After a four-month application process and seven interviews, Adriano Destro got the email informing him he wouldn’t be working at Facebook.
He had applied to be an Account Manager for Small and Medium Businesses at the company, within the Italian market. The role would involve acting as a consultant and educator to companies looking to invest into advertising on Facebook. According to Adriano, the seventh interview was the final step in the process to be hired full-time by the organisation.
But rather than being devastated when he got the bad news, Adriano celebrated his "failure" publicly on social media.
In a post on LinkedIn, he wrote: "Best FAILURE of my life… Usually, we tend to share our achievements and hide our failures."
He continued, "life is not only made of success stories, but most of the time of people failing and getting back on track with more hunger and motivation. I am only 1% done."
The post ends with Adriano thanking two Facebook recruiters for their "constant support" throughout the process.
I spoke to Adriano about the moment he found out he hadn’t been successful. And to find out why he was so positive about it.
He tells me that interviewing at Facebook just confirmed for him how much he wanted the job: "I learnt that the Facebook working environment is just like the one I was dreaming of… Facebook is a dream company for a lot of professionals nowadays. The company has changed the way we communicate and consume information and it is home to some of the coolest technologies on Earth."
But the knockback didn’t cause Adriano to lose hope he’d achieve his goals – quite the opposite. He says he will treat "this rejection as the fuel to my motivation for future applications".
He recalls how he reacted when the rejection email came through: "After reading that email, I smiled, I looked at the ceiling and took a breath. I said to myself, 'I am on the right track, I just need to keep going and look for the next challenge.'"
He continues, "This was the best learning moment for me, I looked back in time to when I first applied and felt totally satisfied with the whole journey."
Rather than seeing his unsuccessful application purely as a failure, Adriano describes it as a series of successes. He says when he first applied he "knew that whatever would come afterwards would have been a series of small wins, interview after interview."
"It’s the 'best failure' because it is the one that taught me the most… because I failed by aiming the highest possible."
"Failing builds resilience. The more we fail, the more resilient we become."
Adriano tells me the application process was tough, because he had to perform consistently across multiple interviews and then repeatedly wait to hear what was next. He says, however, that this was incredibly valuable to him, as it tested his resilience.
He adds that he feels "blessed" to have been interviewed onsite at the Facebook EMEA offices in Dublin. Everything he learnt from the people he met there and conversations he had are "a precious gift" for his future.
Now, Adriano is working on learning from his experience and ultimately succeeding next time.
He says, "Failure means experience and growth. It is a means for us to grow and mature as human beings. After a failure, the best part is the reflection."
So, the next time you fail – or even get rejected from your dream job, like Adriano did – remember, there is a lot to be learnt from doing so. Take a moment to celebrate how well you did to make it as far as you did, and congratulate yourself for aiming high to achieve your goals. It is your failures, learning from them and improving, that lead to ultimate success.