The Potholes of an Academic Career

Assistant professor of psychology and public affairs Johannes Haushofer started a worldwide conversation about failure and rejection when his “CV of Failures” went viral in early May. The document details the rejections of Haushofer’s academic career, including degree programs he did not get into, academic positions and fellowships he did not get, and awards and scholarships he did not receive.

“Most of what I try fails, but these failures are often invisible, while the successes are visible,” Haushofer wrote. “I have noticed that this sometimes gives others the impression that most things work out for me. … This CV of Failures is an attempt to balance the record and provide some perspective.”

Haushofer added that his CV of Failures, which was covered by news outlets from Peru to the United Kingdom, “has received way more attention than my entire body of academic work,” which focuses on behavioral economics and the psychology of poverty. The document was inspired by an article in Nature by University of Edinburgh lecturer Melanie Stefan, Haushofer said. 

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