Rising Above Rejection

May 17, 2016

            You had gone to the job interview that you had applied for, and believe that you did a good job in answering the interviewer's questions. You more than met the minimum requirements for the job, and you have the exact skills needed in order to success in this line of work. However, more than a week has passed and the company has not gotten back to you. You contact them to inquire about the open position and find out that they had already hired someone last week.


            That heavy feeling that settles in your stomach is called rejection.


            It is often very difficult to deal with rejection, especially when you don't get what you've been working so very hard for. The more heart and effort that you had put into something, the more painful it is to see it all for naught - even more so if you see the fruits of your effort go to someone else. When you are turned down, it easily takes a toll on your confidence and makes you question your skills and credibility.


            However, we must remember that everyone has gone and will go through rejection in life - many times, in fact. Rejection is a part of life; and as Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Our greatest glory is not in never failing but in rising up every time we fail." In order to overcome this feeling of dejection, here are a few things we must keep in mind the next time things don't go our way:


1. Don't take it personally.

            Being unable to pass a job interview is not a reflection or a measure of your professional work. An employer's decision to hire takes many things into consideration and many of these factors are beyond your control. Sometimes, you may not be the best fit person for the position; and other times, you may have the qualifications but another applicant may have more technical skills to offer. Every situation varies but we must keep in mind that it has all to do with the company and what they're looking for and has nothing to do with you.


2. Don't dwell on the past.

            Sometimes our failures lead to thinking about more of our past failures; and before you know it, your mind has dredged up all these negative feelings and you are so dejected that you do not believe you will ever get a job. Don't allow yourself to stew in these feelings and doubt your work and skills. There's nothing you can do to change the past, but you can always use these experiences as a springboard to your success. Also, instead of focusing on the negative, try to:

3. Stay positive.

            Remind yourself of your strengths and think of all the thing that you have accomplished. Even in the face of rejection, there is still a lot to celebrate about yourself - that you're able to get a job interview, that you had answered the interviewer's question to the best of your abilities, and that you had given the entire experience your best shot. You may not have gotten the position; not because you're not good enough for the job, but maybe because you were meant for something better.


4. Think of it as a learning experience.  

            Ask yourself questions so you can learn from the experience. "Was my answer to the question sufficient enough?", "What skills am I still lacking?", "What can I do to improve?" This way, you are able to correct your mistakes and do better next time. You should also try and always get feedback after your interview so that you know what you can improve on and what soft and hard skills you may lack. If you believe that you did your absolute best but still didn't get the position, then perhaps it was the wrong company for you and your talents belong elsewhere.


5. Have a Plan B.

            If you don't get the job, it's not the end of the world! There are endless job opportunities that will always be available to you. Do not rely on just one specific job opening in the belief that it's the perfect fit for you. Pursue and apply to multiple opportunities in order to have options.


6. Take a breath and start over.

            Searching for job openings, sending your application, and going to job interviews may seem like an endless cycle that's going nowhere. If you're beginning to get frustrated, take some time to yourself - do an activity you've never done before, talk to someone about your feelings, exercise, or even listen to some music - and start over. Finding a job is important, but it's even more important to take care of yourself first. By taking a breath and clearing your mind, you'll be able to keep your wits about you and go back to job hunting with renewed energy.


            Remember that even the greatest and most famous people have been rejected more than once in their life - Walt Disney (creator of Mickey Mouse), Steve Jobs (founder of Apple Inc.), JK Rowling (author of the Harry Potter series), Madonna (famous singer), and Oprah Winfrey (famous talk show host) to name a few - but it is because they persevered and never gave up that they eventually achieved the success that they have today. Don't give up just because one company (or maybe a few) decided not to go with you. In spite of multiple rejections, your shining opportunity may be just around the corner.