Job Search Tips

5 Ways to Handle Rejection Like a Pro

Written by Peter Jones

Rejection stinks and it happens to everyone. Everyone. We’ve all gone on first dates that didn’t turn into second dates. We’ve all missed out on the publication, the big promotion, the invite to our second-grade schoolmate’s selective birthday party. Instead of wallowing in self pity, here are five ways to make lemonade and reframe your rejection next time you get whacked with one.

1. Buckle down and rethink your strategy

Either it’s a numbers game and you just have to wade through the pile of “no’s” to get to the eventual “yes,” or there are things you could be doing better. Every few rejections, take a time out to reconsider your focus and your game plan, then make the necessary adjustments. This will make you feel like you’re doing something constructive even when the good news seems to be just beyond reach and out of your control.

2. If the door is closed, find the window

Or the silver lining. Or the upside of the downside. Basically, try and tell yourself that this rejection only leaves you open for a better opportunity you might have missed. In other words, let go of this one and go for one better!

3. Learn from it

Take each rejection as a challenge to goad you to do better and be better. No matter what, you’ll grow (and succeed) faster, regardless of how many rejections you receive. You’ll probably still get rejections; everybody always does. But if you learn something and let each one spur you on, you’ll be way ahead of the game.

4. Zen it out

Say to yourself that this just wasn’t meant to be. Maybe the timing was off, or you were looking in the slightly wrong direction. Tell yourself everything happens for a reason, try to be at peace with that, and prepare yourself to seize the next opportunity with clear eyes and open arms.

5. Realize it’s not all about you

Sometimes we’re rejected not because we’re not good enough. Sometimes we’re too good. Or the reason for our being rejected has nothing to do with us at all. Maybe you remind the hiring manager of a kid who bullied him on the playground 20 years ago. Or maybe someone was having a really bad day when she interviewed you. Or, for company politics reasons, they had to overlook your stellar qualifications in favor of some other factor. You never know. Sometimes it’s best to sit back and not take things quite so personally. Remember, the right
“yes” is just around the corner.


About the author

Peter Jones