Positive ways to handle rejection
January 27, 2020
The idea of being rejected can be a scary thought. To put it simply, rejection sucks no matter what the circumstances. However, in the professional world, rejection is often an unavoidable fact of life. Successful people do not learn to avoid being rejected, but simply learn how to deal with it and use it as a learning opportunity for future experiences.
As students, the job hunt and internship selection process can be exhausting and frustrating. This can be especially tiring when it seems like all of your friends are posting their great job offers on LinkedIn. After submitting what can seem like endless applications, not hearing back from an employer or seeing the dreaded “We have decided to continue our search…” in your inbox can be defeating but it doesn’t have to be. One way to handle the situation is to use your rejection as a source of motivation for future endeavors. This means not dwelling on what you did wrong, but simply looking at how you can improve yourself for the future, whether that means interviews or job fairs.
There are many factors that can come into play during the hiring process. With these factors comes a large number of other qualified applicants waiting to hear back as well. Some of these factors are completely out of your control, but there are ones you can improve on personally. You can reach out to the recruiter/interviewer and ask questions about how to improve yourself for future job opportunities. Although you may not hear all the things you want to, this could be a good source to start as you prepare to submit future applications and go through interviews. As unlikely as it may sound, you can use rejection as a positive experience to reflect on for future situations and continue to grow and progress each time.
For me personally, one of the best ways to handle it (even though it does not completely take away the disappointment if it is a job I really wanted) is to make sure that I am not adding to the initial rejection by rejecting myself too. While it can be easy to take rejection personally, try to be nice to yourself in the aftermath. Not getting that internship may hurt in the beginning, but it often means better things are coming. Take time out to give yourself a mental break and do something you love. You will be all the better for it.
Christine is a junior in LAS.