I don’t really. Although you would probably think otherwise if you knew me (It happens to me a lot).
I’ve been rejected for as long as I can remember. I was rejected at my Taekwon – Do green belt test when I was 6 years old, at my junior high graduation dance when my first girlfriend stood me up. Then it continued throughout university. The bar scene was my main source of rejection until I tried to test my luck with law school and business school where I was also rejected. I thought I couldn’t be rejected by anyone else until I tried to gain employment in Nova Scotia… then Ontario. My journey through the employment process opened my eyes to a whole new world of rejection.
A wise woman once told me that if you continue to learn the same lesson, it’s for a reason. This made me think about being rejected and I realized Rejection is an opportunity in disguise. Each time I’m rejected there is a reason and that reason is often an opportunity to improve and further myself in some way. The main thing about rejection is that it’s necessary for growth. I purposely extend beyond my comfort zone knowing that statistically I will get shut down more than I succeed. But those few times where I do succeed is reassurance that I made the right move.
Sounds simple but being reject as much as I have isn’t easy. It takes its toll mentally. It’s easy to just say, “What the hell is wrong with me?” Or worse… blame the world and say, “What the hell is wrong with them?” The key is perseverance and these three steps:
Step 1: Get Rejected!
I’ve always chose to have a can do attitude. I figure if I want something, try for it. The worst that can happen is that they say no, sorry, next time. I’ve had this weird obsession with Apple (the company). I want to work for them. It’s my dream job. I’ve tried twice now. I’ve applied to two different positions, moved to a different province to pursue one, gone through a total of 6 interviews, a dozen phone calls and countless e-mails. I was rejected on both accounts.
Step 2: Be sad, take time, reflect.
I just got rejected! Of course I’m not happy. I allow myself to be sad and think about being rejected because there is a reason and a lesson to learn here. In the case of Apple, they were kind enough to point it out and give me feedback on what it takes to be a successful candidate.
Step 3: Learn/Adapt
I Don’t let step 2 take forever. I try to focus on perseverance which I believe is key to success. H. Jackson Brown once said,
“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins – not through strength but by perseverance.”
I’ve taken the feedback Apple has given me and moved on. Once I have what they want I’ll go back at it. Until then I try to keep in mind The Art Of Adaptation.
The Art Of Adaptation: Rejection is opportunity in disguise. Get rejected, reflect, and adapt as necessary. Most importantly persevere.
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