I’ve dealt with my fair share of rejections during this post grad job hunting frenzy. Safe to say, rejection hurts. Rejection sucks. If you’re anything like me, you get super excited and attached to the prospect of a job. You look up apartments you can live in, and what restaurants you would visit. And then, when the rejection email comes weeks later your whole fantasy of a perfect life comes crashing down making the rejection even more disappointing. It’s probably a good idea not to get overly attached to job opportunities the way I do. For me, I can’t help but get excited about things. But what I can control is the way I deal with rejection. Here are four ways of coping with rejection that I’ve found very helpful and crucial in the emotional roller coaster of post grad life.
Believe in Yourself
Here is a quote I heard that has made a big impact on my perspective lately. “A person’s success does not make your failure.” Just because there are loads of talented people in the world does not in any way demean or diminish your talent. There are 7 billion people in the world. And chances are that many of them have the same dream and goals that you do. The job market is incredibly competitive, more so than maybe any other time in history. Just because someone else got the job this time around doesn’t necessarily mean it’s because you are less talented. Many times it’s because of experience or they know someone that you don’t. Do not get discouraged. The job market is a tough place and you have to have the conviction in your dreams, skills, and potential if you want to survive. As terrifying as it sounds, people will stop giving you support once you’ve reached a certain number of rejections. So you will need to become your main supporter, main cheerleader, and the voice in your head that says ‘keep going.’
Don’t Give Up on Your Dreams
After about the second month of joblessness many people have tried to steer me in other directions where I might get a job. I know that their intentions were for my well being but all I could equate their advice to was giving up on my dream. It may be a lot easier to settle for a job in a different field, but for me that would be purely for income which is not what I want to be the defining criteria for my career. I’ve contemplated many other avenues for my career but every other direction felt wrong, like a betrayal for the cherished life goals I’ve had since I was 16. I don’t want to live my life passively until I’m on my death bed and think what if? What if I had tried a little longer? What if I had stayed with my dreams rather than other people’s dreams for my life? What if I had believed in myself and had the courage to pursue what I truly wanted? I think that many people will give you the, “Maybe it’s not meant to be?” question. But if you truly know what you are supposed to be doing with your life, and feel like it is why you have the talents that you do then you have to stick to that. You have to persevere through the rejection if you believe that this dream is the plan that God has for your life.
Success is Not a Straight Line
I saw this picture online and it gave me so much hope. If you look at the greats, nobody immediately became a success. It took wrong turns, mistakes, failures, and hardship to reach their dreams. What I had to learn during post grad life is that dreams take time, a long amount of time to come into fruition. Where would be the satisfaction if it happened over night? It’s important to remember that if you don’t get the dream job now, it may come back around in the future. It’s waiting until you are primed and matured by the seasons of life to become a better you to better complete the job. Success and dreams take patience. So if you do take the job you hadn’t planned for now, know that it’s not the end but only the beginning to the whirlwind road to success.
Many times in life we wait for someone to hand us something. We go to school. We get handed a diploma, then a degree, then a job. Many of the doors in life, we wait for someone else to open for us. But if there is a door that is shut in your life, no one says you can’t open it yourself. If you have a dream, pursue it now. Even if you’ve been repeatedly rejected you can still say yes to yourself. Find a way. If you want to write a book and no one will publish it, you can self publish. If you want to be an actress but aren’t getting hired, make your own movie. No one says we can’t do these things on our own. Rejection is a time for you to learn your shortcomings, work on them, hone your skills, and work for yourself. If no one is handing you your dream, work for it on your own terms before you do get that dream job and discover you are no longer your own boss anymore (unless your dream is to become CEO). You may even discover that following your own path was better than the dream you had in mind before.
I’ve submitted over 50 applications to get some sort of job, any job that has to do with writing. I graduated in December. Three and a half months later I still don’t have a real job (other than part-time jobs to fill space). I want to write. So I started blogging again and the result of doing what I want to do completely on my own terms has felt so gratifying. It’s become my release. My reminder that yes, this is what I want to do. I may not be where I want to be yet. But I am still trying and I still know that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Time is something I wrestle with. But I just remind myself that we are all living on our own time tables. As long as I keep pursuing, working hard towards my dreams, God will find a way for my life.
I hope this post gave you a little inspiration to keep pursuing your dreams. Let me know in the comments what other post grad topics you’d like to read about in the future.