Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Handling Rejection

Yesterday I was rejected from an internship that I REALLY, REALLY wanted. Naturally, I was very disappointed, and I called up my family and friends to cry and make excuses about how obviously biased and stupid they were not to pick me, when I was PERFECT for this. Finally, though, I pulled myself together and decided to move on. Here were some of the things that I found helpful in getting over the rejection that I recommend:

First, let your feelings out. Call someone who knows how important the job was to you and talk about how you feel. The same methods that work for getting over an ex-boyfriend work well for getting over a job: try not to focus on what you're missing, talk about the negative aspects of the job, and consider other options. But just hearing someone else tell you that better things will come along makes a huge difference.

Distract yourself. Moping around the house all day drinking wine and eating ice cream in a Bridget Jones-esque binge isn't very healthy, and you'll probably just feel worse the next day. Go see a movie, hang out with a friend or go to the gym and work off your frustration and excess energy. Being around other people and staying active will keep you from focusing on your disappointment.

Be Proactive
. Within a couple of hours of getting the rejection call, I went online and searched for similar internships and wrote down a list of people I could contact for networking. While some people may not want to even think about continuing their job search the day of a rejection, I know that I felt a lot better just knowing that I had more options, some of which were very exciting. When you're able to focus on setting new goals, you're more likely to forget your old failures.

Of course, it always takes time to get over rejection, so don't be afraid to give yourself some time and space. But no matter what, dwelling on the situation and beating yourself up over it doesn't help you at all. It's much better to try to look ahead and consider the many options that are still out there.


Neil said...

In my own - recently successful :) - job search, I've made a point of never staking all my hopes on one outcome. Over the past several weeks, I had four on-site interviews with different companies I'd like to work for. Granted there were some I'd have enjoyed more than others, but in the end, I'd be happy to work for any of them, including the one I've decided on now. It wasn't my top choice - that company rejected me - but because I already had options in place, I was almost able to shrug it off.

Meg said...

If only we were all as successful as you, Neil...

Meg said...

That was a little snarky of me. I think your advice is very good if you're doing many interviews at once and don't want one job much more than the others. But you're right.