As individuals, we fear rejection.
If we see the words ‘We regret to inform you that your application has been unsuccessful’ or ‘We were impressed with your experience, however unfortunately at this time…’, these words undermine our confidence, make us doubt our worth and allow us to feel as if we have let people down.
No matter how it is dressed up, rejection acts as a long-term obstacle for pursuing future opportunities, as the experience of rejection will always be at the back of our minds.
Being rejected whether it is in work, in a relationship or whatever sphere of life hurts. But that doesn’t mean you should give up at the first hurdle!
There are two ways to look at it. The first being that we are not good enough or we didn’t try hard enough. However, this is often not the case.
The second looks at how rejection can actually be good for us. We may have been rejected due to bad timing or another (better) opportunity out there. We often fail to think of these at the first, instead focusing and antagonizing on what was wrong with us as individuals (to answer that briefly…. absolutely nothing)
Understanding why we got rejected is key
Quite often, there is a lack of understanding as to why we’ve been rejected. Getting rejected provides us with the perfect opportunity to ask why we weren’t selected.
In today’s economic environment, job openings are usually oversubscribed. However, if you have progressed the final stage in the application process, it is more than appropriate to request feedback.
Asking why you did not get the job can help you assess where your strengths are and any limitations. On more practical terms, feedback after rejection also helps you drill down and realise that you may need to answer a question differently or simply alter your body language to score your dream job.
There are so many situations in life where we won’t get our way and this will initially provoke feelings of upset, disappointment and maybe anger. However, it is much later down the line when you realise that perhaps the opportunity wasn’t as good as you initially thought.
There will always be a better, brighter, more suited opportunities out there (cliché I know). So, let’s all thank our lucky stars that we were rejected from some things.
Rejection doesn’t mean we’re insufficient
We are not going to be successful in everything we do. Some of the most successful people in business, arts, politics, fashion and other industries have all had knock backs.
To highlight a few;
- At 26 years old, queen of TV & film Meryl Streep auditioned for a role in King Kong, didn’t get the role and was called ugly by the producer.
- Stephen King’s first book was rejected by 30 publishers, now he’s a highly recognized author.
Both these individuals have one thing in common. They’ve accepted the fact that occasionally there will be the defeat and rejection. It is the process of going through this that makes us bounce back faster, harder and with the resilience and persistence to overcome the obstacles life throws in our face.
By giving up after a rejection, we are subconsciously taking it personally. When in the majority of cases, it’s not you – it’s them. We need to stop thinking we’re not good enough and start understanding the we often get rejected because the person or organisation we are applying for is focused on gaining something different. We may be different to what they’re looking for. However, that doesn’t mean we’re insufficient.
A job rejection at first may always seem like the world is crashing and burning but it’s important to remember by not giving up and letting rejection defeat you – there will always be other opportunities. It is all part of that journey towards finding that rewarding and fulfilling job that is right for you.
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