After completing my graduate studies and with five years of experience at the same company in California, I found myself at a crossroads. It was time for a change, a step up the career ladder that my current role couldn't provide. What followed was a journey filled with challenges and invaluable lessons.
At that time interviews weren't done on Zoom so I was traveling all over the state to interview for different government-type positions. After doing this for some time and getting second place six times, I was starting to run out of funds. I decided to try a different strategy and apply to private sector companies and soon after that I found a great position as an Area Manager for an educational company.
Through countless applications, interviews, and persistent efforts, I discovered how to rebound from rejections and emerge stronger than ever before. Below are some strategies I used to strengthen my resiliency muscle.
Keep a Positive Mindset
It’s easy to spiral into negative thinking after a rejection. However, a positive mindset can help you bounce back and approach future opportunities optimistically.
To achieve this, I adopted the practice of finding one positive thought or an inspiring quote to uplift my spirits. For instance, “I owe this to myself and my family” or “I’ve been successful at other things and I know I can do this too”. If you have difficulty coming up with a single positive thought, try looking for a quote that inspires you and adopt it as your own. For example, here is an uplifting quote I recently came across. “As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.” ~ Steve Maraboli
For instance, the words of Steve Maraboli resonate with me: "As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better."
One thing I see that helps grads rebound quickly is turning to one positive thought
Focus on your strengths and past accomplishments, and don’t let rejection undermine your self-confidence. Remember that rejection is a learning opportunity, and it can help you improve and grow.
Refocus on Your Why
Rejection often makes us forget why we pursued a particular job or career path in the first place. When faced with rejection, it's crucial to take a step back and remind yourself of your goals and aspirations. Rejection may be a temporary setback, but your objectives remain within reach through other opportunities.
Embrace the Big Picture
When you get rejected for something you want, it can feel like the end of the world. But, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Remember that there are countless other opportunities, so try not to set your heart on any one company. Rejections don't define your future and are really part of the job search process for everyone. Keep your eye on the big picture and try to not take it personally.
Learn From the Experience
Rejection isn't solely a closed door; it's also a valuable learning opportunity. Don't hesitate to seek feedback, which you can use to refine your application materials and interview skills. You can also reflect on your own performance and identify areas for growth. Embrace rejection as a chance to learn and evolve rather than a reason to give up.
Responding Gracefully to Rejection
Receiving a rejection letter can stir a whirlwind of emotions. Writing a letter back and thanking them for the opportunity and time they took to consider you can help get you back on track.
Express your gratitude for the opportunity and the time the company invested in considering you. This not only helps you see the situation from the employer's perspective but also aids in letting go of any ill feelings. Moreover, it positions you as a mature professional, increasing your chances of being reconsidered for future opportunities.
The Power of Persistent
Persistence is key when it comes to rebounding from rejection. Keep networking, connecting with new people, and applying for other opportunities. Refuse to let rejection deter you. Even when the path feels daunting, keep pushing forward. Remember, rejection is a normal part of the process, and it doesn't define your abilities or potential.
Rejection is a difficult but inevitable part of life. By maintaining a positive mindset, refocusing on your goals, learning from rejection, responding gracefully, and persisting in your efforts, you can rebound from rejection and achieve your objectives.
Remember that rejection doesn’t define you and is not a reflection of your worth; it's simply a stepping stone on your path to success. There are always new opportunities out there waiting to be discovered.