Twenty One Ways to Survive Rejection

No matter where you encounter it in life – cheerleading tryouts, online dating services, college applications, job hunting – rejection hurts. It’s easy to feel victimized or suffer a rapid depletion of self-esteem. But when it comes to finding a new position, that kind of defeatism isn’t acceptable. You have bills to pay.

BusinessWeek offers one of those occasional pep talks I like to call "kick in the pants" journalism. Writer Jeff Schmitt presents 21 ways to turn job hunt rejection into actions that you can take to keep the process going productively.

Schmitt’s slide show mixes the obvious (follow up with the interviewer after a rejection to find out what went wrong) to the creative (find a new challenge, something you can control and conquer while your job hunt continues). Here are two of my favorite tips:

Find Your Identity: Your net worth is taking a dive. And your self-worth is following suit with each rejection. Too often, our work gives us purpose and direction. In reality, we’re the ones who enrich the job; it doesn’t define us. Your technical skills can you get an interview. But your intangibles – attitude, work ethic, people skills, leadership and pride – will earn you the job. Consciously work towards becoming the person you should be.

And :

Accept Your Mistakes: An abundance of time, coupled with successive defeats, lends itself to introspection. Unfortunately, we can start dissecting everything, particularly our life and career choices. Sure, you took a few wrong turns. And you probably wish you’d learned Arabic or Chinese about now. But you can’t dwell. Let it go and move on. Don’t create future regrets by not taking advantage of the present.

There. Don’ t you feel better already?

–Don Willmott

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