Rejection in your professional life How to Handle ?
I have received tons of noes in my life. In grade school , I wasn’t selected for the security patrol team. In secondary school , i used to be told I couldn’t take advanced math, albeit my grades were excellent. At university, i used to be advised that I shouldn’t pursue degrees in both mathematics and anthropology. Over and over, i used to be informed that no, nein, la, nyet, i might not get the fellowship, opportunity, or experience I desired. Later, once I entered the professional world, I applied for jobs and was told no. As a contract writer, I pitched stories to editors and was told no. I proposed ideas for collaboration, consultation, and even conversation, and was told no.
And yet, the noes haven’t held me back. Instead, they’ve served as an idea to me. Whenever i buy a no, I view it as an invitation—to explore new ways to collaborate, perhaps at once more . It’s an opportunity to be more creative in brooding about values I offers or problems I can solve for an additional party. Or, a no could also be a notification that my communication tactics and methods got to be sharpened, if i’m to clarify what I can provide.
Most importantly, noes ignite my persistence. And if there’s one element that has driven my business life , it’s that i’m persistent. It’s not that I won’t take no for a solution . It’s more that i would like to know what’s driving the no, and to ascertain how i’d be ready to run through and round the issue. In many cases, a no is just a case of bad timing. it’d not be the proper time to partner with someone, or there could be a scarcity of resources. I check out a no not as a dead end—but because the beginning of a conversation a few possible alliance.
For example, a couple of years ago, I reached bent a corporation to suggest that we’ve an off-the-cuff conversation about collaborating. I didn’t get a response. So I waited 1 week and sent a follow-up email. Crickets. Then I called and left a voicemail. Nada. Finally, I said to myself, “I am getting to go full throttle” and that i re-sent the e-mail not only to the primary person I had reached bent but also to many others, including the chief director. i used to be polite and figured I had nothing to lose. surely , sometime later, the first target of my correspondence emailed me. He apologized for his lack of communication, indicated that timing was the difficulty , and told me that a chance to partner was afoot. This led to a speaking gig and, ultimately, to a long-term partnership that I still have with this organization to the present day.
I used an identical approach once I received another no that I just couldn’t abandoning of. I wanted to write down about Elon Musk for a physics magazine, as long as he features a degree in physics. I approached his PR people to request an interview with him, and therefore the answer was loud and clear: No. But I didn’t take it personally. I kept in mind that he’s a busy person, which perhaps his team would reconsider at a later date. once I decided to undertake again a year later, i used to be more courageous in my approach. I emailed every communications professional listed on his company websites. The responses—and I’m paraphrasing—included:
Don’t take the no personally. It’s just business. Pull emotion out of the no and don’t allow yourself to feel dejected, demeaned, or devalued because someone rejects your application or says that they don’t see a chance to figure with you. A no doesn’t mean that you simply weren’t qualified for employment or collaboration. As i discussed earlier, it’s going to are a case of bad timing. Or they’ll have received 500 applications for one job.
Don’t recoil from being persistent. Persistence within the face of challenges, failures, and unexpected scenarios is that the mark of an honest employee—and prospective employers notice that. There’s nothing wrong with a follow-up email or call . Who knows? it’s going to even get you noticed as displaying a valuable attribute.
Be respectful. You won’t get anywhere if you answer a rejection with a hurt or bitter response. Honor the opposite person. Don’t burn bridges. And don’t be rude and get in touch with them every 5 minutes. this recommendation is particularly important now, amid the COVID-19 crisis—because there’ll likely be even more noes during this era , also as a delayed timeline on responses. In times of crisis, you ought to wait even longer to follow up with prospective employers or collaborators, and you ought to be even more respectful in your responses. albeit the last word response is not any , let the opposite party know that you simply are still curious about working with them within the future should a chance arise.
Take the no and pivot. rather than dwelling on the negative outcome, think positively about what other services you would possibly be ready to offer to the opposite party. Case in point: a few years ago, i used to be invited to use for a promotion at the university that I worked. I applied thinking that i used to be guaranteed the position, only to be told at the top that the role was offered to somebody else . My response? I sent a thank-you card to the dean and offered to be of assistance in any way I could with the new employee. I met together with her and shared insight into the university’s structure and culture. Then, a couple of months later, when the worker moved to a replacement role, i used to be hired in her place. Looking back, i think that my offer to assist despite the very fact that I wasn’t selected for the position initially made a world of difference.
Be aware of cultural norms. confine mind that cultural norms regarding persistence vary. In some countries, it’s perfectly okay to email someone twice a month to stay in-tuned with them, whereas in other countries, which may be seen as rude and invasive. once I studied abroad in Egypt, I noticed that folks took time to urge to understand one another—even sharing personal stories about their families—before beginning to discuss details regarding how they might work together. within the us , in contrast, I find that folks are more likely to dive straight into business talk. So, study abreast of the culture during which you would like to interact and respect its rules.
I will still receive noes throughout my life, as will you. But I’m not scared of them. I’ve built up my resistance to noes by being persistent—and on behalf of me , that’s been a crucial element of my career advancement and professional development. In fact, a collaborator once said to me: “I’m sorry I took goodbye to reply . I imagine your persistence is what causes you to so successful.”
Concepts during this column come from and repose on the author’s previous published works, including articles, speeches, and her book titled Networking for Nerds.