Cosmopolitan UK
Failure Career Job Work Interview Image Credit: Cosmopolitan UK
Failure Career Job Work Interview Image Credit: Cosmopolitan UK

How To Fail Successfully

The bragging résumé is dead, with CEOs and founders the world over now writing “failure CVs”instead. Here three leading women divulge their least enviable moments

Kate Leahy


The 41-year-old is a TV presenter, author, and panelist on Sky News’s The Pledge. Her first book, Diversify, is out now (HarperCollins, £18.99).


I’d always wanted to be a TV presenter, but I didn’t start out as one. When I was 19 years old, I was working in music at BMG & Arista Records and got the chance to audition to host a new MTV show. I got home late the night before, so decided to wake up early to read the script they’d sent me.

But I overslept. I woke up half an hour before I had to leave. I nearly bottled it, but a friend changed my mind. I even signed a different name in the visitors’ book – if I was bad, I didn’t want anyone to know. I felt as if I’d failed as I hadn’t prepared for the opportunity of a lifetime.

Then I got the call: I was invited back for the next round. I was so glad I didn’t bail. Sometimes you have to step into a problem – it might just work out.


I left T4 in 2007. The year after, I set up a website for women called Politics And The City, mixing topical issues with fashion and beauty. At first, it did really well: it got lots of press and advertisers were calling. I had a really cool editorial team including Ronnie Wood’s wife, Sally. Then, after six mo

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