How to Handle Rejection With Grace

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I’ve had plenty of interviews and many times I have never been called back.  It hurts me every time.  The sting doesn’t go away and it makes me feel like a bit of a failure.  Rejection is just a part of life and something you are going to have to get used to.  Sure, it sucks. Big time. But hopefully you can take a few things away from the experience and grow more from it.  Here are 5 tips to handle rejection with grace.

1) Pinpoint your weak spots: Maybe it was something you said in your interview or the way you handled a question.  Sometimes, I find myself walking out of interviews and cringing once I remember what I had said or hadn’t said.  It always kills me and usually I won’t get that job.  You need to practice in front of your mirror and really try to remember that it’s not a race.  You can take your time to answer the questions as long as you look like you’re thinking long and hard about the response.

2) Fix up your resume and/or portfolio: Every time I don’t get a position or flat out get rejected, I allow myself to go back to my resume and tweak it.  I also find that if you have another pair of eyes on the page, they are more likely to find mistakes that you would otherwise miss out.  It always helps me cope with the disappointment if I know that I am bettering something that can help me in the long run.

3) Go Out!: Don’t hole yourself up by yourself and be too sad about the whole ordeal.  I always like to remind myself that it was a huge step in just getting an interview.  I had nearly been there but not quite.  That itself is a great accomplishment and just for that–go out and enjoy yourself.  This could be just going for a walk in the park, happy hour with friends, or some retail therapy.  It will put a pep in your step and allow yourself think about future endeavors.

4) Keep Positive: I used to be a total pessimist.  I would be moody and angry at myself and the world when I wouldn’t get the job or interview.  Now, I find myself scouring Pinterest pages for quotes. Quotes are my form of therapy.  If I find a super pretty or good one, I print it out and put it on my wall near my bed.  Every morning, I will get up and take a good look at it.  It relaxes me and reminds me that things could be much worse and that I should get over the small things and keep on going.

5)Try Again: Try again.  No, seriously.  People move positions all the time so chances are when you apply again, a year later or so, that there will be new faces.  I had been rejected a position at Ann Taylor as an intern.  3 years later, I applied once again and got the position only a few hours my interview. I had gone out, applied to other places, grew my resume and experience, and most of all learned what I had messed up on and fixed them.  I had impressed them and I had gotten one of my dream internships.

If I could do it, so could anybody else! You need to have a positive attitude, a big smile, and just be glad you got the interview! You will feel even better once those rejections turn into a yes!

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