The Surprising Benefits of Creating a 'Failure Resume'

iStock.com/Jane_Kelly
iStock.com/Jane_Kelly

You probably have a resume that you tweak from time to time, adding skills here or new job titles there. After all, it's important to keep your resume updated to reflect your growing set of abilities and accomplishments. But it might come as a surprise to hear that The New York Times recommends writing a second resume as a kind of self-help assignment. Except instead of highlighting your triumphs, you list your failures, mistakes, and struggles along the way.

This anti-resume goes by many names: failure resume, anti-portfolio, or "CV of failures," to name a few. The overarching idea is the same, though. By keeping track of your failures and reflecting on them in a way that's constructive, you can learn from your mistakes and achieve more in the future.

Here's how it works: In the format of your choice, make a running list of your failures, whether it's schools that rejected you, projects that flopped, or goals you didn't quite achieve. The key is not to dwell on these mistakes for hours, according to Melanie Stefan, a lecturer at Edinburgh Medical School who inspired several academics to create their own failure resumes a few years ago.

"If you dare—and can afford to—make it public. It will be six times as long as your normal CV. It will probably be utterly depressing at first sight," Stefan wrote in an article that originally appeared in the journal Nature. "But it will remind you of the missing truths, some of the essential parts of what it means to be a scientist—and it might inspire a colleague to shake off a rejection and start again."

Scientists aren't the only ones who can benefit from mulling over their mistakes, either. J.K. Rowling, for instance, is one of the many wildly successful people who has spoken publicly about her failures. Researchers at Columbia University announced last year that they planned to interview Nobel laureates about their own failures in an attempt to better understand how personal and professional losses can foster learning.

On her own "CV of failures," Stefan writes, "Previous boss told me this would be the end of my academic career" [PDF]. Another bullet point under her education section reads, "Only PhD programme I was actually admitted to."

For more examples, check out Princeton University professor Johannes Haushofer's CV of failures [PDF]; management consultant Sara Rywe's CV of failures [PDF]; and the "rejections and failures" section toward the bottom of a CV made by neuroscientist Bradley Voytek of the University of California, San Diego [PDF].

[h/t The New York Times]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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More Than 38,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Has Been Recalled

Beef-ware.
Beef-ware.
Angele J, Pexels

Your lettuce-based summer salads are safe for the moment, but there are other products you should be careful about using these days: Certain brands of hand sanitizer, for example, have been recalled for containing methanol. And as Real Simple reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recently recalled 38,406 pounds of ground beef.

When JBS Food Canada ULC shipped the beef over the border from its plant in Alberta, Canada, it somehow skirted the import reinspection process, so FSIS never verified that it met U.S. food safety standards. In other words, we don’t know if there’s anything wrong with it—and no reports of illness have been tied to it so far—but eating unapproved beef is simply not worth the risk.

The beef entered the country on July 13 as raw, frozen, boneless head meat products, and Balter Meat Company processed it into 80-pound boxes of ground beef. It was sent to holding locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina before heading to retailers that may not be specific to those four states. According to a press release, FSIS will post the list of retailers on its website after it confirms them.

In the meantime, it’s up to consumers to toss any ground beef with labels that match those here [PDF]. Keep an eye out for lot codes 2020A and 2030A, establishment number 11126, and use-or-freeze-by dates August 9 and August 10.

[h/t Real Simple]