Wednesday, March 28, 2012


It is a simple word that means "to refuse to accept, consider, submit to, take for some purpose, or use... to rebuff or repel" according to Mirriam-Webster.

We reject things every day - offers of food, an extra expense, an idea, an offer of help.  We say "no" gently or abruptly, often, with and without thought. Accepting and rejecting are the gatekeepers of what can/cannot get into our pockets, our calendars and our lives.

We blithely say "no" many times a day to others and yet when our idea, application or self is not accepted, we take rejection personally. Rejection seems especially devastating in the dating arena - but is it really the worst?

The biggest moans come from being rejected in the job search.

Like an artist auditioning, you must have a thick skin. An artist may be absolutely the most talented person to walk into the room but if they're simply an inch too short or have some other quirk of nature, they can lose the role due to all the other factors that play in a decision beyond talent.

Sometimes, of course, those of us auditioning and interviewing have a quirky day and our ability to connect is faulty. Or the cover letter you and three friends read six times turns out to be missing one word that none of you catch until after you hit "send". (hanging my head this week on that one!) Or we have an off-day on the same day as the interview.

However, mostly, rejection in the job search arena is not personal. Our resume can be one of a hundred choices. The timing of our application may coincide with the receiver having an off-day. The job requirements may have changed. Maybe three resumes looked equally excellent but one came with the vice president's recommendation.

Tomorrow, when we are turned down in some fashion, keep in mind that if everyone said "yes" all the time then none of us would try that little bit harder to find an even better opportunity. And if you're giving a thumbs-down, give them a smile of encouragement for the effort. I won't say that rejection is fun ...but it's normal and needs to be weathered like mountains of laundry.

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