There is no professional or job aspirant who has a perfect record; at some point, you will apply for what seems like a dream job – and be rejected, maybe more than once. But is this rejection endgame? Or is there more to it?
For anyone who has faced rejection, in that moment it can seem like you’re doomed and will be unable to fulfil your life goals. That’s rarely the case, of course, but knowing that intellectually doesn’t help at the time. That’s why a useful step is to look back on your own past history of failed efforts and reflect on how they made other things possible for you.
Like any other failure, this will also lead to an opportunity that might just be as good if not better. As in other aspects of life, your failure can provide you with an opportunity to introspect and improve.
Romanticising the unknown
International companies, like Amazon and Google, are every professional’s dream to work with, incidentally, they are also amongst the top 5 companies with the highest employee turnover rate.
While this might not be something you would want to hear if you just got rejected, it is true nonetheless. The human tendency to romanticise scenarios or even professional aspirations might make you ignorant of certain realities pertaining to every job environment – landing your dream job, only to find out the company’s values aren’t in sync with yours, or that you have a toxic boss. That dream job might not be as dreamy as the image you conjured up in your mind.
Reevaluate your goals
While you might feel like wallowing in self-pity, it is more important to rethink your goals. Though there may be a specific organisation you dream to work with it is most certainly not the only one. Make your profession your dream rather than a specific organisation or a specific position.
Keep sight of what you would ultimately like to achieve professionally, and if there is a dream position or another organisation that would land you on the same path, there is no harm in changing tactics.
As Einstein said: “for a happy life, attach your life to a goal, not and organisation or people.”
Find Alternative Avenue’s
After I completed my master’s degree, I decided to get a doctorate and build a career in academia. I was crestfallen, when I was turned down by every doctoral program I applied to. I thought that was the end of my teaching aspirations, but less than four years later, I networked my way into adjunct teaching at a prominent local university, and within a few years, had started teaching executive education. For any goal you have, there are likely alternate paths that will work just as well, if not better.
Dust off and skill up
While rejections might feel final, they aren’t, we are often rejected from jobs because we just don’t have the experience we need or the necessary credentials to match the position.
However, a job position can always be applied for again, an examination can be attempted once more and even the most disastrous interview will not be the only one you get.
The central idea is to find purpose in what you can do. While you are not responsible for all that happens to you, you are responsible for how you react to what happens to you. Stop the blaming and the resentment and assert control over what you can. Is there a way you can skill up? Are there any means by which you can improve? What qualities does the selected candidate possess? And how can you do better next time?
If you were turned down because you lacked certain skills or experience, this is the chance to harness your indignation productively.
Not landing your dream gig might impart on you one of the most important lessons life has to offer you plans don’t ways workout, but your failure is the condiment that will give flavour to your success.