Dealing with rejection
Rejection in youris frustrating as it's often difficult understand why; be it an interview rejection, a declined pay rise or promotion or a negative response to your ideas. Here's how to make sense of your emotions, and to turn them around and use them to better your chances of future successes
Does everything really happen for a reason?
Just think of Harry Potter author JK Rowling whose first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, was initially rejected by many major British publishers. It wasn't until it landed on the desks at Bloomsbury Children's Books who saw its potential and subsequently paid around £10,000 for the rights. JK Rowling is now one the UK's highest-earning women.
The University of Southern California rejected multi-award winning-film director Steven Spielberg because his C-grade average was considered unacceptable, but that didn't stop him!
We regret to tell you that on this occasion...
If you're job-hunting, the one thing more nerve-racking than going for interviews is getting the call or letter that tells you whether or not you've got the job. If you thought you'd nailed the job, accepting rejection can be particularly tough; the important thing to bear in mind is not to take it personally. If there were five people all perfectly suited to the job, only one person will get it and the company may have picked someone who had something slightly different to offer, perhaps more experience, or more knowledge specific to the job.
Always ask for feedback, reflect on it and most importantly, take on board any criticism in a positive manner, ensuring you avoid making the same mistakes again in the future.
It's crucial that you don't get disheartened and lose confidence. If the interview went well, you know that you are coming across positively, so focus on another possibility - send out another application so that your motivation levels stay high; the last thing you want is to attend another interview and not perform to your best ability.
Research the company beforehand and know your CV like the back of your hand. You should be able to provide several examples of success during your career in various scenarios, which will also give you an added lift.
When the boss says no
To a pay rise. Asking for a pay rise can be nerve-racking to say the least, to then be rejected can make you feel you're not worth it. Remember however, that a negative response isn't always a reflection of your worth. The company has to take into account its budget for your department, whether your job has expanded enough to warrant a pay rise and how it could affect other employees. Plus there are external economic factors to consider such as inflation and the state of the economy which are out of the company's control
To a promotion. Asking for a promotion can also feel daunting. In an ideal world, you would be promoted regularly and given an appropriate pay rise. However, reality is often a little different. There may not be room in your department for a more senior role or one single promotion could upset the team structure. Business development director Jill Dann suggests a DIY approach to development: 'Really successful people invest in their own development even if their present company does not. If you can't afford a coach, then get some of the popular self-help books'
To your ideas. It's no surprise that criticism can be hurtful, as senior consultant psychologist Siobhan Hamilton-Phillips says, especially when it is badly delivered: 'For many, criticism is related to rejection because it's usually delivered by an authority figure. This triggers past uncomfortable emotions that may go back to childhood, raking up a subconscious memory of being told off, bullied, or humiliated, either at home or at school. The most important step for you to take is to separate your emotional feelings from the facts'