I mentioned in a previous blog that I faced the worst rejection careerwise, twice this year, actually. Both by companys/instiutions that I thought would never ghost me at the least. Oh, but they will.
I might regret putting my business out there, but if I can help anyone, then it's worth it. This isn't at a dig to any person or company, but rather just my experiences.
Rejection Round I
The first go around was last December leading into the new year. There was a position open within a company that my current company works closely with. I applied knowing it would require a move. I wasn't estatic about the location, but the job would've been so helpful in kickstarting a career more in line with what I want to do. I apply, I interview, the call goes well, and then I'm asked to put together three campaigns. The nature of the business is that they have products for both summer and winter, so really three campaigns turned into six. I only had two days at home before my next trip and to meet the deadline for the project. I missed out on family time close to the holidays, I pull an all nighter, I plan, I create, I execute. I send off. The intent was to have another call to discuss my thought process, how I did what I did, and why. Due to holidays and vacation time coming up for both myself and the hiring manager, we didn't have a call before the holidays started. Christmas passes and I'm on a flight shortly after the New Year. I typically work on planes, so I'm checking my email and see in our company-wide newsletter, that someone had been hired for the position.
A couple things are running through my mind at this point. First disappointment. I put so much time into creating and making sure everything was perfect. I didn't get paid for that, but obviously wanted to prove myself and my skills. I also felt like the references I had from the president of the company and another employee that I worked with closely, meant nothing. Lastly, I was feeling disrespected. Why was I finding out about this through a newsletter? Did they not respect me enough to give me a quick call to explain the situation?
So... how did I handle it? Very professionally. I emailed them and said, "I saw on the newsletter that someone has been hired for this position. Can you please provide me some feedback on either my interview or the campaigns I put together so I can be better equipped next time? Thank you."
The response was as expected. "I'm so sorry you found out throguh the newsletter, HR was supposed to call you. I'm happy to hop on a call to answer any questions you may have."
I didn't respond to that email, because after I had time to cool off, my viewpoint was 1. You don't respect me or my time, so why should I give you the opportunity to waste it again? 2. This showed me that this was someone I did not want to work with or for.
Remember, you are interviewing the other person/compnay just as much as they are interviewing you.
Rejection Round II
I applied for a job at Bradley University, my alma mater. This was actually months in the making - job listing posted and then taken down due to a hiring freeze. Months had passed, but I felt like I wanted to reach out to the hiring manager to put a name to the face. I know a lot of people in the department, so I wanted to officially meet this person, and I felt like this was a good time to initiate a relationship for potential opportunities moving forward. I met with the hiring manager at a coffee shop. We spent an hour and a half talking about the role that was soon to be posted and life in general. Note: This was not an interview. He told me to text him after I applied. I did and... no reply. I emailed him to follow up several weeks later. I hit send and... no reply. One night, I'm navigating on the BU athletics website for a project I'm doing for Bradley's NIL collective, and I find out that two people were hired for the role. Although so much time had passed and I assumed someone was hired, I was still really upset. But again, I was reminded of my feelings after the first go around.
1. You don't respect me or my time
2. This is someone I do not want to work with or for
So now, my unsolicited advice to conquer rejection. Like greif, there are stages to rejection as well. Whether it be rejection from a relationship, a career, a college, or even a club, remember that everyone faces rejection. Even the most successful person you know, has been rejected. And probably more than once at that.
feel your emotions
It's important to feel your emotions. It's okay to be sad, or feel disappointed. Your emotions are validated. Remember that always.
accept what happened
Don't wallow for long - you have work to do. Come to terms with the act of being rejected. I included the top three things I tell myself when I'm experieicing rejection. Scroll to the bottom.
treat yourself with love and compassion
Sometimes it takes reciting affirmations in the mirror. Sometimes I requires a sad movie and your favorite take out. Take care of yourself. Drink water. Go for a run or find an active way to get your anger out.
Remember: you put yourself out there by applying, interviewing, loving, or whatever the case may be. Be proud of yourself for that.
grow/get to work
In life, we can't let the bad things define us. Ask for feedback. Review what you said or did. How can you improve for next time? Can you meet someone for coffee to talk the results through? Whatever you do, don't burn bridges. Rejection is always a redirection.
I saved the best part for last. In my humble opinion, these are the most helpful reminders/words in the whole post: My Rejection Mindsets
You could be the most crispy, frosty, shiny, perfect can of Diet Coke, and some people will look at you and say they don't like diet soda.
Sometimes a 'no', doesn't really mean 'no', but rather a 'not right now'.
What's meant for you, will never pass you by.
If you're experiencing rejection from an interview, or a layoff, or a heart break, know that I've been there, I'm thinking of you, and it will get better. Trust.