Careers

This Princeton professor posted his CV of failures for the world to see

We all have failures in our careers. But usually we keep quiet about it.

Not this Princeton professor, who recently shared his CV of failures on Twitter for the world to see.

It includes sections titled "Degree programs I did not get into," "Research funding I did not get" and "Paper rejections from academic journals."

Why did he do it?

Princeton University campus lawn
Source: Princeton University
Princeton University campus lawn

"Most of what I try fails, but these failures are often invisible, while the successes are visible. I have noticed that this sometimes gives others the impression that most things work out for me," Princeton assistant professor of psychology and public affairs Johannes Haushofer wrote on the CV.

Projecting only success and never recognizing failure has damaging effects, Haushofer wrote. So he decided to do something about it. He's among a number of other professionals who have posted their CVs of failures in an effort to change people's self-perception. He credited the idea to an article by Melanie I. Stefan, who is a lecturer at the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh

"[People] are more likely to attribute their own failures to themselves, rather than the fact that the world is stochastic, applications are crapshoots, and selection committees and referees have bad days. This CV of Failures is an attempt to balance the record and provide some perspective," he said.

The pièce de résistance on Haushofer's CV of failures? His "meta-failure."

"This darn CV of Failures has received way more attention than my entire body of academic work," the document reads.