Failing Exams: How to Turn Failure into an Opportunity for Growth

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As a cybersecurity researcher, I have seen firsthand the importance of failing and learning from it. In this field, it is not uncommon to come across challenges and obstacles that seem insurmountable at first. But it is through facing and overcoming these failures that we grow and become better at what we do.

Closing out the New Year, with the suggestion of the community, I rounded out my CompTIA certifications (A+, Net+ and Project+) with little struggle.  As momentum was on my side, I decided to study and take the ITIL exam.  After putting in 30 hours of study in one week, I took the exam and was mortified that I missed acceptability by ONE question.  

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned is that failing an exam is not the end of the world. In fact, it can be a crucial step in the learning process. When we fail, it forces us to take a step back and assess what went wrong. It gives us the opportunity to reflect on our strengths and weaknesses, and to identify areas where we need to improve.

But it’s not just about the process of failing itself; it’s about what we do after we fail that really matters. Do we give up and throw in the towel, or do we pick ourselves up and try again? It’s the latter option that separates the successful from the unsuccessful. Those who are able to learn from their failures and persevere are the ones who will ultimately succeed in their careers.

Surprisingly, it took me three weeks to get back on that horse, so to speak, and reattempt.  From the feedback I received, I was able to readjust my approach, focusing on the areas that appeared to be my Achilles heel. After adjusting my study materials with alternative books and videos on ITIL, I successfully pass.

In the field of cybersecurity, it is especially important to be able to learn from our mistakes. With the constantly evolving landscape of online threats and vulnerabilities, it is crucial that we are able to adapt and improve our skills in order to stay ahead of the curve. This means being open to new ideas and approaches, and being willing to take calculated risks in order to push the boundaries of what is possible.

So if you are facing the prospect of failing an exam, don’t be discouraged. Embrace the opportunity to learn and grow, and use it as motivation to work even harder and become a better cybersecurity professional. Remember, it’s not about being perfect; it’s about constantly striving to improve and adapt to the challenges that come your way.

I believe in you.

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For over 20 years, I have had the distinct opportunity to work in the Information Technology space under a variety of distinct roles. My unique position has helped me become a risk management Maven for Fortune 500 and Small Business Companies around the world. For the last 12 years, I have assisted Small Business Owners and Insurance Agency understand the impacts of Cyber Incident exposures and what steps to take to help mitigate potential data breaches. My desire to expand my reach related to cyber security has led me to establish the Sage Knows IT blog as a way to help Small Business Owners and aspiring Information Technology (I.T.) Professionals better understand the road-maps of I.T. through the experiences I have had. Information Technology and Information Security is the future of our world and I hope this blog will inspire those that are interested in joining our ever involving field.

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