Failure resume

Tanya Hewitt, PhD


From the inspiration given by Martha Acosta PhD, I thought I should attempt a public failure resume to allow both myself and others to be aware of my failings.
We can always strive to be better.


  • I denied my husband his last chance to see his favourite band Rush at their last concert
  • I own many books I have not read
  • I lacked urgency to earn money with my own business
  • I am overweight
  • I once publicly humiliated a co-worker

I look at messes in my house and think “someone should clean that”


  • I suck at time management
  • I have often arrived late
  • I signed up for webinars that I did not attend
  • I have missed meetings
  • I have poor intuitive ability to “read the room”
  • I become difficult to be around when I am stressed
  • I allow things to fall through the cracks
  • I am not good with email

I have missed important emails due to overwhelm or inattention


  • I paid for a MOOC for nearly a year without accessing it at all
  • Early in my PhD, I mimicked anything my supervisor suggested be done
  • I dropped courses when my performance in them threatened my average
  • I studied for an exam from the course description (I was so lost in the course and did not ask for help)
  • I depended on peer help (boyfriend, classmates) instead of going to office hours

Leadership Experience

When unprepared in a leadership role, I have tended to bark out orders and displayed extreme dissatisfaction, completely indifferent to how this came off to others. 

I have not engaged in sufficient data (and diverse opinion) gathering before making decisions on behalf of an organization.

I have committed to some activities that I allowed to fall off my radar.


While it is difficult to disclose such vulnerability from my past, in doing so, I hope to learn from my mistakes and improve to become a better person in the future.