I dealt with a rejection today. It’s only 9 a.m. and it’s definitely not the way I wanted to start the day but here I am.
The rejection was from a job I applied for, from a publication closer to home. A job I really thought I had a chance at. And even though they weren’t interested in me, I remain confident that I was qualified for the position.
But that’s the thing, isn’t it? How do you remain confident in the face of rejection? How do you pick yourself out of the hole when someone looks at you, studies you, analyzes what you do and says: No thanks?
It’s hard, it really is. I’ve faced my fair share of rejections in all manners of my life from college applications (shoutout to ODU), jobs, contests, friendships and romantic relationships. Rejection is part of life. I forced myself to learn that when I became a writer!
Anyway, I was rejected today. After weeks of mulling over the millions of possibilities this job could bring me over and over again in my head (shoutout to you anxiety), it all came to a very abrupt and anticlimactic end simply by reading an email. Suddenly, those possibilities were gone and all it took was 5 seconds.
So, how do we handle rejection?
I used to crumble at the idea of rejection and in certain areas of my life I still do. But at least, when it comes to jobs, the only thing I know is to square my shoulders and keep going. I bum out for a minute, we all deserve a little block of time to mourn whatever it is we lost, and then I move on.
In a few years, when I have a better job – an amazing job – one that I love, I’ll look back and be thankful for the moment they decided to reject me. It just wasn’t in the cards. This job just wasn’t meant to be.
A lot easier said than done, I know. But, I always try to remind myself of the insane sense of pride that will swell through me when I look back, years in the future, and think to myself: Wow, you really missed out when you didn’t pick me.