One of the worst feelings in the world is the feeling of rejection. Whether it’s a left swipe on Tinder or being told, “We just don’t think you’d be the right fit for this position. We wish you luck on your future endeavors”. Trust me we’ve all been there and it sucks. My favorite is when they send you that email after two interviews and it’s sent from a “no-reply” email address. So you’re telling me, that the first two interviews weren’t enough for you to assess my qualifications? What, reading my cover letter and resume weren’t enough before crushing my wounded ego into tiny little unqualified pieces? On top of all of that, I don’t even have the opportunity to thank you for taking the time to talk to me? If you can’t tell, this is coming from a very bitter place in my heart.
One of My Experiences
I remember during my last semester of college I was applying to different jobs that I thought would great for getting my foot in the door. If you don’t know me personally, I have a sick fetish with planning my near future. I remember doing a phone interview for an ad agency (that I will not name), which was followed with a math test. It had been four years since I had taken a formal math class and I aced the thing! Not to brag, but I literally answered every single problem correctly. They then called me in for an in-person interview, which I thought I rocked. A week later I get your typical default “you didn’t get the job” email from that good ‘ole no-reply address.
I literally cried giant tears that you usually see from the stereotypical drunk character on a reality TV show. I’m not very good at many things, but I’ve always prided myself on being a great worker-bee. I have 6 years of work experience, I’ve finished two college degrees, I’m always on-time, I’m proactive, and I’m usually a pretty bubbly person. My hardworking personality might be due to the brainwashing I experienced during my fast food and retail days, but I personally believe that it’s just part of who I am. How could I be rejected so carelessly at the one thing I’m good at? Well it happened and I felt horrible.
Why I’m Glad it Didn’t Work Out
Just like dating, I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Think of not getting a job as not dating that one guy from high school that grew up to be a junkie- as in it wasn’t meant to be. Either you dodged a very large bullet or that opportunity will circle again later on in your life, when you’re actually ready for it.
I remember in the final interview for this entry level position I was asked many questions such as, “Are you okay with working long hours, like about 50 to 60 hours a week?” Since I was going to be a college grad and you’re typically told to be desperately agreeable in the interview process, I happily answered “Absolutely!” Honestly, I’m so glad that this last summer I didn’t end up working through beach weekends, Taco Tuesdays, and nights out with some of my closest friends. Don’t get me wrong I still worked a lot, but it wasn’t over-the-top. Plus, I ended up leaving that job for my current job at a startup (which I love) and going back to school to earn my certificate in Interactive Media.
Even though at the time I felt like a failure, I probably wouldn’t have been motivated to make that much-needed change to enhance my design skills by working part time at a new place and going back to school. Since my previous job was at the same company that I had interned at, it was a smooth transition and I didn’t feel overly guilty for moving on when I did. Now if I left the job I originally wanted after 3 months of employment versus the nine months at the one I actually worked at, I might not have taken my life-changing career leap in September.
How to Move on From Rejection
Do what I did. Have an ugly cry, vent to someone close to you, eat a plate of carne asada chips, and keep a lookout for other opportunities. There’s many fish in the sea. Those fish might be in another city or possibly in a smaller pond, but they’re out there.
Another thing that I’ve found is that you tend to appreciate a job more when the people you work for also appreciate you. I hate to put it like this, but you’re going to work for places where you experience both situations. Working 40+ hours a week goes by wayyyyyyyyy faster when you not only like the people you work with, but they also appreciate all the hard work you do. Speaking from a person who’s gone from cleaning toilets with bleach to working behind a desk with a view of Downtown San Diego, you will find that place that not only treats you right, but truly makes you feel like a valued member of the team.
When it comes to looking out for other opportunities, there are a number of different things you can do. You should always make sure that your LinkedIn is up to date and that you network with other professionals, but what you do from there depends on your individual goals. If you want to move on from your current situation in the near future, look and apply for other jobs at least once a week. If you’re looking to move on eventually, look for opportunities that will enhance your skills. Whether it’s a training, a certificate, or an entire degree, start working out the plan for changing your life now! Trust me, even though it will take a lot of hard work and dedication, it will be completely worth it.
Infographic of the Week:
Question of the Week:
Looking back, when was a time that you were glad that you didn’t get picked for a job or task?