We’re going to have a gal-to-gal pep talk. Let’s act like we’re sitting down across the table from one another for a coffee date or a happy hour. I’ve been hearing from a lot of people how discouraging it can be when you get rejected from a job. And I 100% get that. It can be brutal.
Here’s how it usually goes down: you see a position and you are like “YES! I am totally qualified. I’ll definitely be able to sell myself!” So you apply. Maybe you don’t even get to the interview. Immediate rejection. Or then you land the interview. But maybe you don’t get called back (ghosted, ugh!). Or you get a call back that says “We aren’t going to move forward.” Or you get to the very last round of the interviews...and then it just doesn’t pan out. If you’re in the job search process, you probably know what I’m talking about here. If this has happened, you know just what I mean by those feelings after you get rejected from a job.
So today, I am going to talk about the four things that help me the most when I get rejected in my work life. Because unfortunately, rejection is something that happens a lot in our life. And I really struggle with rejection as an Enneagram 3 – especially in my personal life! Rejection in my professional life hasn’t been as difficult….but that personal life rejection? Woof.
We all have times when we were rejected. These may include:
- From colleges
- From the cool kids’ table in high school
- From a person we had a crush on
- After a first date
- Being put in the friend zone
- Didn’t get a promotion
- A client decided not to hire you
So what do we do? I’ve got four things to focus on….and I want you to listen in, soak it up, and hold onto these things as true.
What We’re Talking About
- The encouragement you need to hear after you’ve been rejected from a job
- How to make friends with rejection
- A note from me to you
Be careful of the narrative you tell yourself
Here’s the truth: YOU ARE STILL WORTHY...even if you got rejected from a job.
I want you to be so careful of the narrative you tell yourself after getting rejected from a job. It is so easy to slip into the hums of “not enough” – telling yourself I’m terrible, I’m no good, confidence-boosting stuff is crap, no way no how, I’ve proven to myself I should just give up.
I need you to hit pause on that and do a few things:
- Cut out the lies that you will never be hired
- Move into abundance and out of scarcity
- Your mindset matters
Hoping is hard, friend. I know it’s true in the job search. And I found it to be so true in the dating journey I’ve been on. The fear of rejection made me scared to hope. But it’s time to do the work. To train your brain to believe truth instead of lies. If you’ve been believing the lies, this is going to take extra work. But I know you can do it! And I promise you that when you do the work, the lies will begin to dissipate. Step out of the lies and into truth….I promise it will change your life!
Have you ever seen The Princess Bride? Is your mind going into the PIT OF DESPAIR?! Don’t get stuck there – fight your way out!
As a woman of faith, I deeply believe that God has a master plan. I can see it looking back on my career, especially looking back on things that didn’t happen. And I’ve seen it in my personal life too. God has a plan for you. This isn’t by accident. This isn’t a mistake. God made you in unique, specific ways, with gifts and purpose. You are worthy. You have something to offer. You are an asset to the right company...you just may not have found them yet! Do not forget it!
How to Think About Rejection
Don’t let the rejection affect you to your core. Treat it like a ping pong ball.
There are three ways to think about emotions in the workplace:
- Dagger – completely pierces you and the wound is deep
- Burr – sticks to you for a while but not penetrating
- Ping pong ball – comes in but bounces right off
Be careful of comparison
If you do find out who got the job, don’t fall into the trap of comparison. I know it’s tempting to look them up on LinkedIn and begin to think, “I’m better than them….” or “I’m not nearly as good as them, no wonder I didn’t get the job…”
Neither of these pathways is helpful! The comparison game is not helpful. So don’t go stalk the person who got the job. Don’t let yourself get trapped in thinking about how you’re better than the person who got the job. It just doesn’t help. And comparison can be a trap that’s really hard to get out of.
Run your own race. Their race is different than yours. Focus on yours. It’s ok to benchmark at times, but if you do it for very long you’re going to get overwhelmed by being better than or being not enough. Don’t waste your time here, friend.
Be careful of striving and straining
A lot of you listening are my type-A folks. You are a high achiever, moving ahead in your career, and you’re excited about the trajectory you’re on. And what usually happens to us high achievers (myself included) is that when we get rejected, we try harder. We go to the other end of the spectrum and begin to strive and strain to prove that we are successful. We get a little crazy, don’t we? I know it because I do this too y’all!
We’re trying to grab control. But the truth is: control is the enemy here. Holding so tightly to things doesn’t usually do a ton of good. There’s a posture change between holding super tightly or having open hands. It’s like going on a dating app after you got a text from a guy you were seeing who doesn’t want to see you anymore...going crazy on the app to grasp control back usually doesn’t work super well long- term.
Resist the temptation to hit the ground running again immediately after you get rejected. What I’d suggest after rejection instead: take a beat. Before you jump back into the ring, take a beat. Gather yourself, take a breather, recognize the pain, and then get back in there!
Be careful of giving up
Don’t give up! I don’t want you to take a break for so long that you give up. We gotta keep going.
Some pro tips here:
- Resiliency is the key to success
- Get comfortable with rejection
- Become almost callous to it
Getting comfortable with rejection is one of the best things I’ve ever done for my career and business. To be on mission, I can’t be down for the count for a few days because of rejection. I need to be clear on who I am, whose I am, what I’m about, and stay on track. Then rejection doesn’t sway me. I can learn from it, but I’m not taken out by it.
I’d encourage you to journal through some times you’ve been rejected and then write the truth about those times and about who you are. Cover it in truth.
A Note From Me to You
A special note to you, as if I was writing you a personal text or sending you a letter in the mail.
Friend, You are so very gifted. Your talents are unique to you and whether or not a company decides to hire you or not does not determine your worth. You were made uniquely and specifically and just because this didn’t work out doesn’t mean there aren’t a zillion more opportunities out there. I know you feel upset and hurt and frustrated and you just want this job searching nonsense to be OVERRRR. But here’s what I know about God’s story and God’s plan – he is never a second early, nor is he a second late. He is precisely on time with each and every move and pivot in your life. So keep moving forward. Don’t stay stuck. And remember, you have something AMAZING to offer to a company. You are the asset! And that company would be absolutely dang lucky to have you on your team. I’m cheering you on from good ol’ Franklin Tennessee – you have got this.
If you’re feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, or discouraged after a rejection, I hear you. I’m sorry. Relisten to this and be encouraged. There are a zillion opportunities out there. I’d love to hear from you. Send me a message on LinkedIn or Instagram and let me know if this was encouraging or helpful. And let me know what else you’d like to hear.
Cheering you on!
The Words of Encouragement You Need to Hear AFTER You Get Rejected From a Job
July 1, 2020