No one likes to admit they were rejected. I know I don’t and I have been there. It hurts, it makes you feel weak, and it affects you both mentally and physically.
When I have been rejected in my professional life (either during a job interview process or even with an idea), I immediately backed down and have viewed it negatively, as I believe many people would.
Those mindsets started to shift for me when I began interviewing YoPros with the experience of rejection. And I learned how to start thinking of it positively. Here are some great takeaways to remember if you have been rejected or fear getting rejected in the workplace.
1. Rejection is redirection.
With one of my favorite taglines in my entire interviewing history, this one takes the cake for me. McKinzie Roth, Television & Radio Host in Indianapolis, Indiana (at the time of the interview), shares her experience of rejection with us. She says if you think of rejection this way, you are just being redirected to your right path and where you are supposed to go. In other words, when one door closes, another opens.
2. Sometimes your dreams don’t work, but it gets you to your next step.
In the same vein as McKinzie’s story, Meredith Taylor, a 25-year-old second-year law student at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, shared that she thought she was going to live in D.C. after graduating from Auburn University. However, after months of applying and not seeing the results she wanted, she found another opportunity. Looking back, she now knows that D.C. was not meant to be for her, even though it was her dream for so long. Instead, she found a wonderful opportunity for two years before realizing law school was her next step.
3. Rejection should not stop you.
Take it from Dan Fitzgerald, 24-year-old Finance and Program Coordinator at the Stevens Initiative at The Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. He shares how important it is to take every single opportunity that comes your way because if you apply for an opportunity and don’t get it, that should not stop you. Instead, it should get you motivated and you should learn from it. He even shares that he has rejected for “a million things” and can’t count the number of times he has been rejected for something. Though we know this is not true, it can oftentimes feel like it if you see a couple of rejections in a row. Just take it as a learning opportunity because you will get it eventually if you keep trying.
Each of these stories shares an important theme that overlaps with the others and it involves one door closing and another door opening with the right attitude. Again, rejection is not easy. But with a positive mindset and the understanding that rejection can be an actual learning opportunity, you will be better equipped if this comes your way.