As my senior year of college came to a close, I was hoping to land a job at the PR firm I had two internships with.
One of the VPs had implied that a job would be around the corner and always praised how hard I worked.
That job offer never came. As a matter of fact, I was pretty much shut out the second I submitted my resume to the hiring manager for an opening position. They hired a classmate of mine instead of me. I was stunned and began to panic. My college career was coming to an end and I felt like the only idiot on campus that didn’t have a job lined up after graduation. Rejection #1.
Cut to after graduation and over 150 job applications later.
That’s a lot of rejection. Especially since most of the companies I applied for just ghosted me. And the only answer I could get from employers that didn’t want to hire me was that I didn’t, “have enough experience” for an entry-level position after working five internships in college. Rejection #2 (or 151??)
I finally landed a job about a month after graduation.
It had absolutely nothing to do with my degree and desired career field. The dream career that started with the dream job out of college seemed to be fading away quickly, but the truth is I just needed a job to pay my bills. And this job? It paid almost twice as much as an entry-level PR job (which was a Godsend). Although it was what I needed, I still felt rejected by my own hopes and dreams. Reality had destroyed what I hoped would happen for me after graduation. Rejection #3.
That made three significant career rejections before I even started my first day of work as a professional.
The rejections didn’t stop once I had my first day of work. In fact, they kept coming. As I am approaching my first anniversary of my first professional job, I wanted to share with you all that rejections are normal. In fact, rejections can turn out to be some of the best things that happen in your life! The only thing that is stopping you from realizing that is the fact that rejection is super hard to handle. Below are my best tips to help you seize the moment when rejection comes your way!
You REALLY are not alone
As much as it seems like you are the only one that can’t get it together, the only one that is constantly hearing no, the only one that doesn’t have any AMAZING updates to post on LinkedIn, you aren’t. Trust me. This is part of the reason why I wanted to start this blog. So that, hopefully, a girl that was in my position last year will find this post and feel some confidence in her heart. Trust me when I say, if you keep doing the right thing, everything will work out. If you keep working hard, putting yourself out there and putting in the work, everything will be okay. I promise. You will, unfortunately, come to accept that a lot of rejection will come your way. One you accept rejection as inevitable, you will be able to spend more time pushing through it and less time trying to run away from it.
It is ok to feel hurt. Just don't dwell on it.
Look, the pain you feel is going to force you to deal with it sooner or later. You may as well deal with it now so you don’t have to spend so much of your time trying to avoid it. The sooner you accept the fact that you do feel a little pain from rejection, the better off you will be. Why do we tend to act like professional rejection doesn’t hurt? Well, I am not a psychologist, but I think it may be because our image of a grown-up, professional, boss b*tch is a girl that has it together 24/7 and never lets her emotions trample her spirit. Newsflash: NOBODY IS EMOTIONLESS. You are not weak if you are hurt by being told ‘no’ after working so hard and hoping for a ‘yes’. Just do yourself a solid. Put a timer on your pity party. While it is important to process your emotions, dwelling in them will not push you to the next step. One more time for the girls in the back: Pushing your hurt down will make you loop around to it eventually. Dwelling in your hurt will stunt your growth. Find a happy medium!
*Plays "Miss Movin' On" by Fifth Harmony*
Ok, so you have pushed past the pain. Now what? Well, you start from square one. Rejected from a job? Look for another. Rejected proposal at work? Ask why it was rejected. Overlooked for an award or raise? Ask you boss the areas you can improve yourself at work. Once you have completed your research, write out the steps that you will take to ensure a better result. If you are starting to apply to a new job, write out the things that you will do differently this time that you didn’t do on the last rejection you garnered. Plan out steps that you will take to make your work stand out in the office.
Ok, this seriously is the hardest part sometimes.
Up until now, all of your steps to overcoming rejection have probably been done in private. Now is the time to actually do something. To put yourself out there and face the possibility of another rejection again. And the wort part, so we tend to think, is that other people will know you have decided to go for it again. But you know the good news? You have already survived rejection once. You will be able to survive it again it if happens. This process is not a guarantee you will not face rejection in your professional career or personal life ever again. In fact, it is pretty much counting on the fact that you will face it quite ofter. What this process does is helps you overcome the fear of failing, the fear of rejection and the fear of not being good enough quickly so you can experience it more often. You heard me right! You know why? The more chances we take to face rejection, the more chances we have for a victory. The higher the number of risks you take, the higher the number you will eventually get in return.
When I look back on my life so far, I realize that it is not my successes that shape who I am today. It is my failures. It is the rejections that forced me to reevaluate and chart a different path. I am a better ‘me’ because of the rejections I have experienced and all of them will get me to my final destination.
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What have been your biggest rejections that have turned into your greatest blessings? Let me know in a comment below!
You can find me on Instagram @allimarieramirez.