Career Advice  

See the Positive Side of Rejection with These 3 Tips

See the Positive Side of Rejection with These 3 Tips

When you pursue a new project at work, a position at a new company, or even a new social group to join, a little rejection inevitably comes with these opportunities. That sting can lead to negative self-talk – that you are unworthy, you will never be appreciated, you will always be overlooked.

As Career Coach Margi Williams based in the U.S. points out, “We often rush from moment to moment without taking time to acknowledge and celebrate the lessons we learn along the way.” Instead of processing the whole picture, we narrow in on our pain. “New levels of personal growth may be impossible to achieve without unpacking those transformative experiences. Those are the rich nuggets of wisdom that reside just beneath the surface.”

You evolve and remain resilient using those insights. This can be especially true in your career, as you navigate your career goals, advancement opportunities, or new roles. Furthermore, rejection is unavoidable in these areas, but it isn’t always a bad thing.

As this quote by Steve Maraboli states, “Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.”

What if rejection is actually the best thing that could happen to you in that situation? What if you could not take it personally?

There’s a positive side to every rejection. Here are 3 tips on how to find it:

#1: Manage your emotions. It is key to managing rejection.

“As a coach, I encourage individuals to embrace the power of positive emotions when navigating the highs and lows of their career. I suggest exercises that are scientifically supported by tenets of positive psychology and neuroscience. These spike dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins,” comments Margi. “They positively affect our motivation, productivity, and wellbeing.”

She recommends the use of a Positivity Portfolio to purposely evoke positive emotions. The portfolio may include physical objects. However, conceptualising a virtual portfolio provides easy access on a smart phone. “For instance, when preparing for an interview or networking call, individuals may experience moments of self-doubt,” Margi shares. “This results in low dopamine levels. Viewing their portfolio may trigger a much-needed release of serotonin. In addition, it stimulates feelings of significance and self-importance.”

Also, it’s effective to remind yourself of your personal and professional values, strengths, skills, and interests. “Reflecting on these can help you focus in on the next steps you want to take,” Margi points out.

As Career Coach George Dutch based in Canada shares, the “rejection” isn’t necessarily about you, your experience, or your resume. Sometimes our ego gets too tangled up in it. “It’s important to manage the emotional context of rejection by understanding the external variables and mechanics at play.” When it comes to applying for a new job or a promotion, George believes, “It’s not personal! It’s about the needs and priorities of the employer.”

#2: Keep things in perspective.

George shares that “terms and definitions are important when dealing with subjective material.” If you’re a job seeker, you may feel rejected if you believe you are very qualified for a position but you never received a response from the company. Taking it personally fuels how you process the situation. George emphasises, “90% of resumes submitted online are never read. The online job search mechanics prevented you from being selected. This has nothing to do with your perceived value to the potential employer.”

Every experience, whether it results in a win or a loss, is an opportunity to gain intel for the next encounter. “I remind participants to remain optimistic about their value in the marketplace. Identify past examples of wins,” Margi comments. “This brings perspective on the strengths and values that motivated them to reach their goal.”

When stuck in a job search, George points out, “Everyone is employable. It’s a matter of applying your time and energy toward proven strategies to be in the right place at the right time with an employer who has the right reason to hire you.”

#3: Give yourself permission to embrace new possibilities.

Rejection does not have to signify the end of something. In fact, it can be a positive redirect toward the way you are suppose to go.” In 2008, a massive corporate restructuring resulted in the elimination of my department,” shares Margi. “During the first few months of my separation, I worked desperately to secure employment in a similar role with comparable pay. However, the greatest gift I ultimately gave myself was permission to embrace new possibilities.”

Hearing “no” may be the eye-opener you need to consider what else is possible for you personally and professionally. Also, you are in a position to start dreaming. Instead of letting the rejection hold you back, see it as a way to explore unique opportunities.

Margi states, “My willingness to professionally adapt allowed me to embrace a new career and convert a perceived setback into a professional success. In fact, it may be my most significant professional achievement to-date.”


Rejection in unavoidable in life.

The better you are at managing it, the more resilient you will become. Remember that rejection is not always a strike against you. There is something to learn and grow from with each experience. Also, a better opportunity may be waiting for you as a result of it.

Rejection can lead to transformation. Discover tips for transitioning into a new YOU

Contribution by Ashlee Ayers.

Ashlee is an IMPACT Group Marketing Content Manager who oversees content planning, develops marketing collateral, and shares IMPACT Group’s story each day. 

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