Rejection. It’s a challenging thing to come to terms with, and unfortunately, something we all have to deal with at some point in our lives. Your dream university doesn’t accept you. Your crush doesn't reciprocate, a dream job picks another candidate over you, leaving you only with the classic, “We appreciate your interest, but have not selected your application for further consideration. We wish you the best of luck on your future endeavors”. It is supposed to be an easy letdown, but all we hear is, ‘you aren’t good enough.’ And that hurts. No matter how easy the brush-off is.
Imagine it, you are on the hunt for a job, any job, and you happen to stumble upon one you think is made for you. It might be your dream job, or it might be one that will get you where you want to go. You apply excitedly and cannot wait to hear back, and you do. But it isn’t what you wanted to hear. You got rejected. And it breaks your heart. What do you do now?
It is hard to think you aren’t good enough. Especially for a job or internship you have wanted forever. You probably feel hurt, discouraged, angry, and even slight jealousy. But it is important to remember that this is just a tiny blimp on your way to the top. However, it is also helpful to learn some tricks to cope with rejection.
First, you need to allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. Accept it. Wallow in it. Let yourself feel the pain you are experiencing. The feeling will help you move on entirely. The more you wanted the opportunity, the harder it will be to process. The rejection and dire need to know why things didn’t work out will leave a lot to the imagination. Chances are, you will never know why you didn’t get the job — so don’t let the thoughts consume you too much.
Second, do not overthink it. I constantly pull myself down by overthinking every little thing that happens. But you can’t let negative feelings out on yourself. It is a form of toxicity we need to avoid in our lives. If you are hard on yourself and keep telling yourself you are not good enough, it will be harder to get back up and try again. Remember the confident, radiant, talented person you are. It is one job; there are so many others out there. Rejection is a temporary setback on the way to your future.
Third, give yourself some self-love. You deserve it. Make a list of your best qualities, keep positive mantras on hand, and surround yourself with people who truly value you. It is best to know your worth in the tough times. Spending time with the people you love and the people who see your value will help you move on.
Lastly, keep your job search going. Work on your résumé a little more, reach out to connections you have made, give your cover letter some love, and even create an online portfolio or website for yourself. The more information you provide your future employer with, the better you look. And always keep your networking going. Go on your LinkedIn page and go at it. The more connections you have, the more desirable a candidate you will be.
The short version of this is to not give up on your dreams because it gets too hard. At this point in your life, getting internships, trying to be the best, looking desirable, and always having to be on-point is stressful and exhausting. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to feel. Getting rejected by any means is heart-wrenching, but you can get through it. And always remember, things will work out!