Dr. Lisa Gonzales
Bouncing Back from Rejection
noun: rejection; plural noun: rejections
the dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea, etc.
synonyms:refusal, nonacceptance, declining, turning down, no, dismissal, spurning, rebuff, kick in the teeth
Kick in the teeth? Ouch!
But if you've experienced rejection in the professional realm, that's a seemingly realistic descriptor.
Rejection isn't the end of our stories. They help us to grow and they remind us that taking risks isn't always easy but helps us learn and become more resilient. Sometimes it even makes us work harder.
But at times it can be off putting and drive us internally to a shell of loneliness and isolation, avoiding further rejection at all costs. Taking chances can become difficult in time if you don't shift the mindset to look beyond. It could very well be that there is more to gain from the rejection than that which you sought.
Take for example what you perceived as the perfect job. You studied up. You practiced sample questions. Even your references were primed and ready to sell you to the nth degree. And then the dreaded call, email or (heaven forbid) silence....it wasn't going to happen.
Guess what? Maybe it wasn't the perfect job and fate just might be telling you that something better is in store than what you sought.
What can help to move beyond the rejection?
1. Keep open to other opportunities. Perfect opportunities aren't always perfect under the surface, and rejection really isn't personal. While you may lose a little steam, go back to your trusted confidants and mentors. Let them help you refocus and regroup. Look at the scenario(s) from different angles to see if you're missing anything or if there is a better out there that you might have thought was just an average opportunity.
2. Praise yourself. Sound silly? It's really not. Take a moment to congratulate yourself on what you tried and your efforts. It's not easy to put yourself out there. If you prepared and you gave it your best shot, even if you got nervous or felt you missed on a question or two in an interview, use it as a learning opportunity.
3. Find your best coping mechanism and allow yourself to enjoy it. Like massages? A great latte at your favorite coffee bar? A run in the hills? Soothing yourself after rejection is very fair. Find something you enjoy to balance what took place. It enables a refocus and reset. And it feels good. After a major or minor rejection, a feel good is just that.....it feels good. And you earned it.
Want to read a bit more?
Check out this article that profiles five individuals who overcame rejection in the workplace, particularly after being passed up for promotions at work. Very insightful....Take a look and read it HERE.