Tis the season. No, not the holiday season (winter break is over, we need to accept that), but rejection season. The spring semester is filled with applying to graduate school, summer internships, full-time jobs (for those of us graduating), or even just a summer job at home. But with all of those applications inevitably comes rejections. We can’t get every position we apply to, unfortunately.
So you get a rejection letter. What do you do now? Do you get angry? Lose hope? Give up entirely? Or…do you pull yourself together and keep pursuing your passions, your goals, your dreams? Getting that rejection letter can be really hard but here are a few ways to handle it and move forward.
Let yourself feel disappointed
Chances are that if you applied for a certain position, you felt you were qualified and could perform the responsibilities well. You could see yourself holding that position for the foreseeable future, so getting the rejection shatters that image you had for yourself. It is okay to feel disappointed you didn’t get an offer. But the key is to not let the disappointment consume you. It is also worthwhile to remember that a rejection does not determine your worth or the value of the skills you have. It just means that this particular position wasn’t meant for you, so try not to be too hard on yourself.
Take your mind off of it
If you’re anything like me, when you find your ideal position, you start planning what your life would be like while you had that job or that research position. Once you no longer have that opportunity available, it can be hard to return to the present. But I always find that doing something fun can help take my mind off of things for a bit. Whether it’s a movie, going out for dinner or just hanging out with your friends, I find that at the end of the night, I feel better about where I am right now, and I don’t feel quite as bad about being rejected.
As much as we hate getting those rejection letters, we are going to be getting much more throughout the course of our careers. Sometimes, there are just too many qualified candidates. I like to think that being rejected from one place only means that I wasn’t meant to be there at this point in my life/career and that something better is waiting for me, I just have to find it. If we quit after our first rejection, we wouldn’t be able to find our dream position. It’s all about perspective.
So you get a rejection letter. What do you do now? Do you let yourself be disappointed? Take your mind off of the rejection? Keep going? Of course, you do! There is something better waiting for you, you just have to go out and find it. Don’t let the rejection letter deter you from achieving your goals.