Every Job Rejection Presents a New Learning Opportunity
If you’ve reached aged 60 and still live in fear of rejection, you haven’t really lived. Certainly in my 60+ years I have been rejected in every conceivable way, but I always pick myself up, assess the circumstances – sometimes more objectively than others – and then move my more informed self forward.
Of course rejection devastation is appropriate at times – like kindergarten. Who could forget those Valentine’s Days when missives to your heart were scant and some of your classmates barely had time to open all of theirs? Then, too, high school could be particularly brutal when “popular” girls were admired for their cashmere twinsets and not their brains. But life goes on and the longer you live the more context you have to put each of these peccadilloes in perspective.
Rejection – whether it be personal or work related – often has little to do with who you are. I don’t know many people more vulnerable than authors. They pour their heart, soul and intellect into every page of their manuscripts. Their writing may be brilliant but publishers with seeming reckless abandon reject them (unless they are already on some prestigious best-selling list) out of hand with such excuses as “the market just isn’t there for your book.”
Still, many authors who have been rejected zillions of times, pick themselves up from the floor, print out another copy (a publisher never returns the rejected copy) and send it out again. They persevere because they believe in themselves and their work. I recently learned that a current best-selling author (I won’t embarrass him by mentioning his name) with more than 10 million books in print and still selling experienced 85 rejections over 7 years before his first book was published.
NB: Just as you should never submit your resumé to an unknown entity at the employer of your dreams, never send your manuscript to a publishing house without having the name of an editor who has agreed to read it – or at least open the package.
There could be many valid reasons why you do not get the job of your dreams. It may have nothing to do with the credibility of your skills and accomplishments but, rather, that your talents are not a good fit. How well did you research the organization’s needs?
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Be open and prepared to hear the criticism. Do not be defensive! Your interest shows the hiring manager you care and he or she is more likely to remember you if another more appropriate position opens in their organization. Use what you learn to better market yourself for the next opportunity. Last but far from least – be sure to thank them for taking the time to do this!
Happy Valentine’s Day.