You've had the interview for your dream job and you think you did pretty well. That is, until you get the call - ‘Thank you for your application, but you have not been selected’.
The bottom drops out of your world for a few minutes. They don't want me? Why?
Rejection is a painful and difficult feeling to deal with. Especially when you've been pinning your hopes on something, or you really felt that this job had come at the right time for you. I've been rejected more than a few times in my life. Each time has been painful and difficult, and each time I have learned something. It's a cliche to say that without those rejections I wouldn't be where I am today, but it rings true. Without having been rejected for those other jobs, I would not be working where I am now. And I love my job now!
I decided to completely change career direction in my late twenties. Overnight I went from being a Retail Store Manager, in charge of a multi-million turnover store with a huge team, to being a poor, broke student. It was a big risk, as I had a mortgage to pay and a baby on the way. But I emerged from the course with a great degree, and I was brimming with confidence about my new skills. Surely I would be a perfect catch for any employer - qualifications AND over 10 years solid management experience - who could turn that down?
In turned out that, in fact, lots of employers could turn that down! I had left a secure job with a comfortable salary to re-train in a field I'm passionate about, but it's wasn’t going to pay off if I couldn’t find anyone to actually employ me. I didn't mind starting down at the bottom of the ladder again, so I went for every entry level position I could find without success. Interview after interview, the rejections kept coming. This went on for months, and it made me feel sad and frustrated.
Then along came two very similar jobs in my field, with two amazing organisations. Both entry level, but I really felt I was suited to these positions due to my previous experience. I went for them both - and after months of rejection - I was offered both! I chose carefully, and am still in the job seven years later. I've been promoted internally and risen to a senior position again, and it’s in a field I am passionate about.
Without the rejection of those other jobs, I wouldn’t have found the job I am in now. Despite the pain and sadness of rejection, I managed to stay focused and find my place in the world. Don't let rejection get you down. Learn and move on. Be patient. There's always something else around the corner, and that might just be the job you've been waiting for your whole life.
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