It’s a no from me. Taking rejection and learning from it.

Rejection. Sounds so harsh doesn’t it…and no wonder given what it means in so many other walks of life. Asking someone out on a date and being rejected, asking a friend to hang out and being rejected or just generally feeling left out of everything and rejected.

The same could be said when applying for a job. Going through the arduous process of applying for a job, asking your current employer for a last minute day off, spending time preparing for the interview to then be told “you’re not what we’re looking for”.

Rejection is brutal.

However, without trying to sound too much like an “influencer”, being rejected can sometimes be the making of people.

Listen to any podcast, interview or read any article with a successful individual and they’ve all faced rejection at some point in their life. A large chunk of business leaders or successful athletes in today’s world often refer to their “first rejection” as their biggest motivation when forging a successful career. (Some even tell of multiple rejections!)

Rejection is normal, far more normal than being accepted. Being accepted tends to be part of a process and on almost every occasion “rejection” plays a large part in being accepted. It would be naive to think that every job you apply for will be the right one for you. The process of applying for a job is an information gathering exercise for the prospective candidate as well as it being an opportunity for an employer to ‘test’ someone. It would be great if everyone loved us and thought we were the perfect candidate but that simply isn’t the case and never will be. To be honest it would be rather boring if everyone loved us wouldn’t it…where would the motivation be to better ourselves or impress others?

Remember, it’s all subjective.

It is important to remember that interviews and job applications are subjective processes. There are often a large number of different individuals involved in the process all with their own view on the “perfect candidate” for the role. Nevertheless, once you go through the process of applying for a job you really want it’s only natural to picture yourself in it and visualise all of the happy times ahead.

The only issue with all of this is that it’s someone else making a decision on whether you are suitable or not. There are so many other factors, similar to that listed above, involved in a decision-making process. Often another candidate applying can be your biggest barrier to landing your dream job – with almost 8 billion inhabitants on planet earth it is more than likely that you may face competition at some point when applying for a role.

It can be so easy to focus on the negatives and get personal when facing rejection in the workplace. The idea of someone being better than you, or you not being good enough, can be a bitter pill to swallow. It may seem unfathomable that your dream employer or dream role doesn’t look at you the same way you look at them. It is however so important to do all you can to focus on the positives and use this rejection as motivation when applying for your next job.

Believe me when I say this, your next “dream job” is more than likely just around the corner and you can’t afford to kill time by mourning a failed job application. Focus on the fact you were invited for interview, focus on how well you spoke and the positive feedback you received throughout the process, focus on the fact your CV immediately caught the eye of the hiring manager and focus on the fact you were honest to yourself throughout the application process. Rejection is an everyday phenomenon and is certainly not exclusive to job applications – getting used to it in everyday life can only aid you in a professional setting.

Learn from rejection.

I am not advocating failure here, I am advocating learning from rejection. Use it as your motivation, ask for feedback from the last process and take the learns into your next application. You can control the preparation, work ethic and mindset that you take into the next process, but you can’t control to the final decision. Yes, do everything you can to influence it, crush your competition and impress but don’t expect success, don’t expect to be liked and don’t waste time focusing on things you can’t control.

The best candidates and business leaders out there utilise rejection and use it as a means and motivator for success. It may seem personal, but it doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough. If you are true to yourself throughout a process and act with integrity and transparency throughout, I guarantee the dream job will come along at some point.

And who knows…rejection in a job application may lead you to realising that you are already sat there in your dream job or company.

Some quotes to end on…

“We all learn lessons in life. Some stick, some don’t. I have always learned more from rejection and failure than from acceptance and success” – Henry Rollins

“Sometimes rejection in life is really redirection” – Travis Smiley

“Learn to eat rejection; it will make you stronger” – Bob Ragland

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