On Rejection

About 2 years ago I did a post on dealing with rejection. While the ideas on that post are still relevant, I decided to revisit the concept of rejection again. My reasoning was that this is a time of the year when people are still in the process of experimenting on their goals. They are still trying to figure out if they should make that career jump, go to grad school, or take on some other form of high-risk/high-reward initiative. For those in these situations, there is no escaping the constantly gnawing fear of rejection.

Whatever life and career options we choose, there will always be opportunities for  failure and rejection. When I encounter these friends of the ambitious and successful, some of the ideas I call to mind include:

1. Take a Chance: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

2. Persevere:  Successful people don’t like rejection either, but they take a chance knowing that the journey to the mountain of success is usually through the valley of failure.

3. It’s not Personal: A lot of times when our application for a job or admission into a school gets rejected, we take it personal; we feel that we have been rejected. This conclusion is mostly false. It was our application – our attempt – which got rejected and nothing else. Sometimes this may mean that the attempt wasn’t good enough and a second attempt might actually suffice.  Other times it might mean that another candidate proved to be a better ‘fit’. Fit in this sense is something that is out of our control as it could be anything decided by the employer or admissions committee. When this happens to you, pick yourself up and get ready for the next battle. Remember, no one is out to get you; people just want great candidates for their institutions. So your rejection is not personal,  it’s strictly business.


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