember next time you get knocked back, eh?!